Nestled in the heart of Lodi’s most prestigious Mokelumne AVA, sit 750 acres of estate vineyards, many of which have been farmed consistently by the Felten family for 6 generations. The soils are comprised of deep granite sandy loam, giving wines of this region a distinctive minerality. Situated at the edge of the Sacramento Delta, Pacific breezes gust through the Mokelumne AVA, cooling grapes, and creating a Mediterranean climate ideally suited for growing varietals such as Zinfandel, Syrah and Albarino.
Deeply committed to preserving the family’s ancient vineyards, Steve Felten founded Klinker Brick Winery in 2000 and is succeeded by daughter Farrah in ownership. An extension of the family is head winemaker Joseph Smith. Originally form Belize, Joe fell in love with wine after working crush in California in the early nineties. He has had a hand in every vintage of Klinker Brick, masterfully highlighting subtle terroir nuances and taming the robust fruit flavors indicative of the region with acidity and balance.
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.
Bright and aromatic with distinctive floral and fruity characteristics, Albariño has enjoyed a surge in popularity and an increase in plantings over the last couple of decades. Thick skins allow it to withstand the humid conditions of its homeland, Rías Baixas, Spain, free of malady, and produce a weighty but fresh white. Somm Secret—Albariño claims dual citizenship in Spain and Portugal. Under the name Alvarinho, it thrives in Portugal’s northwestern Vinho Verde region, which predictably, borders part of Spain’s Rías Baixas.