Posts Tagged ‘Vitis vinifera’

The decidedly unknown (yet fantastic) Charbono grape

February 4th, 2014
The decidedly unknown (yet fantastic) Charbono grape

In a recent polemic issued on his Web site, the widely read wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr. commented on the disproportionate attention paid to “unknown” grapes by some of the new “absolutists”: “What we also have from this group of absolutists is a near-complete rejection of some of the finest grapes and the wines they produce.  Instead they espouse, with enormous gusto and noise, grapes and wines that are virtually unknown.  That’s their number one criteria – not how good it is, but how obscure it is” Ouch.  It’s been said that Mr. Parker is the single most influential.. 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 »

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 »

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 »