Posts Tagged ‘Greg Burns’

Lodi’s Bechthold Vineyard is named California’s “Vineyard of the Year”

June 30th, 2014
Lodi’s Bechthold Vineyard is named California’s “Vineyard of the Year”

I can’t quite put words to why I am profoundly comforted by the fact that a wine can also be a place, that mere fermented grapes can coalesce into a product of such rare beauty and meaning. – Randall Grahm (owner/winemaker, Bonny Doon Vineyard) To many of the growers and winemakers in Lodi today – now in their third, fourth, fifth or even sixth generation of Delta farming – the fruits of their labors have always been what has tethered their families to this American Viticultural Area, with or without the recognition of their peers in California or elsewhere.  Lodi.. VIEW MORE »

Winter of 2014′s certain Slant of light

March 7th, 2014
Winter of 2014′s certain Slant of light

There’s a certain Slant of light, Emily Dickinson famously wrote, describing “Winter.”  Don’t we know it, whether or not we can put it into our own words. Winter in Lodi is not nearly as much of a Dickinsonian “Heavenly Hurt” as in colder climate regions, but we have our own “Shadows… holding their breath.”  This year, in 2014, it was a question of rain.  In early February there was still doubt that we would ever get any, and the rows between vines normally bursting with green growth were bare, strangely desolate, inconsolable.  In recent weeks, of course, the sandy loams.. VIEW MORE »

The mystery of Zinfandel, part 2 – the long strange trip from… somewhere

October 29th, 2013
The mystery of Zinfandel, part 2 – the long strange trip from… somewhere

Did you know that the first winery to produce a rosé, or pink colored “White Zinfandel,” from the black skinned Zinfandel grape was Lodi’s El Pinal Winery – way back in 1869?  El Pinal did not survive Prohibition, and it would not be until the late ‘60s/early ’70s that wineries like David Bruce, Ridge, Monteviña and, of course, Sutter Home would revive the idea of turning Zinfandel into something other than a red table wine. According to Charles Lewis Sullivan in his book, Zinfandel:  A History of a Grape and Its Wines, El Pinal’s technique of turning free-run Zinfandel juice into a.. VIEW MORE »

Lodi’s Mediterranean identity reflected by huge diversity of grapes

September 25th, 2013
Lodi’s Mediterranean identity reflected by huge diversity of grapes

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.. VIEW MORE »

Phillips Farms hosts star winemakers & press at historic Bechthold Vineyard tribute

May 29th, 2012
Phillips Farms hosts star winemakers & press at historic Bechthold Vineyard tribute

Last week Wednesday, May 23, 2012, Phillips Farms, the agricultural arm of Michael-David Winery, hosted a gathering of eight other stellar winemakers and ten influential wine journalists in a vineyard walk and tasting of wines from Lodi’s oldest – and perhaps, most revered – vineyard:  the Bechthold Vineyard. This historic event was organized and led by Kevin Phillips, Michael-David’s Vice President of Operations.  In his capacity, Phillips is in charge of farming the 750 acres owned by Phillips Farms in the Lodi AVA , as well as maintaining relations with the two dozen or so other local growers supplying Michael-David’s myriad.. VIEW MORE »