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
July 29, 2021 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi's 2021 Tour of Albariño is open to all without pre-registration

Celebrate the Spanish-Portuguese Grape Tailor-Made for Lodi

In honor of International Albariño Day (officially, August 2), eight Lodi wineries will open their doors to celebrate their seventh annual Lodi Tour of Albariño on Saturday August 7th and Sunday August 8, 2021. 

Open to the public, this 2-day celebration requires no tickets or reservations, and Albariño lovers will be free to visit participating wineries at their own leisurely pace throughout the weekend. The bonus is that each of the participating wineries will be offering special tastings exclusive to this weekend's celebration, along with special food pairings and discounts... 

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Randy Caparoso
July 27, 2021 | Randy Caparoso

How varietal character and terroir became generational bones of contention

Marty Winters and Alex Pitts, co-owner/winemakers of Maître de Chai Wines, have been applying a radically different (leaner, less fruity and oaky) approach to old vine Lodi Zinfandel, reflecting a generational shift in quality standards.

An indictment of varietal character

Among all the quality factors by which American wines have been evaluated, the most onerous, and increasingly dubious, is the conception of "varietal character."

Varietal character is the term used to describe sensory qualities associated with a particular grape identified on the label of a bottling. For instance, the varietal character of a Cabernet Sauvignon is often considered to be a red wine that exudes aromas of blackcurrant, dark berries, some degree of herbaceousness, and a full body and generous tannin. The varietal expectation of a Zinfandel is that of a very berry-like red wine, medium to full in body/tannin and zesty in flavor...

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Randy Caparoso
July 21, 2021 | Randy Caparoso

Grapevines adopting July's reproductive strategy (i.e., veraison)

Transition to 2021 veraison colors in Lodi's Wegat Vineyard (Zinfandel planted in 1958).

It's that time of year again, here in mid-July. Red wine grapes are in the midst of exchanging their green skin colors for coats of red, blue, purple, black, and all the shades in between. This stage of a wine grape's development is called veraison, from the French word véraison (simply meaning "change of color").

Veraison is also a signal that a grapevine is half-way through the process of yielding fully ripened grapes. Once red wine grapes turn color, they are usually picked within the next 40 to 50 days...

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Lodi Wine Visitor Center
2545 West Turner Road Lodi, CA 95242
Open: Thursday - Monday 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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