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
January 30, 2017 | Randy Caparoso

Lovin' wine in 2017 (or, we've come a long way, baby)

Oldies but moldies: 2014 Gewürztraminer harvest in Lodi's Mokelumne Glen Vineyard

Here, at the start of 2017, it’s customary for magazines, blogs and journalists to opine on what consumers will be drinking over the next year. A quick scroll through “the Google” uncovers some of these astute prognostications, such as...

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Time Posted: Jan 30, 2017 at 7:00 AM Permalink to Lovin' wine in 2017 (or, we've come a long way, baby) Permalink
Randy Caparoso
January 24, 2017 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi earns gold and double golds in Florida "best of best" competition

Adam Mettler, Michael David Winery's Director of Winemaking, with bottle of Rapture Cabernet Sauvignon, Double Gold winner at prestigious 2017 American Fine Wine Competition in Florida

There are wine competitions, and there are wine competitions. Then there  is the American Fine Wine Competition, co-founded in 2007 by Shari Gherman with Monty and Sara Preiser.

This past September (2016) Gherman and the Preisers spent a day and a half combing through the Lodi Viticultural Area for one specific purpose: to cherry-pick absolutely the finest Lodi grown wines they could find to invite to their 10th Annual American Fine Wine Competition; which took place earlier this month over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend (January 14-17, 2017) at the Florida International University in Miami-Dade County...

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Time Posted: Jan 24, 2017 at 7:00 AM Permalink to Lodi earns gold and double golds in Florida Permalink
Randy Caparoso
January 21, 2017 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi hauls in Best of Class, Gold & Double Gold at San Francisco Chronicle judging

Markus and Liz Bokisch won "big" at this year's San Francisco Chronicle Competion; including two Best of Class awards, one for the 2015 Albariño being harvested in this photo

Once again, during the second week of January, the San Francisco Chronicle gathered some of the country’s top wine professionals to adjudicate the annual San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition; proudly billed as the largest judging of American wines in the world.

And they mean America: For the 2017 judging, some 7,000 entries were submitted by wineries located in 28 states across the country. Mostly from California, of course, including a modest percentage from Lodi. But make no mistake, California appellations weren’t the only Gold and Double Gold winning wine regions: states like Washington, Oregon, Texas, Arizona, New York, North Carolina and Illinois all reaped their share of hardware, relative to their number of entries. Terrific wine, it seems, is made everywhere these days...

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Time Posted: Jan 21, 2017 at 2:00 PM Permalink to Lodi hauls in Best of Class, Gold & Double Gold at San Francisco Chronicle judging Permalink
Randy Caparoso
January 18, 2017 | Randy Caparoso

Dress your ritziest to win while enjoying Lodi's 2017 Wine & Chocolate Weekend

Can anything be as much fun, or anyone look as smashing, as, say, a Lady Mary, Edith or Rose during their glorious flapper era? Why not you?

Which is why, for Lodi’s 20th Annual Wine & Chocolate Weekend – February 11 & 12, 2017 (11 AM-4 PM) – our suggested theme, for you and our wineries, is “putting on the Ritz,” in the Roaring ‘20s spirit of free-flowing fashion. We invite you to get out, dress up to the nines and go ALL out, which will make your experience of Lodi’s lusciously fresh, fruit forward wines, matched with plenty of chocolaty delicacies (and not just sweets!) at each stop, all the more memorable!

You won’t, mind you, need to know the secret speakeasy knock as you travel between the 50-plus Lodi region wineries opening their doors to Valentine spirited wine and food lovers all during this weekend. You can bet that the wineries will be decked out – some of them with floors cleared for live music and dancing...

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Time Posted: Jan 18, 2017 at 12:00 PM Permalink to Dress your ritziest to win while enjoying Lodi's 2017 Wine & Chocolate Weekend Permalink
Randy Caparoso
January 16, 2017 | Randy Caparoso

Tasting U.C. Davis and ZAP's new heritage Zinfandel clones

Lodi Zinfandel on ancient vine (planted in 1904) in Harney Lane's Lizzy James Vineyard

Since ZAP’s (Zinfandel Advocates & Producers’) big, yearly ZinEx (Zinfandel Experience) is just around the corner – taking place in San Francisco February 23-25, 2017 – it’s as good a time as any to discuss one of the reasons why it exists.

ZAP was founded as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 1991; at a time when Zinfandel as a red wine category was on the wane. During the 1980s California wineries had been dropping the varietal from their lines left and right, and a larger chunk of what existed in the fields were going into soft, fruity, pink colored White Zinfandel. If red wine drinkers weren’t looking for Cabernet Sauvignon, they were asking for (gasp) Merlot (Pinot Noir hadn't quite clicked with mainstream consumers at that time)...

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Time Posted: Jan 16, 2017 at 3:00 AM Permalink to Tasting U.C. Davis and ZAP's new heritage Zinfandel clones Permalink
Randy Caparoso
January 12, 2017 | Randy Caparoso

McCay Cellars releases first Rous Vineyard plus newly "discovered" Zinfandel

Craig Rous harvests his 2014 Rous Vineyard Zinfandel

It’s big news when a handcraft, artisanal style Zinfandel specialist produces, for the first time, a wine from Rous Vineyard, owned and farmed by Craig Rous. If there were, say, just four or five Zinfandel vineyards in the Lodi Viticultural Area that might be considered grand crus – the “best of the best” (albeit unofficially), based upon a conclusive history of excellence – Rous Vineyard would be one of them. The 10-acre Rous Vineyard was planted in 1909 on St. George rootstock; on the east side of Lodi’s Mokelumne River Viticultural Area, where piles of sandy loam are the deepest and sandiest in the appellation....

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Time Posted: Jan 12, 2017 at 1:30 PM Permalink to McCay Cellars releases first Rous Vineyard plus newly Permalink
Randy Caparoso
January 2, 2017 | Randy Caparoso

Our favorite Lodi wine country images of 2016

March spectacle in Bokisch Ranches' Terra Alta Vineyard (Lodi's Clements Hills AVA)

The earliest use of the exact phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” first appeared in an 1918 newspaper advertisement in the San Antonio Light (now the San Antonio Express-News), which read: One of the Nation's Greatest Editors Says... One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words...

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Time Posted: Jan 2, 2017 at 6:00 AM Permalink to Our favorite Lodi wine country images of 2016 Permalink

Lodi Wine Visitor Center
2545 West Turner Road Lodi, CA 95242
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Lodi Winegrape Commission
2545 West Turner Road, Lodi, CA 95242
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