Charlie and Noreen Jones
Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah
60 acre vineyard with three different parcels. 2400'-2700' elevation. Average age of vines is 30 years. Volcanic soil.
Lava Cap Winery is a third-generation family farm in Placerville, in the Sierra Nevada foothills at an elevation of 2,700 feet. The warm high-altitude terroir is well suited to the production of big, ripe reds, but white varietals, especially Chardonnay, are also popular in the area. Lava Cap’s estate mountain-grown grapes are sourced from some of the highest vineyards in California. Unique volcanic soils, weathered from ancient ash flows, produce wines that are intensely aromatic and luscious with deep, rich fruit flavor.
In 1981 David Jones and his wife Jeanne bought a 65-acre parcel in the heart of the famed Apple Hill region of the Sierra Foothills of El Dorado county. They planted their first vines in 1981 and opened the winery in 1986. The family of geologists specifically selected this location for its prime volcanic soil. Millions of years ago, the Sierra Nevada mountains roiled with volcanic activity, and lava flowed down from the mountains, covering the foothills. Over thousands of years, much of the hardened lava deteriorated away, but select areas in the Sierra Nevada foothills still have volcanic soil, which is why they named the winery “lava cap.” Their grapes flourish in the volcanic soil, warmed by the foothill sunshine and cooled by gentle Sierra night breezes.
The winemaking philosophy is to express the elegant and complex varietal character from each block of the family’s vineyards. The winemaker, Joe Norman, who joined the winery in 2013, has a B.S. in Fermentation from U.C. Davis and has experience working as a winemaker at several California wineries, including in Napa.
The vineyard manager, Charlie Jones, has been working in his family’s vineyards for over 30 years. He uses sustainable vineyard practices and integrated vineyard management strategies to cultivate optimum quality fruit while protecting the environment and ensuring a healthy ecosystem. He is assisted by Emmett Walker Jones of the next generation, who has a degree in Geology and has grown up working in the family vineyard.
The Jones family welcomes visitors each day to their tasting room and offer a range of varietal wines from the Sierra Foothills.