In 1979, the Stonum Family purchased seventeen acres of prime agricultural land in Lodi, California. The property consisted of eight acres of cherries, seven acres of Tokay grapes and a sixty year old farmhouse. The following quote has always been a favorite of Stonum Family matriarch, Joyce Stonum MacPherson, and has guided and inspired the family through the years of hard work and sacrifice: "To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." - Anatole France 1896
For the next thirty-five years, the Stonum family has worked together to transform the ranch of their dreams. The cherry orchard and Tokay vineyard were replanted to Zinfandel grapes. Subsurface drip irrigation was installed, replacing furrow irrigation. A transition from discing the ground to flail mowing a cover crop of annual grasses and clover to improve soil health was accomplished. An overhead trellis system was designed and installed allowing grape clusters to hang freely with optimum exposure, light and air movement. Simultaneously, grape contracts were secured with wineries in Lodi, the Sierra Foothills, Napa and Sonoma. The goal of growing quality grapes in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way had been achieved and would be fastidiously maintained. In addition to vineyard development, the original farmhouse was remodeled and the surrounding grounds were landscaped. Trees and gardens were planted, lawns were seeded, arbors were built, and the original root cellar was transformed into a wine cellar.
Beginning in 2006, the focus turned to making world class wine in an old world style. The sibling vintner team of Mike and Kathy Stonum began making wine from their best Zinfandel grapes. Since both had additional careers, a steep learning curve ensued involving an unwavering search for knowledge, experimentation, and dedication to detail and excellence. A winery was built over a four year period, and included a state of the art tank room where fermentation and bulk aging takes place, as well as an underground cellar where wines are barrel aged. The first wave of tanks and equipment were purchased, and the signature Estate Stonum Zinfandel was produced and released in 2009.
In 2014, we purchased a fleet of winemaking tanks and equipment, barrels, and installed a chiller system for white wine production. During the 2014 harvest, Stonum Vineyards made their first Sauvignon Blanc, sourced from The Towne Vineyard in Calistoga, and their first Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from the Antinori Family Vineyard – Atlas Peak, Napa. In early 2015, plans were made to build a “barn style” tasting room adjacent to the winery. The Tasting Barn was completed in June of 2018 and opened for business that same month.
In the future, Stonum Vineyards will continue to strive for excellence in the vineyard, in the winery, and in the wines that they produce. That is our legacy.