MEET ANDREW & JARRED
AJ Pearce is a boutique winery led by Andrew Renda and Jarred Pearce.
Each brings his special talents to the venture:
Andrew the knowledge and pride of offering superb wines to their clients,
Jarred the passion of meticulous winemaking to produce memorable wines.
Together, AJ Pearce Crafts Wines with Pride and Passion.
CELEBRATING with food and wine is one of the great pleasures of Andy’s life. His father, a Sicilian, fostered this love of food and taught Andy the “hands on” experience of cooking, serving and socializing.
At age 14, Andy was scrubbing pots and pans for a caterer in the Boston area and falling in love with the fast pace of the restaurant business. He calls it “controlled chaos.” Three years later, he began cooking at the acclaimed Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, and was introduced to world-class wines and haute cuisine pairings.
Intrigued by wine, he supplemented his culinary experience by working in wine shops, tasting as many wines as possible and studying the history of wine. He soon knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.
In 2005, Andy and his fiancée Kelly sold everything and moved to Napa because, in his own words, “if your focus is wine, Napa is Mecca.”
With a continually refining palate and deep knowledge of wines, he quickly became the Director of Sales for Vintners Collective. Here he came to know intimately the boutique wines and winemakers of the Napa Valley. And he also met his future partner, Jarred Pearce.
Andy has a remarkable memory for tastes. He can remember a client’s preferred wines years later. It is an uncanny ability that often leaves his clients speechless.
Since Andy has tasted thousands of wines from all over the world, he is justifiably proud of each of the wines offered by AJ Pearce.
“There is no more delightful experience than sharing a wonderful meal and fine wines with friends and loved ones.”
~ Andrew Renda
“WINE IS ART…” proclaimed California native Jarred Pearce when he moved to Napa. His first job in the Valley was selling wine at Oakville Grocery. Here he met many winemakers. They taught him three enduring lessons: wine is art, wine is science, wine is agriculture. Sensing curiosity and potential in Jarred, several winemakers encouraged him to learn and expand his horizons.
Jarred enrolled at Napa Valley College to study viticulture and enology. After college, he became Cellarmaster at Piña Cellars in Rutherford. As he managed the winemaking, he learned the art of “creating single vineyard cabernets from different regions of the Napa Valley.”
International experience was next up for Jarred as he journeyed to South Africa twice for three-month internships at Antonij Rupert Wines in Franschhoek and Nelson’s Creek Winery in Paarl. Here he worked alongside world-renowned winemaker Michel Rolland.
His next position was Cellarmaster at Fantesca Winery where he had the privilege of working with two of Napa Valley’s most prominent and respected winemakers, Heidi Barrett and Philippe Melka.
Jarred believes that “wine is made in the vineyard, not the cellar.” The quality of the fruit determines the potential of the wine. His passion for winemaking is clearly evident in his personal involvement in every step of the process, from grape to bottle.
Jarred’s winemaking expertise, honed through years of study, internships and experience is apparent in every bottle of AJ Pearce Wines.
“Wine is art, wine is science, wine is agriculture. Excellence in all three areas is crucial to produce world-class wines.”
Andrew and Jarred founded AJ Pearce Wines in 2007. Their first release was a Pierret Vineyard Syrah and a Proprietary Red blend.
Ten harvests later, AJ Pearce is producing some of the finest wines in the Napa Valley. Their favored Appellation continues to be the Coombsville region southeast of Napa. They prefer Coombsville because of its longer growing season, cooler climate, slower maturation and even ripening — the perfect combination for producing balanced wines.
AJ Pearce continues, year after year, to investigate new vineyards in pursuit of creating superb wines. Rest assured that Andy and Jarred’s attention to every aspect of viticulture, refined by decades of experience, will always result in
Wines Crafted with Pride and Passion.
PRIDE & PASSION
Our WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY
There is no simple blueprint for making great wine. After 15 harvests on two continents, Jarred Pearce has a deep understanding in the art of winemaking. His experience has taught him that quality starts in the vineyard, which is why AJ Pearce sources grapes from vineyards that are farmed to their quality standards. With these hand selected vineyards, Jarred creates balanced wines with both power and elegance.
According to Jarred, it is the grapes that determine the potential of the wine and it is up to the winemaker to realize the promise in the grapes. He assesses each vineyard throughout the growing season and works closely with the Vineyard Managers to ensure quality. It is not until the weeks prior to harvest that Jarred begins to understand all of the intricacies of the grapes. Recognizing the nuances of the vintage, he makes all winemaking decisions based on the individual vineyard to produce wines that tell the story of the full growing season.
The vineyards are only harvested when the grapes have fully reached phenolic maturity and peak flavor. The small lots are harvested at sunrise to preserve the integrity of the fruit and ensure that the grapes remain cold and stable when they arrive at the winery. A minimalistic and hands-off approach is taken during fermentation to let the terrior of each vineyard shine through. Jarred focuses on the extraction during the fermentation to produce a mouthfeel that is rich and full. Each of the Vineyard Designate wines showcases its vineyard’s individual qualities and characteristics.
Winemaking begins in the vineyard and ends in the bottle. Though science plays a large role in the winemaking process, the final decision is ultimately made by the palate of Jarred Pearce. With each vintage, Jarred refines the art of winemaking. You can taste his passion in each bottle of AJ Pearce Wine.
Over the years, we have come to know and respect a number of businesses in the Napa area that we feel are worthy to recommend to our visitors, customers and Wine Club members. When you visit these businesses, please mention that AJ Pearce Wines recommended them.
1314 McKinstry Street
Located on the riverbank in downtown Napa, this upscale hotel is a three minute walk from The Wine Thief.
1450 First Street
This upscale hotel is a five minute walk from the Napa Valley Opera House and an 11 minute walk from The Wine Thief and Oxbow Public Market.
1600 Atlas Peak Road
The chic, modern rooms, suites and cottages are spread around the resort; some are private and gated. They feature private balconies, full kitchens, separate living areas and fireplaces, plus private pools and tennis courts, and Wi-Fi access. Two championship golf courses.
Whether you are a first time visitor or a sophisticated collector, Eclectic Tour will design an experience that will astound your senses! We like to encourage our guests to get off the beaten path.
Bloom Wine Tours
865 Pine Avenue
Founded in 2011 to fill the need for high quality, personalized, VIP tours for people who are serious about food, wine and the luxury lifestyle. We primarily serve couples and small groups interested in getting a look behind the scenes of San Francisco’s wine-country.
610 First Street, #24
This Oxbow Market cafe offers Eclectic fare in a casual space with industrial accents and outdoor deck.
Napa Valley Bistro
975 Clinton Street
Contemporary destination for innovative, seasonal American cuisine, plus unique wines and craft beer.
540 Main Street
Riverfront bistro with a patio serving rustic French fare and creative cocktails in an old boathouse.
Cole’s Chop House
1122 Main Street
Premium steaks fired up in a historic building with exposed stone walls and mahogany bar.
1140 Main Street
Global farm-to-table dishes and wines delivered in an airy room with stone wallsan open kitchen.
The Westin Verasa Napa, 1
1314 McKinstry Street
Destination place serving New French cuisine in refined surroundings within the Westin Verasa hotel.