Ironstone Vineyards

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The entrance to Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys, California.

Ironstone Vineyards is noted for several leading US brands, including Obsession Wines, Leaping Horse Vineyards, Christine Andrew, Stone Valley, and Drifting.[1] As of 2004, Ironstone has been listed as the 17th largest winery (in terms of cases sold) in the US.[2] Ironstone also sells significant amounts of wine in the international markets including the UK, Canada and 40 other countries.[2] Ironstone has used a series of somewhat different names and bottle designs including "Kautz Ironstone Vineyards," "Ironstone Vineyards," "IronStone," and, most recently, "Ironstone 4th Generation Family Growers."

Lodi Grape Growers[edit]

In addition to vineyards in the Sierra Foothills, Ironstone draws on the production from its Lodi appellation vineyards—some 7,000 acres (28 km2) in all. John and Gail Kautz, founders of Ironstone, were the first to plant chardonnay and other wine varietals in the Lodi area.[3][4] The Kautz family grows numerous varieties including Cabernet Franc, Symphony, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Ironstone Vineyards is a family-run business where apart from the husband-wife duo, John and Gail Kautz, their sons Kurt Kautz is the chief financial officer and Jack Kautz is the director.[5]

The family's Bear Creek Winery, founded in 1934, is listed as having 8.2 million gallons of capacity, making it the 24th largest winery in the U.S.[6] Recent capacity expansions have increased this to an estimated 12 million gallons, making it around the 20th largest winery in the U.S. Jack Kautz, who is also the founder of CrossFit Lodi,[7] is a partner at Bear Creek Winery and is responsible for marketing the family's wines throughout the United States.[8]

In 2015, Jack appealed the Calaveras County Planning Commission to block the construction of the Verizon tower, a mile from the winery.[9] In the same year, Ironstone Vineyards owners, John and Jack Kautz, donated $25,000 to The Murphys Fire Protection Service.[10]

Visitors' center and amphitheater[edit]

The Ironstone facility is located in Calaveras County, just outside Murphys, California. The seven-story building is built in the shape of a gold stamp mill.[11]

A 44 lbs troy (16.4 kg) gold specimen, Ironstone's Crown Jewel, the largest specimen of crystalline gold in existence,[12] is on display in the Jewelry Shoppe. The Alhambra Theater Organ, taken from the Alhambra Theatre, is on display as well, and is played daily.

In March, Ironstone celebrates its Obsession Weekend in which its new Obsession Symphony wine is released in conjunction with a juried art show and other events.[13] Later in March, as Murphys celebrates its Irish Days,[14] Ironstone hosts a multi-county judged daffodil show.

Ironstone puts on annual concerts and in the past have featured acts such as the Russian National Orchestra, Dave Koz, Robert Cray, Michael McDonald,[15] The Doobie Brothers, Los Lonely Boys [16] Earth, Wind & Fire, Kelly Clarkson, Jeff Beck, Gretchen Wilson, John Michael Montgomery, Lynyrd Skynyrd, UB40, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Peter Frampton, B. B. King, Huey Lewis and the News, Steely Dan, ZZ Top, Chris Isaak, Bonnie Raitt, The Moody Blues, Don Henley, Willie Nelson, Alan Jackson, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Faith Hill, Chicago, The Fray, Lady Antebellum, Sugarland, Sheryl Crow, REO Speedwagon Al Green and others.[17]

A typical season included the Annual Fireworks show with Shane Dwight, Whiskey Dawn and Chains Required, Reba McEntire, Kelly Clarkson & The Fray, John Fogerty, Heart & Foreigner, Jackie Evancho & Tony Bennett, and Jeff Foxworthy (all in 2012).

In September, Ironstone hosts the Coucours d' Elegance car show [18] as a fund-raiser for California youth agriculture programs.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ironstone Vineyards - Contact Us - Trade & Distributors". Archived from the original on 2017-03-25. Retrieved 2017-03-24.
  2. ^ a b "The Top 30 US Wine Companies of 2004 - #17". Wine Business Monthly. Archived from the original on 2007-10-26. Retrieved 2008-02-23. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "John Kautz, Kautz Farms, Grower of the Year" (PDF). California Association of Winegrape Growers. January 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-01. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "CAWG Honors John Kautz Farms as Grower of the Year" (PDF). 21. American Vineyard Grape Grower & PCA. January 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-01. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Kautz Family Golden When it Comes to Wine … and Much More". Lodi Wines. Retrieved December 12, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Largest U.S. wineries". BNet Business Network. July 2004. Retrieved 2008-02-23. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Evans, Dan. "CrossFit challenge makes its way to Lodi". Lodi News Sentinel.
  8. ^ "Jack Kautz on Ironstone Vineyards". Ironstone Vineyards.
  9. ^ Report, Enterprise. "Planners reject appeal to halt construction of cell tower near Murphys". Calaveras Entreprise. Retrieved August 15, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Lockwood, Sunny. "Kautzes deliver $25,000 gift". The Union Democrat. Retrieved August 23, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "About Ironstone Vineyards". Ironstone Vineyards. March 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2008-03-14. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "Dazzling floral displays greet Ironstone visitors". 2006-10-02. Retrieved 2008-02-24. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)[dead link]
  13. ^ Monk, Bethany (2007-03-06). "Ironstone hosts successful Springtime Obsession Weekend". Calaveras Enterprise. Retrieved 2008-02-24. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Murphys Irish Days". 2008-02-27.
  15. ^ Elwood, Philip (2001-05-06). "Big-name acts press their case". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-02-24. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Community Calendar". 2006-07-27. Retrieved 2008-02-24. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "Ironstone Concerts Announcement 2007". 2008-03-02. Retrieved 2008-03-02. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "Coucours Foundation". 2008-02-27. Archived from the original on 2008-09-24. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]

Ironstone brands[edit]


Coordinates: 38°07′14″N 120°28′11″W / 38.1206°N 120.4696°W / 38.1206; -120.4696