In 2019 Markus and Liz Bokisch celebrated 20 years of making award winning Spanish wines at Bokisch Vineyards. Markus pioneered the planting of Spanish varieties in California by bringing over budwood from Spain and planting it in Lodi soil in 1999. Inspired by his Catalan heritage and driven by a passion for organic and sustainable farming, he became one the most prominent grape growers and authorities on Spanish grapes in all of the United States.
In 2000 they made their first vintage of Bokisch wine and have continued to grow their Spanish wine portfolio ever since. Bokisch Vineyards is now producing 11 bottlings of 7 different Spanish varieties across 6 different vineyards. Featuring Albariño, Garnacha Blanca, Verdejo, Garnacha, Tempranillo, Monastrell, and Graciano.
Since its inception in 2000, Bokisch Vineyards has been featured in numerous wine publications including Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and Sunset Magazine. In April, 2018 Bokisch Vineyards was the first American winery to win a gold medal for their Garnacha Blanca in the International Grenaches du Monde Competition held in Gandesa, Spain. In December of 2018, Markus and Bokisch Vineyards was featured in Wine Spectator, highlighting Markus’s vision for Spanish wines and wines made in Lodi. In 2014 they moved into a brand new winery facility located in the rolling hills of Lodi, and hired their winemaker Elyse Perry, giving them full control - grape to glass.
Positioned between the San Francisco Bay and the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Lodi appellation, while relatively far inland, is able to maintain a classic Mediterranean climate featuring warm, sunny days and cool evenings. This is because the appellation is uniquely situated at the end of the Sacramento River Delta, which brings chilly, afternoon “delta breezes” to the area during the growing season.
Lodi is a premier source of 100+ year old ancient Zinfandel vineyards—some dating back as far as 1888! With low yields of small berries, these heritage vines produce complex and bold wines, concentrated in rich and voluptuous, dark fruit.
But Lodi doesn’t just produce Zinfandel; in fact, the appellation produces high quality wines from over 100 different grape varieties. Among them are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc as well as some of California's more rare and unique grapes. Lodi is recognized as an ideal spot for growing Spanish varieties like Albarino and Tempranillo, Portugese varieties—namely Touriga Nacional—as well as many German, Italian and French varieties.
Soil types vary widely among Lodi’s seven sub-appellations (Cosumnes River, Alta Mesa, Deer Creek Hills, Borden Ranch, Jahant, Clements Hills and Mokelumne River). The eastern hills are clay-based and rocky and in the west, along the Mokelumne and Cosumnes Rivers, sandy and mineral-heavy soils support the majority of Lodi’s century-old own-rooted Zinfandel vineyards. Unique to Lodi are pink Rocklin-Jahant loam soils, mainly found in the Jahant sub-appellation.
Producing full-bodied white wines, Grenache Blanc can be unctuous and soft or floral and fresh. Some of the finest examples are terroir-driven, age-worthy wines. It is a key ingredient in white Châteauneuf-du-Pape and many white blends across southern France and NE Spain. Somm Secret—Grenache Blanc plays a key role in the vins doux naturels of Rivesaltes and a subsidiary role in those of Banyuls and Maury.