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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 19, 2022 | Randy Caparoso

Stonum's KMS Mule Plane Vineyard Lodi Carignan is the perfect wine for contemporary tastes

Stonum Vineyards owner/grower/winemaker Kathy Stonum with her newly released KMS Carignan.

Stonum Vineyards' newly released 2020 KMS Collection "Unbroken" Lodi Carignan ($35 ) is meaningful for several reasons:

1. It is a purest possible expression of Carignan, one of the Lodi appellation's original heritage grapes, cultivated in the region since the 1800s because, quite simply, the grape variety's Mediterranean origin is perfect for Lodi's Mediterranean climate...  

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Time Posted: May 19, 2022 at 7:00 AM Permalink to Stonum's KMS Mule Plane Vineyard Lodi Carignan is the perfect wine for contemporary tastes Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
May 16, 2022 | Randy Caparoso

Is criticism of organic or sustainable winegrowing programs adding to consumers' distrust or confusion?

Vino Farms Vineyard Manager Marisela Granados with Vermentino from The Bench Vineyard, cultivated both sustainably and Biodynamically (two farming systems that are not diametrically opposed) in Lodi's Clements Hills appellation.

For the longest time, a certified USDA organic seal on a food product has been the signpost sought by consumers who prioritize the health of the environment and themselves. In the market for domestic wines, however, various certified sustainable seals have become the predominant markers for conscientious shoppers to follow. This, evidently, is not sitting well with some industry observers...

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Time Posted: May 16, 2022 at 10:00 AM Permalink to Is criticism of organic or sustainable winegrowing programs adding to consumers' distrust or confusion? Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
May 11, 2022 | Randy Caparoso

St. Jorge brings back Alicante Bouschet, one of Lodi's heritage grapes

Vintage crate labels for fresh packed Alicante Bouschet grapes, which Lodi companies sent out to thousands of home winemakers across the country during Prohibiton in the 1920s; re the top left "Valley Beauty" brand packed by C. Mondavi & Sons (the "sons" being Robert and Peter Mondavi, who went on to become famous Napa Valley winery owners).

One of Lodi's most unique heritage grapes is the black skinned Alicante Bouschet.

There is nothing really cool or hip about Alicante Bouschet. There is nothing fashionable about any grape that was considered risqué more than 100 years ago, in the 1800s. 

In fact, Alicante Bouschet is something of a curiosity, or grape of interest, precisely because it is more closely associated with Lodi's past rather than present. The height of the cultivar's popularity in the state of California was during the 1920s. It was in greatest demand during Prohibition, a many-storied 14-year period when consumers were not allowed to purchase wine (at least not legally) but were allowed to produce up to 200 gallons per year as home winemakers...

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Time Posted: May 11, 2022 at 8:03 AM Permalink to St. Jorge brings back Alicante Bouschet, one of Lodi's heritage grapes Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
May 5, 2022 | Randy Caparoso

Sommeliers assess the state of Lodi Albariño and Tempranillo in blind tasting

Visiting sommeliers and Lodi vintners blind-tasting through Lodi-grown Albariños.

We often point out that, among Lodi's local wineries, there are now more producers of Albariño and Tempranillo than Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Why? Because these grapes have found a natural home in Lodi's Mediterranean climate zone. Zinfandel, for instance, is a grape that originated in Europe's Mediterranean Basin (Croatia and Southern Italy, to be specific), and therefore it is a grape that absolutely loves Lodi's bright sun and sandy soils. Ergo, there is far more Zinfandel grown in Lodi than in any other California region. 

In other words, specializing in grapes such as Zinfandel — plus, for that matter, Albariño and Temperanillo — is a no-brainer for Lodi growers and wineries...

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Time Posted: May 5, 2022 at 8:00 AM Permalink to Sommeliers assess the state of Lodi Albariño and Tempranillo in blind tasting Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
May 2, 2022 | Randy Caparoso

How Lodi wines compare to classic wines of the world (double-blind tasting with experienced sommeliers)

Visting sommeliers double-blind tasting Lodi wines in the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center.

This past April 20 we conducted a "Lodi vs. World" double-blind tasting with 10 visiting sommeliers from across the U.S.. The tasting took place at the end of a 3-day "full immersion" into Lodi AVA winegrowing; but make no mistake, it is impossible to be immersed in anything close to "full" in a region such as Lodi, consisting of over 100,000 acres planted to over 100 grape varieties, grown in 7 official sub-appellations. 

The sommeliers, in other words, were still at a disadvantage. They may have spent two and a half days wandering through Lodi and tasting many wines, but none in the context of European wines made from the same grapes...

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Time Posted: May 2, 2022 at 12:00 PM Permalink to How Lodi wines compare to classic wines of the world (double-blind tasting with experienced sommeliers) Permalink
Contact

Lodi Wine Visitor Center
2545 West Turner Road Lodi, CA 95242
209.365.0621
Open: Daily 10:00am-5:00pm

Lodi Winegrape Commission
2545 West Turner Road, Lodi, CA 95242
209.367.4727
Open: Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

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