‘In Gratitude,’ Judy Jordan’s Geodesy Wine Supports Women In Agriculture

When Judy Jordan launched J. Vineyards and Winery in 1986, she was 25 years old. A Stanford University grad and geologist with a passion for California winemaking, she recalls having a strong network of mentors such as her father, Tom Jordan, founder of Jordan Vineyards in Healdsburg and the legendary André Tchelistcheff, consulting winemaker at the winery. She says that many of the people in her network were men: “I met many fabulous men that helped me along the way, but I regret that I didn’t have any women as mentors.”

Having sold J. Vineyards and Winery to E. & J. Gallo in 2015, Jordan realized an opportunity to give back to the wine community through her non-profit endeavor WG Edge, which supports young women entering the agriculture industry by providing mentors, scholarships and other resources. Currently the program has nine participants, and Jordan plans to “ace this tiny program and then do it again.” In other words, the concept is scalable.

“This is in gratitude to the agricultural families, our way to say thank you to them,” says Jordan. “It takes a village, a homegrown, local project, to help open doors and advance the young women in our project. To lead, and keep our region vibrant.”

To generate funding, she simultaneously founded Geodesy Wine, which transfers all profits to WG Edge. Jordan chose winemaker Megan Baccitich as a partner to produce Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a red blend from three heritage vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and California’s Napa Valley. “I feel so blessed to have met Megan,” says Jordan. “We are both now at a place in our careers where we are willing to take chances.”

Baccitich, who previously worked with Paul Hobbs as director of winemaking, says that “creativity is definitely important.” Translating Russian River Valley expertise to Oregon, she felt like a “kid in a candy store” with fresh options and perspective from the Oregon winemaking community.

“Hey, it’s a fresh palette,” says Jordan. “A fresh palette of paint that we get to make together.”

The new palette includes Chehalem Mountain Vineyard and Eola Springs Vineyard, both in the Willamette Valley, along with Sage Ridge Vineyard in the Napa Valley. “No matter where you are, when you step into a new site, you need fresh eyes and to be aware of your own creative energy,” says Baccitich.

Eola Springs Vineyard has own-rooted Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Muscat and Pinot Gris, planted in 1972 by Carl Stevens. Soils include Windygap, Saum, Nekia, Ritner, Gelderman and Goodin. The site provides “beautiful salinity, tactile and emotional,” according to Baccitich.

Chehalem Mountain Vineyard was planted with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the late 60s, by industry pioneer Dick Erath, also own-rooted. “The geologic episodes have created a soil base that honors its diverse and extreme volcanism, subduction, glaciation and marine deposits,” according to the Geodesy website. Baccitich says this site has a “deep dark

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SEEAG Launches $15,000 “Give The Gift of Agriculture Challenge”

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An anonymous donor has stepped forward and will match all donations up to $15,000 for every dollar donated to Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG). The “Give the Gift of Agriculture – Double Your Impact Challenge” runs through December 31 with a total fundraising goal of $30,000.

SEEAG’s agricultural education programs have reached over 54,000 elementary school students in Southern California through classroom learning and free farm field trips to SEEAG’s Farm Lab in Saticoy. The programs teach schoolchildren about the origins of their food and the importance of local farmland.

Donations will go to support Farm Lab, which has now moved to live online presentations. The Zoom classes are in three, 45-minute modules: an introduction to agriculture, plant and insect science, and water and soil science. The presentations are for third grade classes and are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

“We hope to return to in-class learning and begin offering our farm field trips later this year. Until then, we are very grateful to our donors and their support as SEEAG creates new ways to reach children with our message despite COVID restrictions,” says Mary Maranville, SEEAG founder/CEO. “Understanding the impact of eating healthy is more important than ever as kids spend more time at home and exercise less. It’s all about making healthy choices.” To date, nearly 800 third graders and 26 teachers have signed up to participate in online Farm Lab this school year.

Donors of $100 will receive a jar of Bennett’s Honey. Donations can be made by going to seeag.org/give.

To learn more about SEEAG, go to www.SEEAG.org, Facebook www.facebook.com/SEEAG.org or contact Maranville at [email protected], 805-901-0213.

About SEEAG

Founded in 2008, Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG) is a nonprofit organization that aims to help young students understand the origins of their food by bridging the gap between agriculture and consumption through its agricultural education programming. SEEAG’s “The Farm Lab” program based in Ventura County teaches schoolchildren about the origins of their food and the importance of local farmland by providing schools with classroom agricultural education and free field trips to farms. Through this and other SEEAG programs, over 54,000 elementary school students in Southern California have increased their understanding of the food journey. For more information, visit www.seeag.org or email Mary Maranville at [email protected]

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