Jack planted the first Zinfandel in what would become the new Rockpile AVA in 1994, bringing cuttings from the famous St. Peters’ Church vineyard which he farmed, and working with Kent Rosenblum to produce wines that immediately garnered attention. Jack went on to plant several neighboring vineyards through the nineties, using the same clone of Zinfandel, and resulting in the Rockpile appellation having such a consistent and recognizable character, that calls began for the creation of a new appellation.
By 2002, Jack, working with his father, Jack Sr., and fellow grape grower Roderic Park, saw the dream of the Rockpile appellation become a reality.
Jack continued to work with Kent Rosenblum, providing the grapes for Rosenblum Cellars’ Rockpile Road Vineyard label, which included grapes from Jack’s, Jack Sr.’s, and the Ramsey Vineyard, through 2015. The 2003 vintage made the Wine Spectator’s top 100 wines of the year, coming in at #3.
Since 2016 Jack has worked with the excellent winemakers of Wilson Artisan Wines, producing small lots of Zinfandel and Petit Sirah for Wilson Winery, Mazzocco Winery, Pezzi King Vineyards, Rockpile Vineyard, in addition to Carol Shelton Wines, Simoncini Winery, and the Hess Collection.
You can read Jack’s first person account of his history at Rockpile on the Florence Vineyard Facebook page.
- 1994 Jack Florence, Jr., plants first 7 acre block on Rockpile Road
- 1996 Release of Rosenblum Cellars “Rockpile Vineyard” Zinfandel
- 1996 Ramsey Vineyard planted (now Thomas Vineyard)
- 1997 Lumetta Vineyard planted (now Boticelli)
- 1998 Florence Sr vineyard planted
- 2002 Rockpile approved as an American Viticultural Region