Archive for September, 2013

Lodi’s Mediterranean identity reflected by huge diversity of grapes

September 25th, 2013
Lodi’s Mediterranean identity reflected by huge diversity of grapes

Harvest is a great time of year for photographing wine grapes, which become the most identifiable by their colors, shapes and overall morphology during that fleeting window just before they are picked. Because Spring bud break and flowering occurred as much as two weeks ahead of normal in 2013, Lodi‘s harvest commenced during the first week of August with earlier ripening grapes like Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, and higher acid/lower sugar Pinot Noir destined for sparkling wine production. Traditionally, harvesting of black skinned grapes for the making of fuller bodied red wines doesn’t start in earnest until mid-September, but this.. VIEW MORE »

What an influential wine blogger thinks of Lodi wines

September 19th, 2013
What an influential wine blogger thinks of Lodi wines

Elaine Brown, a.k.a. Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews, is a wine blogger, journalist, photographer and inveterate illustrator with a moderate yet rapidly growing, significant following.  How significant?  Somehow her observations, as she travels up and down the West Coast wine regions and (occasionally) the Old Country, always seem to pop up in places like Eric Asimov’s New York Times wine articles, or in Jon Bonné’s San Francisco Chronicle pieces.  Brown, in other words, is influencing the influencers… messin’ with the messers. It helps that Brown has a cat’s (i.e. curious) nose for wine quality and is instinctively drawn to the cutting-edge, which.. VIEW MORE »

Abba Vineyard turns sunlight into Syrah perfection

September 18th, 2013
Abba Vineyard turns sunlight into Syrah perfection

Last week Friday (September 13, 2013) Michael McCay of Lodi’s vaunted McCay Cellars picked his Grenache from Abba Vineyard – owned by second-generation Lodi farmer Louis Abba Jr., and farmed by his son Phil Abba.  Mr. McCay’s excitement is palpable – not only because his supply has increased, but also because 2013 looks to be “our best Grenache yet… the fruit was perfect, just popping with flavor coming right off the vine.” While walking through Abba Vineyard with Phil Abba, Mr. McCay opened and poured a bottle of his 2011 McCay Lodi Grenache ($28):  an irrepressibly bright, bouncy, fresh strawberryish,.. VIEW MORE »

Maley harvest harnesses latest technology to produce “pure” Lodi Zinfandel

September 11th, 2013
Maley harvest harnesses latest technology to produce “pure” Lodi Zinfandel

The Lodi AVA‘s leading winegrowers are no longer shooting just for “varietal” identity in their wines.  They are even more focused on producing wines that taste of “Lodi” because, in the end, this is what will set the region apart — not wines that taste like they could come from any other wine region. At 6 AM yesterday morning (September 10, 2013), Todd Maley was in his family’s Weget Vineyard with a crew of 6, doing exactly that:  cherry picking the best Zinfandel grapes for his own Maley Brothers label (the “brothers” are Todd’s father Joseph Maley, and his uncle.. VIEW MORE »

Lodi’s alternative wine grapes, headed towards photo finish

September 5th, 2013
Lodi’s alternative wine grapes, headed towards photo finish

According to the 2012 Grape Acreage Report put out by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, approximately 10.2% of the total acreage of fruit bearing wine grape vines in California can be classified as “other” — including many of the “alternative” style varietals more common to Lodi than in other American wine regions, such as Albariño and Aglianico, Cinsaut and Souzão, Vermentino and Verdelho, Graciano and Teroldego, Marzemino and Montepulciano, Symphony and Schönburger, Touriga and Torrontés, Pinotage and Piquepoul, and many others of, frankly, commercially obscure identity, from Albalonga to Zweigelt. The other 89.8% are among the following list of California’s 16 most widely planted varieties or.. VIEW MORE »