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What makes today’s Lodi wines special?

October 1st, 2014
What makes today’s Lodi wines special?

What makes Lodi wines special? Just ten, fifteen years ago, the stock image of Lodi was as a place where Gigantic wineries, such as E. & J. Gallo and Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, get their grapes for their bulk wines. There is a lot of Zinfandel. My, how time flies. Lodi is still known for Zinfandel, and much of the AVA‘s grapes still supply big wineries. But all of the sudden, Lodi is also becoming known for more, much more. We are counting at least seven “new” ways in which Lodi is now being defined in the minds of consumers,.. VIEW MORE »

A history of Lodi winegrowing, part 2

September 23rd, 2014
A history of Lodi winegrowing, part 2

  Turn of the century rise of Lodi wineries and growers’ cooperatives In 1900 Urgon Winery was founded by an enterprising German emigrant named Adolph Bauer, who recognized the need for a wine production facility at a time, during the late 1890s, when many Lodi farmers were transitioning from watermelons to grapes. With the help of his partner John Guggolz, Bauer established the first independent facility for wine and brandy production in the Lodi region. Prior to that, Lodi growers were forced to sell most of their grapes to El Pinal Winery – later re-incorporated as George West and Son.. VIEW MORE »

A history of Lodi winegrowing, part 1

September 22nd, 2014
A history of Lodi winegrowing, part 1

Mokelumne (before Lodi was Lodi) The first settlers of European descent arrived in the area we know as Lodi in 1846; finding what Ralph A. Clark (Lodi – Images of America) described as “an abundant paradise,” perched just a few feet above sea level, sandwiched between the lower foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the east, and the lower elevation wetlands of the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta to the west. The Native American tribe occupying this plush pocket just prior to the onslaught of settlers from Europe or other states was the Plains Miwok; most of whom had already succumbed.. VIEW MORE »

Can we stop talking about Zinfandel being too high in alcohol?

September 14th, 2014
Can we stop talking about Zinfandel being too high in alcohol?

In a post that recently popped up on the multiple “Best Wine Blog” Award winning Terroirist site, contributor Isaac James Baker commented on six 2012 Lodi AVA grown Zinfandels produced under the Lodi Native banner: “Tasting all six together, I was stunned by the tremendous variation in flavors and textures, and found it fascinating to dissect my perceptions of each wine. “Collectively, these are some of the most thought-provoking Zinfandels I’ve tasted in a very long time. They’re deep, complex, lingering, surprisingly elegant and quite food-friendly. They comprise a master class in old vine Lodi Zinfandel.” Wait a second. Did.. VIEW MORE »

Snapshots of Lodi’s 2014 harvest: coming in fast and furious

September 10th, 2014
Snapshots of Lodi’s 2014 harvest: coming in fast and furious

The second week of September is usually when the California grape harvest is just getting started. This year, at this same time, many growers and vintners are saying that they are more than a third of the way through. Why the accelerated time table? Three things conspired to upset 2014’s grape carts to some extent: • Spring bud break and flowering occurred two weeks (or more) ahead of normal, pushing up harvest dates accordingly. • Because grape vines respond to year-to-year variables, the larger than usual crop sizes of the two previous vintages (2012 and 2013) pre-ordained a more moderate.. VIEW MORE »