Markus Bokisch and I met in 1990 when he came to work as a viticulturalist at Joseph Phelps Vineyards. He was a recent UC Davis graduate, and seemed immensely talented even then. Over the short time we worked together, I grew increasingly impressed with him. He left Phelps soon after I did, and moved to Spain to learn more about growing grapes and making wine. Our paths crossed again in 2005 when he began a vineyard management company in Lodi, and we started to buy grapes from two of his vineyards in the Sierra foothill AVAs of Clements Hills and Borden Ranch. Both areas are in western Calaveras County, at the base of the Sierra. They stand out in part for the remarkable soil combinations that developed from the geological activity accompanying the plate tectonics and glacier movement that formed the Sierra Nevada Range. The Vista Luna vineyard sits on an outcropping of quartz, a unique phenomenon that is important to the development of the vines, their maturation, and the flavors developed by the grapes. Additionally, the vineyard is planted to a non-clonal selection of Zinfandel so the clusters are small, as are the berries. Ripening is even, and the alcohol levels in the finished wine are low. Our 2013 Vista Luna Zinfandel has an ethyl alcohol level of barely 14%, yet the wine is made from fully ripened fruit. The soft yet full-flavored nature of the wine will be a pleasant and welcome -- surprise. The wine is 100% Heirloom Zinfandel, fermented using native wild yeast, and aged 10 months in neutral 60-gallon French oak barrels. It was bottled without being fined or filtered.
Barrel Program .....100% Used French Oak
Composition ..........100% Zinfandel
Vineyard ................Vista Luna
Release Date ..........October 2014
Cases Produced .....908