Thibaut-Janisson was born from a long friendship that began in a Grand Cru village in the Champagne region of France. Thibaut and his friend Manuel Janisson, both from champagne-producing families in the town, started in the family businesses at a young age.
When Thibaut came to work in California in 1983, he had already spent a few years working in Australia, and Janisson was looking for some experience working in California. Thibaut arranged for Janisson to come work with him, and the two young men began talking of one day producing a sparkling wine together.
About 25 years later, they agreed that Virginia would be the place to do it.Thibaut came to Charlottesville with his wife in 2003 to consult at Kluge Estate Winery. In 2005, after seeing the potential for Virginia sparkling wine, Thibaut and Janisson began their joint venture, and in 2007 had the first release of their non-vintage Blanc de Chardonnay. Virginia Fizz sparkling wine followed in the Spring of 2011. The grapes are sourced from the Monticello AVA (American Viticultural Area). Roughly half of these grapes come from a nearby vineyard, Ivy Creek Farm, which has some of the oldest Chardonnay vines around, dating back to 1982. Both wines are produced at Veritas Winery in Afton, Virginia, west of Charlottesville.
There is no tasting room, but private tours are available by arrangement.
“The T- J (a nice abbreviation given the implied reference to Thomas Jefferson and his love of wines) has become a darling of the Washington restaurant scene, because it is both local and top quality.” —The Washington Post