T H E H I S T O R Y . . .
After moving to California in 1998, Jamey was handed the large task of planting, farming, and harvesting hundreds of acres of organic vineyards all up and down the California Coast for Turley Wine Cellars. He was proudly part of the pioneering team that developed their Paso Robles property. By 2002 Jamey was the assistant winemaker at Turley and into his 5th year of wine making.
“It was one of the most exciting times in my life and easily some of the most humbling lessons I would learn where farming and winemaking were concerned. I have yet to experience the level of intense learning I was shoved into for those seminal years. I was so lucky to be there, it was so effing cool, and it was the epicenter of my world."
N E W B E G I N N I N G S . . .
The year 2002 also brought the first vintage of Whetstone Wine Cellars; It was the year Jamey snuck in an opportunity to start choosing his own vineyards and making his own wine. With the help from mentors and friends alike he solidified the vision and style that became Whetstone wines and that still is today.
"I didn't realize back then but I know now that the level of vineyard and winemaking education in my first years in the valley would be impossible to garner in todays Napa. I've said many times that this is a humbling business. What may have started out as an ambitious endeavor to see my own name on a label, quickly became a lesson in perseverance and patience. Someone once said the impossible becomes the possible when your back is against the wall. Larry Turley tried to talk me out of starting my own label, 'Do we really have to do this now?' This was one of the many times over the years Larry would offer his wisdom. After showing him my fledgling business plan with lots of begging and promises he reluctantly said 'Yes'."
That same year Jamey was introduced to Maxime Graillot, son of famed Rhone Valley producer Alain Graillot, and was tasked with keeping him busy and well-fed during the harvest season at Turley. It didn't take long for Jamey to realize this was an incredible opportunity to further develop and broaden his winemaking education in addition to forging a friendship. Maxime accompanied Jamey to his first pick of Whetstone Viognier at the “Catie’s Corner” vineyard and, after listening to Jamey’s rant of how he wanted to do it, Maxime gave Jamey the “keys to Condrieu” which he has used to this day.
T H E P R E S E N T . . .
Fast forward 18 years, it is 2020 and we at Whetstone are still people; real, transparent, not a corporation. We’ve adapted and evolved, but never changed course.
We are a little older, wiser, and living in the present moment by being aware of the here and now. Appreciative and thankful for the life this business has given us.
We honor each experience and are grateful to every person who has been a part of our growth - be it helping with punchdowns or tasting our wines in the bed of the beloved pick up truck - you are the backbone of our brand.
To our wine club members who are really more like family, and to each and every person who walks through our doors on a daily basis - thank YOU for your stoke and enthusiasm, it is for you that we will continue to make great wines!
Whatever your past may be, we are grateful to be a part of your future with our 18th vintage of Catie's Corner Viognier and Pleasant Hill Pinot...
Many thanks for your continued support and friendship,
The Whetstone Team
- Michelle, Jamey, Addie, Alli & Jenna