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© 2015 by riaza wines

where it all begins

Any winemaker worth his or her proverbial salts will tell you that it's easy to make bad wine from good grapes...and impossible to make good wine from bad grapes. It's true. The work that happens in the vineyard sets the stage for how good (or bad) the wine will be. And since neither of us have ever farmed a day in our lives...the thought of managing a vineyard and trying to make the wine made us just a little uncomfortable. So we decided to focus on the wine and leave the farming to the experts. Fortunately for us, we hitched our wagon to some pretty talented grape growers early on...and I've spent most of my time trying not to screw things up.

 

Lodi is home for us...so most of the fruit that we source is grown right here. In fact, a lot of our "local" grapes come from three distinct parts of town (the Clements Hills, Mokelumne River and Jahant AVAs in case you're curious). Clements Hills is on the eastern edge of the Lodi AVA and in a lot of respects, marks the transition from the valley to the base of the Sierra Foothills. Mokelumne River is what most people think about when they think Lodi...it's the epicenter (literally and figuratively) of the AVA and home to most of the area's oldest vines. Jahant is small by comparison and situated near the western edge of the Lodi AVA...and as a result tends to get a bit more influence from the Delta.

 

Beyond Lodi, we source a fair amount of fruit from Clarksburg. Though less than 30 miles from home (at least as the crow flies), the soil and the weather patterns in Clarksburg are pretty unique. Situated on the Delta, the region tends to be a little on the cooler side thanks to the breezes from the San Francisco Bay.

 

We also pull a bit of fruit from the Sierra Foothills...specifically El Dorado, Amador and Calaveras Counties. As much as we like the fruit we get from the valley, there's something to be said for a little elevation when it comes to grapes. Stretching from just outside of Somerset - through Plymouth  - and down to Murphys, the fruit we get from "up the hill" brings something different to the party.

 

To get a better idea of where the good stuff comes from, check out the vineyards.