The Van Ruiten Family has been growing grapes in the Lodi area for more than 50 years. What started out as a table grape community slowly transitioned into the growing of wine grapes in the early 1900’s. Among the flourishing vines was the legendary Lodi Zinfandel. John’s first acres of Zinfandel still remain as part of the estate today. These Zinfandel vines are among the oldest, most historic and shyest bearing vines.
Our newest addition in 2007 was the planting of our 40 acre Primitivo vineyard. This red varietal, also known as Zingarello, is genetically related to California’s Zinfandel. It originated and is still mainly grown in Southern Italy, but it is starting to make its way around the world.
Throughout the last five decades the farming practices have changed with the introduction of new technology and eco-friendly farming techniques. In an effort to move in the direction of Sustainable Farming Practices we erected nesting boxes for owls throughout our vineyards. The owls that reside in these boxes help keep the rodent population down without the use of poisons in the soil. Over the course of the last few years, thanks to the owls, the rodent population is under control without the use of pesticides. Though farming practices have changed, the motto has stayed the same. The family has prided itself in the uncompromising commitment to producing top quality grapes and passing knowledge down from generation to generation, while sharing newly learned growing practices.
After five decades the family farms an estimated 1000 acres of wine grapes, with only their best fruit destined to carry the family name. All of the fruit that enters the winery for Van Ruiten Vineyards has been picked by hand at its perfect ripeness and gently pressed to preserve the delicacy and purity of the fruits rich flavors. Three generations of the Van Ruiten family now work together tending the vineyards, managing the winery and envisioning a future for their ever growing cellar and tasting room.