The Phillips family has been farming since our Great Great Grandfather Andrew Harshner and his wife Lucille homesteaded 160 acres near the town of Lodi, following the Civil War in the 1860s. The region’s natural affinity for grape growing quickly became evident, and by the turn of the century (the last one), twenty-five percent of California’s grape acreage was in Lodi. A generation later saw the demise of many pioneering wineries in the state.
Originally devoted to vegetables, the Phillips’ farms evolved to include many different fruits, including fifteen different wine varietals that were shipped throughout the country during Prohibition with instructions on “how not to have the grapes turn into wine”. Thereby, Prohibition was good for Lodi growers, with families everywhere keeping up the tradition of wine with meals by ordering these grapes and “juice” to be bottled at home.