Ripken Vineyard


A Certified Lodi Green Vineyard.

The Guard Road block rests on the south west corner of the Lodi appellation; nearly 10 miles to the west of where the majority of the Lodi vineyards are planted.  The vineyard sits 19 feet below sea level on a bed of ancient sea floor. Soils are sandy/silty clay loam, high in calcium and iron with excellent root penetration. An extensive 5 year climate study identified the Guard Rd. Block to be the coolest growing region in the San Joaquin valley, with temperatures breaking the 90 degree barrier only a few days each year. There are  15 acres of Petite Sirah and two acres of Graciano planted here.

These low yielding, dry farmed vines are pruned to a bilateral cordon and spacing is 5 by 10 feet. The clone 3 Petite Sirah is the only known certified virus free clone.  The Gaurd Rd. Block is producing world class fruit. It typically flowers a week earlier than other Vineyards, then slowly ripens extending its hang time by 3 weeks, developing intensely aromatic, flavorful berries that possess a balance of refreshing acidity and supple tannins that is unusual both for this varietal and appellation. One could even call it an ‘Elegant’ Petite Sirah, which until recently many of my fellow winemakers considered an oxymoron.