Liz and Markus Bokisch stay true to their family's heritage with their Spanish focused winery in Lodi, California. Markus spent his childhood summers in Spain with his family. In the Spanish tradition, he was given wine with water at meals. Little did Markus know, his tastebuds from then on were programmed towards Spanish wines.
In 1992, Liz & Markus moved to Spain and worked in the Spanish wine industry in Raimat and the Penedes. Upon their return, they purchased their Terra Alta Vineyards property in the Clements Hills. Using their Spanish connections they began importing vines and in 1999 they planted the Las Cerezas Vineyard, known as their “motherblock,” of Tempranillo, Albariño, and Graciano. They produced their first vintage under the Bokisch label in 2001.
|APPELLATION(S)||Jahant, Lodi, Mokelumne River|
|PROPRIETORS||Liz & Markus Bokisch|
|ANNUAL PRODUCTION||5,000 cs|
(SUSTAINABLE, ORGANIC, BIODYNAMIC)
Bokisch farms 22 vineyards that range in size from 3 to 311 acres. Planted among the more traditional vines are small parcels of nine different award-winning Spanish varieties. All 2,500 acres are Certified Green under the Lodi Rules of Sustainable Winegrowing, and 80 acres are CCOF Certified Organic. Each vineyard in the Bokisch Ranches portfolio is planned, planted and pampered to maximize the quality of the fruit. Markus is meticulous about maintaining healthy vines.
Terra Alta Vineyard
This is the first parcel of land Markus and Liz Bokisch purchased and developed into a vineyard. Markus chose this parcel because its climate and soil were almost identical to the vineyards he farmed in the Vaca Mountains of Napa Valley. Those vineyards, just like Terra Alta, were perfect for Mediterranean varieties. He chose to call it "Terra Alta" because it harks back to the wine region near his home town in Catalunya, Spain. This is also the site they chose to build their winery.
Las Cerezas Vineyard
In 1998, Markus and Liz purchased the Las Cerezas property as their home and they developed the vineyard in 2000. This small 3-acre organic vineyard is "the motherblock" for the Bokisch Spanish varieties. Markus selected these varieties from unique blocks in Spain. This is the first Graciano planting in the new world. The sandy loams of the Mokelumne River area is the birthplace of Lodi's wine history dating from the 1880's.
Clay Station Vineyard
The steep rolling hills of Clay Station, the oldest soil Bokisch Ranches farms, are over 450,000 years old. These ancient soils, depleted of nutrients and organic matter, serve well to control the inherit vigor of Verdejo.
Liberty Oaks Vineyard
The soils of Liberty Oaks are San Joaquin Clay Loam, which is California's official state soil. Our Tempranillo, planted in 1999, loves clay and has found its best expression in this vineyard. The large Blue Oaks interspersed amongst the vines, are home to families of Swainson's Hawks.
Vista Luna Vineyard
The hills of Vista Luna are littered with barn owl condos. Our feathered friends scour the vineyards at night to keep the gophers and mice at bay. During night harvest they perch on their condo with their younglings and watch the flurry of activity below them. This remote corner of the Borden Ranch AVA has become a prized source of fruit for many wineries.
The Kirschenmann Vineyard is found within the Victor district of the Mokelumne River AVA. This horseshoe bend in the Mokelumne River is home to one of the highest concentrations of Old Vine Zinfandel blocks. Planted in 1915, these old vines have survived the test of time because of the high quality fruit they produce. This vineyard has taught Markus a valuable lesson: "when farming a vineyard twice your age, you don't tell it what to do, it tells you."
Belle Colline Vineyard
Markus was inspired to plant Belle Colline as a varietal collection block after a trip to Aniane, France located in the Languedoc. While there, he met a group of vignerons who were impassioned to create the best wines for the region through varietal exploration. He came back with an intention to do the same for Lodi. Belle Colline is perfectly suited for this type of experimentation because it consists of two distinct soil types, volcanic cobbly clay loam and volcanic ash, known as tufa. Markus planted identical vineyards on each soil type to study the qualitative differences in the terroir.
A graduate of UC Davis with a degree in Plant Pathology and International Ag Development, Markus is, at his core, a dirt guy. He understands the history of the soil and is a steward of the future provisions that will grow from it. This explains his passion for sustainable farm management. Strong ties to his Spanish heritage combined with his love of farming have found the perfect outlet in Bokisch Vineyards wines.