Experience wine and music fusion in Downtown Napa. JaM Cellars offers exclusive tasting experiences, starting at $45. Wine options include Rosé, Chardonnay, cab and more. Enhance your wine tasting journey with delicious JamBytes, such as the snack trio, cheese board, and rockstar caviar.
To learn more, we interview owners John and Michele Truchard. (“J” and “M” in JaM Cellars) They are second-generation Napa Valley vintners, wine & music lovers and fans of fun.
Tell us about JaM Cellars wine.
John Truchard JaM Cellars Co-founder: JaM Cellars wines are fresh, fun and for everyone. JaM started with easy-to-love wines JaM Cabernet and Butter Chardonnay. These wines broke the mold with their great quality, affordability and slight irreverence.
JaM is short for John and Michele, but was also a great name for our first, rich and bold Cabernet. The name has also presented a unique opportunity for us to bring great wines and fantastic music together. It’s what JaM Cellars has become known for.
The JaM Cellars Wine & Music Studio opened in 2016. It has become a must-visit place for wine and live music in downtown Napa. We’ve expanded the JaM lineup of wines significantly and created exceptional wine and music experiences.
Share more about JaM Wine & Music Studio
Michele Truchard JaM Cellars Co-founder: It’s a really neat place that John and I love to bring our friends. We created it to be relaxed and friendly, somewhere you can grab a glass, share a bottle, or have a guided flight experience with one of our amazing JaMbassador hosts.
Local and touring bands play live music JaMSessions three nights a week. Plus we have DJ Sunday afternoons for Sunday Spins.
To me, the space feels like a band’s living room. It’s covered with unique music art and décor, instruments, an awesome sound system, bar and couches.
Plus we just opened up the front windows which gives a great inside/outside vibe onto the front patio. In the winter I love our cozy booths, each one has a signature soundwave etched into it of some of our favorite songs.
What wine do you pour at JaM Cellars?
John Truchard: We see a lot of Butter and JaM Cab fans come to the Wine and Music Studio from across the U.S. So we of course have their favorites on hand. Because we’re in one of the world’s greatest wine growing regions, we also created some exclusive Napa Valley wines that you can only get here or direct from the winery.
There’s Napa releases of Butter Chardonnay and JaM Cabernet, plus varietals new to JaM. Those include Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and a Blanc de Blancs Sparkling.
I’m especially proud of our new JaM Platinum wines. It’s our highest end offering from estate vineyards here in Napa Valley—super-limited production mostly on allocation for JaMPlatinum Club members.
Overall, it’s an awesome mix of wines to give people what they already love, plus showcase world-class Napa Valley.
Is there A LOT to see and do at JaM Cellars?
Michele Truchard: Yes! We’ve created interesting wine experiences with tasting flights and side-by side pours. The Sip ‘n’ JaM experience creates a connection between the senses for wines paired with different music genres.
We have JaMBites created by our winery chef and a series of JaMBash parties that celebrate the winery’s anniversary. And there’s key holidays—Hallo-wine JaMBash, Holiday JaMBash and NYE JaMBash are some of my favorite events.
The Wine & Music Studio calendar is always full of fun and it’s definitely worth planning ahead to reserve a spot.
Describe the perfect visit to JaM Cellars?
Michele Truchard: There’s no wrong way to enjoy everything our Wine & Music Studio has to offer. There’s really something for everyone. A smaller group might like a booth with a curated Napa Valley flight or a Sip’n’JaM experience.
A larger group might snag the sofas for a JaMSession and order wines by the bottle.
Or my favorite spot with a friend is at the tasting bar chatting to our fabulous team.
Share the story behind JaM Cellars.
John Truchard: Michele and I were friends at high school in Napa, and then started dating while away at college. I’d grown up farming my family’s wine estate in Carneros, Napa and Michele’s family were also grape growers here.
We decided early on that’s the life we wanted to pursue.
In 2003 I founded John Anthony Vineyards. It is the first label in the John Anthony Family of Wines portfolio—small-production, Napa Valley estate wines. The economic downturn hit just a few years later. That’s when Michele and I founded JaM Cellars, short for John and Michele.
We’d just gotten started with John Anthony. We could see a real need for great-quality wines at a more affordable price point that really anyone could enjoy.
JaM Cabernet came out in 2009 followed by Butter Chardonnay in 2010.
How did JaM Cellars’ identity become so entwined with music?
John Truchard: JaM Cellars’ relationship with music has been very organic—both are accessible to broad audiences, they unite people when shared, and can create joyful memories together.
We first witnessed this at BottleRock Napa Valley music festival pouring these wines there in 2013. JaM Cellars wines were exactly the right wines to enjoy in this environment. They’re relaxed, casual, and beyond the traditional dinner table setting.
These shared values along with the play on “JaM” created a unique opportunity to integrate with music.
The JaM Cellars Wine & Music Studio opened in 2016 hosting intimate acoustic performances, the same year that we began our presenting sponsorship of BottleRock—now in our 7th year.
Since then, we’ve expanded our relationship with music and musicians to include other music festivals (OHANA, Kaaboo, Voodoo); venues (JaM Cellars Ballroom, JaM Cellars Presents at the Uptown); and digital integrations with Summer Festival JaMs on iHeart Radio, and JaMHappyHour live streamed music show on FB and podcast.
We are also a proud supporter of Sweet Relief Musicians Fund: a national non-profit organization providing financial assistance to career musicians and music industry workers in need.
Now in its third year, our partnership has raised over $55,000 and provided assistance to over 100 artists in need. We continue to host monthly virtual fundraising performances benefiting the organization.
Tell us about your collaboration with BottleRock.
John Truchard: We were beyond proud to be the Presenting Sponsor of BottleRock Napa Valley for the seventh year this past May. It has now become one of the best music festivals in the country.
Our partnership with BottleRock is spread across the entire festival with the JaM Cellars main stage where artists Tom Petty, Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars and P!NK and more have performed. The JaMPad, the festival’s fifth stage, hosts intimate music sets with emerging artists.
Not to mention our wines are poured at nearly every corner of the festival. So, you’ll never have a hard time finding a glass of Butter!
Both JaM Cellars and BottleRock have expanded in popularity since that first year. The collaboration showcases an incredible wine and music connection that spans genres and generations and lives beyond just the festival weekend.
We look forward to future BottleRocks Presented by JaM Cellars.