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.

Bob Highfill
November 14, 2017 | Bob Highfill

Bare Ranch is a quiet, peaceful step back in time

Lori Phillips runs Bare Ranch, a historic property more than 100 years old in Lodi.


Behind a cluster of towering pines, past a botanical garden and along a gravel path stands a beautiful link to Lodi’s past.

The Bare Ranch mansion exudes opulence from a foregone era.

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Time Posted: Nov 14, 2017 at 4:00 PM
Bob Highfill
October 31, 2017 | Bob Highfill

Scary vineyard inspires Klinker Brick's Old Ghost

Klinker Brick's Old Ghost is born from a tale worthy of Halloween.


On a dark, foggy morning long ago

In a place few would dare to go

There stood a grower in the eerie light

Gazing at a frightful sight

Gnarled vines cast shadows in the mist

Causing the grower to wonder, what is this?

As the sun rose, it became all too clear

The grower had nothing to fear

The shadows cast were old and true

Zinfandel clusters showing flecks of blue

The gnarled vines would soon bring cheer

For their fruit went into bottles loved far and near

No one could have known on that dark, foggy morn

A beautiful wine would be born

So, what to name this wine crafted from its spooky host?

But simply and aptly ... the Old Ghost

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Time Posted: Oct 31, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Bob Highfill
October 17, 2017 | Bob Highfill

Lodi winemaker enjoys bringing people together through his craft

Todd Ziemann has made wine in Lodi since 1988, first with Sebastiani Family Vineyards and for the last 12 years as Senior Director, North Valley Winemaking at Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi and Turner Road Vintners.

Behind an iconic wine brand, such as Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, are everyday people like Todd Ziemann: Talented, committed and above all, passionate.

“The way I like to make wines is fruit with layers of complexity,” Ziemann said. “Fruit is the focus.”

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Time Posted: Oct 17, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Bob Highfill
October 13, 2017 | Bob Highfill

Participate in a statewide fire relief effort

Our hearts ache in the wake of the devastating fires in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino counties.

But together we can help.

California’s regional wine associations have united in the #CAWineStrong statewide fundraising project from now through the end of October. Whether winery, restaurant, other business owners or individuals, there is a way for you to pitch in and help. Here’s how:

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Time Posted: Oct 13, 2017 at 3:00 PM
Bob Highfill
October 3, 2017 | Bob Highfill

It's easy to be cheesy

Cindy Della Monica has one of the tastiest shops in town, Cheese Central in downtown Lodi.

Cindy Della Monica started baking bread when she was 8 years old growing up in Cupertino.

She took to gardening at age 10.

She clearly embraced farm-to-fork before it became a movement.

“The farm-to-fork movement is huge,” she said, “though that’s what we used to do all the time.”

And Della Monica still is following her childhood passion.

Cheese Central, a boutique, stand-alone cheese shop at 11 North School Street in downtown Lodi, is the culmination of Della Monica’s 40-plus years in the culinary arts. She enjoys helping educate visitors about the wonderful world of cheese – an art form nearly as old as civilization itself.

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Time Posted: Oct 3, 2017 at 1:00 PM