default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

St. Anne’s Catholic Church priests bless grapes in memory of John Van Ruiten Sr.

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2013 6:44 pm | Updated: 3:28 pm, Mon Aug 26, 2013.

The memory of prominent Lodi vintner John Van Ruiten Sr., was observed in a rather unusual way on Sunday — two priests blessed the grapes he left behind.

Fathers Brandon Ware and Bill Kraft of St. Anne’s Catholic Church blessed the grapes grown by the Van Ruiten Family Winery on Sunday afternoon before a large crowd of family and friends at the winery on Highway 12 near Lower Sacramento Road.

The blessing was in memory of John Van Ruiten Sr., a Dutch immigrant who moved to Lodi in 1948, bought his first farmland in 1955 and opened the family winery in 2000. He died at home on Friday with his wife, children and grandchildren at his side. He was 90 years old.

“He passed away during the harvest — his favorite time of the year,” his daughter Angie Rogan said after the blessing.

John and his wife of 63 years, Ann Van Ruiten, were active St. Anne’s members for 50 years. In 2011, the couple was honored with the Winery of the Year Award by the Visit Lodi! Conference and Visitors Center. The same year, they were named a “bright light” by Stockton Catholic Diocese Bishop Stephen Blaire.

The Van Ruitens purchased a dairy and an old Zinfandel vineyard in 1955. John Van Ruiten planted additional Zinfandel vines and began growing winegrapes. The family now farms more than 1,000 acres.

Three generations now work together at the vineyards and manage the winery.

The winery is a partner in cellardoor, a tasting room in Downtown Lodi, and participates in many wine-related events as well as fundraisers for groups like Support Our Troops and the Child Abuse Prevention Council.

“In all honesty, his legacy is his family and friends,” Kraft said.

In addition to his wife, John Van Ruiten Sr. is survived by seven children and 16 grandchildren.

Public visitation will be held on Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Lodi Funeral Home. The Rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. Wednesday at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, 215 W. Walnut St., Lodi. A Mass of Resurrection will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, also at St. Anne’s Catholic Church. Private committal will be held at Lodi Memorial Cemetery.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


Popular Stories



Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists