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Gnekow Winery: Region’s custom crush facility

In a rural area southeast of Stockton, brothers Rudy and Sean Gnekow are working to make their mark. Gnekow Winery is at 17347 E. Gawne Rd., and the brothers purchased it in 1996. The winery is a 20-acre parcel with Zinfandel grapes surrounding the property and another 30 acres of Syrah grapes in nearby Oakdale. The other varietals are purchased from the Lodi region like the Merlots and the Cabernets.

The wines are sold in 32 states and the winery has the ability to produce approximately 400,000 gallons of wine, which according to Rudy, translates to about 200,000 cases.

“So we are a custom crush facility, meaning that we do our own label and we do labels for other people, as well,” he said. “So we can crush their grapes, store their grapes and then we have our own bottling line so that we can also package the juice and give them a finished product.

“We truly are a full-service custom crush winery, everything is made here.”

For the past 18 years the brothers have learned about the wine industry and have been functioning ever since the start in 1996. Barry Gnekow, the brothers' cousin, had winery knowledge and for the first few years shared that with the brothers as they started to learn the ropes.

In the cellar at the winery there are about 2,000 barrels and dependent on the owner of the wine, that will determine the time that the wine will sit in the barrel.

They also have various size tanks for the wine so they can isolate an individual’s product no matter how big or small the vineyard may be. Once the individual is ready to bottle it the winery has the ability to do so.

Harvest is on the horizon so the wine production will continue at Gnekow Winery.

The primary brand that Gnekow carries is Campus Oaks which comes in several varieties like Old Vine Zinfandel, a gold medal winner and a best seller.

“We were one of only three California wines that made Wine Spectator’s global value red list,” expressed Rudy. “So out of the world only three wines made it and we were one of them.”

Campus Oaks also has a Cabernet and a Chardonnay that are the next two most popular wines after the Old Vine Zin that are made at Gnekow. They also make a Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Grigio, White Zin, and a Petite Syrah.

The winery also produces an upper tier line called Chateau Meroux that is made with a wine grape that comes out of Napa Valley.

They offer five flavors of sparkling wine in white, peach, almond, raspberry, and pomegranate. Almond sparkling wine is favored out of all the flavors and has become very popular, explained Rudy.

The winery also has a wine club and they do have specials for their members as well as hosting different events.

The wine shop has a variety of items for the person that enjoys wine or gifts for that special someone.

“So people that live out in this community, we can save them from having to drive all the way into Stockton or Modesto for a simple gift,” said Rudy.

Campus Oaks and other Gnekow winery brands can be found at the local Costco, Safeway, Raley’s, Smart Foods, Food for Less, several restaurants and other retail shops.

Their product is available on the website at

as well as on

and the tasting room is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.