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
March 20, 2017 | Randy Caparoso

Fun-tastic "schools" of food, wine and BBQ at 2017 Lodi ZinFest

ZinFest wine lover

It may be all about the vino – the deliciously round, lush, pure and balanced wines of the Lodi wine region – during the Saturday wine festival at 2017 Lodi ZinFest (May 20, 2017), but you can bet that you will be able to experience the liquid joy of Delta grown grapes in a variety of other stimulating ways.

Starting with the culinary and educational...

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Randy Caparoso
March 16, 2017 | Randy Caparoso

Greg La Follette's Alquimista Zinfandel celebrates Lodi's "hallowed" ancient vines

Greg La Follette, an avowed bagpiper, celebrates his 2015 Jessie's Grove Royal Tee Vineyard harvest

Count Greg La Follette as another widely proclaimed winemaker based outside the Delta who has come to appreciate the distinct beauty of the Lodi Viticultural Area.

Mr. La Follette – who previously established his field creds as a North Coast Pinot Noir and Chardonnay specialist of considerable notoriety at wineries like Flowers, Hartford Family, De Loach, and most recently his own La Follette Wines (formerly called Tandem) – has recently begun selling “futures” for a 2015 Alquimista Cellars Jessie’s Grove Ancient Vine Zinfandel ($55). The Sebastopol/Sonoma based Alquimista Cellars is La Follette’s latest project, started two years ago in partnership with Patrick Dillon, following a disassociation from his former eponymous business...

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Randy Caparoso
March 12, 2017 | Randy Caparoso

Detailed notes on 2014 Lodi Natives (taking Zinfandel well beyond varietal expectations)

Coming out of a wet 2017 winter: old vine Zinfandel in Burness Vineyard on Lodi's east side

Quietly, individual members of the Lodi Native group have been offering their bottlings of 2014 Zinfandels – the third vintage of wines produced under the auspices of this independent project – at their respective wineries; while a 6-bottle selection packed in handsome wood boxes is available through the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center.

Two things distinguish the 2014 Lodi Native Zinfandels:

1. There were nine different Lodi Native Zinfandels produced in 2014; an increase from the six bottlings of the previous two, inaugural vintages.

2. In the 2014 6-pack box, two of the vineyard selections have changed from the previous two vintages.

Let us back up a little and talk about what the Lodi Native project is all about. It began at the start of 2012, when six of Lodi’s top Zinfandel specialists got together to establish a group project dedicated to producing wines under a single label, each one showing off the distinct sensory qualities engendered in different heritage plantings (i.e. vineyards over 40, 50, and in some cases, 100 years old) within the Lodi Viticultural Area...

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Randy Caparoso
March 9, 2017 | Randy Caparoso

America's 30 largest wine producers (with ties to Lodi)

Recent shot of Michael David Winery Co-Owner/President David Phillips and VP of Operations Kevin Phillips

One of the more interesting reports logged by the industry trade publication, Wine Business Monthly, is a yearly list of 30 largest American wine production companies in terms of case sales within the U.S.

In the February 2017 issue of WBM, two companies with direct ties to Lodi – Delicato Family Vineyards (DFV Wines) and Michael David Winery – are listed among the 30 biggest selling companies, which account for "nearly 90 percent of domestic wine sold by volume" (according to WBM). The Lodi Viticultural Area, in fact, supplies a significant amount of wine grapes to many (if not most) of the country’s largest producers...

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Randy Caparoso
February 28, 2017 | Randy Caparoso

Winter pruning and speaking the language of grape vines

Late February 2017 pruning of ancient Zinfandel vines (planted in 1889) in Jessie's Grove's Royal Tee Vineyard

It may look quiet, here in the Lodi Viticultural Area at the end of February 2017. But out in the fields, hundreds of the local industry’s most trusted hands are furiously pruning the grape vines before they come out of dormancy, which is typically about this time of year.

Weeks of biblical rains, of course, have delayed the process, which begins as early as November the previous year because, well, there are just so many darned grape vines to attend to...

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