Where to find me - mokelumne river, Napa Valley, & Russian River


ABOUt my wines

In January 2014, I began focusing on small lot winemaking from selected vineyards in the Mokelumne River, Clements Hills, Sonoma & Napa Valley Regions. 2018 marks my first vintage working with small Pinot Noir vineyard in the Sonoma Russian River but my home is in the Clements Hill sub-appellation of Lodi.

  • "Zapfino, Zinfandel" - Specifically meant to have fun with the tag line "It's Zinfandel Time" as the driving mantra. Focused on Old Vine Zinfandel from Mokelumne River AVA vineyards I've been producing Zin from for over 15 years.
  • "Mark Nicholas" - Small production regional focus with Meritage & Chardonnay from Napa Valley and Clements Hills SyrahRosé.  The intent is very 'regional' regarding intensities originating from "place".  
  • "Ancient Craft" Old Vine Zinfandel - The name suggests 'maturity, refinement and finesse' which is the ideology behind the wines. Multiple vineyard sources from growers I've been working with for many vintages of which the vineyards are mature and specifically targeted for qualities in my blends.  Mokelumne River and Clements Hill AVA's make up for 90% of the sourcing for these wines.
  • "GK" - Generosity - Nicholas Karavidas - The brand that brings Nicholas back to his roots of producing several 'Alt' varietals such as Mourvedre, Grenache, Sangiovese and Chenin Blanc.  It is about producing wines of generous characters and concentration without being overly alcohol or tannic.
  • "Distinction" - Distinction is a brand I created to highlight the unique qualities of the Mokelumne River AVA of Lodi.  The Zinfandel is round, plush, plummy and fruit-forward with a focus of American barrel aging for 14 months highlighting an intense sweet vanilla aromatic while the Cabernet exhibits classic anise spice, ripe Santa Rosa plum fruit and lingering juicy finish.
  • PNKE - Rosé with an attitude!  Blended with Grenache, Mourvedre, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc and a splash of Gewurztraminer lifting the perfumed aromatics and enhancing the textural feel of the red grapes and acidic structure of the Sauvignon Blanc.  This is a multi-AVA blend from Santa Barbara, Napa Valley & Lodi.

Eclectic projects

Gotti Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon -  Two years ago I joined with Victoria Gotti to play a winemaking role in which the purpose was and is to build upon the historic family reputation of her family name.  Of course, “Gotti” has historically been associated with the crime syndicate of NY where John Gotti, the namesake of the 2018 film ‘Gotti’ starring John Travolta as John Gotti, established the reputation of the family name for generations to come.  This particular wine project is a fascinating interplay of marketing, luxury intensity winemaking and Legacy re-establishment for the family name.  With an intense focus on insuring the ‘quality factor’, vineyards mainly in the Atlas Peak region were resourced to align with the expectation of this fledgling ‘celebrity’ brand.  Intense ripe-dark stone fruits along with a medley of spices, vanillin and conservative oak (combination of French and American coopers) with the objective to not overwhelm the complexity of the fruit itself.  Definitely a project of which I am enjoying the ride!  Look for the 2016 first release in the fall of this year.

Vinebox/Standard & Usual Wines - One of my friends and ex-associate winemakers (my last full-time gig) called me into a project that I believe is one of the most exciting new package revelations in the business focusing on single-serve wines with exceptional quality.  It starts with world renown and one of the most prolific designers of our time, Karim Raschid from New York who designed the unique Stelvin Closure 187ml bottle. http://www.karimrashid.com/  With a Santa Barbara Rosé wine blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio (one of the finest blends of my career) as well as Sonoma Red Wine blend and a Sonoma County Chardonnay, I’ve not had more fun in winemaking since I was in my early 20’s (a while back…..;) 



Nick's 'adrenaline junkie' HISTORY

At the age of 18, Nicholas began his wine career in Southern California where his passions of surfing, alpine ski racing and motorcycle racing occupied the majority of his daily schedule.  "At the time, I thought I had died and gone to heaven!  I had a swing shift where I could surf or ski or ride in the morning and get to my union cellar worker job by mid-afternoon."

Soon, Nick's passions began to evolve leading him down a road of what has turning into a 3+ decade career with its origins in the old Cucamonga Valley (known for the famous Carol Shelton 'Monga Zin').

Nick's winemaking now spans from Clements Hills and Mokelumne River to Napa & Sonoma Valley including the Russian River.


Fine art vineyard landscapes

In his youth, Nicholas was raised among the Hollywood sets of Gunsmoke, Gilligan's Island, Bewitched and many others.  The influence of seeing how filmmakers 'framed' a scene influenced Nicholas in how he viewed the world around him.  Eventually, he discovered photography and the rest is history.  You can view 'Mark Nicholas' Photography on the following sites.

Instagram - @romancing_the_vine, Fine Art America, Etsy and Behance