Klinker Brick Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel
Klinker Brick Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel is a balanced and complex Zinfandel from low yield, 120 year old vines. Moreover the wine is from a single vineyard, Marisa. Ripe red fruits with hints of dark berries, sweet tobacco and cocoa.
Each vineyard is planted in sandy loam soils in the Mokelumne River Appellation of Lodi and the Clements Foothills.
In the nineties, the family began to market their zinfandel in the bulk wine market, selling to a number of prestigious, benchmark producers of Zinfandel in Napa and Sonoma Counties.
In 2000, Steve and Lori produced their first vintage of Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel. They continue to produce wine from all of the vineyard blocks, culling only the very best lots for bottling Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel and designated vineyard wines. They produced their first vintage of Farrah Syrah in 2001.
The Feltens and Klinker Brick have one goal…produce world-class wine.
Steve and Lori Felten, fifth generation grape growers in the Lodi region, continue the tradition of cultivating “Old Vine” Zinfandel vineyards that their ancestors planted in the early 1900’s.
With roots in Germany, Russia and later the Dakotas, the family settled in Lodi, first producing watermelons. Recognizing that the soil and climate were ideal for growing grapes, they began to plant varieties that included Zinfandel, Tokay, Carignane, and Alicante. For over one hundred years, the family has cultivated the land with the aim of producing top quality fruit. Zinfandel was one of the first grape varieties to be planted in the Lodi appellation, although it had also been established in other parts of California.
Grapes were originally packed in boxes for shipment to the East Coast and Canada for the purpose of home winemaking. In the early days of production, nearly all of the Zinfandel grapes were shipped with the exception of grapes that were used for making wine at home.
By the mid 1930’s, grapes were sold primarily to cooperatives and larger, private wineries with a small portion of the production shipped east.
Historically, the vineyards were irrigated by flood or ditch irrigation and the inability to regulate the amount of water applied resulted in larger yields of marginal quality. In the late 1980’s, drip irrigation was introduced, providing the ability to control the amount of water applied to each vine. This resulted in the ability to control the vigor of the vine, healthier fruit and ultimately, lower yields. With the introduction of more sophisticated vineyard practices, including shoot thinning, leaf pulling, color thinning and the removal of a second crop, the ability to produce the grapes of exceptional quality was realized.
Part of the extended Felten Family includes their winemaker, Barry Gnekow, who is responsible for crafting the wines from the inaugural vintage. Barry, a Davis graduate with over 25 years of experience of winemaking, has a unique ability to bring the best of the vineyard into the cellar, year after year, producing wines of distinction for Klinker Brick.
Another extended family member is Lynne Whyte Barnard, the President of Klinker Brick Winery. Lynne has brought a wealth of entrepreneurial experience to the winery, having owned her own wholesale company and directing sales and marketing for prestigious wine producers in California. She was instrumental in the development of the Old Ghost wine, label design and has been responsible for selling all of the vintages produced to date, developing national and international distribution.
Klinker Brick Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel – Hay Wines
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