Jeff Gordon may best be known as a four-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion, but he has long been a fine wine enthusiast.
He first discovered a love for wine in 1995 after winning his first championship in racing's premier series. Gordon was in London to celebrate and when being handed the wine list at an upscale restaurant, he yearned for the full experience. He ordered a bottle of Joseph Drouhin Batard-Montrachet and had never seen a white decanted before. Gordon took one sip of the white burgundy and declared it “liquid gold”. It was then that his passion for fine wine began.
Jeff developed an appreciation for the art of winemaking in the years that followed and decided to create his own brand centered on the aspects of flavor and quality that he enjoys in a glass of wine.
He partnered with August “Joe” Briggs in the Napa Valley as his winemaker because of his focus on producing quality-driven, small-lot wines and together with Joe’s nephew, assistant winemaker Jesse Inman, they have introduced extraordinary wines ever since. In 2011, Jesse took over the reigns of the Briggs brand, thus becoming primary winemaker for the Gordon brand with Joe’s continuing consultation.
The first vintage of the Jeff Gordon Collection- a 2004 Carneros Chardonnay- was released in late 2005, followed by a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Napa Valley Merlot, also of the 2004 vintage. In addition to Chardonnay, Cabernet and Merlot, they have introduced Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, Napa Valley Rosé of Syrah and a signature red blend labeled “Joie de Vivre”. One of the highlights for Jeff has been naming two of the vintages after his children in the years they were born- the 2007 wines are dedicated to his daughter, Ella Sofia, and the 2010’s for his son Leo.