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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
 
October 30, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Tom Hoffman goes against the grain at Heritage Oak

Tom Hoffman goes against the grain at Heritage Oak

Like his wines, Heritage Oak Winery’s Tom Hoffman has never been one for hyperbole or false deprecation: he just says it like it is; and if it makes sense, that’s the way he does it. One thing you can always depend upon when enjoying a Lodi grown Heritage Oak wine: it will taste pretty much like the grapes it is made from, along with the vintage conditions shaping its sensations. Of the 2012 harvest so far, Mr. Hoffman tells us that this has been an “abundant” year – “I’m going to end up with more wine than I have barrels..

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Time Posted: Oct 30, 2012 at 11:41 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
October 25, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

At Peirano, the power of believing – and the famous Red Shorts

At Peirano, the power of believing – and the famous Red Shorts

As of Thursday, October 25, 2012, there are still grapes to be picked in Lodi, despite the dark weather and downpour at the start of the past week. Meanwhile, the memo came in Monday (October 22) from Peirano Estate Vineyards, a property originally planted by an Italian immigrant named Giacomo Peirano in the 1890s: Lance Randolph – Giacomo’s descendent, and current Peirano winemaker/owner – has taken off his red shorts! Wrote Mr. Randolph: We finished harvest on Saturday. I put my jeans on yesterday (we got the cover crop planted before the rain). I did notice they are a bit..

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Time Posted: Oct 25, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
October 23, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Silvaspoons Souzão picked for the prestigious R label

Silvaspoons Souzão picked for the prestigious R label

“It will be a European style vintage for the Souzão this year,” says Ron Silva. While picking his Souzão grapes in his Silvaspoons Vineyards in Lodi’s Alta Mesa AVA last week Thursday (October 18), Mr. Silva elaborated on one of the peculiarities of the 2012 vintage: “The sugar readings of the Souzão are in the 21.5°, 22° range (in terms of Brix), whereas in past years it’s been a couple of degrees higher.” Plucking a grape from a Souzão cluster, Silva points out, “you can see how the skin is already slipping off.” Popping the grape into his mouth and..

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Time Posted: Oct 23, 2012 at 2:42 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
October 18, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Viñedos Aurora’s 2010 reds are ripped & rich as a box of chocolates

Viñedos Aurora’s 2010 reds are ripped & rich as a box of chocolates

Last week Thursday (October 11) Viñedos Aurora – on the western edge of Lodi’s Clements Hills AVA, near the little town of Lockeford – began their 2012 harvest, starting with their Petite Sirah, followed (two days later) by their estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon. The quality of the Petite Sirah grapes, according to Viñedos Aurora winemaker Gerardo Espinosa, looks “a little more intense than previous years,” due primarily to a more dedicated regime of deficit irrigation. This has resulted in a 2012 harvest of smaller clusters and berries – higher skin-go-juice ratios, which tend to increase flavors while favoring a better..

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Time Posted: Oct 18, 2012 at 2:53 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
October 16, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Phillips Farms finishing up on “phenomenal” 2012 harvest

Phillips Farms finishing up on “phenomenal” 2012 harvest

If you’ve seen Kevin Phillips – Michael David Winery’s VP of Operations, and sixth generation Lodi farmer – walking around lately, you probably noticed a big smile on his face. Like he’s just inhaled one of Phillips Farms’ surrealistic-pillowy grape pies, or taken in a fresh load of aromatic compost (hey, so Lodi farmers have slightly different predilections). But what’s actually gotten Mr. Phillips turned on is Lodi’s 2012 wine grape harvest, which he’s calling “phenomenal.” Mind you, farmers are by nature glass-half-empty types – dealing with the harsh realities regularly dished out by Mother Nature comes with the territory..

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Time Posted: Oct 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
October 11, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

New stars, music & winemaking 101 courses at Lodi’s Estate Crush

New stars, music & winemaking 101 courses at Lodi’s Estate Crush

What Lodi AVA winery produces and sells no less than 65 different wines each year – the vast majority of these wines farmed by longtime Lodi growers? The answer, of course, would be Estate Crush, located at the corner of Downtown Lodi’s W. Lockeford and N. Sacramento streets. Estate Crush is actually a state-of-the-art custom crush facility specializing in small lot production for both boutique sized wineries (based in and outside of Lodi) and a number of Lodi growers turning tiny percentages of their grapes into wines sold under commercial brands of their own. So if you wish to experience,..

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Time Posted: Oct 11, 2012 at 3:09 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
October 8, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Perfect day for wine & gazing at LoCA Uncorked

Perfect day for wine & gazing at LoCA Uncorked

Businessmen they drink my wine Plowmen dig my earth… – Bob Dylan It was crystal blue skies and perfectly mild wine tasting weather at LoCA Uncorked this past Saturday, October 6 on San Francisco Bay’s Treasure Island. When the Blue Angels (following one fleeting sighting of the mysterious, phantasmical v-shaped B-2 “Stealth” Spirit) began to roar directly overhead after 3 PM, the event entered the realm of the sublime. What is it about LoCA – the wines of Lodi, CA – that strikes a chord? For one, a forthright, palpable sense of honesty: today’s Lodi grown wines are, after all, made primarily..

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Time Posted: Oct 8, 2012 at 3:15 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
October 5, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

McCay makes early call: 2012 Zinfandels could be Lodi’s best ever!

McCay makes early call: 2012 Zinfandels could be Lodi’s best ever!

It’s always good news when a Lodi AVA winemaker makes good: on a wine list in an hoity-toity restaurant like The Kitchen in Sacramento, or in the effusive columns of discriminating critics like San Francisco Chronicle’s Jon Bonné, who recently wrote A Lodi resident and grape grower since the 1980s, McCay has been making his own wine commercially for the past five years, wines that head in the opposite direction of most of Lodi’s recent doings – Zinfandels (plus some Cabernet Franc and Petite Sirah) that speak a bit more quietly, that dial back the oak and heighten fresh flavors…

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Time Posted: Oct 5, 2012 at 3:45 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
October 2, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Sunset’s Zone 14: all the reason to attend LoCA Uncorked (October 6 on Treasure Island)

Sunset’s Zone 14: all the reason to attend LoCA Uncorked (October 6 on Treasure Island)

I feel a change coming on… – Dickey Betts (Allman Brothers’ Pony Boy) If you have not yet properly introduced yourself to the world of Lodi wines, you might seriously consider attending LoCA Uncorked – The Best of Lodi California Wines, taking place this Saturday, October 6, 1-5 PM (starting at 12 PM for trade and media) on beautiful Treasure Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Another way to understand Lodi as an officially recognized American Viticultural Area (subdivided, as it were, by seven more sub-AVAs) might be from the perspective of Sunset magazine – the self-described “Guide..

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Time Posted: Oct 2, 2012 at 3:52 PM