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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
 
April 29, 2015 | Randy Caparoso

Historic Vineyard Society tasting of Lodi’s rarest wines headlines 2015 ZinFest Wine School

Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis

Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis

Everybody loves a luscious Zinfandel, Lodi's signature wine, but Lodi ZinFest has always been about a lot more than Zinfandel. It's been about all the fascinating wines – from light and refreshing white and pink wines, to a joyful variety of savory reds – grown in this, the most widely planted American Viticultural Area in the U.S. And the ZinFest Wine School is where you go to learn about this from some of the most respected wine educators and winemakers in the industry. Each of our four Wine School seminars starts at the top of the hour, starting at...

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Time Posted: Apr 29, 2015 at 8:00 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
April 24, 2015 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi Zinfandel gets some “pizazz” from a Sonoma producer

2012 Carol Shelton Piazza Vineyard Pizazz Zin Lodi Zinfandel

2012 Carol Shelton Piazza Vineyard Pizazz Zin Lodi Zinfandel

What happens when a critically acclaimed Sonoma County based Zinfandel producer gets her hands on some Lodi grown fruit? You get a wine like the newly minted 2012 Carol Shelton Piazza Vineyard Pizazz Zin Lodi Zinfandel ($19): a plump, verging on opulent, almost lascivious style of the varietal; teeming with cherry-bombish fruit coated in nostril tingling cocoa dust and almost piña colada-like sensations. If you think we're overstating things, Carol Shelton herself – the Carol Shelton Wines owner/winemaker – describes the Pizazz Zin as being like "Bing cherry pie in a graham cracker crust, creamy Hershey's milk chocolate and a bit..

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Time Posted: Apr 24, 2015 at 8:00 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
April 21, 2015 | Randy Caparoso

Klinker Brick aligns with two bold women-growers

Lodi grower Jean Rauser among her 109-year old Carignan plants

Lodi grower Jean Rauser among her 106-year old Carignan plants

Special red wines grown by Lodi's Jean Rauser and Antoinette Celle

Special red wines grown by Lodi's Jean Rauser and Antoinette Celle Klinker Brick Winery owner Steve Felten has recently aligned his farming operations with two of Lodi's more enterprising women-growers: Jean Rauser, the owner of Rauser Vineyard in the Victor area, east of the town of Lodi; and Antoinette Celle, owner of Celle Vineyard located at the southernmost edge of the Lodi Viticultural Area, near Linden. It's a smart move, because Klinker Brick has just released two of the most unique red wines grown in Lodi – in all of California, for that matter. Mr. Felten, and his longtime..

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Time Posted: Apr 21, 2015 at 8:00 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
April 15, 2015 | Randy Caparoso

2015 Lodi ZinFest – more fun than a barrel of floating winemakers!

Lodi grower Jean Rauser among her 106-year old Carignan plants

ZinFest May 15-17, 2015

Where does the time go? Don't look now, but the 2015 Lodi ZinFest Wine Festival is just 30 days away — happening this coming Saturday, May 16 (12-5 PM)! Simply put, Lodi wine doesn't get any funner than this yearly affair, taking place in the gorgeously lush "island" setting of Lodi Lake Park, amidst giant ancient weeping willows bowing beside blue refreshing waters of the Mokelumne River. Also as in previous years, over 40 of Lodi's finest artisanal wineries will be pouring over 200 different Lodi grown wines — and not just Zinfandel! Sure, Lodi produces about 40% of...

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Randy Caparoso
 
April 6, 2015 | Randy Caparoso

White Zinfandel is back, and better (when seriously dry) than ever!

McCay Cellar Lodi Appellation White Zinfandel

McCay Cellar Lodi Appellation White Zinfandel

The crying of Lot 13 Don't look now, but White Zinfandel may be back, and better than ever! That is to say, White Zinfandel vinified more like a connoisseur's wine: bone-dry – not a hint of residual sugar in the taste – and from intensely flavorful, ancient vine fruit. The 2014 McCay Cellars Lodi White Zinfandel ($18) may very well be the bottling that revives the category in the Lodi winegrowing region. Bottled just this past mid-March, McCay Cellars owner/winemaker Michael McCay tells us, "Right now the wine is screaming 'pomegranate'" – in reference to the wine's brilliant, penetrating...

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Time Posted: Apr 6, 2015 at 8:00 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
April 1, 2015 | Randy Caparoso

The Mokelumne River Viticultural Area (part 3) – Grapes, ungrafted vines, rags to riches

February pruning of 100-year old, own-rooted Kirschenmann Vineyard Zinfandel

February pruning of 100-year old, own-rooted Kirschenmann Vineyard Zinfandel

Continued from: The Mokelumne River Viticultural Area (part 1 and part 2) Transition from Table Grape to Premium Varietal Wine Production About 40% of California's entire annual Zinfandel production is grown in the Lodi AVA; almost all of that, in the 42,000 acres of planted vines comprising the Lodi sub-region of Mokelumne River AVA. While Zinfandel is considered Mokelumne River's heritage wine grape – cultivated in the region since the late 1850s – it is by no means the only variety of Vitis vinifera flourishing in this appellation. Black skinned varieties such as Petite Sirah, Carignan, Grenache, Barbera and...

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Time Posted: Apr 1, 2015 at 1:17 PM