The Salman family has been growing wine grapes for over 45 years, and after a decade of planning and collaboration, opened the doors to its winery facility for tastings, weddings, events and wine sales.
Located directly off the levee road of State Highway 160, the Salman family has developed over 450 acres of vineyards with more than a dozen varieties planted including Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Fiano, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Symphony, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot. Among the vast acreage of wine grapes, there are also two pear orchards, adding to the beautiful landscape that is Grand Island Vineyards.
Beginning in the 1920’s, Mujiko Salman immigrated from what is now Croatia, and began growing tomatoes and asparagus along the fertile river Delta. Enver Salman, Mujiko’s son, first planted wine grapes in 1969, including French Colombard and Petite Sirah and remains an integral part of daily operations while wife Cynthia oversees administration of the Winery and Salman Farms.
Joe Salman, the youngest son of three children who grew up on the ranch came home to join the effort after graduating from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo with a degree in BioResource and Agricultural Engineering and has managed the development of the winery and also manages winery operations.
Before envisioning a family winery, the Salman’s had great success with wine buyers such as E. & J. Gallo and Simi Winery in Sonoma County, Pine Ridge Vineyards and Beaulieau Vineyard in Napa Valley, Jeff Runquist Wines in Amador County, and nearby Lodi and Clarksburg wineries including Bogle Vineyards. Runquist produces a Salman Vineyard designated Petite Sirah that regularly wins top awards in wine competitions.
In 2007, the Salman family developed their first commercial wine, a red blend called Sutter Island Red, which was produced at nearby Scribner Bend Winery. In 2012, they began producing varietal wines at Estate Crush, a custom-crush facility in Lodi, CA and sees production of roughly 1,000 cases a year. Initially, all wines are being released under the Bridgehead brand, which is named for the nearby historic Steamboat Slough Bridge that was built in 1924 and is visible from the tasting room entrance and grounds.
The Salman’s have been active members of the Clarksburg Growers & Vintners Association, serving on its board of directors while promoting area efforts benefiting the community and all growers. Grand Island Vineyards will be included on the Clarksburg Wine Country visitor map and in promotions, as well as joining the Sacramento River Delta Grown, to be part of its Delta Farm and Winery Trail Guide.