Louis and Lynda

Louis and Lynda

How did a farm girl from the Midwest and a city boy from Philadelphia grow up to plant a vineyard and make ultra premium wine in Healdsburg California?

The story begins in Philadelphia when the sixth child of seven was born to Reverend Samuel B. Jordan Sr. and Mary Jordan.  The prior five children had all been named after family members by their father S. B. aka Big Sam, so he decided it was Mary’s turn to name their sixth.  Mary was a big fan of the Jazz great Louis Jordan, so even though they were not related, she chose the name Louis.  Little did she know that Louis would grow up to be a big fan of Jazz music.  Or did she?

Samuel and Mary Jordan

Samuel and Mary Jordan

Times were tough for Louis growing up in a large, poor family in North Philadelphia.  He had to be very creative avoiding the gangs coming home from school.  One day he was not so lucky and ended up with a broken jaw.  He vowed to himself that he would find a way out.  Luckily, he was smart, a good student, and heard about an opportunity to apply for Campus Afloat.  For five months, he cruised with other students around the world.  It was his first glimpse of life outside the big city and his first exposure to wine.

Through the combined support of Indiana University Kelley School of Business and the Consortium Graduate School of Management, he was able to get his MBA and go on to work in finance for several large corporations.   As he traveled extensively, he continued to learn about and appreciate wine.

Meanwhile, after finishing college, Lynda left the farm for the big city of Chicago, then Philadelphia, then San Francisco as she worked her way up the sales ladder to Vice President and National Sales Manager.  Then in January 2002 while Lynda’s friends were visiting from Chicago, they ran into Louis in Napa.  Even though they both loved great food, great wine, and great jazz, it took the serendipity of a second meeting for them to really connect.

On a beautiful spring day, Louis suggested a drive to Healdsburg.  A few hours later, he was signing papers on a piece of land for a home with room for a vineyard.  Lynda and Louis both attended the UC Davis Wine Executive Program and in the spring of 2003 planted their vineyard with all five of the Bordeaux grape varieties.

Since Lynda grew up on a small farm, she had lots of experience with the land and has had a hand in every step of the process, from planting the one year old grafts, to weeding, mulching, pruning, and harvesting.  Louis guides the business end, and together they focus on doing everything they can in the vineyard to grow the best possible grapes.  Just as the best recipes begin with the freshest, finest ingredients, they believe the best wine starts in the vineyard.

Next, came naming the wine.  It seemed only fitting to choose a name in memory of Louis’ mother.  Tympany Five was the name of the great Louis Jordan’s ensemble band.  What better way to tip a hat to a loving mother and her love for great jazz.  After all, it takes an ensemble of great jazz, great wine, and great food to make a special evening sing!