Monnich Family World Class Wines
"Most Awarded Winery in the Central Valley of CA"
Silkwood Wines, in Modesto, California, produces World Class fine wines from Syrah, Petite Sirah,
Chardonnay, Alicante Bouschet, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. All bottles feature a unique velvet label that
represents the smooth and rich profile of the wines.
John and Judie Monnich, owners of Silkwood Wines
Silkwood Wines began life in 1979 with a Chardonnay produced at Spring Mountain Winery in St. Helena. This
Chardonnay won great reviews and was served frequently in the Reagan White House. President Reagan, Ed Meiss,
Michael Dever and George Bush also served it and transported it aboard Air Force One to French, Canadian, and
Mexico Summits. My grandfather produced Alicante Bouschet until phyloxera wiped out the vines. He planted
rice, which controlled the pest and made eight barrels a year from a few vines of AB and Muscat. My family
continues to produce rice in Northern California.
We lost our winemaker in 1982 and the "prominent" replacement did not compare. Ultimately, we closed down
the company. Along the way, we farmed 540 acres in Modesto for the Jesuits of Novitiate Winery in Los Gatos,
plus perennial crops of our own.
We restarted Silkwood in 1988 with small lots of Petite Sirah. This production continued at St. Helena in
Rombauers Winery for a number of years until a catastrophic fire wiped out our complete inventory including
the '98 Petite Sirah bottled the previous day. Our 99' Petite Sirah was awarded the Best Wine from the Napa
Valley in 2002 by the California State Fair. We restarted Silkwood for the third time with a business partner
in the Modesto area. We encouraged him to plant Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Cabernet. Current production is
approximately 10,000 cases per year. We ship to 21 states, Japan, and Hong Kong.
We custom crush our grapes in Lodi after intensely farming vineyards on the Tuolumne and Dry Creek Rivers.
We take the time to produce and age fine wine. We do not force maturity, but allow maximum "hang time" and
brix development. We then hand harvest, hand sort, and hand craft our wine. The Central Valley micro climate
is outstanding, allowing the grapes to mature naturally without much concern about rain unlike the coastal
grape growers' concern which prompts them to "force" maturity which is not natural to a reproductive plant.
All of these factors contribute to the fine product of Silkwood Wines' well-balanced and exceptional wine.
Our grapes have consistently received numerous double gold and gold medals including Best in California for
our Petite Sirah and two 98 points/Best in Region for our 04' Syrah. Japan Airlines recognized our Syrah,
and we were the only US red wine to fly JAL First Class for 5 years!
The wine consultant to the White House said to me, "John - I have only one thing to say: Your wines are
mature, your wines are mature, your wines are mature." Our wines are made with attention, care, and passion.
Again, we take the time required to naturally produce fine wine. If we didn't, maybe we couldn't sell it, and
we'd have to drink it all ourselves!
71% of all California grapes are grown in the Central Valley, and as a board member of the San Joaquin
Valley Wine Grape Growers Association, we fully recognize and support our area as one of the finest grape
producing areas in the world proven by the fact that a number of valley wineries are recognized for their
World Class Wine status as is Silkwood Wines.
As the Past-President of PS I Love You (a Petite Sirah advocacy group), I am pleased to report we received
94 and 96 point scores in competition with our Petite Sirah from our peers. Silkwood Wines is an enthusiastic
supporter of the Petite Sirah varietal. We hope you enjoy Silkwood as much as Judie and I do!