Our family is in its third generation of growing winegrapes. We still keep four old Tokay vines for sentimental value in recognition of what started it all for the Lodi area. All four family members are involved in grape-growing. We began home winemaking in the mid 1970's and initiated commercial production with the 1998 harvest. However, we no longer produce wine commercially.
Our viticultural practices include cane pruning (seldom used in the Lodi area) and expanded vertical trellis. We also use a dual irrigation system utilizing the most favorable benefits of both drip and sprinkler. Our efforts to establish a "natural balance" in our fields also include biological controls, a minimum of pesticide use and ground covers.
Our German / Austrian trial plot contains over 40 varieties that are found in the vineyards of Germany. We currently produce commercially the following grape varsities in limited amounts: Kerner, Bacchus, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Lemberger / Blaufrankisch, Zweigelt, Dornfelder, Rieslaner, Weissburgunder, and Schonburger.
Co-Owner, former winemaker, Bob Koth is a Lodi native. He served in the military as a paratrooper. After receiving his B. A. degree in Sociology from UOP, he did graduate work at San Francisco State as a social science major specializing in criminology. As a probation officer for two years, he serviced a caseload in West Oakland and West Berkeley. His teaching career spanned 31 years in Lodi. During this time he earned a Juris Doctorate degree and also was instrumental in developing a mountaineering survival class for Lodi Unified School District.
Growing up around a vineyard, he returned later to raising grapes and in 1998 began commercial winemaking after years of amateur home winemaking. Two trips to Germany to visit his daughter, who had scholarships to study there, introduced him to German wines and grape varieties.
Being of German heritage, he wants to keep alive the German heritage of Lodi by specializing in German grape varieties.
SON, BRETT KOTH is the vineyard manager. After graduating from Lodi High School he attended Delta College and received his B.A. degree in Economics from CSU Sacramento.
He was then employed with Mondavi Woodbridge, working in numerous areas of the winery including production and warehouse, but his primary focus was field work in the Grower Relations Department. Employment with San Joaquin County Agriculture Department in the Export Certification Program for apples and cherries added to his experience in agriculture.
Brett is very protective of the environment and takes a leading part in seeing that trees are protected and that recycling is done as much as possible on the property. This has led to his chipping branches into wood chips for ground cover and also using old wood for tables and benches. Used barrels have been made into tables and decor.
Co-Owner, Mary Lou Koth, is a Minnesota native. She received a Bachelor of Music degree from UOP and a Master of Arts degree in Music Education from CSU Sacramento. Her 40 year career included being employed as a classroom teacher, private piano teacher, elementary music specialist and piano accompanist for numerous events.
She enjoys reading, walking, playing piano and is an avid cross-country skier, having participated in numerous citizen ski races including the 30K race from Tahoe City to Truckee.
Bookkeeping is her primary responsibility, but she also assists with pruning, harvest and other vineyard jobs throughout the year.
DAUGHTER, ANN-MARIE KOTH, teaches German at Lodi High School. She attended Delta College and received her B.A. degree from University of Nevada, Reno. As a result of graduate study at CSU Sacramento, she earned her teaching credential and received an exchange scholarship to Johanes Gutenberg University in Mainz. She returned later for one year on a Fulbright grant in Mainz.
Being fluent in German, she coordinates a semi-annual G.A.P.P. exchange program between Lodi High School and the Feldbergschule in Oberursel, Germany for three weeks in April and June. Ann-Marie has also explored her Norwegian heritage by attending summer sessions at Skogfjorden Norwegian Language Village, Bemidji, Minnesota, the Oslo International Summer School and by stopping in Iceland on her way to Norway to visit relatives.
At UNR, she was on the cross-country ski team. She runs, bikes, swims, skis and does an occasional triathlon. She assists, as time permits, with harvest and pruning throughout the year.
However, we are not "resting on our laurels." Thus it should be clear that we are continually working to further develop our specialization in "German Collection" varieties.
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