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Kautz & Kramer

Lodi AVA


Over the years, John and Gail Kautz grew their farming operation substantially and earned much success and recognition along the way.

Founded by John Kautz and Gail Kramer, Kautz & Kramer represents a culmination of a lifetime of passion and dedication. John Kautz, the son of hardworking German immigrants, grew up on his family farm in Lodi, while Gail Kramer, the daughter of a lawyer and English professor, was born in Oakland, California. After marrying in 1958, John and Gail grew an impressive farming operation and helped pioneer growing premium wine grapes in Lodi. Today, their extensive Kautz Family Vineyards operation oversees the success of several boutique winery brands, including this month's featured label, Kautz & Kramer.

It all started in 1941 when John Kautz moved to Lodi with his family. His parents had purchased a 38-acre farm and they immediately went to work rehabilitating the property. Even from a young age, John was closely involved with the farm and he even became the president of the Future Farmers chapter at his high school. After graduating, he went right into California Young Farmers and eventually became their president in 1956. John also took over his family's farm operation after his father passed away in 1952.

Over the years, John and Gail Kautz grew their farming operation substantially and earned much success and recognition along the way. John was named National Outstanding Young Farmer by the U.S. Junior Chamber in 1965 and Top Farm Manager U.S.A. by the Ford Foundation in 1969. Having only concentrated on growing tomatoes, peppers, beans and other row crops, the family decided to expand into wine grapes in 1968 and not long after, John helped start the California Association of Winegrape Growers.

Since planting their first wine grapes, the family grape growing operation has grown to nearly 7,000 acres of vineyards in Lodi and Sierra Foothills appellations. The family has also started several winery brands, featuring a range of varietals and wine styles from their estate grown grapes.

Winemaking for Kautz & Kramer is overseen by Steve Millier, who has been involved in the wine industry for over thirty years. He started his winemaking career at David Bruce Winery (Santa Cruz Mountains) and also worked at Stevenot Winery in Calaveras County for several years, where his wines garnered numerous awards. Steve has worked with the Kautz family since 1989 and has since won hundreds of awards for their family of winery brands, both nationally and internationally.

We are happy to share this beautiful Lodi Cabernet Franc with our Gold Plus! Wine Club members and hope you enjoy it. Cheers!

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