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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
 
March 7, 2014 | Randy Caparoso

Winter of 2014′s certain Slant of light

Winter pruning of own-rooted, head trained 53-year old Zinfandel vines on the west side of Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA

Winter pruning of own-rooted, head trained 53-year old Zinfandel vines on the west side of Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA

There’s a certain Slant of light, Emily Dickinson famously wrote, describing “Winter.” Don’t we know it, whether or not we can put it into our own words.

Winter in Lodi is not nearly as much of a Dickinsonian “Heavenly Hurt” as in colder climate regions, but we have our own “Shadows… holding their breath.” This year, in 2014, it was a question of rain. In early February there was still doubt that we would ever get any, and the rows between vines normally bursting with green growth were bare, strangely desolate, inconsolable. In recent weeks, of course, the sandy loams have finally begun to drink up draughts “sent us of the Air,” and the “look of Death” between the rows has finally turned to something living, breathing… ah, the welcomed threat of Spring!

Photographs, like poems, can say so much with so little. Here are a few of our shots that shall always help us remember Lodi’s winter of 2014:

After the first rains of February, wild mustards immediately spring up among the ancient Zinfandel vines

After the first rains of February, wild mustards immediately spring up among the ancient Zinfandel vines

Pretty in pink: cherry blossoms losing their petals

Pretty in pink: cherry blossoms losing their petals

Mid-February in Phillips Farms’ Bare Ranch: mix of flowering mustard, fava beans, peas, vetch, oats and barley (“the best looking cover crop in Lodi,” according to vineyard manager Emiliano Castanon)

Mid-February in Phillips Farms’ Bare Ranch: mix of flowering mustard, fava beans, peas, vetch, oats and barley (“the best looking cover crop in Lodi,” according to vineyard manager Emiliano Castanon)

Early February fog among old vine Zinfandel in Maley Brothers’ Wegat Vineyard

Early February fog among old vine Zinfandel in Maley Brothers’ Wegat Vineyard

Golden late afternoon light on ancient oak in west side of Lodi in late February

Golden late afternoon light on ancient oak in west side of Lodi in late February

Late February:  setting sun through showering cherry trees and trellised vines on Lodi’s west side

Late February: setting sun through showering cherry trees and trellised vines on Lodi’s west side

Another close-up of flowering cherry trees in Lodi

Another close-up of flowering cherry trees in Lodi

Late February:  Terra Divina’s Patrick Campbell tastes Lodi Zinfandel that will be blended in his classic REDS bottling

Late February: Terra Divina’s Patrick Campbell tastes Lodi Zinfandel that will be blended in his classic REDS bottling

Klinker Brick’s Joseph Smith barrel samples Carignan from Jean Rauser’s ancient vines (planted 1906)

Klinker Brick’s Joseph Smith barrel samples Carignan from Jean Rauser’s ancient vines (planted 1906)

Patrick Campbell compares color of ancient vine Carignan and Petite Sirah grown by Jessie’s Grove’s Greg Burns (center)

Patrick Campbell compares color of ancient vine Carignan and Petite Sirah grown by Jessie’s Grove’s Greg Burns (center)

Lodi generations: Jessie’s Grove’s Greg Burns (center) with winemaking crew

Lodi generations: Jessie’s Grove’s Greg Burns (center) with winemaking crew

End of February: winter pruning of Lodi’s +100,000 acres goes on… and on

End of February: winter pruning of Lodi’s +100,000 acres goes on… and on

Dismembered arms (i.e. spurs) piling up

Dismembered arms (i.e. spurs) piling up

Winter pruning of old vines includes reaching back breaking lower limbs

Winter pruning of old vines includes reaching back breaking lower limbs

Gloves come off when pruning comes to detailing

Gloves come off when pruning comes to detailing

Late February: Phillips Farms peach blossoms framing trellised Petite Sirah

Late February: Phillips Farms peach blossoms framing trellised Petite Sirah

First week of March:  after several rains, the cover crop gets waist-high in Phillips Farms’ “Rapture” Cabernet Sauvignon planting, still waiting for its winter pruning, which is delayed because this older vineyard is prone to eutypa (i.e. “dead arm” disease)

First week of March: after several rains, the cover crop gets waist-high in Phillips Farms’ “Rapture” Cabernet Sauvignon planting, still waiting for its winter pruning, which is delayed because this older vineyard is prone to eutypa (i.e. “dead arm” disease)

Setting February sun over Lodi old vines

Setting February sun over Lodi old vines

Comments

Claudino Monegat's Gravatar
 
Claudino Monegat
@ Feb 6, 2016 at 5:50 AM
I live in south of Brazil.. Next year i I want to visit your wineyards with cover crops because I have a book about cover crops for small horders.

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