Getting to know your Jowler Creek Family: Owner and Winemaker Jason Gerke
Jason Gerke, and his wife Colleen, own and operate Jowler Creek Vineyard and Winery in Platte County, Mo. They work to sustainably grow grapes, produce quality wines that pair well with regional cuisine. In addition to making and marketing wine, Jason and Colleen graze sheep and poultry in their sustainably-managed vineyard.
Prior to joining his wife at the winery full time in 2012, Jason worked in agriculture communications for several companies including Osborn & Barr Communications, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), and Drovers magazine. A Missouri native, Jason earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a minor in Ag Economics.
That is all well and good when filling out a job application. But just who is Jason Gerke? We posed a few, fun question to find out a little more about our very own winemaker and all-around handy man.
Q: What's your favorite thing about being a winery owner and wine maker?
A: The best thing is having so many vocations in one “job.” I might get to be a farmer and work in the soil and vines one day. The next day I get to test wine in the lab and work on making our own works of art. Another day I may be focused on leading our team in carrying out a fun food and wine event and marketing to our guests.
Q: What book have you gifted or would give the most?
A: It use to be Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey; but now days it would be Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink & Leif Babin.
Q: What did you want to be when you were small?
A: I wanted to be a rancher, a writer or a photographer. (Cool fact: I got to photograph lots of ranchers when I was an editor for Drovers magazine.)
Q: What would you sing at Karaoke night?
A: Anything you pick I will try to sing! I love Karaoke! If I wanted to play it safe though, I’d sing Roger Miller’s King of the Road.
Q: If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: Prime rib with French fries served with our 2016 Norton wine; followed by soft, chocolate chip cookies and whole milk for dessert.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: I’m into sailing, singing, playing guitar, snow skiing, and building things such as lights or wood projects that my wife finds on Pinterest.
Q: If you could share a meal with any 3 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?
A: 1) My grandfathers, who I knew and loved as a child but would love to talk with them as an adult. 2) Thomas Jefferson who loved wine and sought to find varieties that grew well in our climate and are good to drink. Oh, and because he was instrumental in creating the greatest country the world has ever known. 3) Tim Ferris – Author, entrepreneur, podcaster and inquisitive kid. Tim has packed a lot of experiences into his young life and would be fun to hang out with.
Q: What celebrity would you like to tailgate with at a Chiefs game?
A: Garth Brooks – Seems like a genuine guy. Small town boy rocketed to world-wide fame and somehow managed to not totally crack up. Seems optimistic, fun-loving and humble. His music had a big impact on my teens and 20s. it would be fun to tailgate, play corn-hole and high-five every time the Chiefs scored.
Q: Who was your first crush?
A: Nancy McKeon best known for her role as Jo Polniaczek on the 80's sitcom The Facts of Life.
Q: What three places would you most recommend to your friends or family to go on vacation?
A: 1) California’s Central Coast: Santa Barbra and San Luis Obispo County – amazing wine region close to the Pacific Ocean. Spend part of your day tasting world-class wines followed by dinner on the pier. Go kayaking with otters and sea lions; watch the sun sets into the ocean. 2) Missouri’s Ozark Mountain Regions – Love the rugged hills that make up the Ozarks and contain the waters of Missouri’s many lakes. Hiking, boating and swimming all day long. Music and shows make you proud to be an American. 3) France, especially the Provence Region – Not that I am opposed to the rest of France but I really enjoyed this region and want to return to spend more time there. I loved the Papal history and agriculture, especially around Avignon. Bonus: Fernandina Beach, FL – Florida beach and sun with Georgia’s southern charm. Fun pirate history and a very cool Fort Clinch.