If you go to one of winemaker Jay's gigs, you’re bound to run into his No. 1 fan, Ronda. Ronda has always had a fondness for guitar players, so when she first saw Jay wailing away on his 1979 black Stratocaster* more than 20 years ago, what could she do? She and Jay have been an item since 1990, and a married item since 1995.
Before joining her husband at J. Christopher, Ronda worked on the other side of the business — the Italian side. She developed the wine list for Delfina’s, one of Portland’s best Italian restaurants back in the day. And she spent many years as the wine buyer for PastaWorks, which carries one of the best selections of Italian wines in the city. Back then, she even had time to pursue a side interest in jewelry making, which she studied at the Oregon School of Art and Craft. But as the demand for J. Christopher wines grew, she shifted her talents to the home front.
Ronda joined the winery team in 1999. As part of this small, family-run winery, she has done more than her fair share of vineyard work, bookkeeping, and feeding hungry harvest crews. But her chief responsibility is sales. If you are a buyer for a Portland restaurant or retail shop, it’s a pretty good bet that you’ve seen Ronda’s smiling face. Otherwise, you can always find her at Jay’s gigs.
*By the way, that Stratocaster — the first thing Jay ever worked hard to buy, scraping together all his earnings from a summer job in 1983 — was stolen in 2003. If you see it anywhere, let us know.
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