A Spanish-inspired boutique winery in Lodi, California, Riaza Wines is one of those wine brands you love to discover with under-the-radar, unique and distinctive wines and passionate people who truly love what they do.
A craft winery in Lodi, California, Riaza Wines is the brainchild of Rick and Erin Taylor who are committed to making high-quality, hand-crafted wines from distinctive vineyards in Lodi, Clarksburg, and the Sierra Foothills. They only bottle about 1,600 cases of wine each year, which is tiny in the world of wine, but the word is out on their little passion project as it’s becoming quite the hot spot in Lodi wine country.
As a young couple, Rick and Erin bonded over their passion for wine and enjoyed exploring various wine regions and getting to know their favorite winemakers and family-owned labels. The more time they spent in wine country, tasting and learning about anything and everything they could, the more the Taylors wanted to dip their toes into the water. They started to gain a genuine appreciation for the importance of place and loved discovering new wineries and vineyards that were focused on that sentiment as well.
What really took the Taylors’ passion to the next level however, was a trip they took to Spain where they discovered a little town called Riaza. They fell in love with the culture, food, and wine, and came home determined to produce their own site-driven, Spanish-influenced wines that were complex yet approachable. Riaza Wines became a reality in 2010.
While the focus may have initially started with Spanish wines (like Tempranillo, Verdejo, Garnacha, and Graciano), Rick and Taylor have slowly expanded their portfolio over the years to include some traditional varietals (like Zinfandel, Malbec, Syrah, and Sauvignon Blanc) to offer more familiar wines to people walking into their tasting room. They don’t make a lot of any one wine and usually their “lots” are only between 50 and 100 cases - so things tend to sell out quickly. All of the grapes are sourced from a unique range of vineyards in Lodi, Clarksburg and the Sierra Foothills and the wines are made to be balanced and approachable - a little more “Old World” in style that can stand on their own or be paired with just about anything.
Riaza’s winery and tasting room are located on Lodi’s near-south side and the space is probably different than what you would expect to find in a warehouse district. Both comfortable and contemporary, the Riaza tasting room is fun, easy, and approachable - which echoes the Taylors’ winemaking philosophy. It’s no surprise that Riaza Wines has an almost fanatical following and the tiny brand continues to grow year after year. Please enjoy one of their latest releases. Cheers!