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JOSH JENSEN, FOUNDER OF CALERA WINE COMPANY, HAS PASSED BUT HIS LEGEND WILL LIVE ON FOREVER

John Tilson • 6/29/22        Print This Post Print This PostComment Bookmark and Share

 

 

It is with great sadness that I recently learned of the passing of Josh Jensen. He and I had our birth year 1944 in common and it was my great privilege to have known him from the time of his founding of Calera Wine Company in 1975. Calera was a pioneer when Josh set out to make Burgundian styled Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and in a relatively unknown area of California just outside of Hollister on Mount Harlan. After becoming obsessed with wine during his studies at Oxford he had apprenticeships at Domaine de la Romanee Conti and Domaine Dujac in Burgundy. This lead him to his quest for a vineyard site in California that had Limestone soil which he felt was essential for growing great Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

 

 

So after some searching in relatively unknown wine areas Josh selected the site on Mount Harlan. He also determined the location for each of the vineyards and initially planted three estate Pinot Noir vineyards: Jensen (14 acres), Reed (5 acres) and Selleck (5 acres). Later he would also plant three other estate Pinot Noir vineyards: de Villieres (15.6 acres), Ryan (10 acres), Mills (14.4 acres) as well as Viognier, Chardonnay, and Aligoté.

Josh achieved great success and has left a great legacy (to read an article on Calera Wine Company from 2018 when the winery was sold which also has links to all earlier Calera articles click here).  And to read another article on Calera and its history from another source click here).

It has been many years since I last visited Josh at Calera and I have consumed all of the old Calera Pinot Noirs in my cellar. Also it has been a long time since I have tasted any new Calera wines. But winemaker Mike Waller who has been there since 2007 is first rate and I am confident that the wines are still special. Some day soon I hope to reconnect with Mike and pay a visit to Calera.

To read more about Calera and their current wines click here.


RIP Josh. A true pioneer and icon, you will never be forgotten!

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