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The LoCA Life & Times

In Lodi, wine comes first. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. Meet the passionate people behind our handcrafted wines and gnarly old vines.

Randy Caparoso
 
November 13, 2018 | Randy Caparoso

Thanksgiving shopping list: One dozen “very Lodi” wines

Winemaker's daughter (Marina Holman) with bounty of Lodi grapes

What makes a wine “very Lodi?”

First, it’s more than just grown and produced in Lodi. It’s also a wine that would be hard to duplicate elsewhere in the world.

The finer white wines grown in Lodi, for instance, tend to be light, fresh, and ringingly pure in their fruit qualities. The region’s dependable Mediterranean climate and well drained sandy soils dictate a lot of that. Lodi’s white wine specialists tend to pick their grapes early in the season – early August is the norm, but sometimes it’s as soon as late July – before the grapes reach higher sugar levels and before they lose their natural acidity. Lower sugars means moderate alcohol levels (12% to 13%), and more natural acidity means tingly tart tastes; framing the natural fruit aromas and flavors in a pristinely fresh, crisp packages...

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Randy Caparoso
 
November 8, 2018 | Randy Caparoso

Maître de Chai finds “new California” wine in Lodi’s Clements Hills

Maître de Chai's Alex Pitts (left) and Marty Winters in Clements Hills-Lodi's Stampede Vineyard

Every “new” generation re-invents the wheel. Why not?

Old-timers can recall when Robert Mondavi boldly proclaimed, in the late 1960s, that we are entering the “Golden Age of California Wine.” The 1976 “Judgement of Paris” – when a California Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon happened to “best” a collection of classic French wines of similar ilk – further emboldened the Golden State wine industry, and certainly captured the attention of wine lovers across the country and around the world. It is one of many reasons why, to this day, California still produces over 66% of the wine consumed in the U.S. (re Thach MW’s Overview of the U.S. Wine Industry in 2018)...

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Randy Caparoso
 
November 5, 2018 | Randy Caparoso

The Burlington Chandler reds of longtime Lodi natives Mark and Jan Burlington Chandler

Burlington Chandler grower Mark Chandler taking sugar reading of 2018 Malbec with his refractometer

Mark Chandler and Jan Burlington Chandler are well known in the Lodi community – Mark as the former Executive Director of Lodi Winegrape Commission and a current wine industry consultant and Lodi City Council member, and Jan as President of San Joaquin Sulphur Co. and a Co-Chair for Lodi Memorial Health Foundation – and together they are now producing wines under the Burlington Chandler label, all grown from their own estate vineyards in Lodi.

Last week – during the final days of harvest at the Burlington Chandler Vineyard on the north and south sides of E. Peltier Rd. near Des Moines Rd. – Mr. Chandler took the time to chat about his two current releases...

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Randy Caparoso
 
November 1, 2018 | Randy Caparoso

McManis Family’s transition to Lodi appellation wines (that are also fantastic buys)

Harvest dawn in McManis Family Vineyards' Sierra Loma Vineyard (Borden Ranch-Lodi AVA)

McManis Family Vineyards might be the largest grower of Lodi grapes still unfamiliar to most Lodi wine lovers. There are two reasons for that.

Number one, the McManis Family operation is based in the south end of San Joaquin Valley in the City of Ripon, population 14,000 or so. Like Lodi, Ripon is an agricultural community; dominated, if anything, by almonds, which the locals charmingly call “am’ns.” But right behind nuts are wine grapes, and the quiet force behind this economic factor is McManis Family, who have been farming in San Joaquin Valley since 1938...

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October 30, 2018 |

Lodi continues efforts to reach new audiences

More than 20 Japanese wine professionals recently visited Lodi and learned a whole lot about the region's wines, terroir and people.

Hiro Tejima is a wine professional new to his job as Japan Director with the California Wine Institute after working many years in the Australian wine industry.

Tejima, who is based in Sydney, Australia, recently brought a group of 20 acclaimed Japanese wine professionals to Lodi. The contingent included sommeliers, wine educators, restaurateurs, media and representatives from the top 10 most successful restaurants in the 2018 California Wines by the Glass Program.

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