Great Winemaking through Family Traditions and Modern Sustainable Practices
Bogle Vineyards, a family owned and operated winery, nestled between the Sacramento River and Elk Slough in the peaceful, bucolic Sacramento Delta is hidden away in vineyards off Highway 160, just south of Clarksburg. Look closely for the Bogle sign on the side of the roadway; it’s easy to miss the turnoff to this local treasure. The winery, tasting room, picnic area and acres of vineyards comprise the picturesque setting of this historic winemaking operation in the Clarksburg wine region.
For both wine club members and visitors, Bogle Vineyards offers a fun, friendly and educational approach to wine tasting. Visitors can relax while enjoying Bogle wines in the tasting room or out on the second story balcony overlooking the grassy expanse of the picnic area where tables and chairs are available to enjoy.
The Bogle Vineyards family has been farming the land since the mid-1800s and treasures its local history and wine making traditions. For nearly 50 years, the Bogle family has seen the business transform from what was primarily corn based farming into what is now exclusively grape planted acres. The first grapes were planted in 1968 and until 1978, the farm grew grapes for other large winemakers. Then in 1978, Bogle bottled for the first time and the rest is history. Today, Bogle Vineyards sells more than 2 million cases of wine around the world, shipped to all 50 states and more than 40 countries.
Following a unique family business model of consolidating and diversifying to reach economies of scale in the various components of wine production, Bogle Vineyards assured themselves of well managed and continued successful growth.
The third generation winegrowers, Warren, Jody and Ryan Bogle, have been able to build a successful winery which includes its own energy efficient production facility on nearby Hamilton Road and a worldwide reputation for consistently high quality wines, at an affordable price. Although the family grows 1600 acres of grapes, 70% of their grapes are purchased from other growers in California. According to Warren, “Our wine is very consistent because most of our growers and staff have been with us for 20 plus years.”
Bogle Vineyards is especially proud of their viticulture practices that balance environmental, social and economic goals. Being a responsible winery extends beyond farming to every aspect of the business. They are certified green under the standards set by the Lodi Rules for sustainable winegrowing in California. Certified growers are required to use measurable practices to manage the business activities, human resources and ecosystem including soil, water, and pest control. Pesticides used by Lodi Rules certified growers cannot exceed a specific threshold level in the vineyard for any given year. Annual independent audits to verify the sustainable practices are conducted under the auspices of Lodi Winegrape Commission and the Protected Harvest nonprofit organization. The family truly believes in the program and says that a lot of these practices were already in place, but not documented. When Lodi Rules opened up the certification to other California wineries in 2008, Bogle Vineyards happily signed on. Bogle even offers its other growers a bonus if they can prove that they are also certified sustainable. Today about 62% of the fruit that is sold to Bogle is in the Certified Green program. Jody explains, “We are committed as a family, keeping true to our values, and remaining good stewards of the land.” Warren adds that the family is not only concerned about what they are doing today, but thinking ahead to the next six generations.
Concern for the environment and the future even went into the thought process for building their new, energy and water efficient production facility. Jody says the winery outgrew their old production facility 15 years ago. At that time, they were outsourcing by storing barrels of wine at other wineries in California. The family started planning the new facility 10 years ago and worked with PG&E to design the new building. In selecting the location, Jody said “it was important to keep it here in Clarksburg where our family has been growing grapes for generations.” Ryan says the new facility “got a lot of trucks off the road by centralizing the production and the quality of the wine has only gotten better.”
Owners Warren, Jody and Ryan Bogle also feel strongly about giving back to the community. From July 1st to September 2nd, Bogle Vineyards hosts a Friday evening event which includes live music, food and wine tasting. The entrance fee for these events goes to benefit their non-profit partners each week. There are 10 Fridays in this summer time frame and that means that 10 non-profit organizations throughout the local area receive support from these contributions. Bogle Vineyards is also very active in the Sacramento community. The winery pours at numerous charitable, fund-raising events and donates 600 cases of wine a year to local non-profits.
Bogle represents the iconic Sacramento Delta agricultural family business with all members actively involved in farming, winemaking, business management and hospitality. They continue to treasure time-honored family traditions of good stewardship of the land and sustainable wine production for future generations.
So the next time you head down the river, take some time to stop at Bogle Vineyards. Enjoy a glass of their spicy vanilla Reserve Chardonnay or the ripe berry Phantom and know that the wine you are drinking was made a by a family who cares about the environment and the community now and in the future.