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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
 
September 25, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi’s Mediterranean identity reflected by huge diversity of grapes

Alicante Bouschet, September 2013: Lodi still cultivates blocks of this unusual wine grape, whose heyday was the first half of the last century

Alicante Bouschet, September 2013: Lodi still cultivates blocks of this unusual wine grape, whose heyday was the first half of the last century

Harvest is a great time of year for photographing wine grapes, which become the most identifiable by their colors, shapes and overall morphology during that fleeting window just before they are picked. Because Spring bud break and flowering occurred as much as two weeks ahead of normal in 2013, Lodi's harvest commenced during the first week of August with earlier ripening grapes like Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, and higher acid/lower sugar Pinot Noir destined for sparkling wine production. Traditionally, harvesting of black skinned grapes for the making of fuller bodied red wines doesn't start in earnest until mid-September, but this...

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Randy Caparoso
 
September 19, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

What an influential wine blogger thinks of Lodi wines

Elaine “Hawk Wakawaka” Brown, iPhone in hand, gets up close and personal with Silvaspoons Vineyards Torrontes grapes grown by Ron Silva (right) in Lodi’s Alta Mesa AVA

Elaine “Hawk Wakawaka” Brown, iPhone in hand, gets up close and personal with Silvaspoons Vineyards Torrontes grapes grown by Ron Silva (right) in Lodi’s Alta Mesa AVA

Elaine Brown, a.k.a. Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews, is a wine blogger, journalist, photographer and inveterate illustrator with a moderate yet rapidly growing, significant following. How significant? Somehow her observations, as she travels up and down the West Coast wine regions and (occasionally) the Old Country, always seem to pop up in places like Eric Asimov's New York Times wine articles, or in Jon Bonné's San Francisco Chronicle pieces. Brown, in other words, is influencing the influencers… messin' with the messers. It helps that Brown has a cat's (i.e. curious) nose for wine quality and is instinctively drawn to the cutting-edge, which...

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Time Posted: Sep 19, 2013 at 10:40 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
September 18, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

Abba Vineyard turns sunlight into Syrah perfection

A close-up of the gorgeous Syrah fruit, hanging from Abba’s Smart-Dyson trellised rows

A close-up of the gorgeous Syrah fruit, hanging from Abba’s Smart-Dyson trellised rows

Last week Friday (September 13, 2013) Michael McCay of Lodi's vaunted McCay Cellars picked his Grenache from Abba Vineyard – owned by second-generation Lodi farmer Louis Abba Jr., and farmed by his son Phil Abba. Mr. McCay's excitement is palpable – not only because his supply has increased, but also because 2013 looks to be "our best Grenache yet… the fruit was perfect, just popping with flavor coming right off the vine." While walking through Abba Vineyard with Phil Abba, Mr. McCay opened and poured a bottle of his 2011 McCay Lodi Grenache ($28): an irrepressibly bright, bouncy, fresh strawberryish,...

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Time Posted: Sep 18, 2013 at 10:52 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
September 11, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

Maley harvest harnesses latest technology to produce “pure” Lodi Zinfandel

“Perfect” whole berries, ready to slowly begin native yeast fermentation

“Perfect” whole berries, ready to slowly begin native yeast fermentation

The Lodi AVA's leading winegrowers are no longer shooting just for "varietal" identity in their wines. They are even more focused on producing wines that taste of "Lodi" because, in the end, this is what will set the region apart — not wines that taste like they could come from any other wine region. At 6 AM yesterday morning (September 10, 2013), Todd Maley was in his family's Weget Vineyard with a crew of 6, doing exactly that: cherry picking the best Zinfandel grapes for his own Maley Brothers label (the "brothers" are Todd's father Joseph Maley, and his uncle...

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Time Posted: Sep 11, 2013 at 11:39 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
September 5, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi’s alternative wine grapes, headed towards photo finish

Majestic 107-year old Carignan vine in Jean Rauser’s east-side Mokelumne River-Lodi vineyard: recalling another era (in the 1970s), when Carignan was the most widely planted wine grape in all of California.

Majestic 107-year old Carignan vine in Jean Rauser’s east-side Mokelumne River-Lodi vineyard: recalling another era (in the 1970s), when Carignan was the most widely planted wine grape in all of California.

The Lodi AVA's leading winegrowers are no longer shooting just for "varietal" identity in their wines. They are even more focused on producing wines that taste of "Lodi" because, in the end, this is what will set the region apart — not wines that taste like they could come from any other wine region. At 6 AM yesterday morning (September 10, 2013), Todd Maley was in his family's Weget Vineyard with a crew of 6, doing exactly that: cherry picking the best Zinfandel grapes for his own Maley Brothers label (the "brothers" are Todd's father Joseph Maley, and his uncle...

  Continue »