The Lodi Life & Times

In Lodi, wine comes first. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. Meet the passionate people behind our handcrafted wines and gnarly old vines.

Randy Caparoso
April 30, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

Michael David’s annual Zinfandel growers tasting reveals east vs. west side distinctions

Michael David’s Zinfandel growers blind-taste their own 2012s

Michael David Winery hosted their yearly Grower Barrel Flight Tasting for their Zinfandel growers this past April 24 and 25 at the winery’s Bare Ranch facilities.

This annual rite of Spring, organized Kevin Phillips –Michael David’s Vineyard Manager and VP of Operations – is put on to give the winery’s Zinfandel suppliers the opportunity to taste, and evaluate, over 60 of their own single-vineyard wine lots from the previous vintage, while the wines are still in a raw, unblemished state (without the influence of new or extended oak barrel aging).  The tasting is done “blind” – no one knows whose wines are whose – and the top rated 20%, according to scores given out by the growers themselves, are eligible to receive $125/ton bonuses from the winery.

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Time Posted: Apr 30, 2013 at 12:25 PM
Randy Caparoso
April 23, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

Good vibrations at the upcoming 2013 Lodi ZinFest

Snap Jackson & the Knock on Wood Players in Lodi Lake Park

It may be all about the luscious, juicy Zinfandel and plethora of fun, contemporary, alternative style wines at the 2013 Lodi ZinFest.  But it’s also about the truly good vibrations — great wine lovin’ folks like you and me, groovin’ under the giant willows and oaks of Lodi Lake Park, plus the music… always, there must be good-time music at Lodi’s annual ZinFest, taking place this coming May 18, 2013.

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Time Posted: Apr 23, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Randy Caparoso
April 19, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

Watts ups the ante with pure Chardonnays, a classic Zinfandel & adventurous Montepulciano

Third generation grower/owner Craig Watts in his Iris Vineyard

Quietly, pretty much under the radar, Watts Winery & Vineyards has been growing before our eyes.  From 1999 to 2011, Watts was one of many winemaking tenets in Vino Piazza, near the little Lodi CDP of Lockeford.  At the Watts family’s “new” tasting room/winery on Locust Tree Rd., just south of Victor/Hwy. 12, Watts’ French-born and schooled winemaker, Franck Lambert, proudly showed off his new baby, sure to attract the oohs and ahs:  the 2012 Watts Upstream Lodi Chardonnay ($18).

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Time Posted: Apr 19, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Randy Caparoso
April 16, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

Borra’s amazing Spring releases: the moonshine is the sunshine

Borra winemaker Markus Niggli sees the light…

It is so ironic:  that many contemporary American winemakers, who by resorting to Old World methodologies, are now considered to be the most daring winemakers of today.  The new style is the old style; or as The Youngbloods once sang, the moonshine is the sunshine, shining twenty minutes later…

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Time Posted: Apr 16, 2013 at 12:13 PM
Randy Caparoso
April 10, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi vintners capture elusive joys of Tempranillo

Bokisch Ranches Tempranillo

Are there wines capable of as much inexpressible intensity as those made from the black skinned Tempranillo grape?  Even wine geeks have difficulty putting a finger on exactly what makes a great Tempranillo appealing:  all you know is that it feels great, it tastes great, but more often than not, is very hard to describe.

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Time Posted: Apr 10, 2013 at 12:09 PM
Randy Caparoso
April 2, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

Acquiesce Vineyards leads the way, bolstering Lodi’s white wine image

Acquiesce’s Sue Tipton with her head trained Grenache Blanc

Sometimes it’s detrimental – because nobody knows you – but sometimes it pays to be a “one and only.”  Talking about the Grand Tasting at the 16 Annual Rhone Rangers Celebration that took place this past March 23rd in San Francisco, Acquiesce Vineyards owner/winemaker Sue Tipton told us,

“We had crowds crashing our table when word got out that we were pouring a Picpoul Blanc.  They were loving it, and so were we.”

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Time Posted: Apr 2, 2013 at 12:03 PM