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
June 25, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

The Mettler Family soon to open a truly “grand” tasting room

Quartzite stone walls as you enter to Mettler Family’s tasting room

Mettler Family Vineyards is probably the best wine producer many visitors to Lodi Wine Country have never heard of:  because, simply, ever since they started with a bang – a 1999 Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon that made Wine Spectator magazine’s list of “Top 100 In the World” – they have never opened a tasting room.

Instead, this branch of Mettlers, who have been farming in Lodi since 1899, chose to concentrate on putting their horse before the cart, rather than the other way around:  focusing on grape growing and winemaking first, and letting the quality of their work drive their sales in their markets (now in 35 states, from Hawai`i to New York).

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Time Posted: Jun 25, 2013 at 8:53 AM
Randy Caparoso
June 21, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

Onesta releases wines from Lodi’s oldest historic vineyard

Lodi’s oldest vines: 127-year old Cinsaut in Bechthold Vineyard

This past May there was much ado about a wine event taking place in Healdsburg called the Seven % Solution, highlighting wines made from grapes other than the 93% (such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, etc.) to which most of California’s vineyards are planted.

Although the emphasis of Seven % Solution was on the products of wineries sourcing from California’s North Coast, the grapes that were celebrated happened to be grapes that are also planted extensively in Lodi:  including Sémillon, Montepulciano, Chenin Blanc, Picpoul, Grenache, Grenache Blanc, Mourvèdre, Vermentino, Counoise, Barbera, Cinsaut, Carignan, St. Laurent, Albarinõ, Tinta Cão, Tourigna Nacional, and Verdelho.

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Time Posted: Jun 21, 2013 at 8:46 AM
Randy Caparoso
June 19, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

Ripken’s award winning Pinot Noir, home grown in the Delta

Home in the Delta: Rip Ripken on levee overlooking below-sea level Guard Rd. vineyard

Attention, fine wine shoppers:  Lodi is now growing some first class Pinot Noir!

At least, this is what a discriminating panel thought about the 2010 Ripken Vineyards Lodi Pinot Noir ($20) when they awarded it a Gold medal and “Best of Class (of Lodi)” earlier this month, during the judging process of the 2013 California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition.

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Time Posted: Jun 19, 2013 at 8:42 AM
Randy Caparoso
June 11, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

Six sexy Lodi rosés for summer sips and nibbles

Bokisch’s Barbera based rose is perfectly dry and refreshing…

Nothing screams “summer” better than a good, well chilled bottle of rosé, and American grown rosés are hotter than ever.

Just ask Randy Lange, co-founder/co-owner (with brother Brad) of Lodi Wine Country’s LangeTwins Family Winery & Vineyards.  The family’s 2012 LangeTwins Family Lodi Sangiovese Rosé ($14) is dry as a bone, yet stunningly lush, bright and juicy.  “The good news,” says Lange, “is that our 2012 Sangiovese Rosé is a wonderful wine to drink right now, in the heat of summer.  The bad news is that the wine sold out in a matter of days after it was released, so even we don’t have any left to enjoy this summer.”

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Time Posted: Jun 11, 2013 at 8:37 AM
Randy Caparoso
June 6, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

A Master Sommelier talks ZinFest wine and cheese

Catherine Fallis MS & Cindy Della Monica at ZinFest

In this blogpost, we have a guest writer:  San Francisco’s Catherine Fallis MS.  MS stands for Master Sommelier, which is a lofty title.  According to the Court of Master Sommeliers Web site, only 133 wine professionals in North America have earned the title of Master Sommelier.  Of those, 114 are men and only 19 are women (Fallis earned her MS in 1997, among the first 6 women to do so).  Only 201 Master Sommeliers in the entire world have earned this title since the first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam was administered, back in 1969 in the U.K. (between the mid-seventies and early eighties, the first 5 American Master Sommeliers had buy their own plane ticket to London to take the exam).

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Time Posted: Jun 6, 2013 at 8:33 AM
Randy Caparoso
June 4, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

Live music & sensuous wines at Estate Crush

If you have not yet visited Estate CrushDowntown Lodi’s own custom crush winery, where over 65 boutique size vintners do their thing – this Saturday, June 8 is the perfect time.

Estate Crush co-owner Bob Colarossi tells us, “the 8th of June falls on our ‘Second Saturday,’ which is when we conduct our monthly Barrel Tasting Tour, which is a full-immersion, ‘Wine 101-type’ of experience – a great way to learn about all the little things involved in winemaking.  Then during the evening, we’re featuring live music in our tasting room.”

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Time Posted: Jun 4, 2013 at 8:29 AM