It’s another 38 acres of grapes for McManis Family Vineyards

By Glenn Kahl

POSTED July 15, 2009 2:23 a.m.

RIPON – McManis Family Vineyards is all about family.

Ron and Jamie along with their son and daughter, Justin and Tanya, are the nucleus to one of the fastest growing wineries in the region.

It all dates back to 1986 when this popular Ripon couple was married.

Jamie remembers her mother Faye’s words: “Oh, honey, I’ve got this nice boy I want you to meet!”

Her response is indelibly imbedded in her mind, “Oh, mother, not again! But, this one happened to work out, so she did alright that time,” Jamie quipped. Ron and Jamie have now been married for 23 years.

Justin has moved out, but he lives close by in front of the winery, and Tanya is taking agriculture and business classes in college. The family members all have a standing date for dinner at the home place every Sunday afternoon when they share the happenings of their week.

Justin is working full time at the winery and does everything from analysis to making wines. He specializes in three varieties, Barbera, Malbec and Grenache. During the summer months Tanya works alongside her mother in the office shouldering much of the load with computer input.

Jaime splits her time between the winery to home – limiting her office work to 32 hours so she has some time to take care of the home front as well. Jaime is quite a dog lover and they have five from the smallest to the largest. She enjoys them all including a black lab, a beagle, a basset hound and a Jack Russell Terrier.

Asked if they are house dogs, she responded, “Oh, no, no, no, no!”

Ron and Jamie have continued their closeness as a couple liking to go out to dinner together. They recently had a special date together in San Francisco. Once a year they go to Hawaii as a family taking Justin and Tanya with them. And as for Maui, Jaime said her favorite activity is – you guessed it – going out to dinner together.

You might envision their recent walk together as a family through a recently planted 38-acre vineyard on River Road – planted in Malbec, a red wine grape, and Petite Sirah.

Justin’s own wines consist of Grenache, Malbec and Barbera. They are available for purchase only at the winery in a limited release. It was the first year that he entered his wines in the California State Fair bringing home three silver medals. His Grenache won “Best of Class” honors in California State Appellation.

The winery had its share of awards at the California State Fair as well with two gold medals and seven silver.

The golds were for the Petite Sirah with its best of region and best of class in the California State Appellation and the Viognier receiving a best of class in the California State Appellation.
The silver medals were presented for the McManis Sirah, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Barbera and Cabernet.

The Ripon winery has some 2,000 acres in vineyard with a recent acquisition of acreage in Lodi. The McManis operation includes some four million gallons of holding tanks.

The winery operation has 23 full time employees. Jamie McManis put it best when she said, “It’s all about team work. We couldn’t make it without everyone from the field workers to the wine makers. You’ve got to have good grapes but you have to have good wine makers to make great wine.”