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J. Lohr Vineyards & WinesVerified Organization

A brief history

For fifty years and through two generations, the Lohr family and their team have been leaders in the California wine industry. Founder Jerry Lohr and his three children Steve, Cynthia, and Lawrence oversee one of the country’s most successful and trusted fine wine labels. With first plantings in Monterey in 1972 and then in Paso Robles in 1986, the J. Lohr team helped write the book on sustainable winegrowing on the Central Coast. Today, J. Lohr farms more than 4,000 acres of estate vineyards in Monterey’s Arroyo Seco and Santa Lucia Highlands appellations, Paso Robles, and St. Helena in the Napa Valley.

J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines produces eight tiers of award-winning releases: J. Lohr Signature Cabernet Sauvignon, J. Lohr Cuvée Series, J. Lohr Vineyard Series, J. Lohr Gesture, J. Lohr Pure Paso® Proprietary Red Wine, J. Lohr Estates, J. Lohr Monterey Roots, and ARIEL Vineyards. J. Lohr was honored with the 2020 Green Medal Leader Award in recognition of the company’s decades-long commitment to sustainability. JLohr.com is the winery’s online home.
J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines Logo

Established in 1974

6169 Airport Road
United States, California




Meet The Team

  • Brenden Wood

    Brenden Wood has been an integral part of the J. Lohr
    Vineyards & Wines winemaking team since 2004, and was
    the assistant winemaker working alongside Director of
    Winemaking Steve Peck from 2010 until 2019 when he then took
    on the role of Red Winemaker. In this role, Brenden combines
    his understanding of the technical aspects of great winemaking
    with an appreciation for the artistry of the blend.

    After growing up in the Bay Area, Brenden attended Cal Poly,
    where he earned a degree in biochemistry in 1999. During
    university, Brenden also cultivated an interest in wine.
    Combining his science background and his newfound
    appreciation for the great things that can be achieved with a little
    fermentation, Brenden was soon brewing his own beer and
    making his own small lots of wine.

    As his passion for wine grew, Brenden began traveling more,
    exploring wine regions throughout France and Italy. He also
    worked harvests at two small Paso Robles wineries, gaining
    valuable practical winemaking experience. In 2004, Brenden
    joined J. Lohr as a lab technician, where he ran day-to-day
    quality control analysis, while also helping to develop several
    leading-edge tools for color and tannin analysis.

    In 2007, Brenden was promoted to enologist, working closely
    with both Steve Peck and President/COO Jeff Meier to further
    enhance quality in every aspect of the winemaking program.

    Though Brenden has a deep foundation in the technical side of
    winemaking, he also believes in applying those skills creatively
    in order to make great wine—an approach that was recognized
    when Brenden was named assistant winemaker in 2010. Based
    in Paso Robles, Brenden focuses on the winery’s red wine
    portfolio. In keeping with J. Lohr’s hands-on, small lot
    approach, Brenden helps to oversee as many as 400 individual
    fermentations in a given vintage.

    Brenden lives with his wife, Carrie, and his son, Emerson, just
    southwest of Paso Robles in the little town of Templeton. Prior
    to going on maternity leave, Carrie was the head viticulturist for
    J. Lohr. Brenden loves the outdoors and is an avid hiker. He has
    climbed both Mount Whitney and Kilimanjaro.•

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  • Kristen Barnhisel

    At J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, acclaimed winemaker Kristen
    Barnhisel brings two decades of viticulture and winemaking
    experience spanning three continents to her role as winemaker for all
    white wines. Known for her gifted palate and technical skill, Kristen uses
    her expertise with a range of white wine varieties, styles and winemaking
    methods to guide J. Lohr’s white wine portfolio.

    Kristen was raised in Santa Rosa by a microbiologist mother, who
    worked for Simi Winery, and a father who was a home winemaker.
    Though she grew up immersed in the wine industry, even working
    harvests as a summer job, it wasn’t until she traveled to Italy while
    earning her B.A. in Italian literature that she was inspired to become a
    winemaker. Encouraged by legendary California winemaker, and family
    friend, Zelma Long, Kristen became one of the first women, and the
    first American, to work harvest for Ruffino in Italy—an experience that
    deepened her desire to become a winemaker. Kristen went on to earn a
    master’s degree in enology from UC Davis, while also working a number
    of coveted internships, including Warwick Wine Estate in South Africa,
    Opus One, and Long Vineyard, where she gained invaluable knowledge
    working alongside her mentor, Zelma Long.

    After graduation, eager to build on her growing knowledge of different
    wine regions, Kristen moved to Washington State, where she spent two
    years as the enologist at Columbia Crest. Returning to California, Kristen
    held positions as the assistant winemaker at Jordan Vineyard & Winery
    and later Belvedere Winery, before joining Handley Cellars in Anderson Valley, where she was co-winemaker with founder Milla Handley for eight years. Prior to joining J. Lohr in 2015, Barnhisel was the quality control manager at Inglenook, where she was charged with ensuring wine quality of the Rubicon, Inglenook’s flagship Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Blancaneaux, the winery’s top white wine.

    Today, utilizing her extensive experience with cool-climate white wine
    varieties, Kristen works alongside President/COO Jeff Meier and Director
    of Winemaking Steve Peck to guide J. Lohr’s white wine program.
    “We are a winery that values leadership, experience and a willingness
    to experiment,” says Jeff. “From her work in multiple countries and
    appellations to her leadership role as a vice president at the American
    Society for Enology and Viticulture, Kristen has shown a remarkable
    commitment to research and experimentation. She’s also a phenomenal

    “I love the challenge of making serious white wines that reflect their
    vineyard roots,” says Kristen. “It is incredibly rewarding to take an
    inherently transparent grape and to find that perfect place where fruit
    flavors, aromatics, alcohol, acidity, texture and palate length all come into
    perfect balance.”

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J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines Wines

Featured Wines

J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay Bottle Preview
J. Lohr Vineyards & WinesJ. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay

Our J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay is grown in the heart of the windswept and cool Arroyo Seco AVA of Monterey County. Loamy sand and gravelly loam soils of the Elder series are intermixed and underlain by “Greenfield potatoes” - stones that resemble potatoes in size and appearance and which absorb heat during the day and radiate it after sunset. This underlying layer of stone effectively limits root growth to the top three to five feet of soil, harmoniously balancing the fruit and shoot growth of our richly flavored Chardonnay. Aromas of yellow flowers, baked apple, crème brûlée, and brioche. The texture is balanced by integrated flavors of pear, Meyer lemon cream, and baking spices, with a long, sweet oak finish. This wine has earned the Certified California Sustainable seal.