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In the vineyards surrounding Lodi, there is a surefire way to tell which vineyards belong to the McManis Family: the vines are simply taller, trained 60 inches off the ground to ensure better airflow around the grapes, and to keep them away from the radiant heat of the ground. It may seem like a small, trivial detail, but to this family of winegrowers with deep roots in the area, it is the little details that go a long way to ensuring a higher quality wine.
For this homegrown business, sustainability also pertains to the endurance of the business and the thriving careers of its people. Ron and Jamie McManis founded the labeled wine brand in 1998, though the family has been growing grapes in central California for five generations. Lead winemaker Mike Robustelli has been with the McManis family for 20 years, and both of Ron and Jamie McManis’ children are involved in day-to-day operations of the winery: Justin oversees winery operations, while Tanya helps manage the business and social media. Furthermore, Tanya’s husband, Dirk Heuvel, is the vineyard manager. This commitment has led to a consistency that endures today, making McManis Family Vineyards’ wines an essential example of continuity in California’s dynamic wine scene.
The success of their wines comes directly from their vineyards. Today, they own 3,600 acres of vineyards in the Lodi area, allowing them to put “Estate Grown” on every bottle of wine they produce. Of their holdings, those in the River Junction appellation are considered most prestigious. Here, in a natural depression in the landscape where the San Joaquin and Stanislaus Rivers meet, the vineyards bask in a climate that is 2 to 5 degrees cooler than the surrounding area, allowing for the preservation of freshness in the grape clusters to shine in the wine.
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Prime examples of their varietal wines include:
McManis Family Vineyards Chardonnay
Sourced from River Junction, McManis Family Vineyards estate-grown Chardonnay bursts with decadent stone fruit and finishes cleanly, thanks to the vineyard’s cooler climate.
McManis Family Vineyards Pinot Noir
The McManis family is bullish on the potential of Pinot Noir in Lodi and in nearby Clarksburg. This silky Pinot exhibits dark berry fruit and vanilla with a lingering finish.
McManis Family Vineyards Zinfandel
The hallmark varietal wine of Lodi is without question Zinfandel, and this version shows the grape’s savory side with tones of red currant, strawberry and toasty oak. Supple tannins and a smooth finish are quintessentially Lodi.