February 5, 2020|In Winery Spotlight, Wines

The Bogle Legacy: A Chardonnay That Knocks Our Socks Off

Bottle of white wine sitting on table
A New Zealand favourite - Bogle Vineyards Chardonnay

California is known for producing wines that really knock the socks off of any lucky drinker. Rich reds and flavoursome whites are the hallmark of this wild west-coast wonder-region, and few are as synonymous with it down here in Aotearoa than Bogle Vineyards. Kiwis can’t get enough of their consistently luscious, well-balanced flavours, but there’s so much more behind this producer than just tasty drops.

The Bogle Family History

The Bogle family have been working the land in Clarksburg, California for six generations. They started farming back in the mid 1800s when Captain AJ Bogle traveled to the California Delta from his family’s homestead in Tennessee. He brought his nephew Samuel and together they set down their first roots farming cherries, peaches and pears. Unfortunately, these were all uprooted during the Great Depression.

In 1968, Warren Bogle (4th generation) set down the roots that would pave the new path for Bogle. He planted 20 acres of vineyards and the family spent 10 years cultivating the fruit and selling it to other wineries in the area. In 1978 – when the vines were 10 years old, they decided they wanted to try their hand at their own wines and so began the Bogle vineyards legacy.

The winery started out modest, and the 5th generation Bogles – Patty and Chris – worked long hours from their home offices. They aspired to have 1000 acres planted, a milestone that they achieved shortly before Chris passed in 1997. The 6th generation Bogles worked alongside their mother, Patty, following this and over the next decade, Warren, Jody and Ryan had all moved back home to work full-time on the day-to-day operations of their family. Under their guidance, Bogle is up to 1,900 acres and growing.

Family standing in vineyard
6th generation Bogles - Warren, Jody & Ryan

The Bogle Difference

The devil is in the details and the details are what Bogle does well. There are a number of things that set Bogle apart from other similar producers.

One variety that is impossible to ignore when talking about all things Bogle is Chardonnay. These guys bottle the most quintessentially rich, American Chardonnay that manages to stay consistent year upon year. There are loyal Bogle Chardonnay drinkers the world over that swear by these golden drops and Bogle maintains this is because they barrel ferment all their Chardonnay in new oak barrels with the lees stirred by hand once a month. Their (equally delicious) reds are aged in small, traditional oak barrels which is incredibly rare for a winery of such size.

Bogle is also extremely dedicated to staying sustainable. An increasingly important trait in recent times, Bogle has embraced this ethos wholeheartedly and is leading the charge. In 2018 they were awarded the Green Medal Leader Award, which recognizes the vineyard that best demonstrates environmentally sound, socially equitable and economically viable sustainability practices. 96% of all grapes crushed at Bogle are certified Green.

What We're All Here For... Chardonnay!

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again. If the world of wine were to hold a crown, Chardonnay would certainly be the golden jewel at its centre. A versatile, delicious, hardy grape that is a true reflection of its terroir and winemaking.

Such a variety deserves its place on the pedestal and when you get a producer that does it well it’s a phenomenon to behold. Bogle is such a producer.

Bogle ferments its Clarksburg grapes in new oak barrels and stir the lees by hand once a month. The result? Rich, buttery, flavoursome, round, juicy, balanced drops that deliver classic flavours vintage after vintage.

Wine being poured at lunch
The golden drops of Bogle Chardonnay

Bogle Chardonnay has become a staple in New Zealand households. Over the last decade it has risen from being the new kid on the block in a sea of NZ Sauvignon Blancs to ranking as one of the top selling Californian Chardonnays in New Zealand. Its success was swift and widespread and we’ve been steadily increasing our imports to cater to this unrelenting demand. This rise in popularity has opened the door to more opportunities – Bogle has been impressed and as a result has released two more tiers of their coveted Chardonnay drops to us in the marketplace – the Reserve Chardonnay and the Phantom Chardonnay.


We’re not the only ones who sing Bogle’s praises. In 2019 Bogle Vineyards was named as the American Winery of the Year in the Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Award Winners.

“At a time when wine brands are multiplying at a dizzying pace and winery properties are changing hands as quickly as poker chips, Bogle Vineyards has taken a more traditional path, one that has quietly lifted it to be the country’s 12th largest winery.
Bogle wines have been made in the same place by the same family for more than 40 years, and have become synonymous with both quality and value. This has, among other things, earned them 30 Best Buys from Wine Enthusiast­ in the past five years alone… For its role in advancing the quality, affordability and sustainability of California wines, Wine Enthusiast honors Bogle Vineyards as its American Winery of the Year.“

2018 Bogle Chardonnay
“Big, creamy chardonnay with peach, quince and melon flavours together with a seasoning of spicy oak. Quite hot, thanks to a high-ish alcohol of 14.5%, and very slightly sweet. A crowd-pleaser that seems to have captured a ready market in NZ.”
Bob Campbell