About AJA Vineyards
Located in the serene nature of the Santa Monica Mountains one can find robust vineyards, fruiting endlessly and rapidly on the hillsides of our Malibu Estate.
Founded by Todd and Heather Greenbaum, AJA Vineyards was created out of a passion and love for the art of wine. Todd’s mother and father, devoted wine enthusiasts, traveled all around the world tasting the finest wines. They shared their admiration for wine with Todd who then began to collect wine. Researching through the art of taste, Todd fell in love with the greats of the Napa Valley; Opus One, Pahlmeyer, and Joseph Phelps to name a few. He wished to bring those styles of wine to the Malibu Coast, where he and his family have resided for over 45 years.
In 2007, carefully selected Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah vines were planted in the first vineyard on the estate. In 2011, Todd and Heather purchased the vineyard where Todd began to cultivate the Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. This sparked an interest in their eldest, Amanda, at the young age of 14.
Todd studied the soils, and found a team to help him create his first vintage of wine. This vineyard was later named Pamela’s Vineyard after Todd’s mother whom is full of wisdom and love, anchoring the family with her compassion as the Syrah is our flagship wine.
In the cold of winter in February 2013 the second vineyard was planted with a meticulously researched blend of five grapes; Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc to make up a Bordeaux-styled blend.
After the Woolsey Fire in November of 2018, it seemed impossible that not only the house was standing, but that this vineyard, surrounded by flames, did not burn. This vineyard was given the title the Miracle Vineyard both for surviving the flames and for Heather’s Mother Doreen, the “The Miracle Maker”. It is a long standing saying that when a person matches three couples, they are granted a ticket to heaven. Doreen has matched four beautiful married couples who are happy, healthy and very in love.
In the early spring of 2018, the third vineyard was planted. It was one of Sauvignon Blanc, the perfect addition of contrast from the deliciously plump purple berries. This vineyard, being double in size as the other two, holds the title Ed’s Vineyard for both Heather and Todds’ fathers, Edward and Edwin. Both of these men have brought to the table strength, intelligence, wisdom and a zest for life. Thus a perfect pairing.
Family is very important to the AJA recipe. It is in the name. AJA is an acronym for the names of Todd and Heather’s three children, Alec, Jack, and Amanda whom are their greatest treasures.
Amanda, being the eldest, was attracted to wine at a very young age. As the winery grew, Amanda grew with it helping Todd as a father daughter duo while studying in school.
A Change of Hands
There was an immediate attraction that pulled Amanda towards the vines. At the age of 16 she was researching cardiovascular effects from wine, and waking up at the crack of dawn to partake in harvest. After graduating from UCLA, she studied wine at the International Culinary Center and became a Certified Sommelier, interned with winemakers across the globe, and became an advocate for millennials in the wine and spirits industry.
Inspired by family, Amanda has devoted her life’s work to crafting the best wines of the Malibu Coast and currently runs all operations at the winery walking in the footsteps of her father.
When one tastes our wine, they catch the smell of sweetness, the taste of serenity, and a slight bitterness to remind us that at times, not everything is perfect. These elements are all harnessed in the passion to make great wine that brings friends and families together.
How Do I Pronounce AJA?
If you’re a linguist, the phonetic spelling for “AJA” is “a-žah”.
If you’re anybody else, just pronounce the “J” in AJA
the same way you would pronounce the “s” in the word “treasure”!
Making Wine in the Malibu Coast
With the creation of the Malibu Coast American Viticulture Area, beginning with our 2013 vintage, we have been proud members of the Malibu Coast AVA. The AVA stretches approximately 20 miles along the southern California Malibu shore, venturing up into the Santa Monica Mountains.
The Malibu Coast AVA is an exceptional location for the cultivating of grapes because of its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, combined with its mountainous location. AJA Vineyards with its mixture of rocky soils, humid ocean climate and dry hilltop climate make it an ideal place to grow grapes. During the autumn and winter seasons, mountainous areas tend to be very dry. However, with the introduction of ocean air, AJA Vineyards benefits from a cool refreshing environment that nurtures the grapes with a slight fog and a 20% to 30% humidity level. Moreover, being in southern California, these vineyards receive 12 months of frost free climate, and around twelve to sixteen inches of precipitation during the year in the mountains. We’ve crafted AJA Whites, Reds, Coastline Cabernet Sauvignons and Syrahs. We are grateful to be one of the beautiful wineries in Malibu.
We are very lucky for such tremendous climate that makes our grapes excellent and our vines fruitful.