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 16, 2017 | Randy Caparoso

Planning the most bodacious Thanksgiving ever (with Lodi wines!)

Glass of Zinfandel, Lodi's heritage grape, in 116-year-old Marian's Vineyard

Thanksgiving means “home” for most Americans; but even if you can’t physically make it back to the ranch or hometown, it’s the all-American culinary delectables that bring back the feeling of home no matter where you may be.

Everyone has their go-to dishes. You don’t have to actually read the recipes, for instance, to find yourself salivating over the suggestions listed by Better Homes & Gardens in their most current vision of the classic American feast:

► Oven roasted turkey rubbed from inside the skin with herb butter; with old fashioned bread or porcini-chestnut stuffing, and served with a “satiny smooth” pan gravy scraped up from the drippings (or if you’re bold, with finely chopped turkey gizzards and liver)...

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Time Posted: Nov 16, 2017 at 5:00 AM
Bob Highfill
November 14, 2017 | Bob Highfill

Bare Ranch is a quiet, peaceful step back in time

Lori Phillips runs Bare Ranch, a historic property more than 100 years old in Lodi.


Behind a cluster of towering pines, past a botanical garden and along a gravel path stands a beautiful link to Lodi’s past.

The Bare Ranch mansion exudes opulence from a foregone era.

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Time Posted: Nov 14, 2017 at 4:00 PM
Randy Caparoso
November 9, 2017 | Randy Caparoso

The new Markus wines take Lodi reds to another level

Markus Wine Co.'s Markus Niggli

The word is officially out: At the end of 2017, Lodi’s historic Borra Vineyards (the region’s oldest independent family winery) will cease to exist. Borra’s acclaimed winemaker, Markus Niggli, will be packing up the winery equipment – lock, stock and (literally) barrel – and moving everything to a still-to-be-announced location elsewhere in the Lodi region, where he will focus 100% on his own brand, Markus Wine Co.

While Borra Vineyards founder/proprietor Steve Borra will convert the existing winery facility and tasting room over to additional office space for his other successful business, Lodi Irrigation, he will continue to work with Mr. Niggli with Borra family vineyard operations.

Meanwhile, Niggli has just released the first of four phenomenal, reserve level (meaning, no-holds-barred viticulture and crafting) red wines bottled under his Markus label; all showing off this Swiss-born winemaker’s unique, European approach to vinification (largely native yeast fermented, with minimal oak influence) and blending...

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Time Posted: Nov 9, 2017 at 6:00 AM
Randy Caparoso
November 7, 2017 | Randy Caparoso

LVVR's Champagne style sparklers make ideal holiday libations

LVVR sparkling wine master Eric Donaldson in his tasting room

Up until recently, the Lodi wine region has never been associated with traditional Champagne style sparkling wines. That all changed when LVVR Sparkling Cellars opened its tasting room doors in July 2016 (see LVVR bring prestige sparkling wines to Lodi).

Of course, production of the finest sparkling wines – those produced in the style originating in the Champagne region in France (called méthode Champenoise) – is a laborious process, taking years to master. LVVR winemaker/owner Eric Donaldson started his project in 2012 – taking nearly 4 years until he was ready to release his first commercial sparkling wines...

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Time Posted: Nov 7, 2017 at 7:00 AM
Randy Caparoso
November 1, 2017 | Randy Caparoso

Explore diverse styles during Lodi Tour of Tempranillo

Are you ready for the second annual Lodi Tour of Tempranillo? On November 10, 11 and 12, thirteen Lodi wineries will celebrate International Tempranillo Day (officially, November 9, 2017) with barrel tastings, culinary treats, bonus discounts, and a raffle for a full case of Lodi Tempranillos. As with typical wine region drive-arounds, you can pick up your complimentary guidebook at any of the participating winery tasting rooms (see list at the end of this post) before setting out on your Tempranillo tasting adventure.

And of course, if you’re not yet thoroughly familiar with Tempranillo, this is the perfect time and opportunity. So let’s talk “Temp”...

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Time Posted: Nov 1, 2017 at 7:00 AM