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Winemaker Alisa "AJ" Jacobson Launches Turning Tide

Posted on May 19, 2021


San Luis Obispo County, CA – Northern California native, Alisa Jacobson, has announced the launch of her wine brand, Turning Tide, featuring wines from the Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Ynez Valley AVA’s of Santa Barbara County, and the Eola-Amity Hills AVA of Willamette Valley, Oregon. Turning Tide wines are sourced from vineyards that are distinctly influenced by oceanic fog, which provides a cool, slow-ripening environment. Grapes are picked at naturally lower sugar levels to produce wines with lower alcohol. “I believe that lower alcohol levels allow for more complex nuances to shine, particularly the more delicate aromas and flavors that are overshadowed by higher alcohol levels,” Jacobson says. “Any oak used for aging purposes is intended to ‘lift up’ the expression of the wine—never to mask it. I also use as little sulfites as possible because I’ve experienced that with strict, hygienic winemaking practices, the addition of sulfites—which act as a preservative—is not necessary. Experience has taught me that extra sulfite additions can mask some of those more ephemeral aromas and flavors in wine, and with Turning Tide, I want each bottle to be as expressive and true to site as possible.” 

In 2001, upon graduation from UC Davis with a degree in viticulture and enology, Jacobson found work in cellars and winemaking labs in California focused on sparkling wine production. She also ventured to Australia to make Shiraz, and to take deep dives along the Great Barrier Reef. After returning to California, Jacobson began work at Joseph Phelps, which is where she met Joel and Sarah Gott. In 2003, the Gotts hired her as their first employee. Today, Jacobson serves as the VP of Winemaking at Joel Gott managing a team of 30 people and overseeing all winery and vineyard operations in California, Oregon, and Washington. She has also spearheaded Joel Gott projects in Argentina, Chile, Italy, France, and most recently New Zealand.

All the vineyards that Jacobson works with are farmed in an environmentally conscious manner. Today, most are farmed organically or adhere to sustainable practices aimed at protecting water purity and encouraging soil and vine health. Jacobson works tirelessly to promote and encourage the biodiversity of native plants and beneficial insects in the vineyards, and only uses organic material that does not harm humans or the health of the environment of the vineyard. Growing up in and around farms made it clear to Jacobson early in life that California is responsible for feeding the rest of the country. It became vitally important to her to find ways to help protect the land and water supply and to educate people about preserving our natural resources.

Respectfully cared for at the winery, Turning Tide wines are then packaged with lightweight recyclable glass bottles for reduced packaging and transportation cost. The labels are made from recycled paper, responsibly sourced at a progressive sustainable mill in the US. The label ink is compostable, the label coating is “earthcoating”; not made of any plastic. Closures are natural cork closures and recyclable tin capsules. All packaging materials are sourced from companies that also practice environmentally conscious manufacturing. “The most exciting moment for me, as a winemaker, is experiencing the true expression of the fruit from each vineyard site,” Jacobson says. 

To learn more about Turning Tide, please visit

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