Wine Bar Hopping: Jax Vineyards

Jax has a winery – or “Tasting Barn” – in beautiful Calistoga and a wine bar in San Francisco. It was started by a brother and a sister who saw potential in their father’s Calistoga vineyard.

Brother and sister team, Trent and Kimberly Jackson collaborated with their vintner “green thumb” father to found their first label in 1996.  Over time the two identified their unique niche among next generation wine enthusiasts. Read their story here.

I’ve never made it to the winery, but they were – thankfully – spared from the Tubbs Fire in October 2017. The barn is still standing and it’s on my list of wineries to visit!


I do, however, frequent the wine bar quite a bit with my friends because it is…

  1. right by my company’s office in SoMa;
  2. adorable – literally an urban oasis; and
  3. delicious!


Plus, they offer an artisanal cheese and charcuterie plate – which is always a major plus in my book.


You can also host private events there, do large group Happy Hours, or book an appointment for a private group wine tastings.

My personal favorite wines of theirs are the Y3 Rosé of Pinot Noir, the Y3 Sauvignon Blanc, and the Y3 Taureau (named after the Jackson family’s prized bull!).

The Taureau is a red blend – 50% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah, and 5% Zinfandel. It’s super unique and really food friendly. It’s fruity – blackberry and black cherry – but it has a nice structure and tannins from the Cabernet Sauvignon.

My girlfriends and I usually order a bottle of the Taureau or the Pinot Noir and a meat & cheese plate and lose track of time!

Where do you meet your friends after work?


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“If Bacchus ever had a color he could claim for his own, it should surely be the shade of tannin on drunken lips, of John Keat’s ‘purple-stained mouth’, or perhaps even of Homer’s dangerously wine-dark sea.”
— Victoria Finlay



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