Bokisch Vineyards & Winery: winery information
Winemaker: Marcus Bokisch
Why Spanish Varietals? What does the name “Bokisch” have to do with Spain? Markus Bokisch has a love for Spanish wines because of his family heritage. His mother is from Spain and his father was from Germany. They met in Paris and fell in love…learning French very rapidly! Although Markus was raised in California, he and his brother spent every childhood summer in Spain with their relatives. In the Spanish tradition they were given wine with water at meals. As they grew older each year the wine & water started turning from a light pink to a deep purple as they reached adulthood. Little did Markus know, his tastebuds from then on were programmed towards Spanish wines. It’s not surprising that he pursued a degree in plant pathology and from there began specializing in viticulture. After spending several years at Joseph Phelps Vineyards specializing in Rhone Varieties, he and his wife, Liz, moved to Spain where he worked in the Spanish wine industry. Upon their return, they purchased their property in the Lodi area and planted their first vineyard. Thus began Bokisch Ranches, LLC. The Secret of Lodi When Markus and Liz moved from the quaint haven of Yountville in the heart of the Napa Valley to start their dream in Lodi many asked why. It’s a question they get asked often from many people, except anyone from Lodi who already knows the secret! First of all, Markus has a soft spot for places that remind him of Spain. His many drives through the Delta to Lodi reminded him of the Delta del Ebro in Spain where his family lives. When he found the property in the Clements Hills east of Lodi and showed it to Liz, she loved it because it reminded her of her family land in Placer County with rolling hills and oak trees. Lodi also has the small town feeling that reminds both of them of their hometowns … “Where everybody knows your name.” Besides being an excellent climate for grape growing (due to the cooling delta breezes in the summer afternoons), it’s a wonderful community to raise a family. Thus decided, they moved to Lodi with their two sons and planted their first Syrah Vineyard.
Annual Production: 2,500 cases
Farming with care for the environment Caring for our environment has been one of our highest priorities at Bokisch Ranches. We employ sustainable farming practices throughout our entire vineyard operation. For us this means not only growing our grapes but also our energy! We power our wells, shop, and house entirely with solar energy from our photovoltaic arrays. We are beginning to phase in cleaner and renewable Biodiesel, grown from plants, to reduce our use of petroleum-based diesel. We farm all of our vineyards sustainably, utilizing low chemical inputs, and high biological diversity. We enjoy seeing the Lacewings flying, the Ladybugs munching and the spiders spinning their webs in our canopies!
Bokisch Ranches has been in the business of developing vineyards and selling grapes to other wineries throughout California since 1996. Our management company farms 1,000 acres of winegrapes within the Lodi Appellation. We represent individual owners of vineyards as well as investment groups. We grow several white varieties including Albarino, Pinot Grigio, Verdelho, Johannesburg Riesling, Viognier and Chardonnay. Our red grape varieties include Tempranillo, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Graciano, Grenache, Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. We customize our farming to match our buyers needs. We sit with each buyer and determine their needs and create a farm plan to match. For example, we hand harvest and machine harvest. We farm organically and sustainably. We have long and short term grape contracts with wineries. We partner with small and large wineries located in many wine regions throughout California including Napa, Sonoma, Marin, Amador, Santa Cruz and, of course, Lodi!
What is Sustainable Winegrowing? The wines of Bokisch Vineyards are certified by “The Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing Practices”. This is a program that requires third party certification and a yearly auditing process of vineyard practices conducted by the Non-Profit Organization, Protected Harvest. Markus and Liz Bokisch began farming in 1995. They are dedicated to farming with care for the environment. They currently farm 1,500 acres of wine grapes. Beyond Organics … The holistic approach of sustainable winegrowing addresses many integral aspects of vineyard management beyond simply not using certain pesticides in vineyards. Eight examples of how Bokisch Vineyards employs Sustainable Winegrowing Practices are listed below: 1.Alternative Fuel Use : By 2009 we will be converted to biodiesel for our tractors & equipment. 2.Alternative Energy Use : In 2004 we installed a 22.5 kilowatt solar energy system for two irrigation pumps covering 70 acres of vineyard, our main shop and two homes. 3.Human Resources/Labor Relations : We maximize our ability to provide year round employment for our vineyard employees to better serve our community. 4.Integrated Pest Management : We limit our pesticide use to a bare minimum in all our vineyards and have farmed 35 acres of vineyard organically for eight years. Creating and maintaining owl habitat helps us control our gopher and meadow vole populations naturally. See pictures and read about our Owl Condos here. 5.Air Quality Control : We cover crop our vineyard rows and avenues to minimize dust. 6.Soil & Water Management : We minimize irrigation and erosion in order to maximize nutrition in our soils which results in higher, more concentrated fruit quality. 7.Land Stewardship : We combine our management of agriculture with the ecosystem by providing riparian zones, oak woodlands and by maintaining vernal pools. 8.Central Valley Farmland Trust : We are founding members of this Non-Profit Farmland Trust which has purchased conservation easements for the preservation of agriculture. CVFT web site
Grape Varieties Planted
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Grenache Blanc
- Pinot Gris / Grigio
- Pinot Noir
- Syrah / Shiraz
- Tempranillo / Valdepenas