Karen and John first fell in love with the Napa Valley in the 1980's and vacationed there often. On one of their many trips, they decided that someday they would make a wine and it would be called Jean Edwards Cellars (their two middle names). Although John's background is in food science, they needed to learn how to make wine. So they started taking courses from UCal Davis and others. From 1997 to 2003 they made wine by trucking in grapes from California to a New Jersey winery and got their hands dirty working the sorting lines, experimenting with different types of yeast, barrels, and even corks to learn about how each can influence the finished wine.
In 2004 they made the leap to make their dream come true in Napa Valley. They were still based in New Jersey and had busy corporate jobs, so they found their winemaker (Kian Tavakoli), were able to contract for some cabernet fruit from Stagecoach Vineyard® and the rest is history.
Karen and John like to say they hit the lottery twice on their first release - Wine Spectator Magazine contacted them and asked them to submit samples of their first wine (the wine was awarded 92 points). A few months later, Wine Spectator named the winery as “one of twenty new cabernet producers to watch – exciting new wines that could be the next cult wines” in their annual cabernet issue (11/15/07). Some other notable wineries on that list included Blind Justice, Kapcsandy, Ghost Block, Round Pond and Scarecrow. While this publicity certainly helped build the brand, Karen and John were still working in the corporate world and grew the Jean Edwards Cellars business slowly.
Fast forward to today, the Jean Edwards Cellars portfolio now includes multiple cabernet sauvignon wines, cabernet franc, malbec, merlot, petite syrah, syrah, rose', sauvignon blanc and chardonnay.
In 2021 Karen and John opened their new tasting room - where you can taste these highly sought-after, limited production wines. The tasting room is located at The Tasting Barn near Silverado Resort at 1021 Atlas Peak Road in Napa - just minutes from downtown Napa.
John and Karen come from humble roots and are proud to have built a brand that not only represents consistency and quality, but one that also offers wines at an approachable price point.
The winery in St. Helena, California