Like many of Lodi’s longtime farming families, Watts Winery & Vineyards has been steadily making the transition from being grape growers to winegrowers since their first vintage in 1999. It hasn’t been the smoothest of transitions, but Watts believes they have turned a corner.

Up until 2012, most of the family’s holdings were owned by Craig’s mother, Janet Watts, and were managed by both Craig and his brother Keith Watts, who runs K & S Watts Vineyards. With Janet Watts’ passing last year, the brothers decided to split the properties. Since Craig, with his wife Sheri and three kids, have been focusing much of their energy on the growth of Watts Winery all along, a division of properties was worked out, according to Craig, “to allow us to retain control of the grapes going into Watts wines.

We will be able to concentrate even more on doing the things in the vineyards that are necessary for higher quality wines. We were more like farmers before, but farming to produce wines is a different thing from farming to sell grapes, and that’s where we’re heading.”

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