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Black Kite Cellars Announces the Opening of Jasper House, the Winery’s New Tasting Room in Freestone, California


With the Debut of Jasper House, Black Kite Cellars Becomes the Only Wine Producer with a Tasting Room in the Freestone Historic District

FREESTONE, California (April 9, 2024) – Black Kite Cellars owners Tom and Rebecca Green Birdsall are pleased to announce the opening of their new tasting room, Jasper House, located in the coastal village of Freestone, California. Black Kite Cellars, a family-owned boutique producer of site-specific Pinot Noir and Chardonnay primarily from Sonoma County’s ocean-kissed, coastal appellations, is the only wine producer with a tasting room in the Freestone Historic District, seven miles from the Pacific Ocean’s coastline.

“Jasper House is such a special place to us and we’re excited to share it with our members and guests,” said owner Tom Birdsall. His wife and co-owner, Rebecca Green Birdsall, adding, “We’re adventurers at heart, and whether abroad or at home, we’re always seeking unique and inviting experiences. We’ve designed Jasper House and the tasting experience to reflect this adventurous spirit. Visitors will discover the natural beauty of Freestone and the complex flavors of its terroir in an atmosphere complemented by the breezy, bohemian, laid-back vibe of the West Sonoma Coast.”   

Jasper House, nestled between Bodega Bay and Sebastopol, is an exciting new venture for the Birdsalls and a long time in the making. Black Kite Cellars began in 2003 in the vineyards of Anderson Valley in Mendocino County as a collaboration between the Birdsalls and Rebecca’s parents, Donald and Maureen Green. Although Anderson Valley provided the foundation for exceptional Pinot Noirs, the Birdsall family continued to seek and secure exclusive vineyard sourcing contracts with some of the most distinct and sought-after vineyard blocks, primarily along Sonoma County’s newest West Sonoma Coast appellation. This exploration effort enabled them to add Chardonnays to their portfolio, enlarging their overall footprint and establishing themselves as a leading producer from the area. The proximity to the coast and the cooling effects of the Pacific Ocean make the West Sonoma Coast appellation one of the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producing regions in the world. As the winery grew and the family sought a place to host members and visitors, it was only natural that Black Kite Cellars would call West Sonoma Coast their new home. With the planting of their new estate vineyard in 2015 in Freestone, the Birdsalls established Jasper Freestone Vineyard, and they are now proud to introduce visitors to their new, permanent tasting room, Jasper House.

Two veteran wine country designers, architect Steve vonRaesfeld and Napa Valley interior designer Julie Hawkins, worked seamlessly to create a space that captures the exploratory spirit of Black Kite Cellars and the bohemian personality of Freestone. Julie Hawkins started her eponymous Hawkins Interiors after a decade of leading the interiors department for renowned architect Howard Backen’s architectural firm. Steve vonRaesfeld brings a wealth of expertise in winery architecture to the Jasper House project. Prior to founding vR|a Architects, vonRaesfeld worked as a project architect in real estate development before becoming the staff architect for a large international wine company. In this capacity he developed wineries and tasting rooms throughout California, Oregon, Argentina, Chile, France and Italy.

Capturing the Birdsalls’ vision to inspire and foster connection while bringing the natural elements of the coastal outdoors in, vonRaesfeld and Hawkins created a new-yet-familiar space that’s harmonious with its surroundings. They drew inspiration from the scenic landscape of the historic village of Freestone to design Jasper House’s elegantly off-the-beaten-path vibe in a sophisticated yet relaxing and charming setting. From the plush furnishings, warm crackling fireplace, and expansive windows drawing the towering redwoods in, to the cozy and picturesque loft accented with coastal artwork, guests are drawn to Jasper House seeking an authentic experience where kinship is cultivated and discoveries flourish. Adorning the walls are framed visuals of the majestic Black-shouldered Kite (now known as the White-tailed Kite), co-founder Donald Green’s favorite bird for which the winery is named. Their graceful bodies and distinctive eyes, often seen in the vineyards, grace the bottles of Black Kite Cellars’ wines.

Tasting experiences at Black Kite Cellars’ Jasper House include wines from the estate Jasper Freestone Vineyard as well as other Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley wines. Guests can settle in for a relaxing tasting in one of three distinct tasting salons: the Living Room where the exposed beam ceilings and toasty fireplace draw visitors in, the Dining Room full of sunlight and a beautiful Oregonian Walnut table centerpiece, or the Loft enclave with its alluring coziness offering a bit more seclusion. Tastings will also be available this summer on the outdoor patio.

Under the direction of acclaimed winemaker Jeff Gaffner, Black Kite Cellars’ wines are distinctly terroir-specific and speak to the innate character of the land. This terroir-approach is the driving force behind the inception of Black Kite Cellars and the foundation on which it was built. Years prior to starting the winery, the Birdsalls bicycled through France’s famous Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards of the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune regions of the Côte d’Or and were impressed and inspired by the Burgundian vineyards and winemaking traditions. They were surprised at how small the vineyards were and how significantly different the wines were from one small town to the next, each just a short bike ride away. From those early years onward, the Birdsalls never strayed from their original goal – to produce excellent terroir-specific wines from the best winemaking regions in California. As their footprint grew and efforts expanded, Black Kite wines began to earn rave reviews from top wine critics and a reputation for consistency and excellence in the vineyards and in the bottle.

As stewards of the land and history enthusiasts, the Birdsalls chose the name Jasper House as a nod to Jasper O’Farrell, an Irish immigrant and California pioneer who owned the land in the mid-to-late 1800s. O’Farrell made his way to America in 1843 by way of South America. He’d studied civil engineering and surveying in Ireland and by the time he reached San Francisco, his skills were in high demand for the growing West Coast city. He designed the city’s grand promenade (today’s bustling Market Street) and helped develop many of the city’s most important thoroughfares including Market, Lombard, and Pine streets. To honor his contribution, O’Farrell Street was named after him. He surveyed extensively in the Bay Area, including much of Marin and Sonoma counties, and eventually moved to Sonoma. By 1849, O’Farrell was considered Sonoma County’s wealthiest citizen and one of the most significant landowners, amassing more than 40,000 acres. He established his family estate in Freestone where Jasper House sits today, which was originally inhabited by the Coast Miwok in the 1700s. When he entered politics and was elected as a California state senator from Freestone in 1858, he helped create visibility for the small coastal town reliant on an economy of lumber mills and a sandstone quarry. For 21 years, O’Farrell lived in Freestone, raising his family and contributing to the coastal community. His gravesite is located just a few miles from Jasper House.

Black Kite Cellars’ Jasper House is located at 12747 El Camino Bodega in Freestone. Jasper House wine tastings include a signature tasting flight consisting of a reserve tasting of Black Kite Cellars’ currently released wines from the Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley appellations, along with selected library wines from the cellar. More tasting experiences will be offered in the coming months. Jasper House is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tasting appointments may be made in advance or same-day. With a case production of less than 3,000 annually, Black Kite Cellars’ wines are highly sought-after. Despite their cult-like following, the wines remain approachable and available for discerning adventurers. The benefits of joining Black Kite Cellars’ wine club include  exclusive early access and invite-only offers to purchase highly allocated wines and highly coveted invitations to member-only events. For more information, to book a tasting experience, and to join Black Kite Cellars’ wine club, please visit www.BlackKiteCellars.com.

About Black Kite Cellars

Black Kite Cellars is a family-owned boutique producer of site-specific Pinot Noir and Chardonnay primarily from Sonoma County’s ocean-kissed, coastal appellations and is the only wine producer with a tasting room located in the Freestone Historic District, just seven miles from the Pacific Ocean. Producing distinct terroir-driven wines since 2003, Black Kite Cellars’ wines consistently garner rave reviews from top wine critics. With a design aimed to draw the coastal landscape in, Jasper House provides an idyllic backdrop for members and guests to explore the Black Kite Cellars’ elegant and terroir-driven wines surrounded by the natural coastal elements of the breezy outdoors amongst the towering redwoods and sloping vineyards. For more information, to book a tasting experience, and to join the wine club with exclusive offers, visit www.BlackKiteCellars.com, and follow Black Kite Cellars on Facebook and Instagram.   

About Julie Hawkins, Hawkins Interiors

Hawkins Interiors is a Napa Valley, California-based interior design firm for residential and commercial projects across the country, founded in 2015 by Julie Hawkins. Julie’s expertise lies in infusing spaces with warmth and ambiance, seamlessly integrating vintage charm with modern aesthetics in her designs. Julie’s unique design perspective was shaped by the beauty of the historic homes she visited with her father where she grew up in Connecticut. Continuously inspired and informed by her travels and the buildings she encounters, particularly European churches whose enduring quiet and expansive scale drive her ambitions to travel more and continue to design notable projects at home and abroad. For more information, visit www.hawkinsinteriors.com.

About Steve vonRaesfeld, vRA Architects

vRA Architects provides architecture, planning and consulting services to individual, corporate and development clients. We approach each project with an inquiring rigor that focuses equally on aesthetics, functionality and constructability. Our work is not characterized by a particular style but rather a context-based aesthetic that is both intuitive and complex. Projects include residential, winery, artisan-food, commercial and mixed-use and infill projects. For more information, visit www.vra-arch.com.