Field Reports

The New Jarhead “Case Card”

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

JHR_CardHere’s something to keep an eye out for at your neighborhood market or wine shop: the new Jarhead Red display card, hot off the presses this week.

Known in the trade as a “case card,” it is designed to slot upright into wine case boxes for in-store display. We kept the main message simple: “A robust red wine made by Marines.” No need to get fancy about it, right?

The card also lets people know that every bottle supports a worthy cause, with net proceeds of all sales going to USMC-based charities, primarily the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.

We wanted the design of the case card to be bold yet elegant, just like the wine. We hope you agree that it hits the mark.

Jarhead Red at Camp Pendleton

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Vineyard WestIn addition to being an iconic Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton in California’s San Diego County is home to many Marines who support Jarhead Red.

Indeed, the base is home to several stores that stock our wines, including Beverages, Etc., Seaside Square and Vineyard West.

“Vineyard West is a gorgeous store, it’s something that would fit just fine in Napa Valley,” says John Bagley, the Classic Wines of California sales representative who represents Jarhead Wine Company on the base. Pictured above is a Jarhead endcap display at Vineyard West.

At these stores and others, John finds that buyers and customers alike are intrigued by the Jarhead story, most notably our Marine-centric mission and history.

“I try to spread the word about Jarhead’s substantial support of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation,” John says. “There are a lot of brands out there that bill themselves as charitable, but only some of them really deliver, and Jarhead is one of them. When local Marines and their families learn that Jarhead Red goes to a good cause and raises a lot of funds every year, they really respond to it.”

If you’re ever at Camp Pendleton, keep an eye out for John at one of Vineyard West’s tastings that run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.

“I periodically pour Jarhead wines at Vineyard West’s tastings, and it’s an honor to share them with the U.S. Marines there on the base,” he says.

Honoring Local Iwo Jima Veterans

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Iwo_Jima_VetsHistory recently came alive at the 4th annual Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation luncheon and symposium in Santa Barbara, featuring four veterans who survived one of the most significant battles of the Pacific during World War II: Iwo Jima.

The luncheon honored Cpl. Benedict E. Bellefeuille, Cpl. Joseph Hale and Lt. Col. Bob Beckham, all Marines, and Pharmacist’s Mate Kenneth E. Morehouse of the Navy—all of whom reside on the Central Coast. The program included presentations about these four veterans by other veterans, along with historical information about the battles as well as film clips and music.

Following a short version of the “Sands of Iwo Jima” film, individual awards were presented. Each of the honorees was presented with a commemorative plaque and a bottle of special label Jarhead Red wine. Pictured below is Mr. Morehouse signing bottles of Jarhead Red prior to the event.

We salute the honorees and all of the veterans who made this event happen, and we were honored to have Jarhead Red play a small role along the way. Click here to read a full recap of the event. And thanks to Maureen “Mo” McFadden, legendary Santa Barbara P.R. practitioner, for sending information and photos.


Patriots at Pebble

Thursday, March 5th, 2015


L-R: David Macon, Dean Biersch, Caddy Rob, Kevin Orona and Jeff Jordano










We were excited to play an active role in the Patriots at Pebble event last weekend in Pebble Beach, California, which raised more than $700,000 for the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.

The weekend included a Marine Appreciation Day at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey on Saturday, as well as the Eagle, Globe & Anchor Awards Dinner on Sunday at the Inn at Spanish Bay. Golf tournaments were also held on Sunday at Spanish Bay and Monday at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Jarhead Wine Company was proud to donate both Jarhead Red and Jarhead Chardonnay to the awards dinner and auction. We were represented at Patriots at Pebble by David Macon, VP of sales and marketing at our affiliated Firestone Walker Brewing Company, along with Kevin Orona, the brewery’s national accounts manager.

According to David, our wines were a hit at the auction. “The organizer told me that a wine named Jarhead Red is not a tough sell to old Marines,” he said.

David and Kevin also hit the links along with team members Dean Biersch of Gordon Biersch Brewing Company and HopMonk Tavern, and Jeff Jordano, president of Pacific Beverage Company.

Said David, “It was a tremendous honor to participate in the company of so many Marine Corps veterans and active duty service men and women. It’s impressive to see the Marine Corps not only taking care of its own, but also working so hard to provide scholarships for children of wounded and fallen Marines.”

Sun Shines on Jarhead Wine Company

Thursday, February 19th, 2015










Our thanks go out to Hayley Thomas of the Santa Maria Sun for her magnificent feature story on Jarhead Wine Company.

The story delves into the origins of Jarhead Red, as well as the charitable mission and family ties that continue to drive us today.

Writes Thomas, “Adam (Firestone), a former Marine Corps captain, believes wine can change the world. As owner of Jarhead Wine Company, he’s already touched the lives of dozens of veterans across the Central Coast and beyond…Jarhead Wine Company’s mission is beautifully simple: to craft robust, approachable red wines in support of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, which provides educational assistance to the children of U.S. Marines. All net proceeds go toward this cause, with particular attention given to children of fallen and injured servicemen and women—more than half a million dollars in direct cash since Adam’s first unveiling of the wine at the annual Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation’s Birthday Ball in 1999.”

You can read the full story here.

New Release: 2011 Jarhead Reserve

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

We are excited to share that the 2011 Jarhead Reserve is now available.

The 2011 Jarhead Reserve is a limited-edition wine that is crafted as our finest expression of the vintage. Think of it as the “dress blues” companion to the more “camo” style of Jarhead Red.

The 2011 Jarhead Reserve is composed primarily of Cabernet Franc from the Firestone family’s Curtis Estate vineyard in the heart of Santa Barbara County’s Santa Ynez Valley. The wine was aged for 18 months in premium French oak barrels, of which 20 percent featured new oak. The inclusion of Petit Verdot in the final blend brought added color, complexity and dimension to the wine.

The 2011 Jarhead Reserve is round and velvety, presenting deep black fruit flavors with notes of cherry, mint and cinnamon spice. Chewy tannins linger on a long, focused finish. This is a wine that will reward careful cellaring, but don’t be afraid to uncork it now as a centerpiece for a holiday meal.

A Time to Celebrate

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Nick returns home

Following is an excerpt from a post by wine writer Gabe Saglie about a special homecoming in the Jarhead Wine Company family:

The Firestone family is celebrating a homecoming: 1st Lt. Nick Firestone has just returned from a year-long deployment in Afghanistan. The 26-year-old Marine arrived home in the Santa Ynez Valley on November 8th. This was the second deployment for the young member of the well-known Santa Barbara County family, who ended his first tour, in the South Pacific, early last year.

“For me, it’s half excitement and anticipation, and the other side is parental nerves,” his dad, Adam Firestone, told me last year, right before his (and wife Kate’s) son left for the Middle East. “But I understand the tradition.”

And he should. Adam Firestone is, himself, a former Marine, having joined in 1984. He was promoted to Captain in 1988, ahead of his deployment to the Persian Gulf, and ended his service in 1991. Mr. Firestone, 52, son of Kate and former 35th District State Assemblyman Brooks Firestone, has since gone on to spearhead the family’s business ventures in wine grape growing and craft beer making.

The Firestones’ connection to the U.S. Marines has, in fact, inspired one of their ongoing winemaking ventures: the Jarhead label.

Our thanks go out to Gabe for his support of Jarhead Wine Company. Click here to read the rest of his story on Jarhead. 

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!