Joe and Johnni Soghomonian's 540-acre ranch is located near Fresno. Joe has been a farmer all his life working on his parents’ farm from early childhood, eventually taking over the farm and growing it to its current size. Joe and Johnni’s daughter, Natalie, joined her father after graduating from college and now supervises all their harvest and farm crews. She can even be found on the tractor helping out in the field. Famous for their Champagne Grapes, the Soghomonians also grow several varieties of table grapes as well as wine grapes that they invite you to enjoy.
The Soghomonian vineyard is an idyllic place. That’s especially true in the spring when bright red poppies bloom amid the vines and the fields are adorned with the vivid stripes of cover crops— flowers, clover and other plants which build nutrients in the soil. The cover crops are key to the success of veganic cultivation of grapes, and flowers play an important role in attracting beneficial types of insects that keep destructive bugs on vine-tasting tours at bay.
Looking out on this beautiful landscape, with its gracefully tangled vines, stately walnut trees and elegantly designed buildings, it’s obvious why Natalie is so devoted to this land and why she takes so much pride in the fruit of her family’s labors. “My organic raisins have better quality than the other raisins that you get in the store because of the integrity and the patience that goes into growing that product,” she says.