Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bogle Family Vineyards | Clarksburg, CA

On a recent trip to Oregon to celebrate my uncle’s 70th birthday, my wife and I were at a loss to find the perfect gift to say thank you for all that he has done not for just his own immediate family, but for ours as well. I mean, what do you get a person who seemingly has everything and has done just about anything, including traveling to the four corners of the world?

After knocking around a few ideas, we chose to keep things simple. We decided to appeal to his love and enjoyment of good, quality wines. But rather than go with the obvious places in the Napa Valley, we elected to keep things closer to home. We turned, instead, to the Sacramento Delta and paid a visit to our friends at the Bogle Family Vineyards.

The Bogle family got their start as farmers in the region during the mid-1800s. Best known then for their seasonal harvests of various fruits and vegetables, their efforts later helped cultivate growth and development in the surrounding communities, including Clarksburg, Freeport, and Hood.

But as long as the Bogles’ have been contributing to the local agriculture, their foray in wine making is fairly recent in comparison to their rich family history. Truth be known, they didn't begin growing grapes until 1968. That was when vineyard founders, Warren and Cris Bogle, planted the family's first wine grapes over a 26 acre plot near the town of Clarksburg.

At that time, there was no guarantee that they would be successful, but given the fertile landscape, warm daylight weather, and cool evening breezes, the conditions were ideal. The father and son team had nothing to lose.

Forty years later, the family’s vineyards spread across 1200 acres, and they have become known as one of the more well-respected producers of wine in the area (if not nationally). They have also become an industry leader by incorporating new techniques into their wine making production. For example, they export fruit from other well-known vineyards in the state to create unique blends that can excite not only your palate, but also a few other senses as well.

Exclusive varietals include award-winning chardonnays, merlots, petit sirahs, and cabernets. Additionally, they produce an old vine zinfandel that features grapes taken from vineyards as old as the winery itself.

Among our favorites is the 2008 Pinot Noir, which combines all the characteristics and bold flavors from the Russian River Valley, the Central Coast, and of course, the surrounding areas of Clarksburg. We also recommend their 2008 Reisling. Harvested from the winery's estate vineyards along the delta and in Monterey County, this unique vintage starts off with a sweetness often found in ripe pears and aromatic peaches and finishes with the spiciness of cloves and cinnamon.

Now, after paying a visit to the Bogle Family Vineyards, be sure to reserve a little bit of time to open up one of those newly bought bottles of wine in your carrier. Share it with your friends at any of sitting areas along the back porch or at the picnic benches on the lawn. In other words, don't be in such a hurry to get back to "civilization.” Rather, just take in the calm serene that is the Sacramento Delta.

Oh, in case you were wondering, my uncle was all smiles when he learned of his gift from the Bogle Family Vineyards. He had never visited them, heard much about them, and was eager to begin pouring. Cheers!


  1. Years I attended art college in San Francisco, and would take an occasional day trip up to Napa Valley. Wine really is a part of the northern California culture and that is where I developed an appreciation for it. Sadly I never made it to this vineyard when I was living there, but if they distribute their wines to other states I have to see if I can find it locally. It's been my experience that small, family wineries have the best wine.

  2. Our favorite is the Bogle Petit Sirah, nice post!

  3. Gayle: I cannot agree more. Wine is truly part of the California culture.

  4. Tiffany: As Sacramento residents we are always touting our local wineries. People in our area often forget that the wine that grows right in our backyard can rival those found in Napa and elsewhere.