The many faces of Lodi in 2012 (part 2)

Petite Sirah harvest in Vinedos Aurora's home ranch

There is strength and perseverance in Lodi faces — borne out of long hours under the sun, or when pinched by wintry chill — as well as wisdom and the signs of sheer joy that that are part and parcel of the Delta‘s main industry:  wine grapes.

In 2012 the Lodi American Viticultural Area took another giant leap in the world of fine wine, topped off by a harvest that may have been the region’s best ever:  grapes ripening under perfect, trouble-free conditions, and in sufficient enough quantities to allow prolonged, steady maturation (during years when  yields are cut short by poor spring sets or spotty autumn weather, grapes tend to ripen either too rapidly or not at all).

Which explains the many smiles seen on Lodi faces over the past two months.  Some of our fondest images:

Klinker Brick's next generation: Farrah Felten

Derek Halecky loving the look of his Hunter's Oak Vineyard Grenache grapes during the July veraison

Every winemaker claims he does the best barbecue: hard to argue with Michael McCay's dry rubbed baby backs, slow roasted in an oil drum

Jillions of visitors have been regaled by m2 winemaker/owner Layne Montgomery's dry wit and juicy wines

Silvaspoons winegrower Ron Silva (blue cap) -- America's "Portuguese grape king" -- holding court

Harney Lane patriarch George Mettler and his beloved cork tree

Michael David Winery president/co-owner Dave Phillips all ramped up for their annual Rhone & Reggae bash

The Lodi life: early harvest dinner in Harney Lane estate vineyard

Typical of Lodi, when you visit Kidder Family Wines, you personally taste with owners Aaron and Linda Kidder

Winemaker soiree: Borra's Markus Niggli hanging with m2's Layne Montgomery

Burgeoning connoisseur at Harney Lane

Steve Borra, grower/owner of Lodi's oldest bonded winery

For Michael McCay, winemaking is a tactile experience

Zinfandel harvest in Maley Vineyards

Picking Mohr-Fry's Marian's block Zinfandel (vines planted in 1901)

Field sorter in Noma Ranch's 100+ year old "Cemetary" Zinfandel block

Borra Vineyards' 2012 Barbera harvest

Zinfandel pickers in McCay's Truluck's Vineyard

Michael David VP (and sixth generation Lodi grower) Kevin Phillips showing off Petite Sirah in his home ranch

Mencarini Vineyards Zinfandel picker

Winery cat at m2 Wines

Lance Randolph, with one of Zinfandel vines planted by his great grandfather Giacomo Peirano in the 1890s

Newest generation of Lodi winemakers: Broken Vine's Michael Klouda



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