Lodi Appellation gaining recognition as world class wine region
LODI, CA – Markus Bokisch enjoyed introducing Wine Spectator’s Aaron Romano to the vineyards and people of Lodi, California. Bokisch, owner and grower of Bokisch Vineyards, and Romano toured the region’s diversity and took in some of the 110,000 acres of wine grapes that form the Lodi American Viticultural Area.
In the December issue of Wine Spectator, America’s largest-selling wine publication, Romano aptly describes Lodi as the “engine of California’s wine industry” and captures the stories behind Bokisch Vineyards and the region’s history, grape growers and winemakers in a six-page spread titled “Lodi Looks Ahead – California’s grapegrowing dynamo is adding fine wine to its résumé.”
Michelle Drewes’ photograph showing Markus strolling along his estate Terra Alta Vineyard opens the piece and foreshadows the essence of the article: Lodi is evolving from a production appellation to a fine wine destination.
Markus Bokisch has farmed the area for many years, growing wine grapes of distinction in Lodi’s unique soils and Mediterranean climate for clients and his family’s label, Bokisch Vineyards, which specializes in Spanish varieties. Like all of Lodi’s hundreds of winegrowing families, Markus’s commitment to the land and his craft are deep. Markus spent his childhood summers in Spain visiting family. He developed a passion for the country’s culture and beauty that he carried into his professional life.
In 1992, Markus and his wife, Liz, moved to Spain and worked in the Spanish wine industry before returning to California. They started their vineyard management business by purchasing the Terra Alta Vineyard in Lodi’s Clements Hills sub-American Viticultural Area. Markus imported budwood from Spain and in 1999 planted the Las Cerezas Vineyard, known as their mother block of Tempranillo, Albariňo and Graciano.
In 2001, Markus and Liz released their first vintage of Iberian wines under the Bokisch label and have since earned numerous 90-plus point scores and prestigious honors, including the first gold medal awarded to an American wine for the 2016 Bokisch Garnacha Blanca at the world famous Grenaches du Monde, International Grenache Competition in Gandesa, Spain.