Pacific graduates honored for one of the world’s top 100 wines

Farrah Felten-Jolley '09 and Stefan Jolley '09

Photo courtesy of The Record

Klinker Brick Winery’s Farrah Felten-Jolley holds the winery’s Farrah-Syrah and winemaker Joseph Smith has the Wine Spectator Top 100 wine 2019 Grenache Blanc

Farrah Felten-Jolley ’09 waited anxiously to hear whether her family’s vineyard had one of the 100 best wines in the world.

She nervously looked at her phone that December day, getting antsy as the prestigious Wine Spectator Top 100 list was unveiled online. No Lodi winery had been so honored since the list began in 1988.

She then saw the name on her screen: Klinker Brick Winery and its 2019 Grenache Blanc – a white varietal.

“I had to kind of catch my breath when the word finally came that we had been selected,” Felten-Jolley said. “It was such a proud moment for all of us.”

Felten-Jolley, the vice president of marketing and sales for Klinker Brick, celebrated the Top 100 honor with a fellow Pacific graduate, her husband Stefan Jolley ’09, who is vice-president of operations at the winery. Both attended the Eberhardt School of Business.

Here are two descriptions of the Klinker Brick wine and varietal:

  • Wine Spectator: “Yellow apple, bright Bartlett pear and tangerine flavors are pure and lush, set on a modicum frame, with crisp acidity. Shows impressive focus and purity of flavor. Fresh finish. Drink now, 750 cases made.”
  • Bob Highfill, local wine blogger: “Grenache blanc is characterized by its full body, high alcohol and low acidity. The grape’s vigor can lead to unbalanced, flabby wines. But when yields are controlled, the wine can be lush, full and bright with citrus and herbaceous flavors.”

Felten-Jolley, a sixth-generation grower, said her family’s patience and consistency have led to quality wines. Her parents, Steve and Lori Felten, have developed a winery from their agriculture operation. The family began farming in San Joaquin County in 1890.

“This is big for us and for Lodi. There are so many great wineries and this recognition can only help moving forward,” said Felten-Jolley, who frequently takes part in wine-related events at Pacific. “There will be other wines from Lodi honored in the future. We will work to earn more honors, too.”