You've heard of Romulan Ale, but did you know that Jedi Knights are masters in the art of fine winemaking?
Jordan Winery in Sonoma County is set to break ground on Planet Earth's first Jedi training academy. The location is, by the way, less than an hour's drive from George Lucas' famed Skywalker Ranch. Completion is expected by early 2015, with the first classes beginning next summer.
Why a Jedi academy at a winery? John Jordan, the CEO of Jordan Winery, is a Star Wars megafan with a bit of a sense of humor (you might remember his "Blurred Lines" parody, "Blurred Vines"), who believes there's a tie between Jedi mastery and the art of turning grapes into wine. He compares the overabundance of crappy wines to Darth Vader's overtaking a small galaxy.
"There's been a disturbance in the Force since 1997. The rise of an empire where over-oaked, high-alcohol wines reign has gained great power. It's as if half of Napa Valley is under the influence of the Sith. We must protect the balance in our wines -- and restore balance to the Force of winemaking. The Academy will help us strike back against the enemies of fruit."
The academy will sit on Jordan Estate's 1,200 acres, with more than three-quarters dedicated to wildlife. Activities at the academy will include pod racing and challenging an obstacle course designed to imitate the swampy terrain of the Dagobah system. A Jedi temple, X-Wing Fighter flight simulator, and Death Star "Tower of Tannin" are also in the works.
All of this training in the art of lightsaber fighting and winemaking doesn't come cheap. The ten-week course starts at $10,000, which includes training equipment, lodging, meals, and blind winetastings. Also included are custom lightsabers, crafted by Riedel Glas of Austria especially for the Jedi Academy. "Younglings," as the new students are called, must be 21 or older to attend and must "possess an aversion to oaky wines."
The first graduating class of the new Jedi Academy will be ready to "restore justice and peace to the Wine Republic" by September 2015, just in time for the fall harvest and the official release of Star Wars: Episode VII. Admissions will open in Winter 2014. See jordanwinery.com for more information on how to register.
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If you can't commit to the ten-week course, commemorative replica lightsabers will be sold by Wine Enthusiast beginning in 2015. Here's a look at the gorgeous winery: