Jordan Wine Country Table - Vol. 17, 2022 - 26

O
ver the years, Winery Co-founder Sally
Jordan threw dozens of dinner parties
at the chateau and earned a reputation
as a legendary hostess. Mrs. Jordan
was especially known for her thoughtful attention
to every detail-from table décor to lighting to seating
arrangements to cuisine. Planning began with the
atmosphere of the dining room itself.
" I read stacks and stacks of books about French
châteaux wineries and dining rooms, and I would take
notes wherever we went, " Mrs. Jordan says. " I wanted
to capture the genuine warmth of hospitality and
a gracious elegance. "
The winery's original dining tables were made
of parquet walnut and seated up to 32 people. Mrs.
Jordan selected simple Baccarat crystal glasses and
silver flatware in the understated Gorham Rondo
pattern. Table linens were custom-made in Portugal,
embroidered with a grapevine motif. The china was
white with a platinum scrolled edge.
" Everything was based upon showing off our wines, "
Mrs. Jordan says. " It was sort of like having a child
in a dance recital. You want to be sure that the costume
" I wanted
to capture
the genuine
warmth of
hospitality
and a gracious
elegance. "
SALLY JORDAN
Winery Co-founder
is just right and the lighting is perfect, so your little
darling is properly featured on the stage. "
The dining room was lit with sconces, votive candles
and candelabras to cast guests in a flattering light while
highlighting the colors and textures of the food and
wine. Fresh flowers always adorned the tables.
" I liked to have a French garden look, with soft
pastel colors, " Mrs. Jordan says. " The design was what
I call 'loosey-goosey'-different kinds of greens and
different textures. I even used weeds sometimes to get
that textured look. "
Music was also important. A pianist would play the
winery's Steinway piano from the time guests arrived
through the presentation of the first course. To allow
guests to chat without distraction, music did not resume
until dessert arrived.
Lively conversation was a crucial element of Jordan
dinners, and Mrs. Jordan put great effort toward making
guests-a combination of friends, neighbors, wine
aficionados, artists and trendsetters-feel comfortable
and ready to engage. Before parties, she sent attendees
a seating chart with a description of each guest.
" As they arrived at dinner, " she says, " guests knew
exactly who their seatmates would be and who would
be at their table. " (Read more about Mrs. Jordan's
hospitality tips on page 44).
26 THE CELEBRATIONS ISSUE

Jordan Wine Country Table - Vol. 17, 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Jordan Wine Country Table - Vol. 17, 2022

Table of Contents
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