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The Mokelumne River Viticultural Area (part 2) – winemakers talk dirty

March 28th, 2015
The Mokelumne River Viticultural Area (part 2) – winemakers talk dirty

  Continued from The Mokelumne River Viticultural Area (part 1) From sandy loams to loamy sands When Lodi winemakers extol the qualities of Mokelumne River AVA grown grapes and wines, almost universally they talk mostly about soil. It is topography and soil that distinguishes Mokelumne River from the six other sub-appellations of Lodi, and it is the variations of a single soil type – from sandy loams to loamy sands – that distinguish some parts of Mokelumne River from other parts of Mokelumne River. In the original 2005 petition submitted to the TTB for seven new American Viticultural Areas within.. VIEW MORE »

The Mokelumne River Viticultural Area (part 1)

March 26th, 2015
The Mokelumne River Viticultural Area (part 1)

Boundaries, heart and soul The Mokelumne River AVA (American Viticultural Area) is one of the seven sub-appellations located within the larger Lodi AVA established in August 2006 by the TTB (the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Tax and Trade Bureau). The AVA is named after the Mokelumne River, which drains out of the Sierra Nevada Mountains into the San Joaquin River, meandering through the northern portion of the established appellation, with connecting creeks, sloughs, a canal and aqueduct running through its interior. To qualify as an AVA, every region must demonstrate historic reasons justifying its boundaries and identity. “Mokelumne” is.. VIEW MORE »

Elegant styles of Lodi Zinfandel

March 18th, 2015
Elegant styles of Lodi Zinfandel

  In our previous post (Is Zinfandel breaking out?) we cited a number of wine industry professionals who truly believe that Zinfandel can be made in more restrained, elegant styles – not unlike the finest Pinot Noirs or Burgundies – and that, in fact, we are beginning to see a paradigm shift towards that direction. What are some of the more elegant styles of Zinfandel coming out of the Lodi Viticultural Area today? Tom Hoffman of Heritage Oak Winery – located on the east side of Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA – has almost stubbornly stuck with leaner, zestier styles of.. VIEW MORE »

Is Zinfandel breaking out, or just a case of measles?

March 16th, 2015
Is Zinfandel breaking out, or just a case of measles?

  This past January 28-31, Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (a.k.a. ZAP) held its 24th full-scale “Experience” in San Francisco’s Presidio, with the theme: Zinfandel is a rising star… reach out and grab it. Zinfandel, of course, has always been a longtime star in the varietal market. In fact, Zinfandel’s dominance in California vineyards dates back well nigh into the 1850s. So what exactly does ZAP mean with the implication that Zinfandel is still “rising?” It means, Zinfandel specialists have always been acutely aware that as popular as Zinfandel is, it has never really caught on with certain elements in the.. VIEW MORE »

The expansion and controversial division of the Lodi Viticultural Area

March 11th, 2015
The expansion and controversial division of the Lodi Viticultural Area

  Continuation of a Part 1:  The origins of the Lodi Viticultural Area In 1991, over 700 Lodi AVA growers came together to form the mandated Lodi-Woodbridge Wine Commission (now called the Lodi Winegrape Commission) for the purpose of regional promotion, education and viticultural research. This would be a momentous development, playing a crucial role in Lodi’s current status as a winegrowing region of note. In an effort to reconcile the then-existing boundaries of the Lodi AVA with the jurisdiction of the Lodi-Woodbridge Wine Commission as well as how California Crush District 11 defined Lodi, in 2000 a petition was submitted to the.. VIEW MORE »