The Ripken family views themselves as an independent, artisan “barnista” winery that is electrifying, varied, unusual, esoteric, even outlandish, but never monotonous or strange.
With a focus on unusual grape varietals that result in remarkable flavored wines, Ripken Vineyards & Winery appeals to wine enthusiasts who like an adventurous lifestyle.
They have the motto “No Boring Wines!” They produce wines with conviction.
They choose a less beaten path. Wine drinkers who want to experience the pleasures of Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, Malbec, Petite Sirah, Carmine, Petit Verdot, Alicante Bouschet, Tempranillo, Graciano, Souzao, Touriga National, Grenace, Mourvedre, Montepulciano, Barbera, Dolcetto, or Corvina as blends or varietal wines will find their wines appealing.
They use traditional methods including soft crushing, barrel fermenting white wines, choosing yeasts, hand punchdown, less stirring, lengthy barrel age, gentle crushing, and bottle aging to produce very small batches of various wines, typically under 100 cases.
“These wines were made one bucket, one barrel, and one bottle at a time,” is their rallying cry.
Maximizing tastes, decreased but adequate irrigation or non-irrigation, sunlight to the cluster, complete ripeness for flavor, moderate size crops, adequate soil fertility, and organic matter in soils are all important factors in their grape cultivation. All of this attention to detail results in full-flavored, well-mineralized wines that are balanced and delightful when they are finished.
They are the 60th winery in Lodi. Despite being third generation wine grape growers since 1950, they only harvested their first vintage in 2003. They also grow their own rootstock and have spent forty years collecting various wine varietal clones and selections. The entire family participates.