LJ Crafted Wines received multiple awards at the Sommelier Challenge, an international wine and spirits competition, Sept. 23-24, 2017 in San Diego — two platinum and two gold awards, with three of these wines submitted in wine growlers/re-usable bottles. LJ Crafted Wines was the only winery to submit wines to the competition in growlers.
LJ Crafted Wines announced earlier this year that it stopped bottling with conventional single-use bottles to focus business on its environmentally friendly growler program. Its patent-pending technology, called the "Wine Steward," is a delivery device that allows wine to be served directly from the barrel in which it is aging, growler after growler, glass after glass, while maintaining the integrity of the remaining contents of the barrel.
"We are delighted that our customers embrace our growler program, and are honored that a sommelier judging panel appraised the quality of our wines submitted in growlers so highly," said Lowell Jooste, owner of LJ Crafted Wines. "These awards affirm that our wines are top quality, and confirm that our innovative way of offering wines in growlers is successful."
Grapes for wines are sourced from growers in Napa and Sonoma, vinified by winemaker Alison Doran-Green in Napa and shipped in barrels to LJ Crafted Wines in La Jolla. In addition, as a licensed urban winery, some wine must be made on the premises. Last year the owners, staff and interested customers made a barrel of Petite Sirah, which was awarded gold in the competition.
The details of the wines awarded:
• LJ Crafted Wines Platinum 2013 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 96 points and Best in Show Pinot Noir. In limited supply, online and in the tasting room, $39*
• LJ Crafted Wines Platinum 2015 Chardonnay Patient Terrier Vineyard Russian River Valley 94 points, $30* (growler)
• LJ Crafted Wines Gold 2015 Pinot Noir Patient Terrier Vineyard Russian River Valley 92 points, $37* (growler)
• **LJ Crafted Wines Gold 2016 Bird Rock Petite Sirah, Dry Creek, Sonoma 91 points, $45* (growler). Available only to club members early November.
*Wine club members receive 20 percent off all wines **Made on site in San Diego. ljcraftedwines.com
LJ Crafted Wines is a family owned and operated urban winery in Bird Rock. The Joostes crafted the concepts for their business from their experience of managing family-owned Klein Constantia and Anwilka vineyards, which they shared with two French winemakers. Lowell is fourth generation in a family dedicated to the wine business and developed deep roots in the international wine scene during his 20-plus year career in South Africa.
• IF YOU GO: The tasting room, 5621 La Jolla Blvd., has indoor and outdoor seating, and offers small seasonal gourmet plates and cheese boards. Informed wine associates lead guests through the regularly changing wine list. (858) 551-8890. ljcraftedwines.com
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