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WELCOME!

Founded in 2014, Markus Wine Co. began as a subventure of Borra Vineyards. Swiss-born winemaker Markus Niggli selects from wisely-planted ancient vines and newly-planted unusual offerings throughout the Lodi region to craft small-production bottlings.

We sum up our winemaking in two words: fruit and age. We want wines to be “zeitlos” – ageless and memorable – to drink young or with a decade or more of age, and still be absolutely elegant. Our wines are fruit-driven, but balanced with higher acidity than you find in many wines, and with soft, integrated tannins, to be enjoyed with meals. We believe real winemaking happens out in the vineyard, so that in the winery we do as little as possible, using natural yeast and natural ML.

For what’s on the bottles, Markus explains, “People, like wine, are shaped by unique places,” which is why each label brings together a location from Markus’s past with the current grape source. Creative expressions of the locations are realized through a long-term collaboration with label designer Michael Leonard and his students at the University of the Pacific in Stockton.

NEWS

We have released our first red wines!

You can find them below, plus, Lodi wine expert Randy Caparoso published a summary of all of them, which he titled, “The new Markus wines take Lodi reds to another level.” You may read about it at http://bit.ly/MarkusRedsLWC or download as PDF from our Dropbox.




2015 Markus Blue

Lodi Zinfandel
90% Zinfandel, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Petite Sirah

NEW RELEASE

A spicy classic old vine Lodi Zinfandel, mostly from the Borra Vineyards’ Gill Creek Ranch planted in 1968. Brawny, velvety smooth tannins surround black current with dried plum, cedar and an earthiness, finishing dry with spicy pepper and anise. For a pairing, red lentils with sautéed mushrooms come to mind, as well as chestnuts roasted on an open fire. 60 cases produced. (10/17/2017, abv: 16.5%)

Regular Price: 39.00

 



2015 Markus Domo

Lodi Carignane
75% Carignane, 15% Petite Sirah, 10% Syrah

NEW RELEASE

It is said within the industry that Carignane is the wine that winemakers reach for when they just want something to drink, partly because the grape naturally retains a good deal of acid even when fully ripe. Our bottling from ancient Borra Vineyards vines, planted in their 1920 “Church Block,” is red-fruit-focused, especially on tart plums and sour cherries that morph into meat seasoned with white pepper and a touch of leather. Though you can see your fingers through a full glass, the wine is weighty and dry, and clean on the palate. A simple roast beef French dip au jus sandwich or a hearty beef and barely stew would provide a satisfying accompaniment. 71 cases produced. (10/17/2017, abv: 13.8%)

Regular Price: 39.00

 



2016 Markus Joey Insieme

Lodi White Wine
95% Torrontes, 5% Traminette

92pts Wine Enthusiast

Insieme is Italian for “together” and represents a blending of wines by two winemakers from America’s east and west coasts. Traminette from North Carolina plays a supporting role to the dominance of Lodi Torrontes, creating a wine that is more like a savory dinner course bottled, or a worthy substitute for that morning Bloody Mary. First of all, there’s no oak. You’re tasting pure vineyard. The Torrontes grape has a telltale signature of white pepper, which you’ll definitely discover in your glass. There are indescribable tree fruits and a nice chalky texture, dry, not sweet, with a sort of salty minerality on the finish, and a freshness, like biting into a celery stick. Flavors shift around over the course of an evening and make for a totally intriguing and amazing experience that not even your wine geek friends will be able to nail down. Pour it with raw oysters instead of tabasco, or grilled oysters, or fried calamari… you get the picture. 80 cases produced. (04/04/2017)

Regular Price: 22.00

 



2015 Markus Joey Insieme

Lodi White Wine
95% Torrontes (Silvaspoons Vineyards, CA), 5% Traminette (Cain Vineyards, NC)

Insieme is Italian for “together” and represents a blending of wines by two winemakers from America’s east and west coasts. Traminette from North Carolina plays a supporting role to the dominance of Lodi Torrontes. The wine is more like a dinner course bottled, or a worthy substitute for that morning Bloody Mary. First of all, there’s no oak. You’re tasting pure vineyard. We get surprisingly delectable sauerkraut flavors and savory musk, nutmeg, anise and white pepper spices - that aren’t biting - along with beautiful blossoms and honeydew melon, lingering and lingering. These flavors shift around and make for a totally intriguing and amazing experience that needs to be discovered over the course of an evening. This is the bottle to buy to stump your wine geek friends. Pair with anything from the simple to the sophisticated. 125 cases produced. (03/10/2016)

Regular Price: 22.00

 



2016 Markus Nativo

Lodi White Wine
69% Kerner, 21% Riesling, 10% Bacchus

The relatively cool Mokelumne Glen Vineyards in Lodi is the only source of the rare Kerner grape in California. Compared to last year’s vintage, this 2016 is more zippy and richer, but a bit drier, with a pleasing chalkiness on the persistent finish. It’s an intense bushel of lemons, layered with flinty stones and fresh stone fruits. Thinking of food, whatever you eat that benefits from a squeeze of lemon would work very well with Nativo. A sunset dinner on the beach with flame-grilled newly-landed fish would be perfect. (The label ingeniously contains the postal code for Markus’s hometown in Switzerland.) 80 cases produced. (04/04/2017)

Regular Price: 22.00

 



2015 Markus Nativo

Lodi White Wine
52% Kerner, 29% Riesling, 15% Bacchus, 4% Gewürztraminer

The relatively cool Mokelumne Glen Vineyards in Lodi is the only source of the rare Kerner grape in California. Zesty, flinty stones and peaches would be the quick caption for this vintage. Compared to last year, Nativo is not quite as obviously fruity, but it’s still fresh, clean on the palette and perhaps even more complex. Other descriptors include limes, floral blossoms, a certain smoothness, and yellow peach and apricot on the lasting finish. This unique wine would be a hit at any dinner party, especially one where you or someone else thought to bring along a homemade mouth-watering tart apple pie. (The label ingeniously contains the postal code for Markus’s hometown in Switzerland.) 120 cases produced. (03/10/2016)

Regular Price: 22.00

 



2013 Markus Nimmo

Lodi White Wine
69% Kerner, 11% Gewürztraminer, 10% Riesling, 10% Bacchus

This first offering from Markus Wine Co. will refresh you and challenge you at the same time. There’s a living vibrancy here that results from pure, fresh fruit energized by dynamically-balanced acidity that will keep this youngster aging gracefully for years. You’ll taste notes of honeysuckle, lime and Gewürz-supplied lychee, focusing-in on very persistent zesty oil of lemon peel. Underlying is an almost chalky texture that coats the mouth, probably from interplay of new oak and natural acidity, lending body. Just about any food will pair well, but we’d go for a decadent Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Cordon Bleu bathing in cream sauce or a cheese triple crème, but promise not to waste this precious wine as a mere cooking ingredient. 200 cases produced. (07/15/2014)

Regular Price: 24.00

 



2014 Markus Nimmo

Lodi White Wine
71% Kerner, 13% Gewürztraminer, 11% Riesling, 5% Bacchus

Winner Best of Class of Region California State Fair 95pts Gold

There’s a living vibrancy here that results from pure, fresh fruit energized by dynamically-balanced acidity that will keep this youngster aging gracefully for years. It’s sort of a new animal that resists being pinpointed, but you may think tart - not gripping - lemon and orange peel wrapped in something like tea leaves. Then there’s an exotic twist, like Gewürz-supplied lychee or maybe mango, and ending with overall intriguing wet stones or granite. Underlying is an almost chalky texture that coats the mouth from interplay of new oak, lees stirring and natural acidity, lending body. Just about any food will pair well, but what sounds refreshing is a simple shrimp ceviche with tomatoes, avocado and cilantro cured in lemon juice. 180 cases produced. (07/25/2015)

Regular Price: 24.00

 



2016 Markus Nimmo

Lodi White Wine
64% Kerner, 16% Riesling, 5% Bacchus – Mokelumne Glen Vineyards & 15% Gewürztraminer – Grand Island Vineyards, Clarksburg

91pts Wine Enthusiast

There’s a living vibrancy here that results from vivid fresh fruit energized by dynamically-balanced acidity that will keep this youngster aging gracefully for years. Flavor wise, you could proclaim citrus, maybe lemon zest, but there is much more to it, such as an exotic twist that might be described as “mix of melons” – like honeydew – with orange blossom or some other flower, and ending with spicy wet stones, then even more fruit. Underlying is minerality and a decent body that nevertheless fills the mouth refreshingly. The interplay of new oak and lees stirring contributes to that body, bringing vanilla and spice. Just about any food that would pair with a Sauvignon Blanc would work well, but what sounds particularly good is chicken piccata with that traditional lemon butter sauce with capers and a side of pasta primavera. 105 cases produced. (05/09/2017)

Regular Price: 24.00

 



2016 Markus Nuvola

Clarksburg White Wine
100% Gewürztraminer

90pts Wine Enthusiast

Gewürztraminer in the U.S. has had a reputation for being cloyingly sweet. So you’ll be pleasantly surprised by Markus’s dry take on this German classic. First off, you’ll notice a weighty, concentrated, mouth-filling smoothness in our Nuvola – Italian for “cloud.” You can detect the signature lychee of the grape, but a better interpretation might be Meyer lemons and the skin of green apples. There’s also an herbal quality we couldn’t quite identify, on top of refreshing tart minerality. If you’re into salads, toss together quinoa, feta, cranberries and grilled strips of chicken breast with a couple handfuls of spinach, and top with a blend of lemon and orange dressing. We’ve savored the pairing and it is truly most wonderful. 55 cases produced. (04/04/2017)

Regular Price: 22.00

 



2015 Markus Sol

Lodi Red Wine
42% Petite Sirah, 37% Syrah, 21% Mourvèdre

NEW RELEASE

Made from the best three barrels of the vintage’s Petite Sirah, Syrah and Mourvèdre, our biggest savory blend of these mixed blacks naturally puts black fruits completely in focus. This is a succulent sauce of blackberries and blueberries in dense tannins, leading to a long dry finish shifting to forest floor tobacco and cocoa. Rub some coffee and pepper on a ribeye and get the grill going. 75 cases produced. (10/17/2017, abv: 14.9%)

Regular Price: 39.00

 



2016 Markus Zeal

Lodi Rosé Wine
64% Syrah, 36% Carignane

90pts Wine Enthusiast

A tribute to the hard-working vineyard crews of South Africa and their zealous dedication to succeed in the face of many challenges, this beautiful salmon-pink rosé squeezes loads of fruit into a perfectly-dry, mouthwatering refreshment. Watermelon, tangy grapefruit and strawberries come first to mind, before a long, creamy, minerality-driven finish with floral notes of rose petals. Saignée of Syrah lends lurking tannins and a bit of weightiness, while the bleed-off of Carignane brings that tangy fresh balance. Toss some grilled chicken with grapefruit and pomegranate into a mixed-green salad, and pour Zeal in your glass. You won’t be disappointed. 55 cases produced. (03/13/2017)

Regular Price: 22.00

 



2015 Markus Zeitlos

Lodi Syrah
76% Syrah, 12% Carignane, 8% Petite Sirah, 4% Viognier

NEW RELEASE

Syrah and a little Viognier were picked the same day and co-fermented, using the Northern Rhone as inspiration, resulting in perhaps our most age-worthy wine. This elegantly-structured blend with Carignane and Petite Sirah is big but deftly balanced by a shifting complexity of savory sour cherry and spiced plum, violets, fruitcake, dirt and a menagerie of others wrapped in gripping tannins. You can taste the vineyard. If you’ve got time, grill lamb with rosemary olive oil and sea salt. No time? A nice home-ground, grilled burger or spaghetti Bolognese would work equally well. 75 cases produced. (10/17/2017, abv: 14.6%)

Regular Price: 39.00