Lorca Winery in Rutherford Closes Shop


Written by:

Joe Becerra

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The Lorca Winery is out of business and sold what remained of their wine inventory, 600 cases of 2003 Gary’s Vineyard Pinot Noir, to Trader Joe’s. This wine is currently being sold at Trader Joe’s for $14.95 about half the suggested retail price. Get it while you can because this wine is delicious and will fly off the shelves. 600 cases does not go far when there are over 150 Trader Joe’s stores in California.

The Lorca winery was the endeavor of Caymus winemaker Jon Bolta and his brother Chris Bolta. They began the operation in 2000 but never seemed to hit full steam and recognition. The two brothers sourced their grapes and used a custom-crush facility to make their wines.

Earlier in the year when financial problems loomed, the brothers sold large inventories of Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, and Petite Sirah to Trader Joe’s. These wines were heavily discounted. The wines appeared on the shelves as a “Hustle Buy” which means that it is a one-time deal and when the wine is gone, that is it. The Pinot Blanc was a stellar wine and sold at Trader Joe’s for an astonishing $5.99. When savvy wine buyers caught wind of this deal, the Pinot Blanc was quickly sold out. Interestingly, Chris Bolta told me, that having the wines in Trader Joe’s brought much interest and attention to the Lorca wines. He received many phones calls and emails inquiring about them.

Trader Joe’s deals in cash when buying wines from wineries that are cash strapped or want to clear inventory. It must be tough to negotiate with a corporate giant that holds all the cards when dealing with wineries that need cash to pay creditors. With the recession continuing and with inexpensive and quality imports from countries like Argentina and Chile, I would imagine we will see more “Hustle Buys” at Trader Joe’s in the coming months.

  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.

4 thoughts on “Lorca Winery in Rutherford Closes Shop”

  1. Great buy for us, too bad for Bolta, he’s a great winemaker. I’ve only found the 2003 (not 2003) in my local TJ’s, but not to worry. It’s a killer wine that I’d buy at $40+ for this quality. Get it while you can.

  2. Today-April22, 2010…I discovered your web site and the article about Lorca as I was researching the winery. So sorry to hear they went belly up.
    I just finished the last bottle of Lorca, Pinot Noir 2003 that my son bought for me from TJ’s in Costa Mesa. Since you know lots about wine, what would you recommend that would be very similar in flavor to the Lorca, Pinot Noir. That red wine has to be my favorite yet!
    Barbara Gamstetter
    Dayton, Ohio

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