We like to refer to Jon as “Sir Jon”. His California upbringing reflects his style of winemaking. Jon was raised in the Bay Area before moving to Santa Barbara, where he was first introduced to the wine culture. While Jon was attending UCSB, he began working in a wine store in Santa Barbara. Although his education focus was chemistry at UCSB, it was then that he developed an avid interest in wine. During his stint at the wine store, Jon could taste thousands of wines from dozens of regions. This experience helped refine his discerning palate and learn different winemaking techniques and styles.
In 2005, Jon felt the pull to leave retail and learn how to make wine. He began by assisting winemakers that he held in high regard. Later that year, he worked part-time at a small boutique winery in Ventura, CA. After a short time at the winery, Jon was offered a full-time harvest position in Los Olivos in 2006. From this point on, Jon was fully immersed in the wine industry. He accepted a job halfway around the world, a winemaking position at a Winery in South Australia: Two Hands Winery. Once enriched by the Australian winemaking style, Jon moved to Napa in 2007. Sir Jon worked under the tutelage of Thomas Brown, lasting five years. During this period, he was part of a team that produced several 100-point wines.
Jon then branched out, making wine for various clients, and worked as a winemaker for Mark Herold Wines in Napa, CA. During this time, Jon developed an extensive network of growers within the greater Napa and Sonoma regions. This allowed him access to the best fruit grown in these areas. Jon understands that great wine begins with a great grape, grown by people who understand the necessity of working with winemakers to produce the best fruit possible. Sir Jon started his label: Dropout Wines, in 2013, which includes an Albariño and another label: Keyes Wines, in 2014, which produces a world-class Pinot Noir.
In 2015, Jon partnered with Troika Wines to begin the relationship as our winemaker. Troika Wines is proud to have Jon at the helm of our winemaking. The most appealing aspect of Jon joining us is that he is a wonderful person.