Jumbo Time Wines is a California based wine project started by friends in 2020. We work alongside farmers and vintners to make wines that are the product of curiosity and excitement. As people who like to eat (and definitely like to drink!) we wanted to make something representative of our love for gathering around a table (or grill, or pool) with friends. We want to highlight all the hands involved along the way.
We love sitting down to a meal of something rich and hearty and opening a bottle of crisp effervescence to pair. Nothing cuts the joy of fat like the freshness of tart juice and lively bubbles.
For our first true pet-nat, we wanted to make something reminiscent of one of our preferred bubbles for the table: lambrusco. Ours, however, has a bit of the California air to it. Some ocean breeze, faint citrus blossom and a lot of ripe purple fruit.
Our grenache comes from Monterey, picked at the tail end of September just before the fire pressure began to kick in. This is our first experience working with fruit outside of Mendocino County, where the risk of smoke is incredibly high. Climate change in California is no joke. It’s present in every aspect of the winemaking process, and continues to change methods employed by producers throughout the state. Our hope is that by exploring new vineyard sites, in addition to supporting the farms we’ve built Jumbo Time around, we can pick fruit at its ripest. Monterey is a cool, coastal area and the fruit we’ve been sourcing from Zabala, in Arroyo Seco, have been dreamy.
The Pet Nasty is a California lambrusco, reflective of the coast, with a round bubble and present violet fruit that reminds us why we love Grenache so much each time we take another sip. With only 5 days of skin contact, the wine is light on its feet, with a deep color and incredibly salty nose. Crush rose petals, green grass, and a crunchy hint of brown sugar that breaks down into the subtlest notes of bret, white cranberry and a sandy breeze. We like to drink it with a bowl of pasta, or some kebab that just came off the grill. But you could just as easily bring it to the park and drink it in the middle of the afternoon, no questions asked. Either way, just make sure to get it cold!
FALL RELEASE CIDER WINES
Group Hug | 2021
When you live in Southern California, you get to take part in winter warmth. Crisp and bright, sun-kissed days followed by breezy but not too cold nights, make for meals that we like to pair with something lightly fruity, and full of energy. Group Hug is a frizzante apple-grape rose wine, made with organically sourced Gravenstein apples from Dutton Ranch, and a little bit of Vinca Minor’s 2019 Zinfandel that had been previously stashed away.
We knew we wanted to make something that combined the tart acidity of California apples, with the crushed-velvet ripeness of a traditional California red grape like Zin.
We’ve been particularly excited about how ciders are coming to the forefront of the conversation surrounding California winemaking as of late. We wanted to make something that experimented with a few of the processes we’ve been most curious about. With 8% ABV, Group Hug is a refreshing but substantial bottle of wine with a dry, salty bubble and a pink glowing hue that tastes like homemade strawberry lemonade. In the glass, Group Hug smells like sour-gummy bears and fallen apples at the turn of the season, a perfect thirst-quencher for those California Winter Days when the sun is pulsing just hotter than you had expected it would.
Story Time | 2021
The same frothy, energizing juice found in a bottle of Group Hug, but here it is in a pocket-sized format. We bottled in glass, under crown caps, to get a secondary fermentation upon bottling. This way, Story Time keeps up that fun, prickling fizz as well as the fresh berries-in-the-breeze acidity and aromatics we love about this blend. Keep a few in the fridge for yourself, or bring it out to share as the perfect apero for two. Cheers!
California, we love you
We’re having a Jumbo Time. And that’s all about making the most of what you’ve got around you. In California, that’s not hard to manage. Our first vintage has been all about learning, that means learning about the winemaking process, the fruit, the farmers behind that fruit, and our own deeper understanding of how best to shift with the California climate and landscape.
We’re grateful for all the hands that have helped us along the way. We make our wines in Berkeley, California, with vintner and now friend, Jason Charles. Jason has his own project called Vinca Minor and has been teaching us how to make wine, as well as taking some risks of his own along our side. He introduced us to the farmers who grow our fruit, and we’re so excited to keep working with them as we continue to experiment in the cellar with Jason.
Growing up in Los Angeles, Jonathan Yadegar found himself interested in local produce and restaurant culture from an early age. Brought up in a Persian household, the idea of gathering around a table and sharing food, had always been a central focus throughout his childhood. But, it wasn’t until moving to the Midwest and finding himself enraptured by the energetic conversation around small scale, craft breweries that he began to find deeply rooted interest in process. Jonathan’s approach to all the things he finds most delicious is one of total, maybe even slightly obsessive, exploration and understanding. Soon after moving back to Los Angeles, Jonathan began to wade deeper into the natural wine community. One of Jon’s greatest joys is having people over for dinner and opening two (or five) bottles to pair. What he’s found value in when cooking is the same thing he’s found when drinking: a curiosity around experimenting on his own. At first a purely enthusiastic drinker, his excitement has grown to include an interest in production as well as consumption, ultimately leading to the leap of faith that has become Jumbo Time Wines.
Omar Koukaz spent his childhood outside Philadelphia, close to the Amish farming communities in Lancaster County. As an enterprising young kid he was enamored by his frequent weekend visits to these farms, where he began to take note of the intersection between agriculture and commerce, as well as the idea of a community-driven industry. His interest in wine began with the depth of California’s historical wine culture.
He took stock of Northern California’s dirt and dry air, and became fascinated by the limitless results yielded from a basic amalgam of grapes, time and temperature. For Omar, Jumbo Time has been a way to delve deeper into a working methodology in order to learn about cultivation and the many paths that can be taken towards delivering a great product. As a long time hobbyist and culinary tinkerer, he has always been engaged by long-process projects in the kitchen as a combination of chemistry, taste and intuition. With a booming personality and social presence, he never gave thought to how he might be able to enhance a gathering without actually being there until thinking about making wine.