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
February 20, 2014 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi Native group to debut at ZAP/LoCA’s Lodi Zinfandel Experience

“This ol’ truck” in Lodi’s Harney Lane Winery estate…

“This ol’ truck” in Lodi’s Harney Lane Winery estate…

ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates & Producers) & LoCA present
Saturday-Sunday, March 29 & 30, 2014

Earth shaking things are happening in the Lodi AVA, which has always crushed over 40% of California's Zinfandels. Today, a significant percentage of this crop – still sourced from largely own (or St. George) rooted, head trained ancient vines – is going into handcrafted bottlings, unveiling a style of Zinfandel hitherto unsuspected, and surprisingly contemporary.

Experience Lodi as never before by coming out for The Lodi Zinfandel Experience: a weekend of vineyard walks, winemaker talks, a gala Lodi style BBQ, and a special seminar hosted by the Lodi Native group.


Lodi Native is a project driven by six Lodi winegrowers of like mind; producing hands-off, minimal-oak, native yeast fermented Zinfandels emphasizing sensory qualities of single vineyards, rather than varietal character or brand styles – that is to say, highlighting Lodi's unique sense of place, which more and more Zinfandel lovers are discovering each day. For further details, please visit

What is the emerging Lodi style of Zinfandel? According to Wind Gap winemaker Pax Mahle, describing it at ZAP's recent FLIGHTS! event in San Francisco's Four Seasons Hotel this past January, it is wines that are "pure, linear and streamlined." According to Tegan Passalacqua, the winemaker of the prestigious Turley Wine Cellars, it is wines with a distinct sense of "freshness, transparency… delicacy."

The details:

Starting Point: Wine & Roses Hotel, Lodi
2505 West Turner Road

Tickets: ZAP Members $85 (Public $95). Please make reservations at ZAP Heritage Club Members also receive complimentary gift!

Trulux Vineyard Zinfandel cluster

Trulux Vineyard Zinfandel cluster


Saturday, March 29 – Lodi Native & Gala BBQ

  • 1-5 PM - Lodi Native Seminar at Wine & Roses Garden Ballroom
  • 2:45-5 PM - Vineyard walks and on-site Tastings at the classic Wegat, Noma and Marian's Vineyards. Bus transportation provided, departing from and returning to Wine & Roses Hotel.
  • 5:30-6:30 PM - Tasting & Winemaker Reception at Macchia Wines (7099 E. Peltier Road, Acampo). Travel to winery by own car, or by bus (leaving from Wine & Roses Hotel).
  • 6:30-8:30 PM – Lodi style Gala BBQ at Macchia Wines

Lodi Native Winemakers (clockwise from left): Layne Montgomery (m2Wines), Stuart Spencer (St. Amant Winery), Ryan Sherman (Fields Family Wines), Michael McCay (McCay Cellars), Tim Holdener (Macchia Wines), and Chad Joseph (Maley Brothers)

Lodi Native Winemakers (clockwise from left): Layne Montgomery (m2Wines), Stuart Spencer (St. Amant Winery), Ryan Sherman (Fields Family Wines), Michael McCay (McCay Cellars), Tim Holdener (Macchia Wines), and Chad Joseph (Maley Brothers)

Sunday, March 30 – Lodi Wineries Open House

  • 11 AM-4 PM - A day to explore Lodi at your leisure, choosing among the many events offered exclusively to The Zinfandel Experience attendees at individual ZAP Wineries in Lodi all within 15 minutes drive from each other.

Some of the Sunday, March 30 Open House events:

Fields Family Wine (3803 E. Woodbridge Rd., Acampo)
Private Winery Tour, Barrel Tastings, and 3-Vintage Vertical Tasting (2009 through 2012 bottlings) with winemaker Ryan Sherman. Reserve 1 PM or 3 PM time slots (please call winery at 209-896-6012).

Harney Lane Winery (9010 E. Harney Ln., Lodi)
Vertical Tasting of 4 vintages of the acclaimed Lizzy James Vineayrd Zinfandel (planted in 1904). Offered continuously all day.

Klinker Brick Winery (15887 Alpine Rd., Lodi)
Vertical tasting of the esteemed Old Ghost Zinfandel. Offered continuously all day.

m2 Wines (2900 Peltier Road, Acampo)
Barrel Tasting of 2013 Component/Vineyard Blocks planned for m2's top-of-the-line Artist Series, with winemaker/owner Layne Montgomery. Offered continuously all day.

Macchia Wines (7099 East Peltier Road, Acampo)
Barrel Tasting of 2013 Single-Vineyard Bottlings (up to eight Lodi Zinfandels each year) with winemaker/owner Tim Holdener. Offered continuously all day.

McCay Cellars (1370 East Turner Road, Acampo)
Vertical Tasting of 3 Vintages (two from barrel) in Lot 13 Vineyard – winemaker/owner Michael McCay's estate owned growth, planted in1915, and sandwiched between Turley's Schmiedt and Passalacqua's Kirschenmann Vineyard. Meet at 11 AM at McCay Cellars (all 209-368-WINE to reserve spot).

Maley Brothers at Woodbridge Uncorked (18911 N. Lower Sacramento Rd., Woodbridge)
Barrel tasting of 2013 and certical of Maley Brothers Zinfandel from Lodi’s classic Wegat Vineyard; 1-3 PM at Woodbridge Uncorked tasting room

St. Amant Winery (1 Winemaster Way, Lodi)
Vertical Tasting of 4 vintages of Marian's Vineyard Zinfandel – planting dating back to 1901 (often called the "mother" of Lodi Zinfandel vines. Offered continuously all day.

Watch for additional listing of other participating ZAP Member Wineries!

Wine & Roses Hotel & Spa

Wine & Roses Hotel & Spa


The weekend begins at Lodi's premier hotel and spa, the luxurious Wine & Roses at 2505 West Turner Road, Lodi. Wine & Roses is also offering a special rate of $189/night for either March 28 or 29 (or both) exclusively to The Lodi Zinfandel Experience attendees planning to stay the entire weekend. Please inquire, mentioning the event, at Wine & Roses by calling (209) 334-6988, or contacting by e-mail at

For a listing of other hotels in the Lodi area, please visit

For further information on attending The Lodi Zinfandel Experience, please contact:

Glenda Cunningham
Development Manager, ZAP
(530) 274-4900

Randy Caparoso
Communications Director, Lodi Native

Jenny Heitman, Marketing Director (Lodi Winegrape Commission)
(209) 367-4727

Maley’s Wegat Vineyard (a Lodi Native growth) in February 2014

Maley’s Wegat Vineyard (a Lodi Native growth) in February 2014



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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