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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
 
August 30, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Allowing heritage vines to speak their piece in !ZaZin & REDS

Allowing heritage vines to speak their piece in !ZaZin & REDS

Patrick Campbell – who lives in Santa Rosa, CA, and is the owner/vineyard manager of Tierra Divina Vineyards – sources grapes from his two favorite places in the world: the Mendoza region in Argentina, and the Lodi American Viticultural Area of California. As such, Campbell is a busy man, since the grape harvest in Mendoza takes place mostly in March-April of each year; and in Lodi, September-October. As we speak, Campbell is working his craft in Argentina. Two weeks ago (early August), Campbell was in Lodi, doing what he does a half-dozen times during each growing season — walking up..

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Time Posted: Aug 30, 2012 at 5:31 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
August 28, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Hunters Oak’s red wines carving out their own niche

Hunters Oak’s red wines carving out their own niche

The cool thing about Estate Crush, located in Downtown Lodi, is that a number of small lot growers’ wines are produced (as well as sold) there. Third generation Lodi farmer Ross Schmiedt has his Twisted Roots wines made at Estate Crush; so does Bob Lauchland, who has been having fun with his whimsical Crazy Legs and Jubilee labels. One of Estate Crush’s first clients, when it started up in 2009, was Derek and Claudia Halecky, who have been bottling a few hundred cases a year under their Hunters Oak label – named after a giant oak tree (at least 300..

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Time Posted: Aug 28, 2012 at 5:41 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
August 23, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Road Trip! (passport to celebrating California Wine Month in Lodi)

Road Trip! (passport to celebrating California Wine Month in Lodi)

Most of the cats that you meet on the streets speak of true love, Most of the time they’re sittin’ and cryin’ at home… Truckin’, like the do-dah man… – Grateful Dead Jenny Heitman, our marketing maven at the Lodi Winegrape Commission, goes all farklemt when she talks about what the Lodi growers and wineries have cooked up as part of Discover California’s official California Wine Month this coming September 1 through October 6, 2012: a LoCA Road Trip calendar chock-full of fun exciting, illuminating stuff, complete with a LoCA Road Trip Passport that will get you into everything either for..

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Time Posted: Aug 23, 2012 at 5:48 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
August 20, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Michael David does the reggay and Rhone…

Michael David does the reggay and Rhone…

There’s a word we used to use in Jamaica called ‘streggae’. If a gal is walking and the guys look at her and say “Man, she’s streggae” it means she don’t dress well, she look raggedy. The girls would say that about the men too. This one morning me and my two friends were playing and I said,”’okay man, let’s do the reggay.” It was just something that came out of my mouth. So we just start singing “Do the reggay, do the reggay” and created a beat. – Toots Hibbert (Toots & the Maytals) Is there any music that..

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Time Posted: Aug 20, 2012 at 5:57 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
August 16, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Photographic report on start of Lodi’s 2012 harvest

Photographic report on start of Lodi’s 2012 harvest

This past Tuesday, August 14, we spent a day checking out the progress of Lodi‘s 2012 crop; which, in fact, was already underway — at least in the Vista Luna Vineyard in Lodi’s Jahant AVA, where we found Markus and Liz Bokisch hand picking Verdelho for their Bokisch Vineyards brand, a select group of their small batch artisanal winemaker/clients (Odisea, Forlorn Hope, Kongsgaard, and The Scholium Project), as well as machine picking Verdelho for one of their bigger clients (Constellation Brands). According to Mr. Bokisch, the past week’s most recent heat wave (just topping 100° F.) shot up the sugar readings of..

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Time Posted: Aug 16, 2012 at 7:15 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
August 14, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi zins rock it at ZAP’s Grill-O-Rama

Lodi zins rock it at ZAP’s Grill-O-Rama

The Zinfandel Advocates & Producers’ Grill-O-Rama took place this past Saturday, August 11 at Rock Wall Wine Company’s giant hangar-turned-winery by the San Francisco Bay, in Alameda. Kudos to ZAP for showcasing Zinfandel in context of where it really tastes best: with grilled, or barbecued, foods, such as the pulled pork tacos in fresh lime vinaigrette prepared by Picán chef Sophina Uong (named Grill-O-Rama’s “Best Grill Master” by a panel of professional wine/food judges). Six of the 30 or so California wineries who showed off their Zinfandels at Grill-O-Rama are based in Lodi. It’s exactly in this type of venue that..

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Time Posted: Aug 14, 2012 at 7:47 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
August 9, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Van Ruiten’s new winemaker has an uncommon “touch”

Van Ruiten’s new winemaker has an uncommon “touch”

There is a new winemaker at Van Ruiten Family Winery; which, since founded by John Van Ruiten Sr. in 2000, has emerged as one of the Lodi American Viticultural Area’s most consistent, and beloved, producers of wines that are now sold in over 40 states across the country. Ryan Leeman, who crafted numerous award winning wines since joining the Van Ruitens in 2003, has recently left for a new position in Sonoma County. This past June 2012, Matt Ridge has come aboard as winemaker, bringing his own strong set of skills and experience. With Ridge’s arrival, the family is extremely..

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Time Posted: Aug 9, 2012 at 7:58 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
August 7, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi puts on most arduous wine seminar in the world at Steamboat Wine Festival

Lodi puts on most arduous wine seminar in the world at Steamboat Wine Festival

Winter, spring, summer or fall, a visit to Steamboat Springs – a 6,732+ ft. elevation ski resort/community in the Rockies of Colorado – is a breathtaking affair. Especially if you happened to participate in the Mud, Sweat and Cheers event that was part of the yearly Steamboat Wine Festival, which took place this past August 2-5. The mud, sweat and cheers were supplied by three vintners who were among the contingent of the seven wineries representing Lodi, and its “LoCA crazy-by-the-barrel” energy, at this mountain high festival: Joe Lange of LangeTwins Family Winery & Vineyards, Michael McCay of McCay Cellars,..

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Time Posted: Aug 7, 2012 at 8:03 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
August 3, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Signs of eminent greatness in the 2010 Maley Zinfandel

Signs of eminent greatness in the 2010 Maley Zinfandel

Sometimes a wine just makes itself. Or practically… In the case of a good red Zinfandel, you still have to pick the grapes and get it into a fermentation vat, and watch it a little to make sure things don’t go south as it starts to bubble up and turn those sugars into alcohol, while all the goodies found in the skins turn into a taste resembling, say, quivering spoonfuls of raspberry preserve with sprinkles of cinnamon toast, nostril tingling pepper, and just-roasted coffee grounds… Which perfectly describes the aroma and flavor of the just released 2010 Maley Brothers Lodi..

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Time Posted: Aug 3, 2012 at 8:08 PM