Posts Tagged ‘Primitivo’

The Ripken family’s “road less travelled” Christmas

December 20th, 2013
The Ripken family’s “road less travelled” Christmas

Ripken Vineyards & Winery – one of Lodi’s largest and most important growers – actually became a bonded winery because owner Richard “Rip” Ripken loved to play Santa Claus every year. According to Rip’s daughter, winemaker Susan Ripken, “My dad would go around during Christmas time and play Santa by handing out the wine we were making on the side to anyone he could think of.  Eventually we realized we were above our legally permitted gallons, and we needed to become a bonded winery before the government hauled my dad off to jail!” The Ripken family has their own holiday.. VIEW MORE »

The mystery of Zinfandel, part 1: a plot as thick as the wine

October 23rd, 2013
The mystery of Zinfandel, part 1:  a plot as thick as the wine

For the longest time, Zinfandel was known as California’s “mystery grape.”  It has also been long considered an “all-American” varietal; since as far as anyone knew, Zinfandel wasn’t grown anywhere else in the world.  Make that “all-California,” because virtually all of it is grown in the state of California – and most of that, in the American Viticultural Area of Lodi. Whatever the case may be, America loves Zinfandel – whether it is made into a light, fizzy, fruity pink wine (i.e. White Zinfandel), or a moderate to humongously full, thick, lip-smacking red wines.  This black skinned grape is successfully.. VIEW MORE »

The new Macchia Primitivo — the milder, smoother identical twin of Zinfandel

October 17th, 2013
The new Macchia Primitivo — the milder, smoother identical twin of Zinfandel

Macchia Wines, which produces more single-vineyard Zinfandels than any other winery in Lodi, has just released their first-ever bottling of Primitivo:  the 2012 Macchia Lodi Primitivo ($24) – a full bodied yet smooth, mildly tart edged red wine that has something of an “Italian” feel in its bright, upbeat, drink-me-with-food qualities.  But like a good Zinfandel, this Primitivo is teeming with sun kissed berryish fruit; tinged with sweet peppercorn spice, and subtle touches of cedarwood-ish oak. Macchia winemaker/owner Tim Holdener tells us, “This is our inaugural experience with Primitivo.  Ours is grown by Todd Maley, at his vineyard on Davis.. 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 »

Lodi’s alternative wine grapes, headed towards photo finish

September 5th, 2013
Lodi’s alternative wine grapes, headed towards photo finish

According to the 2012 Grape Acreage Report put out by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, approximately 10.2% of the total acreage of fruit bearing wine grape vines in California can be classified as “other” — including many of the “alternative” style varietals more common to Lodi than in other American wine regions, such as Albariño and Aglianico, Cinsaut and Souzão, Vermentino and Verdelho, Graciano and Teroldego, Marzemino and Montepulciano, Symphony and Schönburger, Touriga and Torrontés, Pinotage and Piquepoul, and many others of, frankly, commercially obscure identity, from Albalonga to Zweigelt. The other 89.8% are among the following list of California’s 16 most widely planted varieties or.. VIEW MORE »