After nearly two decades of building Joel Gott Wines from an idea to a powerhouse producer of affordable cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, and more, Alisa Jacobson made happy waves by starting her own brand, Turning Tide, last year. (Read my story from last year here.)
This year, she combined her viticulture connections, eco-minded intent, and sales savvy to craft an organically grown cab from Central Coast fruit at a volume and price that got Whole Foods excited. That wine, as well as an organic sauvignon blanc, will be in all California outlets of the grocery store this month, and then will be rolled out across the country this fall.
On top of that, Jacobson is also releasing an even cheaper yet still delicious cab called AJ, which will be distributed by Skurnik Wines across the country later this year. But her dedication is to making sustainable wines from the Central Coast, where she now lives in Shell Beach.
“Even though the concept of organic is well-known, it still only accounts for less than one percent of all farming operations,” explained Jacobson. “The challenge is finding enough organic fruit and, because it’s in-demand, the pricing is a bit higher.”
Santa Barbara County is well-positioned to lead the way, compared to other regions where disease pressure is too high for organic fungicides and pesticides to function well. “Santa Barbara is close enough to the ocean to get wind that comes through in the afternoon, which helps with disease,” said Jacobson, who’s also using her good relationships with farmers here to convert more acres to organic.
“The quality of the wines in the Central Coast and Santa Barbara County I believe are superb for the price,” she said. “This will help organic wines make more of a name for themselves, being of better quality while being economically affordable to the consumer.”