The Bird Rock community features a winery tasting room in the cozy seaside of La Jolla. One of the unique features of the thriving business is that patrons are able to sample their 11 wines directly from the barrel. In fact, LJ Crafted Wines is the first winery to develop a process of serving wines straight from the barrel, by the glass, or if preferred, ‘to go’ for those who are dropping by their charmingly designed premises.
Historically, the Jooste family consisting of Lowell, Anne and their four children arrived in La Jolla in 2012. However, the Jooste’s are no strangers to the fine wine industry. In fact, they have 25 years plus experience in the South African wine business, as well as four generations of family involvement. The scenic beauty of La Jolla encouraged them to embark on a new path in sunny California.
Another aspect of the Jooste history is the fact that Lowell visited La Jolla on several occasions owing to an enduring family friendship which began prior to World War I. His grandfather was a close friend of fellow WW1 fighter pilot Tom Jackson’s grandfather. In addition, he was a visiting student in viticulture and winemaking during the mid to late 1980s at UC Davis and subsequently labored at Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa. It was during this eventful time that he became good friends with Tom, a long time La Jolla native.
The business makes premium wine in Napa and Russian River, under the direction of expert guidance, all of which adds to Lowell’s previous studies at UC Davis in the previously mentioned late 1980s. Visitors can expect a remarkable experience when they enter LJ Crafted Wines. The winery already has the third vintage under their belt, so to speak, and are ever intent on continuing their long craftsmanship to La Jolla and to San Diegans who possess an affinity for quality wine.
The 2014 Napa earthquake completely destroyed half of their wine, but fortunately the family still endeavors to provide the seaside community with some of the finest wines available. Their novel idea to ship barrels of wine from Napa, and offer wine directly from the barrel, uses their patent-pending apparatus and is a fresh approach that wine aficionados will marvel at, and that is no exaggeration. Why is this? Ah, the simple answer is that their eco-friendly way of consuming wine directly from the barrel tastes considerably superior to wines straight from the bottle. Simply have a sample and your palate will attest to this fact.
Since Lowell shares La Jolla’s initials, the family unequivocally reasoned that calling their venture LJ Crafted Wines was a great fit. Lowell managed his family’s vineyards (the historic Klein Constantia www.kleinconstantia.com) for two decades plus and also established another winery, Anwilka, along with Bruno Prats and Hubert de Boüard from Bordeaux, France. This makes Lowell and his experienced staff far from mere amateurs.
Their logo was cleverly well-thought-out to best reflect their time-honored family’s rich past and future intentions. LJ Crafted Wines opted to blend their heritage with a further light-hearted component, hence the amusing circus-like ‘Ring Master’ font. Their pelican is a symbol of their home in Bird Rock. Meanwhile, the wreath of oak and olive branches symbolize heritage and achievement, respectively. Additionally, the horseshoe shape represents luck, while the ribbon ties it all together in perfect harmony.
The Lowell family looks forward to welcoming La Jolla regulars and visitors alike to savor their fine wines, accompanied with luxury bites. LJ Crafted Wines is a Bird Rock treat that should not be passed up. Come and see for yourself!
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