Letters from Lodi
An insightful and objective look at viticulture and winemaking from the Lodi
Appellation and the growers and vintners behind these crafts. Told from the
perspective of multi-award winning wine journalist, Randy Caparoso.
In Lodi, the challenges were more economic than those of issues imposed by Mother Nature. It was, in short, a cooler than usual vintage. Theoretically, this is good, because Lodi is a warm climate winegrowing region. But as San Joaquin County Viticulture Farm Advisor Jim Kissler put it, “Some growers had trouble obtaining the minimum sugar requirements of 22˚ Brix [i.e., sugar readings]... and growers without a home for their grapes found it frustrating."
As of 2023, the entire California wine grape industry is beset with a problem of oversupply. Many vineyards up and down the state went unpicked last year, with vineyard owners left holding the bag. According to a report posted by Stuart Spencer (Executive Director, Lodi Winegrape Commission) this past December 4 on the Lodi Growers page...Continue »
About eight miles east of the City of Lodi, there is a short country lane called Tokay Colony Road, demarcated by Hwy. 88 to the west and N. Tully Rd. at its eastern end. It's an interesting road because it was named for the grape variety called Tokay—more properly known by its full name, Flame Tokay—which for about 100 years was the most widely planted grape in the Lodi wine appellation.
Only, it was never really a wine grape. Flame Tokay was primarily a table grape, grown for the fresh market, in supply for no more than a month's time each year...Continue »
The air is still a little nippy, if not downright damp, which is why I, for one, tend to tucker down in the safety of my four walls at night. Preferably with a bottle of Zinfandel.
I drink Zinfandel with almost everything, including my favorite foods, such as spaghetti and meatballs, pan fried pork chops, Asian spiced barbecued baby back ribs, hibachi grilled salmon, or just plain pasta and garlic. How do you spell comfort?
Zinfandel, as it were, is also surprisingly good with cheese. Especially the gourmet type cheeses you find at Cheese Central, the artisanal cheese store owned by Cindy Della Monica, located in Downtown Lodi...Continue »