99 Vines is a varietally labeled affordable brand produced the the Scotto family, a fifth generation winemaking family in Lodi, California.
The story of the Scotto family is fantastic. From the Scotto Family website:
“In 1883 our family started moving west, from Italy to New York to California. During this multi-generation journey, there has been one constant – the Scotto’s were making wine somewhere near the water.
Salvatore Scotto was a farmer, sailor and winemaker in Ischia, Italy, a small island west of Naples. He taught his son Dominic two skills that eventually shaped his life, repairing boats and making wine. Dominic became a ship’s caulker and moved his family to New York in 1903, where he and his crews traveled up and down the east coast repairing and building wooden sailing ships. In between jobs he made wine for the family table and for his neighbors, which he sold in five gallon jugs from a horse drawn wagon. When Prohibition ended, Dominic and his brothers opened one of Brooklyn’s first liquor stores; it’s still in business today under different ownership.
Continuing the family tradition, Dominic taught his sons to make wine and Anthony, the second youngest, also picked up his father’s sales skills. By 1940, Anthony was pushing a two wheeled cart through the neighborhood selling gallon jugs of red wine for $4.00. Like the generations before him, Dominic expected to have good wine on the dinner table every night, and the dark days of World War II impressed him with the importance of making good wine that sold for reasonable prices. This is the passion that still drives our family.
In 1953, Anthony and his brothers purchased a small Brooklyn wine company, and we do mean small-their new distributorship consisted of one salesman who only spoke Italian! Ten years later, Anthony purchased a California winery and moved west, turning the Brooklyn business over to his brothers. He endured the inevitable boom and bust cycles that challenge vintners worldwide, but continued the family tradition of passing his winemaking skills to his children while instilling the importance of selling good wines at reasonable prices for daily enjoyment.
Today we are proud to have a California winery bearing the family name, Scotto Family Cellars. Here in Lodi we make small lots of artisanal wines under two labels, Scotto Family Cellars for the United States and Scotto Family Wines for export. These brands pay tribute to our ancestors with a horse drawn cart on the Family Cellars label and a ship’s sail on the Family Wines label.
The winery is owned and operated by Anthony Scotto III, a 5th generation winemaker, with help from his sister Natalie and his brother Paul. We look forward to the day when the winery will also include the 6th generation of Scotto’s, Anthony’s son Santino.”