Catherine Fallis (Master Sommelier and author of Ten Grapes to Know) headlines 2019 Lodi ZinFest Wine School
It’s nearly that time again: the annual Lodi ZinFest Wine Festival, taking place Saturday, May 18, 2019 at the stunningly bucolic Lodi Lake Park. This year festival will begin at 12 PM for Early Entrance guests (admission $75, available only with advance purchase), and then go from 1 PM to 5 PM for General Admission enthusiasts ($55 in advance, $65 at the gate).
Apart from a grand tasting of over 200 wines representing the dizzying range of fresh, pristinely expressive wines (from Albariño to Zinfandel) now being produced by Lodi wineries, there will also be opportunities to further your wine and culinary knowledge at ongoing demonstrations, including the Up in Smoke BBQ Demo (manned by Food Network celebrity chef Chad Rosenthal) and the ZinFest Wine School (kicking off at 1:30 PM)...Continue »
Friday, May 17, 2019 – 2:00-4:00 PM – Wine & Roses Hotel Ballroom (Lodi)
Exactly how do Zinfandels from Lodi’s oldest vines compare to ancient vine Zinfandels grown in Sonoma County, Napa Valley, Paso Robles, Contra Costa and Amador County? The best way to find out is to taste them “blind,” with no preconceptions, just sensory qualities to lead you to conclusions. Preferably with the guidance of some of the most Zinfandel-knowledgeable wine professionals in the state...Continue »
How do you describe the latest wine produced by Lodi’s Estate Crush, Downtown Lodi’s custom crush facility (serving over 60 winery/clients, on top of wines sold under its own brand)? The 2018 Estate Crush Lodi “Carbonated” Cinsault Rosé ($26) is so many things that it is practically “ironic,” as Alanis Morissette once sang, citing a slew of things that can go wrong, and often do go wrong, in our workaday-to-wonderful lives.’’
The wine itself is unabashedly spritzy and positively exudes strawberry/cranberryish fruit in a perfume of remarkably fruit centered purity and in its light, razor-sharp and zesty-prickling sensations, bracing the palate with just a whisper of residual sugar (barely half a gram)...Continue »
Only, this time around it’s a bone dry pink wine – bottled without one, single gram of residual sugar. To hedge his bets, however, Michael Klouda Wines owner/winemaker Michael Klouda is calling his new fangled wine “Retro Rosé.”
Why? Because dry rosé is one of the hottest wine categories in the market today, whereas the White Zinfandel sales are plunging rapidly. Hence, the hundreds of acres of fields with piles of pulled-up vines – many of these, vineyards planted over 50 years ago – that locals have been seeing all over Lodi during the past three years...Continue »
At the cusp of spring, wrote the poet Marge Piercy, the months become a "rich fresh wine," into which we stagger "smeared with pollen," when “the green will never again be so green, purely and lushly.”
As a more sobering harbinger of events, The Old Farmer's Almanac prognosticates on the upcoming 2019 weather: “Raindrops won’t be falling on heads (as often) in many parts of the U.S., with below normal precipitation expected in the Atlantic Corridor, Appalachians, and Intermountain regions, as well as in the Desert Southwest, Pacific Northwest (including California), Pacific Southwest, and western Hawaii...”Continue »
The re-opening of Acquiesce Winery’s tasting room – which usually happens after about four months of a “winter slumber” – has become something of a yearly rite of spring for many a Lodi wine lover. Owners Sue and Rodney Tipton welcomed the first of their 2019 visitors and loyal club members just this past weekend (March 15-17).
Close followers of Acquiesce wines are very well aware of why the winery needs to shut down for a third of each year: because the wines – representing a fairly small production, 100% grown and produced in the Tiptons’ own home vineyard – are virtually sold out by November of each year! That’s what success will do for you...Continue »
In the 1850s and 1860s, when pioneering growers first began planting wine grapes in Sonoma County, Napa Valley, the Santa Cruz Mountain area, Amador County and, of course, the Lodi Viticultural Area, they planted their vines as free-standing plants – with no trellis wires, just one supportive stake per vine – in a fashion known as "gobelet."
Gobelet literally translates as “goblet,” in reference to the virtual shape of the vine: classically, a trunk topped at no more than a foot or two from the ground, crowned by eight (give or take) “spurs,” which are shortened canes kept as permanent arms positioned around the top (i.e. “head”) of the trunk. In this style of cultivation – said to date back to the ancient Egyptians and Romans yet still commonly practiced throughout Southern France and Spain – most of each year’s growth is pruned back during winter months, leaving buds or nodes at the top of each spur for the growth of typically two new canes in early spring...Continue »
Okay, so it’s still a little gray out there, and the ground has not yet completely dried up from the winter rains (but hey, water!), on the first day of spring – or the vernal equinox (as of Wednesday, March 20 in the Northern Hemisphere), when day and night are just about equal in length – here in Lodi wine country.
But if you look closely, buds are just beginning to break out in the fields and vines, and in our annual bushes and trees. That means something, doesn’t it? It’s a yearly reconfirmation of life, just when we thought winter would never end (or rather, as it’s often seemed in recent years, just when we were wondering if we somehow overslept and missed “winter” completely)...Continue »
Mike Dunne is one of those newspapermen whose unimpeachable creds as a published wine pundit were established roughly in the Stone Age. That is, when The Rolling Stones were still considered a voice of “youth” (who knows what you should call them now).
Mr. Dunne officially “retired” from The Sacramento Bee in 2008 after working for this flagship McClatchy daily as a food editor, restaurant critic and wine columnist for some 30 years. But like the Stones, he just never goes away. Instead, he continues to regularly file his impeccably composed “Dunne on Wine” columns at the Bee, covering every conceivable wine region from Washington and Oregon to Chile and Australia, every nook and cranny of California and much of the “old country” in Europe as well. His interests, and therefore insights and erudite commentary, are decidedly global. Plus, as a professional wine judge, Mr. Dunne’s services are in demand up and down the West Coast, and beyond (for a short time, Dunne also served as head judge for the venerable California State Fair)...Continue »
There are plenty of American wineries founded with the intention of specializing in one grape, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot noir or Zinfandel. There is a much smaller handful hanging their hats on grapes like Tempranillo, Syrah, Mourvèdre or Grenache. But Petite Sirah? That may take some guts.Continue »