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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
 
February 25, 2011 | Randy Caparoso

Iberian grapes thrill Fenestra Fanatics

Iberian grapes thrill Fenestra Fanatics

Lodi is the California epicenter for Portuguese and Spanish grapes… Sometimes in life you crave more than vanilla and chocolate. For wine lovers, this means more than Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, or even Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. The recent emergence of Lodi as the epicenter of exotic Iberian grapes — like Verdelho and Graciano, Alvarelhão and Touriga — has been fulfilling many a tired, jaded wine lover’s appetite. When it comes to fine wine, nothing wrong with kinky! Lanny and Fran Replogle of Fenestra Winery have been producing classic California varietals in an historic old winery in Livermore Valley since 1980;..

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Time Posted: Feb 25, 2011 at 1:22 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
February 22, 2011 | Randy Caparoso

Birds of a feather make great zin together

Birds of a feather make great zin together

The 2008 Barsetti Vineyards Lodi Zinfandel, which recently garnered a Silver Medal at the 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, is not a wine that bowls you over with its alcoholic or oak driven strength. Quite the opposite: it is a Zinfandel that gently tugs at the heart and palate with vibrant, spiced berry and sweet tea-like flavors, unfurled from a meaty, zesty edged, medium sized body, finishing dry and smooth. In fact, much like the 2006 Barsetti Vineyards Lodi Zinfandel, still in retail stores like the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center: the 2006 began as a tightly harmonious wine..

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Time Posted: Feb 22, 2011 at 1:21 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
February 17, 2011 | Randy Caparoso

Our top 5 chocolate weekend matches

Our top 5 chocolate weekend matches

Wine & Chocolate Weekend’s wildest, funnest matches… One thing many of the Lodi wine lovers who partook in this last weekend’s knockdown, throwdown 2011 Wine & Chocolate Weekend probably discovered: perfectly delicious wines and chocolate matches come in all shapes and sizes. So let us now fondly reminisce over the funner — and in every case, mind blowing — combinations we were fortunate to experience in Lodi wine country during the past weekend: Lodi sausages in chocolate barbecue sauce with 2008 Harney Lane Lodi Zinfandel ($22) – Oh me, oh my, was this a good one: the black cherry/raspberry bright,..

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Time Posted: Feb 17, 2011 at 1:20 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
February 14, 2011 | Randy Caparoso

Blissful days of Lodi wine & chocolate

Blissful days of Lodi wine & chocolate

Lodi’s 2011 Wine & Chocolate Weekend was two days of bliss for the approximately 4,500 people enjoying the the gifts bestowed by Mother Nature (crystal blue skies, sleeveless temperatures) and the forty Lodi wineries pulling out all the stops to engage and entertain couples, friends and families alike, while neatly clipped spurs of ancient vine Zinfandels lay grazing in the grass of winter’s recent rains. Epitomizing the hospitality rarely found in other wine regions, during the entire two days The Lucas Winery’s winemaker/proprietor David Lucas stood at the barn sized door of his tasting room to make a point of..

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Time Posted: Feb 14, 2011 at 1:18 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
February 10, 2011 | Randy Caparoso

Chocolate chili & truffle wine matches

Chocolate chili & truffle wine matches

Matching chocolates with dry red wines… “Chocolates made for wines,” says Linda Bartlett of Truffle Gateau, “are more like cheese pairings… soft like Brie, and never too sweet.” When Barlett founded her Sacramento based confectionery, she made it her goal to create the “finest wine-pairing chocolates in the world,” developing recipes using natural ingredients like Callebaut Belgian chocolate, Madagascar vanilla, Peet’s espresso coffee, and Southern pecans. Today over 300 wineries in California and Oregon sell Bartlett’s “Truffle G’s” with their wines. Bartlett will personally be on hand to offer her sumptuous chocolate & wine matches at The Lodi Wine &..

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Time Posted: Feb 10, 2011 at 1:16 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
February 6, 2011 | Randy Caparoso

Guide to Lodi’s Wine & Chocolate weekend

Guide to Lodi’s Wine & Chocolate weekend

Oh, Lodi wine… oh, decadent chocolates… oh, sublime seductions! The Lodi Wine & Chocolate weekend is well nigh upon us, and the big challenge will be planning your day of vinous and culinary debauchery because, well, there’s only so much stimulation a body can take. And so to help you out the following is a rundown on what many of the participating wineries will be offering on both days. Gotta luv it! Here you go… Abundance Vineyards: Big Booty Bob and Bacio Dolce Manager Stefanie Shaw and her tasting room staff will offer an assortment of chocolates to go with..

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Time Posted: Feb 6, 2011 at 1:14 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
February 3, 2011 | Randy Caparoso

2 sisters + 1 cool dad at Sorelle Winery

The wave of the future in Ironstone’s past

The newly arrived Sorelle Winery is fashioning some of Lodi’s most exquisite wines… Lodi’s verdant farmlands and vineyards stretch southwards all the way into Stockton zip codes; and one of the region’s newest, brightest, and (already!) multi-award winning stars is Sorelle Winery, located on Hwy. 88 near the Calaveras River, at the southeast corner of the Mokelumne River AVA, just south of Eight Mile Rd. Sorelle is Italian for “sisters,” and in this case, there are two of them involved: Kim Scott, and her younger sibling, Melissa. But there is a man behind the women: it is their father, Mike..

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Time Posted: Feb 3, 2011 at 1:13 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
February 1, 2011 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi zins conquer ZAP in the City

Lodi zins conquer ZAP in the City

7,500 people can’t be wrong. Either that, or they don’t wanna be right: about loving red wines made from Zinfandel and attending three days of events dedicated to the grape at the twentieth annual Zinfandel Festival put on by ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates & Producers) in San Francisco this past January 27-29. First off, where do you fit that many wine lovers, plus all those vintners representing the 200-plus wineries showing off their stuff? ZAP’s Grand Tasting last Saturday took place in two football field sized pavilions, sitting side-by-side in Fort Mason, on the Bay looking directly at Alcatraz. Even so,..

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Time Posted: Feb 1, 2011 at 1:11 PM