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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
 
November 29, 2011 | Randy Caparoso

Test your Lodi white wine grape knowledge (part 1)

Test your Lodi white wine grape knowledge (part 1)

So you think you know your white wine grapes? Perhaps you do, and perhaps not nearly as much as you think. Whatever the case, here’s a fun exercise: see if you can identify the following six white wine grapes captured below in recent photos, accompanied by detailed descriptions of each grape’s history and provenance, past and present. We’re not telling you the names of these grapes until the very end of this post, which gives you the chance to test your knowledge of both the wines of Lodi and of wine grapes in general. Hints: Most of these grapes are..

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Time Posted: Nov 29, 2011 at 5:01 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
November 24, 2011 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi’s November autumn splendor

Lodi’s November autumn splendor

November’s sky is chill and drear, November’s leaf is red and sear , wrote Sir Walter Scott. Wherefore we cannot let the season pass without at least one photographic ode to the colors exploding in our vineyards as we speak. The phenomenon, as you know, occurs when temperatures dip and leaves are divested of chlorophyll, the pigment that photosynthesizes solar energy during warmer months. As the greenery of chlorophyll recedes from the cellular walls, the brilliant golds and oranges of carotenoids take over. Reds and purples, however, come from another group of pigments in leaf cells called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are..

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Time Posted: Nov 24, 2011 at 5:37 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
November 17, 2011 | Randy Caparoso

A Lodi family Thanksgiving (part 2)

A Lodi family Thanksgiving (part 2)

A winemaker’s stuffing, cranberries with bacon or cooked in rosé, and Thanksgiving chicken dinner-winner for two! How will Lodi’s winegrowing families be celebrating Thanksgiving this year? Thoughts and recipes making up part 2 of what they have shared with us… Rick Taylor – winemaker/partner, Riaza Wines: My wife Erin’s parents have a cabin up past Big Trees State Park in Calaveras County. Every year, the four of us head up the hill for the long Thanksgiving weekend. After clearing the snow from the driveway and getting a fire going in the fireplace, we settle in for a much deserved, post-grape..

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Time Posted: Nov 17, 2011 at 6:36 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
November 14, 2011 | Randy Caparoso

A Lodi family Thanksgiving (part 1)

A Lodi family Thanksgiving (part 1)

Wine country stuffing, 2 ways to do cranberries & it’s off to the races… If anything, the Lodi American Viticultural Area is all about families. With ties to the land and ties among themselves, a significant proportion of Lodi families can trace their arrival to this agricultural community as far back as the 1800s. How do Lodi’s winegrowers and culinary personalities celebrate Thanksgiving? We asked six of them to share their expectations for the 2011 holiday, plus their most cherished recipes. Here is what three of them shared with us (the other three will talk about their Lodi 2011 Thanksgiving..

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Time Posted: Nov 14, 2011 at 6:49 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
November 10, 2011 | Randy Caparoso

The Portuguese experience at Lodi’s St. Jorge

The Portuguese experience at Lodi’s St. Jorge

St. Jorge Winery matches bacalhau with their extraordinary Portuguese varietal wines What is bacalhau, and why is St. Jorge winemaker/grower/proprietor Vern Vierra talking about it? Bacalhau is a universal dish in Portugal and Galicia (the northwest tip of Spain); and seeing that Mr. Vierra is of Portuguese descent, his enthusiasm is understandable. Bacalhau is, in fact, the Portuguese word for codfish, and it refers specifically to the dried and salted codfish usually caught in Norway, Iceland or (more common today) off the coast of Canada’s Newfoundland. Vierra’s family first arrived in the Lodi region from Portugal in 1954. He grew..

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Time Posted: Nov 10, 2011 at 7:12 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
November 8, 2011 | Randy Caparoso

A foodie’s guide to Lodi wine country

A foodie’s guide to Lodi wine country

Many wine lovers are foodies, and foodies are defined by their inveterate, bordering on obsessive, searches wherever they may be for the “best” of what there is to eat: be it the gravity defying bread putting soufflé at New Orleans’ Commander’s Palace, the mountainous kosher pastrami sandwich in Manhattan’s Pastrami Queen, the truffle egg salad sandwich at Masterpiece Delicatessen in Denver, the squid ink risotto in Palermo’s Bye Bye Blues, the battery of poke (raw fish/seaweed concoctions) at Tamashiro Market in Honolulu, the succulent rib tips at Interstate B-B-Q in Memphis, the organ meats cassoulet at Bistro Jeanty in Napa..

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Time Posted: Nov 8, 2011 at 7:27 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
November 3, 2011 | Randy Caparoso

2011, Lodi’s canta y no llores vintage

2011, Lodi’s canta y no llores vintage

Lodi winegrowers extol the challenging 2011 vintage This past Saturday (October 29), Barbara Huecksteadt was out in her 3.5 acre vineyard next to her home, hand picking the season’s final two rows of grapes all by herself, as she customarily does each year. The grapes were Marzemino — a rare, spectacularly dark, handsome looking grape that originated in Northern Italy, and produces a black, sturdy, wildly aromatic red wine under Huecksteadt’s Hux Vineyards label. As she snipped and lovingly placed each cluster into her trays, she talked about her year, pretty much summarizing the story of 2011 for just about..

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Time Posted: Nov 3, 2011 at 8:39 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
November 1, 2011 | Randy Caparoso

The winery action during Lodi’s First Sip weekend

The winery action during Lodi’s First Sip weekend

Celebrate the 2011 Lodi harvest with wine tastings straight from the barrel! The First Sip, Lodi Wine Country’s annual end-of-harvest celebration, is exactly that: over 40 wineries will be opening their doors or tasting rooms and inviting you to enjoy the very first sips from the 2011 harvest — newly born wines, still in their raw, pristine, most rambunctious (and in many ways, most exciting!) splendor. How many wine regions offer you that kind of opportunity? Many of these wineries will also be offering tastes of unbottled 2010s and 2009s, as well as their latest bottlings, just being released.

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Time Posted: Nov 1, 2011 at 9:11 PM