The Trend Report: Cult Hero | Jayson Woodbridge

Ericka McConnell

With close-to-perfect Robert Parker ratings and up to a five-year waiting list for his Hundred Acre vintages, the maverick vintner of Napa Valley believes good wine is a birthright.

Second Calling

“When I was young I was a soldier in the army…not much wine, just good hard work. Then I was an investment banker, and I hunted down and drank some of the greatest wines in the world. One day I walked into a vineyard and had an epiphany. I was destined to become a winemaker.”

The Good Stuff

“My Hundred Acre wines go for $250 for a bottle of Cab to $500 for a single-vineyard port, and I spend most of my time apologizing to people for not having any left for them to buy. They sell out the second we release them. All four Hundred Acre offerings are rare in that each is made from one vineyard only. They are a pure expression of that vineyard in that year and place in time. The French call it terroir. Three of my vineyards are in Napa Valley and my fourth, Ancient Way, is in the legendary Barossa Valley of South Australia; it’s monolithic.…Winston Churchill would have loved it.”

Special Forces

“Layer Cake is what we drink every day. It’s about $15 a bottle. I decided to take my team from Hundred Acre and go make wine in some of the greatest places on earth. It’s really the people’s passport to my favorite wine regions of the world—Malbec from Argentina, Zinfandel (Primitivo) from Italy’s Puglia, Shiraz from South Australia, Syrah from Côtes du Rhône, and Napa Valley Cabernet. The mission was simply to shock people about how good wine could be at those price points.”

Family Wisdom

“The name Layer Cake comes from my grandparents, who taught me that everything in life is about layers and complexity. As a little boy, I could relate to that. Still do.”

Behind Closed Doors

“The vineyard is off-limits to tours because, well, most of the time we are sold out. If I opened up for visitors, I would have to shut the place down and become a guide—not happening. The wine comes first.”

Hundred Acre and Layer Cake wines are sold on To get on the waiting list for Hundred Acre wines, go to