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.

Randy Caparoso
September 16, 2021 | Randy Caparoso

More wine myths we have known

Do wine bottles need to be stored on their side or upright? We explore this and other common wine "myths."

The world is full of myths and legends. Why? Because, evidently, it's in our nature to be captivated by them. It's like in Peter Pan... "I do believe in fairies."

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Randy Caparoso
September 10, 2021 | Randy Caparoso

Three grapes of the moment during Lodi's 2021 harvest

Close-up of 2021 Carignan harvest in Lodi's Spenker Ranch, planted in 1900.

As we come into the middle of Lodi's 2021 wine grape harvest, it is as good a time as any to focus on three grapes that represent three sides of the Lodi winegrowing industry today:

• Innovation
• Tradition and history
• Terroir...

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Randy Caparoso
September 7, 2021 | Randy Caparoso

The meaning of brix and the start of Lodi's 2021 harvest

Harvest morning this past Saturday, September 4 in Lodi's historical Bechthold Vineyard, planted to Cinsaut in 1886.

Brix and alcohol levels in wines

The term Brix (also called Balling) is the name of the system for measuring sugar content in grapes, fermenting grape juices (musts) or finished wines developed by Adolph Brix in the early 1800s. Brix is credited with adding precision to the measurement of sugar content on a density scale known as Balling. 

Grape sugars have a direct impact on alcohol levels of wines and the resulting sense of body in the taste. Potential alcohol by volume (i.e., ABV) is typically calculated by multiplying Brix readings by .55. However, the reality is that conversion rates can be as high as .64, especially for grapes such as Zinfandel or Chardonnay that are known for uneven ripening (clusters with "hens-and-chicks"-sized berries), which usually results from millerandage or shot berries... 

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Lodi Wine Visitor Center
2545 West Turner Road Lodi, CA 95242
Open: Daily 10:00am-5:00pm

Lodi Winegrape Commission
2545 West Turner Road, Lodi, CA 95242
Open: Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

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