John H. Kautz, Owner & Chairman

John Kautz, Founder of Ironstone Vineyards

In his lifetime, John Kautz has made a commitment to involvement and quality, pouring himself into everything that he does with his heart, soul and complete dedication. Ironstone Vineyards is a direct representation of John’s passion for excellence, complemented by his consistent attention to detail. When asked about the magnificence of Ironstone Winery, John quietly admitted, “I want Ironstone to be the most beautiful winery in the world”.

After the death of his father in 1952, John became a second-generation farmer in Lodi, California. When he began his farming career, he only owned 38 acres of land that his parents had purchased through Farmers Home Administration. Through his hard work, he expanded his farm holdings. In 1965, John was given the distinguished honor of being named “National Outstanding Young Farmer”. Then, in 1969, the Ford Foundation named him “Top Farm Manager USA.” John has also received the Goodyear “National Award for Soil Conservation”. These awards are a direct reflection of the dedication, commitment and enthusiasm that represent John’s beliefs and his actions.

Mr. Kautz is Chairman of Ironstone Winery and owner of Kautz Farms. Currently, Mr. Kautz oversees approximately 7,000 acres of wine grapes. Over the years he has served on many state and national industry boards and Commissions. He is also active in numerous civic and community service organizations. “Giving back to the community is just a way of life. It’s something that I feel is very important.”


*U.C. Presidents Agricultural Commission
*California State Travel & Tourism Commission -CFO
*Farm Foundation – U.S.A.
*California State Chamber of Commerce – Board & Chair of Agricultural Committee
*KVIE Public Television
*California Farm Bureau
*California Wine Institute
*Ag. Policy Advisory Committee-APAC – Advisor to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Clayton Yeutter & U.S. Trade Representative
*President California State Board of Food & Agriculture
*11th District Farm Credit-Sacramento
*Cost of Production Committee for U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, John Block
*Agriculture Network
*Winrock International-Rockefeller Foundation
*Top Farmers of America
*Western Growers Association
*Bear Creek Soil Conservation District
*California Association of Winegrape Growers (wrote 1st check to start organization)
*California Young Farmer State President
*San Joaquin Agriculture Hall of Fame 1990
*1998 Agriculturist of the Year – California State Fair
*2002 Lodi-Woodbridge Award of Merit awarded to both John and Gail
*Supreme Knight, Order of Knights of the Vine
*Own and display largest Crystalline gold piece in world, 44 lbs.
*Tour of Asia with California Governor, Pete & Gayle Wilson
*Tour of Tokyo, Japan with California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger
*Eagle Scout – Distinguished Eagle
*Visited every major winegrape region in the world thru travels
*2011 Distinguished Eagle –Boys Scouts of America
*2012 “Grower of the Year” –California Association of Winegrape Growers
*2013 Farm Bureau’s California Bountiful Award
*2014 Angels-Murphys Rotary Club – Distinguished Citizen Award
*2014 – Donated Bronze Soldier Statue to Ebbetts Pass Veteran’s Memorial District Creekside Park
*2015- Donated bronze soldier statue to Micke Grove Park in honor of Veterans

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