California wine family institutes packaging change to Ironstone-brand wine; white label with subtle vineyards sketch now includes 'Fourth Generation Family Growers' language, prominently placed 'Lodi, California' language
June 27, 2014
– The Kautz family, successful farmers in Lodi since the early 1900s and innovative and award-winning grape growers since the late 1960s, have announced an all-encompassing rebranding of their Ironstone wines in the 2013 vintage.
John and Gail Kautz, along with their three sons and one daughter, have grown the thirty-five acres of vines John planted in 1968 into more than 6,500 acres between Lodi and land owned by Gail's family in the Sierra Foothills.
The 2013 vintage marks a significant upgrade in the quality. Steve Millier, Ironstone's winemaker since 1989, and the Kautz family have selected the grapes from their best family vineyards to create their finest wines. In tandem with this dramatic quality improvement, the family instituted a packaging change matching the wines' high level of quality. The label of Ironstone Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Old Vines Zinfandel and Petite Sirah now proudly proclaims "Fourth Generation Family Growers," featuring "Lodi, California" prominently on elegant white labels with a subtle vineyards sketch.
"All of the fruit for our Ironstone wines is now coming from our Lodi vineyards, and we're proud of that fact," says Joan Kautz, Vice President, Sales and Marketing. "When my dad first planted vines, he focused on a few sub-appellations in Lodi with very specific 'micro-climates' that are capable of producing 'world class' wines. Consumers have only begun to discover the unique qualities of these sub-appellations."
Stephen Kautz, Joan's brother and President of Ironstone Winery explains "the 2013 vintage reflects the fact that we're now 'blending' our red wines, taking advantage of the differences in our grapes from the unique Lodi 'sub-appellations' to create wines with more depth and complexity."
According to Dennis Kreps, co-owner with his father, Stephen D. Kreps, of Quintessential (the Napa, CA-based fine wine importer, marketer and national sales company launching the label), "When we first talked with the Kautz family, my father, brother and I were impressed with the breadth and depth of their vineyards in Lodi and the Sierra Foothills as well as their commitment to produce 'world class' wines from Lodi. Our focus will be attaining quality distribution in restaurants and fine wine shops, supported by strong consumer marketing and promotional efforts."
The 2013 Ironstone wines will cost approximately $11.99 and will be available nationwide in September.