Jessie's Grove was founded by and named after Jessie Spenker, daughter of Joseph and Anna Spenker who founded the Ranch and Estate in 1868. Throughout the years, the ranch and farm have endured The Great Depression, prohibition, and the extreme conditions unique to this time in history.
Our property is currently 320 acres, with 265 acres of premium vineyards. Some of these vines were planted in the 1800's making them the oldest Zinfandel vines in the Lodi Appellation still producing today. We are still producing fabulous wines from these ancient vines today. Joseph planted his first vineyard in 1888 – adding more acres in subsequent years.
Joseph Spenker born in 1834 in Dragun, Germany came to America in 1854. He came by covered wagon to the gold fields of Californian 1859. Arriving in Murphy's Camp, he traded his horse for a mining claim and quickly found out he had been taken in. He started for Stockton on foot, then obtained a ride for one dollar, leaving him 27 cents in his pocket. After arriving in Stockton, Joseph began working for a farmer. By 1864 he owned 1040 acres of prime farming ground. In 1870 he went to a wedding in Stockton where met a beautiful girl, Anna Schlieman, and married her the next day. They had two children, Jessie and Otto, who grew up in the home Joseph built for his family in 1906.
In the late 40′s and 50′s Jessie rejected all ideas of changing the Oak Grove. The grand Christian lady who experienced two world wars, witnessed women gain the right to vote, held out a helping hand and managed three large ranches. Jessie patterned her life in her father’s noble footsteps and was a true pioneer lady of the San Joaquin Valley.