It’s difficult not to be moved by the view when you drive to Howell Mountain. We’ve driven there twice since the 2020 fires and both times I was struck with a feeling of despair seeing the devastation of homes, wineries, and charred hills.
Thankfully It’s all coming back. Sonoma and Napa residents, and winery owners in particular, are nothing if not resilient. For Jon and his family it was a very close call as the fires came within a 1000 feet of their properties and they were evacuated twice.
This day we were headed for a pick up and a tasting at Jon Jones’s residence. At nearly a 2000 foot elevation its quite a fun drive past Cade and O’Shaughnessy wineries to reach his home. It’s easy to get lost on these mountain roads even with GPS. Fortunately for us, Jon’s truck was in full view!
Jon has just slight of an acre of vineyard on his property named “Arbiter” with 1352 Petite Sirah vines. The vineyard is perfectly maintained and the grapes look absolutely luscious.
We tasted 4 wines beginning with the Proprietary Red, a personal favorite, followed by the two Petite Sirahs – Henry Brothers Ranch and The Arbiter, which are as different as night and day; both exceptional in their own ways. The last wine we tasted was the 2019 Howell Mountain/ Napa Valley Henry Brothers Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon. Like all the Paravel wines, they are perfect to drink upon release and will continue to be for years if you have more patience then we do.
Back to The Arbiter – The 2019 Arbiter Petite Sirah introduces a second label for Paravel which will identify his wines made from the grapes of the Arbiter Vineyard. The label is special and the wine delicious! Jon described it for us, quite accurately, as “rich blueberry cheesecake”.
There are other wines in the Paravel portfolio that are just as amazing as the ones we had this day. We’re fans of his Rosés and Zinfandel. They sell out fast so getting on Jon’s waiting is the only way of obtaining his wine in the future.
Thank you Jon for your kind hospitality!
p.s.- Paravel also bottles wonderful olive oil- ParavOIL. They currently offer a Spring Mountain variety and a Diamond Mountain variety.