A brief history
Located in the Walla Walla Valley, JLC (originally James Leigh Cellars) was established in 2001 as a premium red wine boutique winery. Owner JL Chamberlain is from a third-generation ranch and farm family, and was raised on horses and farm work.
Spending summer vacations in California's Napa Valley area enjoying the region's wines fueled Lynne's desire to grow grapes and make fine wines. To this end, she eventually purchased Spofford Station Farm and started her viticulture career as a charter student of the Walla Walla Viticulture and Enology program.
The wine from Spofford's vineyard works as a testament to the power of the vineyard created by the cataclysmic Missoula floods that left deep layers of soil. Multiply the depth of color by 3, intensify the ripeness and you will have a JLC wine with structural power and silk stocking legs.
In the beginning, most Spofford grapes were sold to other wineries, but eventually James Leigh Cellars began receiving grapes from Spofford Station and using them for vineyard designated wines on the antique cigar band (red) label.More and more Spofford Station fruit has been pulled back "home" to use in the JLC wines.
The winery "hit the ground running" -- James Leigh Cellars wines have received many awards, and the distinctive labels are recognized as shelf standouts.
In 2004, the first Spofford Station Estate wines were bottled under the old grain elevator label that is the Spofford region, once a transportation hub for farm crops. These first wines produced under the estate label received 95 points (Syrah) and #7 in the top 100 picks for the Wine Enthusiast...92 points (Merlot) and 90 points (Cabernet Sauvignon).
Within these 2 labels, JLC is able to meet price points for restaurants, wine shops and grocery and specialty outlets.