Field Reports

New Release: 2011 Jarhead Red

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Well, the next vintage of Jarhead Red is here, specifically the new release 2011 Jarhead Red!

While the appellation on the bottle is “California,” this wine comes from local vineyards right here on the Central Coast, specifically Merlot from Paso Robles and Petit Verdot from the Santa Ynez Valley–both premier regions for Bordeaux varietals.

In Paso Robles, a daily interplay of warm days and cool evenings allows the Merlot fruit to achieve balanced ripeness. A similar coastal growing dynamic occurs at the Firestone family’s Curtis Estate in the Santa Ynez Valley, where the Petit Verdot grape develops intense flavors with full tannins.

From day one, Jarhead Red was made to be a robust yet approachable wine for everyday enjoyment—and the 2011 vintage lives up to its billing

This wine offers generous aromas of plum, cherry and spice with a hint of smokiness. A rich, mouthfilling texture unfolds with flavors of black cherry, blackberry and cassis. Notes of vanilla emerge on a broad, juicy finish.

The boldly flavored 2011 Jarhead Red is a perfect match for classic American fare, such as grilled steak, barbecued chicken and hamburgers. You can purchase it here, or ask for it at your local wine shop.


The Crush Is On…

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

The crush is on here in the Santa Ynez Valley…

Indeed, our 2014 Jarhead Chard is happily fermenting away, the first of our wines to be made from the 2014 vintage.

Once again, the Jarhead Chard comes from the Firestone family’s estate vineyards right here in Santa Barbara County, which is recognized as one of the world’s premier Chardonnay regions.

The grapes were harvested at night. Why harvest at night? Because this ensures that the fruit is cool when it arrives at the winery, allowing for the preservation of fresh flavors and pure aromatics. If the grapes get too warm after you pick them, you can lose some of that freshness and purity. Of course, it’s more work to harvest at night—for starters, you have to bring floodlights into the vineyard—but it’s a worthy investment in quality.

At the winery, the grapes were gently whole-cluster pressed. This means that they didn’t undergo crushing or destemming. Again, whole cluster pressing is more work, but it ensures that the more bitter “phenolics” of the seeds and stems stay out of the wine.

Now the Chardonnay is cold fermenting in stainless steel tanks, which means that yeasts are converting the natural grape sugars into alcohol and CO2 gas. The gas blows off, and the result is wine. So we’re on our way for the 2014 vintage!


2014 Harvest Report

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

We are rushing headlong toward an early harvest here in the Santa Ynez Valley in the Santa Barbara wine country. In fact, early ripening varietals like Pinot Noir started coming off the vine a few weeks ago in some local vineyards, and by the end of the month we should be harvesting estate Chardonnay for our 2014 Jarhead Chard.

We are not alone—the harvest is early across California this year, due to the prolonged drought, in tandem with a warm spring and moderate summer.

Simply put, there was nothing holding the vines back from getting the show on the road this year. In some years, wet winter weather or a cold spring or a cool summer will slow things down. This year, none of those phenomena occurred, so here we are in mid August with the harvest coming sooner rather than later.

Yields are healthy despite the dry conditions, and the grapes are having no trouble reaching maturity. This should all lead to ripe, concentrated flavors. In other words, you can expect some tasty wines from 2014.

Of course, we still need rain this winter to make sure that the vines and aquifers remain healthy. A little stress on the vine can produce nice concentrated wines, but at some point they need some relief.

So in addition to expecting great wines from 2014, we are praying for rain in 2015!


Saluting The Honor Flight Network

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Have you heard of Honor Flight, a national nonprofit organization that provides tours for American veterans, escorting them to Washington D.C. to visit memorials erected in their honor? It is a remarkable effort that serves a noble cause.

For this reason, Jarhead Wine Company and our affiliated Firestone Walker Brewing Company recently committed to funding Honor Flight trips for 10 local resident veterans of World War II.

As Jarhead Wine Company proprietor Adam Firestone wrote in a recent local editorial, “These veterans, commonly referred to as ‘the greatest generation,’ answered the most phenomenal call-up in our nation’s history. The enormity of their courage and sacrifice is unequalled in the modern era. For many, it began on a peaceful Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, and for those who survived, it ended on Aug. 15, 1945. So many locals left home for the blood-soaked shores of Northern Africa and Normandy and the meat grinder in the Pacific. Still more joined the war effort in manufacturing, supply, and transportation. It was a nation engaged in a single common purpose: the life struggle of freedom against tyranny…This generation is in its twilight years, and time is precious as our World War II veterans are passing at a rate of more than 600 per day. Most of the veterans on our local Honor Flight waiting list are in their 90s. Simply put, we must act now.”

On that note, people and communities across the nation are similarly pitching in to make honor flights possible for our veterans. We encourage you to visit the Honor Flight web site and to help spread the word.


News-Press Showcases Jarhead Red

Friday, November 8th, 2013

In advance of Veterans Day, the Santa Barbara News-Press has published a feature story on Jarhead Wine Company and our support of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, which provides educational assistance to children of U.S. Marines, with special consideration given to families of fallen Marines.

In the story written by News-Press correspondent Gabe Saglie, proprietor Adam Firestone explains how Jarhead wines came to support the foundation: “In the charity world, there are a lot of transitory causes. But I wanted to back something that, at its core, was really pure and where the whole thing was completely authentic. I had really studied these guys (the foundation) — they started in 1962, they’re really lean and all dollars go to the target. And the fact it’s education-based — that funding is for a specific purpose — it sets a continuum.”

The story also delves into the origins and personal stories behind Jarhead Wine Company. Adam served in the Marine Corps for seven years, and was promoted to captain in advance of his deployment to the Persian Gulf in 1988. His son Nick is now a Marine Corps artillery officer who recently served in the South Pacific, and who is scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan. Adam’s father-in-law, Harry Colmery, was a Marine Corps pilot in World War II and the Korean War.

Other military-oriented wines are included in the story as well. Saarloos & Sons produces a blend called Courage in honor of a late family member, Sergeant John Saarloos, who died in June 1944 on a European tour during World War II. Murphy-Goode Winery produces Hometown Red benefitting Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that provides programs like food assistance, eye care and moving help for veterans, their wives and their families.

Click here to view the full News-Press article.

Thanks to Gabe Saglie and the Santa Barbara News-Press for spreading the word about Jarhead Wine Company and the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.


Enlist in The Jarhead Wine Club

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

With the holidays on the horizon, we encourage you to check out our Jarhead Wine Club.

With a gift membership, you can treat yourself or your favorite Marine to exclusive discounts on bi-annual shipments of our new releases. Shipments are sent in later May in honor of Memorial Day and in early November, just in time for the birthday of the Marine Corps on November 10.

Needless to say, the second shipment of 2013 is coming soon, so now’s the time to enlist if you are interested. There is no cost to join. As a member, you enjoy exclusive 15 percent savings on all Jarhead wine purchases, and you get to choose from several shipment levels (for amount of wine and style of wine for each shipment).

Click here to learn more and enlist today.


New Release: 2012 Jarhead Chard

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

In the Marines, it’s not always about power. Sometimes, a little finesse is required, too…

Well, the same goes with Jarhead Wine Company. While we are known for making robust red wines like Jarhead Red and Jarhead Reserve, we also showcase our lighter side with Jarhead Chard, our lone white wine.

The new release 2012 Jarhead Chard comes from our estate vineyards in Santa Barbara County’s Santa Ynez Valley. As you may know, Santa Barbara County is recognized as one of the nation’s premier Chardonnay regions. Why? Because the valleys here run from west to east, allowing for a steady influence of cool marine air. This, in turn, creates a long growing season that enables the Chardonnay grape to achieve ripe flavors with excellent balance.

These qualities are evident in the 2012 Jarhead Chard. So join us in raising a glass to the red and white, not to mention the blue!


Here Comes Rolling Thunder

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Look for our advertisement in Vietnam Magazine’s event guide for the Rolling Thunder motorcycle run on May 26 in Washington D.C.

The mission of Rolling Thunder is “to educate, facilitate, and never forget by means of a demonstration for service members that were abandoned after the Vietnam War. Rolling Thunder has also evolved into a display of patriotism and respect for all who defend our country.”

Below is a rendering of our advertisement.


Meet Your New Wine Club Captain

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

A new captain is now at the helm of our Jarhead Wine Club as we welcome Stacie Beall as our wine club manager (as well as our tasting room manager at our sister Curtis Winery).

Stacie is a Central Coast native who most recently worked as a hospitality manager for our affiliated Firestone Walker Brewing Company. Stacie is a U.C. Santa Barbara graduate and a big San Francisco 49ers fan. “I’m excited to meet our wine club members, and to do everything I can to make their membership experience enjoyable and rewarding,” she says. You can reach Stacie at sbeall@curtiswinery.com.

Stacie replaces Elizabeth Dadosky, who has taken a position at another winery after six years with us. To our wine club members, Elizabeth says, “Thank you for a great relationship during my tenure, it has been an honor and delight.” We could say the same to Elizabeth ourselves, and we wish her the best!

The Jarhead Wine Club is a great way to get bi-annual shipments of our current releases with exclusive savings. You can even give a gift membership to your favorite Marine!


Where’s My Jarhead?

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

The two most frequent questions we get asked on Facebook and via email are: (1) why can’t you ship wine to my state?; and (2) where can I find your wine?

We are pleased to share that we have a new answer to the latter question, and that would be the new Find Our Wines page on this web site, which can be accessed straight from our home page. This new page links to our distributor’s database, which provides geographical snapshots of local availability of Jarhead Red. We hope that you can find a bottle near you!

As for why we can’t ship to certain states, alas, that is out of our control. Some states still prohibit the direct shipping of wine from elsewhere, which means our hands are tied. Hopefully, however, the new Find Our Wines page will provide a helpful alternative for those who live in such states.

P.S. Here is the list of states that we can ship to via our Online Wine ShopCA, CO, DC, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, KS, LA, MI, MN, MO, NC, NH, NV, NY, OH, OR, TX, VA, WA, WI, WV, WY