Our selection was founded by Rees T. Jenkins some 100 years ago. The Lander part comes from where he immigrated to, Lander, Nevada, growing sustainable crops. Today, his great-grandson, Morgan Zaninovich, is in charge of the family operation.
Though family-run, Lander-Jenkins is part of the Rutherford Ranch Company with an impressive list of family-owned wineries that share facilities, expertise and marketing. It all started in 1978 when a San Francisco wine merchant, Ernie Van Asperen, founded Round Hill Winery with the goal of producing solid, relatively inexpensive wines for mainstream consumption.
The famous tasting in Paris in 1976 had a lot of California wineries thinking in the stars and as Ernie saw prices skyrocketing, he decided to help bring them back to earth. As a result, Round Hill became one of the most successful wineries in the U.S. That success founded Rutherford Ranch, which enabled small growers like Lander-Jenkins to make wine from their own grapes. With 100 years of history to be proud of, that suited Morgan just fine.
The name of the game in wine is balance. Sometimes winemakers have to search near and far to find the right combination of grapes from different sources to attain the balance then seek. For our selection Morgan got the bright fruit and vanilla from his own vineyards, but had to ship several hundred cases south to finish from the Central Coast. Here is crisp kiwi, baked apple and vanilla custard ready to step up with crab enchiladas or spicy chicken wings.