During my recent visit to Lodi, California for the Wine Bloggers Conference, I had the pleasure of going on multiple excursions to visit different wineries in the area. However, there was one in particular I enjoyed the most. It was one of several surprise excursions in which attendees were broken up into smaller groups and each taken to different wineries. It was a suspenseful moment as none of us knew where we were going or what to expect, and the feeling of excitement and uncertainty increased as the time to depart approached. Klinker BrickWe all disbanded and set outside to locate our respective hosts. It didn’t take long before I spotted Steve Felten, owner of Klinker Brick Winery, holding a sign with the title of my chosen surprise excursion, “She’s a Brix House.”

We set out to the winery, arriving shortly after. We were greeted by Head Winemaker, Joseph Smith, who gave us a tour of the facility.Klinker Brick Winery I was especially interested in and inspired by Joseph’s story after learning he came from Belize. He knew nothing about wine and started his career as an apprentice with Gnekow Family Winery in the nineties. He joined the Klinker Brick team in 2008 and has been producing some well crafted wines ever since, continuously innovating and thinking of ways to improve.

The Feltens pride themselves in six generations of grape growing. When their ancestors first settled in Lodi they produced watermelons. After recognizing the soil and climate were excellent for growing grapes, they began to plant varieties such as Klinker Brick WineryZinfandel, Tokay, Carignane, and Alicante. Zinfandel, Lodi’s most well-known variety, was among the first planted in the Lodi appellation and the Klinker Brick family continues the tradition of cultivating “Old Vine” Zinfandel vineyards their forefathers planted in the early 1900’s.

After our tour, we were treated to dinner and wine tasting in their spacious tasting room. The setting was intimate and hospitable. Steve FeltenThe food was amazing and the wines phenomenal. We had the opportunity to hear Steve and others from the Klinker Brick team speak in more detail about their story and the wines they produce. It was obvious everyone is extremely passionate about what they do. Steve is an incredibly humble guy and I found him easy to talk to due to his calm personality.

Klinker Brick Winery

There was plenty of wine to go around for all the guests’ tasting pleasure. A few of my personal favorites include the Old Vine Zinfandel, Farrah Syrah, and 1850° Cabernet Blend. If you’re ever in Lodi and looking for a great winery to visit, put Klinker Brick at the top of your list. Click here to learn more about their wines.

Klinker Brick