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Lodi “Outsiders” joining “Natives” at 2014 ZinFest Wine School

March 18th, 2014
Lodi “Outsiders” joining “Natives” at 2014 ZinFest Wine School

Don’t look now, but the annual Lodi ZinFest Wine Festival is nigh upon us; this year, taking place on Saturday, May 17, 2014 (12-5 PM) at the bucolic Lodi Lake Park. This is Lodi’s biggest, most broadening, and undoubtedly funnest event of the year; but don’t let the name fool you:  it’s not just about Zinfandel.  The Lodi AVA also specializes in bodacious Cabernet Sauvignon, stupendous Petite Sirah, exotic Albariño and Alicante Bouschet, esoteric Verdelho and Verdejo, soulful Tempranillo and gregarious Graciano, elegant Grenache Noir and sumptuous Grenache Blanc, toothsome Touriga, graceful Chardonnay, regal Roussanne, prickly Picpoul, flirtatious Moscato, bombastic Barbera,.. VIEW MORE »

Borra Vineyards releases very interesting feminine whites

March 12th, 2014
Borra Vineyards releases very interesting feminine whites

You might have heard that some crazy, unlikely, yet very in-ter-resting (to quote Arte Johnson) things have been happening in Lodi these past few years. A lot of this activity has been emanating from one winery:  Borra Vineyards, where owner/grower Steve Borra Sr. and winemaker Markus Niggli have been making waves. One of Borra’s latest innovations, just being released, includes the 2013 Borra Lodi Artist Series- Limited Edition White ($19):  a bone dry, medium bodied white wine, bursting with refreshingly crisp lime/green apple/pear-like fruit; with sleek, silky textures punctuated by lightly tart, completely natural acidity.  This is a 100% native.. VIEW MORE »

Odisea releases first Lodi grown Verdejo

March 9th, 2014
Odisea releases first Lodi grown Verdejo

Odisea Wine Company – a small, artisanal winery based in Napa – has produced Lodi’s first Verdejo: a 2013 bottled under their Flor de Viña sub-label. The Verdejo grapes were grown in the cobbley clay loam slopes of Bokisch Ranches’ Clay Station Vineyard, in Lodi’s Borden Ranch AVA.  The planting went into the ground in 2011, and these young vines yielded just 2 tons per acre (Bokisch Vineyards also produced a little Verdejo, just recently bottled). Odisea’s 2013 Flor de Viña Verdejo ($21) is, in fact, an unequivocal success for a first-ever vintage: bone dry and light as a feather,.. VIEW MORE »

Winter of 2014′s certain Slant of light

March 7th, 2014
Winter of 2014′s certain Slant of light

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.. VIEW MORE »

m2′s sleek new winery, producing Lodi wines as unique as ever

March 3rd, 2014
m2′s sleek new winery, producing Lodi wines as unique as ever

The new m2 Wines winery and tasting room, located at 2900 E. Peltier Rd. (just north of the town of Lodi), is a low slung, rectangular, 6,000 square-feet affair; looking like a gigantic lego brick with a square hole near the middle, plopped down on an open field of flowering mustard (a surrounding vineyard is planned as phase 2), yet every bit as congruous against the Lodi landscape as an Andrew Wyeth house/barn in Maine. “It’s a helluva lot easier to work,” says m2 founder/owner/winemaker Layne Montgomery, comparing it to his original winery space, in an industrial warehouse on the.. VIEW MORE »