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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 12, 2010 | Randy Caparoso

Van Ruiten recipe for world class zin

In 2009 Hugh Johnson, the internationally esteemed British author of The World Atlas of Wine, was asked by the Wall St. Journal Wine Club to head up a panel of other distinguished judges to select the 12 best wines of the world. Among the 12 chosen by Johnson's panel was the 2007 Van Ruiten Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel. Since it was the only Zinfandel among the final selection, that essentially meant it was their "best Zinfandel in the world." A fluke? A case of perfect celestial alignment? Hmmm. Meanwhile, back at the ranch: this very same Zinfandel came away with...

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Time Posted: Sep 12, 2010 at 3:02 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
September 12, 2010 | Randy Caparoso

Taste Lodi: Van Ruiten Zinfandel

2008 VAN RUITEN FAMILY, LODI OLD VINE ZINFANDEL The taste of an ultimate zin: Begins with a sweet toned, harmoniously composed nose of aromas suggesting blueberry jam, blackberry syrup and vanilla pods, with nary an overripe or raisiny note. On the palate, the luscious, vibrant fruit qualities are couched in a moderately full, giving body — mouth-filling without being hard or stiff — and filled to the brim with slightly smoky, dark roasting coffee bean-like spices. Keebler elf-like meticulousness: Hand picked from the family's oldest, finest, head-trained, own rooted vines, now approaching their 6oth year. These "bush" vines have matured...

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Time Posted: Sep 12, 2010 at 2:08 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
August 31, 2010 | Randy Caparoso

Alebrijes’ Chef Ruben Larrazolo

Alebrijes Bistro

A Force Is with us in Lodi…

When talking about Ruben Larrazolo, his favorite chef to work with, Spanish grape specialist/winemaker Markus Bokisch tells us, "the thing about Ruben is that he doesn't run a Mexican restaurant, he runs a Mexican bistro — where anything is possible when it comes to food and dishes." It's safe to say, many of Lodi's winemakers feel the same about chef Larrazolo, who lets his imagination run rampant when it comes to cooking — especially when matching food with wine.

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Time Posted: Aug 31, 2010 at 8:00 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
August 28, 2010 | Randy Caparoso

The world according to the Bokischs

Markus and Liz Bokisch

Bokisch Vineyards

Markus and Liz Bokisch, who own Bokisch Vineyards in Lodi, have recently been turning the wine world on its head. You've probably heard, for instance, winemakers sanctimoniously talk about how they pick grapes "by flavor, not numbers." How they all wait for "physiological ripeness" before harvesting. As if, of course, they would be waiting for "physiological unripeness" before sending out their harried crews.

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Time Posted: Aug 28, 2010 at 8:00 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
August 28, 2010 | Randy Caparoso

Taste Lodi: the Bokisch way

BOKISCH FAMILY SANGRIA

BOKISCH FAMILY SANGRIA

I'm not going to lie to you, you can use any kind of red wine to make good sangria. But if you use the Bokisch Graciano — laden with ginger and black pepper spices, dense yet supple, sinewy in the mouth — it's simply that much more exotically spiced, and that much more sensuous. Trust us — we've lived to tell the tale. Here is Liz Bokisch's "secret" recipe...

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Time Posted: Aug 28, 2010 at 8:00 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
August 24, 2010 | Randy Caparoso

“Reggae & Rhone” rocks the delta

Rasta signing...

Rasta signing...

Lodi Knows How to Party

In case you were there (or worse, if you missed it): once again the folks at Michael-David Winery showed the world that Lodi knows how to party (our kind of party!). Last Saturday night was their Reggae & Rhone concert, ostensibly thrown to celebrate the latest incarnation of their Incognito white and red blends (dynamite wines!).

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Time Posted: Aug 24, 2010 at 8:00 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
August 20, 2010 | Randy Caparoso

Remember 10/10/10!

Lodi on the Water

Lodi on the Water

Treasure Island WineFest – Lodi on the Water

For Bay Area wine buffs, that memorable date might very well become 10/10/2010… when over forty of Lodi's finest wine producers will cross the Bay Bridge to lay claim to Treasure Island and put on the 2nd annual Treasure Island WineFest – Lodi on the Water.

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Randy Caparoso
 
August 19, 2010 | Randy Caparoso

Next big thing: Iberian grapes in Lodi

Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel

Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 

Who is that gaucho, amigo? (Steely Dan)

If you're a jaded, or simply fearless, California wine lover, you would have loved to have sat in on this tasting led by Chandler, with author/Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson as well as San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Bonné adding further commentary. The proof, of course, was in the pudding made up of the eight Lodi grown wines made from native Iberian grapes selected by the wise and wily Chandler.

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Time Posted: Aug 19, 2010 at 8:00 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
August 18, 2010 | Randy Caparoso

Remembrances of Lodi’s bounties

W&R Executive Chef Didier 

Days of wine, roses, and the funnest farmers market east of the Eden

It’s not for naught that many swear that the Wine & Roses hotel in Lodi is one of the most romantic in the world.  Anyone who has partaken of the air and waters (which in Lodi, smells and feels suspiciously like blood red wine) in this plush, compelling, wine country caravansary, and came back with rings set permanently on their fingers, would testify to that.

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Time Posted: Aug 18, 2010 at 8:00 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
August 17, 2010 | Randy Caparoso

The Farmer Is the Man

Wine:30 Harney Lane clubbers

Harney Lane's wines son más caliente que una pistola

Lodi wine lovers are funny people (like the Wine:30 Harney Lane clubbers pictured to the above). On one hand, they pride themselves on knowing good wine when they drink it — don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows – while grousing about the fact that for too long wines from Lodi have been associated with jug wines, even though all along wineries from other regions have been buying Lodi grapes and sneaking them into their ultra-premium wines.

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Time Posted: Aug 17, 2010 at 8:00 AM