Fifth generation grape growers Steve and Lori Felten are often asked why they gave their winery the unusual name of Klinker Brick. Heavier than regular bricks, klinker bricks are found in many historical Craftsman-style buildings in the Lodi area, including Steve and Lori’s home. Their deep, rich color and massive density remind the Feltens of the qualities found in their Old Vine Zinfandel.
The Feltens’ vineyards are primarily Old Vine Zin, managed in 17 individual vineyard blocks of vines ranging from 40 to 119 years old. They also grow Syrah. They didn’t start making wine until 1995, when they lost their growing contracts with Gallo and needed to do something with their grapes. They officially became Klinker Brick Winery in 2000, with their first vintage Old Vine Zinfandel. By 2003, their portfolio had grown to three wines—two Old Vine Zins and a Syrah.
The Old Ghost Zinfandel was the brainchild of winery president Lynne Whyte Barnard who joined the winery in 2003 as their director of sales. She was reportedly barrel tasting with Consulting Winemaker Barry Gnekow and singled out one lot, saying it was too good to be blended with the others. Named Old Ghost for the way the morning fog hangs on the gnarly vines, the wine represents the very best lot of Old Vine Zin that they produce annually. Klinker Brick’s award winning wines are masterfully crafted by Winemaker Joseph Smith. At the 2013 Indy International Wine Competition alone, the Old Ghost Zinfandel, the Marisa Old Vine Zinfandel, and the Farrah Syrah were all awarded Gold medals. The Bricks and Mortar (a Red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, and Zinfandel) received Double Gold.
Klinker Brick pours these celebrated wines along with some distinctive new ones, including a dry style Rosé, in its beautiful tasting room. The tasting room boasts lofty ceilings, concrete brick walls, and wine-related retail items for guests to admire as they sample the wonderful lineup of Klinker Brick wines.