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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 26, 2015 | Randy Caparoso

Borra is releasing an intriguing Lodi Vermentino

Borra Vineyards Vermentino

Borra Vineyards Vermentino

Among the many alternative white wine grapes cultivated in Lodi in recent years, Vermentino might hold the most intriguing promise. Number one, because Vermentino is native to Europe's Mediterranean Basin, and the Lodi AVA's climate is squarely Mediterranean; meaning, summers are warm and dry, and winters are cold and usually a little wet. The climate of California's coastal regions, from Sonoma County and Napa Valley all the way down to Santa Barbara County, is also classified as Mediterranean. Number two, because Vermentino is one of those golden tinted grapes with a thick enough skin to grow well under temperate,..

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Time Posted: Feb 26, 2015 at 8:00 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
February 23, 2015 | Randy Caparoso

Celebrated winemaker David Ramey releases his first Lodi grown Kerner

Sidebar 2014 Mokelumne River Kerner

Sidebar 2014 Mokelumne River Kerner

David Ramey, owner of the acclaimed, Sonoma-based David Ramey Wine Cellars – known for peerless Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons – has been one of America's most respected winemakers since the 1980s and '90s, when he did groundbreaking work at wineries like Matanzas Creek Winery, Chalk Hill Estate, and "super" Napa Valley wineries like Dominus Estate and Rudd Oakville Estate. Now, with that legacy intact, Mr. Ramey feels like he is ready for the next phase in his celebrated wine career, as the producer of a new brand called Sidebar Cellars, specializing in wines like (wait for it)… Kerner, grown on the east side..

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Time Posted: Feb 23, 2015 at 8:00 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
February 18, 2015 | Randy Caparoso

Mikami proves that world class Zinfandel can come off young trellised vines

Jason Mikami with his Mikami Vineyards Zinfandel

Jason Mikami with his Mikami Vineyards Zinfandel

Everybody knows that the best Zinfandels come from ancient, gnarly, head trained vines. Not. Try telling that to Jason Mikami, the owner/grower of Lodi's Mikami Vineyards. Or to Mr. Mikami's Vineyard Manager, Mike Manna – President/CEO of Manna Ranch Inc., one of Lodi's most important vineyard management companies (cultivating over 2,600 acres) – or Kian Tavakoli, Mikami's talented winemaker, who is based in Napa Valley. Mr. Mikami's 15-acre Zinfandel vineyard was planted by Manna Ranch in 2006. The vineyard is located on the west side of the Mokelumne River AVA, the historic heart of Lodi wine country; but instead..

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Time Posted: Feb 18, 2015 at 8:00 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
February 17, 2015 | Randy Caparoso

The fruits of Borra’s Manuel Maldonado’s labors

Borra Vineyard Manager Manuel Maldonado doing 2015 pruning (photo courtesy of Borra Vineyards)

Borra Vineyard Manager Manuel Maldonado doing 2015 pruning (photo courtesy of Borra Vineyards)

Wine, it is often said, is made in the vineyard. Which sometimes brings up the jocular comment: then why the heck do we need wineries? Well, good wine does come out of wineries. But it also needs hands – lots and lots of hands of men and women with the work ethic, talent and creative juices to turn grapes into something magical in the glass. And those hands aren't needed only in a winery. It starts in the dirt, or sticking mud, out in the fields soon after each harvest; during the cold, damp, biting days of winter when..

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Time Posted: Feb 17, 2015 at 8:00 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
February 8, 2015 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi’s wet, wild, wonderful 2015 Wine & Chocolate Weekend

Zinfandel and kisses in the rain at Lodi’s m2 winery…

Zinfandel and kisses in the rain at Lodi’s m2 winery…

Thousands of wine lovers can't be wrong! It was a wet, wet pre-Valentine's weekend, to be sure, which did nothing to dampen the hearts and spirits of wine and chocolate lovers pouring in from all over for Lodi wine country's annual rites of February pleasure. Lodi's Wine & Chocolate Weekend, after all, is all about the deleriously delicious wines grown in the Lodi AVA; luscious Zinfandels, tempting Tempranillos, boisterous Petite Sirahs, gracious Grenaches, airy light and refreshing whites, pinks and much, much more – all totally marvelous matches for chocolaty treats, true lovers, good friends and good times. Or so..

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Randy Caparoso
 
February 4, 2015 | Randy Caparoso

Tizona by Bokisch’s Zinfandel is a new Lodi classic

Markus Bokisch and his winemaker Elyse Egan Perry in Lodi’s Kirschenmann Vineyard

Markus Bokisch and his winemaker Elyse Egan Perry in Lodi’s Kirschenmann Vineyard

The more consumers and wine critics have come to appreciate kinder, gentler, more feminine styles of California Zinfandel, the more they are appreciating Zinfandels grown in Lodi. Adding to that increasingly verdant vein, major Lodi growers Markus and Liz Bokisch have just released their first-ever Zinfandel; bottled under a brand new label – Tizona by Bokisch – to distinguish it from the Spanish varietal wines carrying their Bokisch Vineyards label. Tizona is the name of the sword wielded by the legendary 11th century Spanish warrior known as El Cid, signifying the Bokischs' cutting-edge approach to winegrowing as well as their respect..

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Time Posted: Feb 4, 2015 at 8:00 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
February 2, 2015 | Randy Caparoso

Wines, chocolates, chili: matches made in heaven (and for Wine & Chocolate Weekend!)

Wine & Chocolate Weekend

Wine & Chocolate Weekend

CHOCOLATES AND WINES, FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS How fortuitous that two of the most wonderful things in the world – wines and chocolates – go so well together! In fact, it has been suggested that chocolate may be as natural a match for wines as cheese! This is why, during the past three vintages, the official sponsor of Lodi Wine & Chocolate Weekend (coming up this weekend, February 7-8, 2015!) has been the high-end confectioner, Brix Chocolate. There are reasons why we are into Brix Chocolate. Brix is the first line of chocolates specifically blended to compliment wine. Based on..

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Time Posted: Feb 2, 2015 at 8:00 AM