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
May 25, 2011 | Randy Caparoso

Dee Yates’ zinographic eye


If I could make a red wine that was good for your heart
A spicy wine worthy of age
Would it be enough for your point-scoring lust?
Would it help to ease the pain?  Make a stain?
… I said, I know it’s only Zinfandel, but I like it
I said, I know it’s only Zinfandel but I like it, like it,
yes, I do
Oh, well, I like it… I like it… I like it…
– Randall Grahm (parody sung to The Stones’ It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll)

Good photography is like good poetry, or verse set to music:  so much contained in so little, like Blake’s worlds gleaned through grains of sand.

Good wine is like this, too:  capable of conjuring images you can smell, taste, feel, even hear — like bodies in untold positions, from innocent to obscene, seductive to careening.  Far more than just juice of grapes transformed into a drink with alcohol.  No wonder Catholics still speak of it in terms of blood; or like Joni Mitchell’s holy wine — a lover tasting so bitter, so sweet.

Dee Yates was born in Lodi, grew up in Lockeford, and matriculated from Lodi High and Consumnes River College before starting up Dee Yates Photography in 2000.   Her work appears in numerous places — hotels, ads, restaurants, wineries, etc. — and her “eye” and technique are exquisite.  So much more contained therein.

Today she lives with her burgeoning family in the foothills of Valley Springs, east of Lockeford and Clements, whence is contributed these snapshots of wine country life, to which we have attached snippets of verse or song inspired by each image…


Little glass of wine, a good thing you are here
You’re warm on my lips, warm as a tear
A comfort to the fool who’s restless in his mind
The lover’s trusty potion, little glass of wine…
– Jesse Winchester


Greensleeves was all my joy
Greensleeves was my delight
Greensleeves was my heart of gold
And who but my Ladie Greensleeves…
– Anonymous (Olde English)


Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuß
Auf Liebe eingestellt,
Denn das ist meine Welt.
Und sonst gar nichts.
Das ist, was soll ich machen,
Meine Natur,
Ich kann halt lieben nur
Und sonst gar nichts…

I am from head to foot
Set to love,
For this is my world.
And nothing else.
That is, what should I do
My nature,
I can only love
And nothing else…

– Friedrich Holländer


I hid the love within my heart,
And lit the laughter in my eyes,
That when we meet he may not know
My love that never dies…
– Sara Teasdale


Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods or steepy mountain yields…
– Christopher Marlowe


In a green, muddy, web-foot, unutterably songless world
The vine was rose of all roses…
– D.H. Lawrence


God how I love you! — or, as I say,
a plunge into the ditch.  The End.  I sit
examining my red handful.  Balancing
— this — in and out — agh…
– William Carlos Williams


O my Luve is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune…
– Robert Burns


I grow old… I grow old…
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind?  Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me…
– T.S. Eliot


Without going out of my door
I can know all things on earth
Without looking out of my window
I could know the ways of heaven…
– George Harrison


We just lay there by the juniper
While the moon is bright
Watch those jugs a’filling
In the pale moonlight….
– Albert Frank Beddoe


Please don’t wake me, no
don’t shake me
Leave me where I am
I’m only sleeping…
– John Lennon & Paul McCartney


My heart is drenched in wine
You’ll be on my mind
– Jesse Harris



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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