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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
 
July 23, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Summer concerts to remember in Lodi Wine Country

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FULL MOON partiers at Ripken Vineyards

Summer is here and the time is right for dancing… in the vineyards.

Temperatures may be on the rise, but think about how dull life was five, six months ago, when skies were gray and the chill was numbing – not exactly conducive to kicking off of shoes, showing some skin, and letting pillowy piles of green grass massage your feet.  All the more reason to enjoy the sounds, rays and wines of summer featured at the following special events put on by Lodi wineries.

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Please note:  in all of the following venues outside alcoholic beverages are not allowed, and you are invited to purchase wines by the bottle or glass at each winery.  The happenings:

Saturday, July 28, 2012 – Black Irish Band at Jessie’s Grove Winery
No one does lawn concerts like Jessie’s Grove, with its big theatrical stage set beside towering live oaks conserved for all time by the Spenker family (yes, Jessie herself) since the nineteenth century.  Bring out the blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the Black Irish Band:  descending upon the Delta from the California Foothills to weave their traditional as well as original blends of Celtic, Spanish, Italian, Irish, Scottish and American folk musical strands – as timeless as the rugged landscapes of what we still recall as the Wild West, and a tribute to the people who settled in to tame it.  Admission:  $25 ($22 for Jessie’s Grove club members); available at the door or at (209) 368-0880.  Time:  7 PM.  jessiesgrovewinery.com.

Friday, August 3, 2012 – Separators at Borra Vineyards’ Fusion Friday!
Tickets will get you appetizers prepared by DeGrande’s Catering, a complimentary pour in a souvenir wine glass, and music by the Separators.  Borra Vineyards will also pay homage to their Italian roots with a fine selection of traditional dishes and breads, cooked up to make even (proprietor/grower) Steve Borra’s mamma proud.  The family also expects a run on their signature, “true Italian” style Barbera, so slap on your Western hat and expect a great time under the winery’s giant weeping willow.  Admission:  $12.  Time:  5-7:30 PM.  borravineyards.com.

Saturday, August 4, 2012 – Haywired at Heritage Oak Winery
Proprietors Tom and Carmela Hoffman invite you to join them on this Saturday afternoon of live acoustic entertainment by Haywired, a local trio featuring Liz Schuler on guitar, Mark Giuseponi on mandolin and trumpet and Rod Linn on bass.  Haywired is all about “Americana” – unplugged blues, bluegrass, folk, cowboy – with sweet harmonies sung from the heart… as finely tuned as the wines of Heritage Oak!  The Hoffmans’ tasting room opens at noon, and wines will be available by the glass or bottle.  You are welcome to bring a picnic meal, or enjoy freshly made sandwiches prepared on-site by A Moveable Feast (including their acclaimed chicken Caesar, Cajun shrimp, black bean vegetarian, and their “crabby” crab cake).  Well behaved pets and supervised children are welcomed, and everyone is required to enjoy this civilized Lodi affair.  Also please note:  late arrivals advised to bring their own chairs, as winery seating may be limited.  Admission:  none.  Time:  1-4 PM.  heritageoakwinery.com.

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Rocking the courtyard at Abundance Vineyards

Saturday, August 4, 2012:  Big Booty Bob & the Backside Kickers at Ripken Vineyards’ BLUE MOON Event
Saturday Night’s Alright all the time when Big Booty Bob starts knocking out their sick renditions of everything from AC/DC to ZZ Top — you’ll know the words, we know you’ll want to sing ‘em, and it will be impossible to sit still.  Your admission also gets you tastings of the Ripkens’ multi-award winning family grown wines; and Guantonio’s will be on-site, selling their bewildering array of deliciously world class wood oven pizzas.  Bring blankets and chairs to relax and enjoy the sinking sun over the vines surrounding Ripken’s lush lawn.  Please note:  to avoid overcrowding, a limited amount of tickets will be made available, so advanced purchase is suggested.  Admission:  $15 ($10 for Ripken club members).  Time:  7-10 PM.  ripkenwine.com.

Saturday, August 3, 2012 – The Remnantz at Abundance Vineyards
Fond memories of Delta-ranean skies, golden sunsets, good food, wine, friends and family are always part of the Mencarini family’s summer concert series; and The Remnantz (five talented musicians with over 100 combined years of professional experience) will be making this event a high energy dance party with their blend of classic, old soul, surf, blues, pop and funk.  Wines will be available by the glass or bottle after 5 PM, and educational tasting flights will be available in the tasting room.  Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic meal (no food will be offered or sold on-site).  There will be plenty of tables and chairs, but guests are welcomed to bring their own chairs to sit on the lawn.  Please note:  many guests arrive around 5 PM to claim their seating, well before the music starts; and children are welcome (but no pets, please).  Admission:  none.  Time:  6-9:30 PM.  abundancevineyards.com.

Saturday, August 18, 2012 – Swing Shift at Abundance Vineyards
The Mencarini family takes their summer concert series into mellower modes with Swing Shift taking the stage to conjure up their magical brand of jazz standards:  classics such as “It Had to be You,” “I’ve Got the World on a String,” “Night and Day,” as well as newer pieces by Jim Brickman and Michael Bublé, not to mention Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Jane Monheit, and Diana Krall.  Wines will be available by the glass or bottle after 5 PM, and educational tasting flights will be available in the tasting room.  Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic meal (no food will be offered or sold on-site).  There will be plenty of tables and chairs, but guests are welcomed to bring their own chairs to sit on the lawn.  Please note:  many guests arrive around 5 PM to claim their seating, well before the music starts; and children are welcome (but no pets, please).  Admission:  none.  Time:  6-9:30 PM.  abundancevineyards.com.

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Barn next to Jessie's Grove concert grounds

Saturday, August 18, 2012 – Tom Rigney & Flambeau at Jessie’s Grove Winery
Summer sounds play on at the dramatic concert stage amidst the historic live oaks and vineyards of Jessie’s Grove.  Slated to appear in his signature red boots, Tom Rigney is an electrifying virtuoso violinist/composer who has joined forces with some of San Francisco’s finest musicians (with résumés that include stints with Charles Brown, Queen Ida, Clifton Chenier and many others) to form a band that will literally rock the Delta:  fiery Cajun and zydeco two-steps, lowdown and funkadic New Orleans grooves, heartbreaking ballads and waltzes, and irresistible boogie woogie rock, played with infectious rhythms and passionate intensity – delicious musical gumbo!  Admission:  $25 ($22 for Jessie’s Grove club members); available at the door or at (209) 368-0880.  Time:  7 PM.  jessiesgrovewinery.com.

Friday, August 31, 2012 – Mitch Woods at Ripken Vineyards’ BLUE MOON Event
Mitch Woods is a longtime Delta favorite, known for his pile drivin’, jump n’ boogie inspired piano and vocals that channel the classic American blues, New Orleans rhythms, and the ferocious etoufée known as R&B of past musical giants, like Louis Jordan, Wynonie Harris, Joe and Jimmy Liggins, Amos Milburn, and Roy Milton.  Admission to this event also gets you tastings of the Ripkens’ outstanding family grown wines; and Guantonio’s will be on-site with their moveable brick oven, selling their creative array of world class wood fired pizzas.  Bring blankets and chairs to relax and enjoy the sun melting over the vines around Ripken’s lush lawn.  Please note:  to avoid overcrowding, a limited amount of tickets will be made available, so advanced purchase is suggested.  Admission:  $15 ($10 for Ripken club members).  Time:  7-10 PM.  ripkenwine.com.

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Good times at Ripken Vineyards

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