Kevin and Theresa Locke, the owners of Locke Vineyards, have lived in the town of Murphys since 1984. With agriculture roots in both of their family backgrounds they dreamed of owning their own vineyard someday.
Kevin’s grandfather, Mihail Yakovleff, emigrated from Russia to California in the 1920’s, where he farmed plums in Santa Rosa, almonds in Orland, and eventually grapes in Lodi. Theresa’s grandfather Joseph Avila, whose family had emigrated from the Azores in the late 1800’s, operated a dairy in Orinda and later the Modesto area.
Kevin and Theresa’s dream came true as they purchased a small existing vineyard in the Mountain Ranch area in 1995. They would slowly expand this vineyard and then in 2000 purchased a piece of property off of Highway 4 where their Murphys vineyard now exists. Over the years, they have sold grapes to several wineries in the Calaveras County with their main buyer being Hatcher Winery. Their first vintage under the Locke Vineyards label was from the 2003 harvest. Locke Vineyards currently has 5 acres of grapes at the Mountain Ranch vineyard and 5 acres of grapes at the Murphys vineyard.