By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Red-Tie finale at Ripon winery
Brazilian Women bring season to end Saturday
Lucca Winery stage LT
The last concert at the Lucca Winery was entitled Michael Jackson Forever Land and featured the songs and music of Michael Jackson. - photo by PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED

Nestled behind a palatial family home off of rural Ripon’s River Road surrounded by redwood trees and acres of peach trees is a spacious green venue.
It is where the last event of the Summer Concert Series — a Red-Tie Event’s Brazilian Women — takes place in the style of Livermore Valley Saturday at the birthplace of the new Lucca Winery.
The evening hosted by Mark and Lynette Lucchesi includes tastings of award winning wines from the Grande blend to the Mourverde varietal.  
The stage is all set up and ready for a dinner crowd at the winery. Tickets are still available to see The Brazilian Women — featuring Stephanie Ozer on piano, Ruth Ahlers on sax, Ami Molinelli Hart, percussion; Randy Tico on bass, and Jorge Alabe on percussion — will entertain those in attendance behind the winery’s two-story home designed with Old World charm by Mark and Lynette.
Three artists — Yvette LaForce, Rita Barbano, and Jim Christiansen — will be exhibiting their art at the concert at Lucca Winery at 16265 East River Road.
Candy’s Carefree Travel is giving some lucky concert attendee airline tickets for two anywhere in the continental United States. Eve & Me is adding a gift certificate for a new outfit to go with the airline tickets.
  Tickets for the 5:30 p.m. concert start at $35 and run up to $70 and can be purchased at the door at 16265 East River Road. You can also get ticket information by going to Information on the winery is available at   While the tasting room and other facilities are located in Ripon, Lucchesi creates wines from grapes cultivated in robust vineyards lining the Delta basin in Oakley.
The winery is open for tasting and sales Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 209.761.5553 to visit the winery Monday through Thursday.

About the family,
farms & winery
Dionisio Lucchesi immigrated from Italy, and landed in Oakley, a small farming community in the Delta.  He purchased land along O’Hara Avenue and planted grapes, almonds, and apricots.  His love of the land and his passion for farming were passed to his son, Guido, who continued as caretaker for the trees, vines, and the sandy soil in which they grew.  During Guido’s tenure, the apricots and almonds were harvested and sold, but a small portion of each grape harvest was retained for his own venture into homemade wine.  Without any formal training, Guido created wines from his zinfandel grapes that he shared with his family and friends.
In 1990 Guido’s son, Alan, took over stewardship of Lucchesi Family Farms.  He expanded the operation to include over 400 acres of vines.  Alan shared grapes harvested from his Oakley properties with his brother, Mark, an almond and peach farmer in Ripon.  Mark began making small batches of wine to share.  After a number of years, his production increased, and he began experimenting with blends.  Mark’s interest in crafting and perfecting his homemade wine culminated in Lucca Winery.
 Grape vines grown in the sandy soil in and around Oakley have the advantage of being of forced to reach deep into the earth for water and nutrients, thereby creating grapes that are deep in flavor.  The climate in Oakley fluctuates between the warm days of summer, and the cool Delta breezes.  The soil and climate coalesce to produce the fine wines of Lucca Winery.

Red-Tie concert
brings up a bit of
Ripon history
The Red-Tie concert is bringing a bit of Ripon history back to the community as it is being brokered by John Griswold who first moved to Ripon as a fourth grader at Ripon Elementary School when Harry Knopff was the principal. Griswold remembers his teacher as Elizabeth Essa.  He went on to graduate from Ripon High in 1961.    
Griswold’s family owned the once famous Griswold Chicken Restaurant that was located on the “two lane” Highway 99 where it crossed the Stanislaus River more than 50 years ago. 
The year it closed was the same year he had graduated from Ripon High. 
His dad went on to work for the Harrah’s antique car collection. He searched out the best old cars he could locate across the country to be placed in the now famous museum of the same name in Reno. 
My wife Mary Lou and I have been hosted many times at the Lucchesi property by Mark and Lynette where they welcomed the staff from Colony Oak School to end of the year parties. 
On stage then was a group of teachers turned musicians and singers that could wow any group of educators.
Mary Lou was principal of Colony Oak at the time.  Lynette Lucchesi has also been a longtime teacher at the rural and award winning Colony Oak School located nearby.  

To contact Glenn Kahl, email