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
July 30, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Finicky Graciano grape achieves mini-cult status in Lodi’s Clements Hills

Graciano 3, Bokisch 083111

Graciano grapes in Bokisch's Terra Alta Vineyard

It was during one of their first trips to Spain when Rick and Erin Taylor first tasted a wine made from the Graciano grape, right from a barrel in a little bodega (winery).  “We were blown away,” says Mr. Taylor.  “It was unlike anything else we’d ever tasted.”

Later, when the Taylors discovered that Markus and Liz Bokisch were growing Graciano here in Lodi, where the Taylors were also living, “we knew we had to make that wine...”

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Time Posted: Jul 30, 2012 at 8:15 PM Permalink to Finicky Graciano grape achieves mini-cult status in Lodi’s Clements Hills Permalink
Randy Caparoso
July 25, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Michael David easy-skankin’ at their annual REGGAE & RHONE concert


Reggae master, Mystic Bowie

Oh lord, stuck in Lodi has never been so irie, mon… Michael David Winery continues with their 10th annual REGGAE & RHONE concert (Saturday, August 18, 6 PM), which will include an unbelievable Rhone style wine tasting under the winery’s gigantic weeping willow tree, a full-on Caribbean style barbecue dinner (by Stockton’s Breadfruit Tree), and the authentically Jamaican, so-jah-say, dem-belly-full, lively-up-yourself (and don’t say no!) sounds of Mystic Bowie and his band...

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Time Posted: Jul 25, 2012 at 8:20 PM Permalink to Michael David easy-skankin’ at their annual REGGAE & RHONE concert Permalink
Randy Caparoso
July 19, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Pasos Tannat can crank up summer grills

Tannat 2, Ripken-Guard 090611

Lodi grown Tannat grapes

Tannat is not a wine grape to be trifled with.  Its black-purplish color can be intimidating, and its thick, tannin laden texture a mountainous affair.  If none of that bothers you in a red wine, then you can, to paraphrase Jimi Hendrix, chop it down with the edge of your hand.  Maybe pick up all the pieces and make an island, like a kid playing with food on the plate...

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Time Posted: Jul 19, 2012 at 8:30 PM Permalink to Pasos Tannat can crank up summer grills Permalink
Randy Caparoso
July 17, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

ZAP’s upcoming Grille O’Rama speaks to Zinfandel’s barbecued soul


Lodi winemaker Michael McCay's specialty slow cooked oil drum smoked baby backs

ZAP – the Zinfandel Advocates & Producers organization that has done more to popularize the joys of California Zinfandel than anything in the world, apart from the wines themselves – knows where its bread is buttered.

Zinfandel has become an everyday go-to beverage around the world (they’re even rocking with it in places as far-off as Shanghai and Stockholm, Berlin and Bombay…) not just because the grape produces a truly fine and delicious red wine, but also because at its very essence is the bare naked fact:  Zinfandel makes an incredible barbecue wine...

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Time Posted: Jul 17, 2012 at 8:36 PM Permalink to ZAP’s upcoming Grille O’Rama speaks to Zinfandel’s barbecued soul Permalink
Randy Caparoso
July 12, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Sorelle’s Sangiovese defies all odds


The old Dodge House on Sorelle's estate, fronted by Sangiovese

There’s always one in the bunch.  A newly loosed winegrower, seemingly oblivious to industry trends; making a decision to plant, as his centerpiece, a grape with a solid track record of market disappointment:  California grown Sangiovese...

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Time Posted: Jul 12, 2012 at 8:45 PM Permalink to Sorelle’s Sangiovese defies all odds Permalink
Randy Caparoso
July 10, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi at its crazy best: Borra’s exciting, new Intuition White


The crazy thing about Lodi these days is that the surprises never seem to cease.  Instead, we have vignerons who insist on constantly breaking the mold, while shattering commonly perceived misconceptions in the process.

This month Borra Vineyards – which holds the distinction of being the oldest of Lodi’s small, family owned wineries (originally bonded in 1975) – will be coming out with a brand new sub-label of sorts, to be called Intuition, which will pleasantly surprise, if not shock, even the most knowledgeable of Lodi wine lovers...

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Time Posted: Jul 10, 2012 at 8:51 PM Permalink to Lodi at its crazy best: Borra’s exciting, new Intuition White Permalink
Randy Caparoso
July 5, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Round-up of Lodi’s finest dry rosés


Summer sipping in Lodi...

Summer is heating up with a vengeance; and this year the wines that seem to be on everyone’s lips are dry rosés.  And a good rosé, to paraphrase the bard, by any other name may smell as sweet, but are certainly not all the same.

To begin with, rosé wines come in many shades of color, from transparent orange/bricks to extremely bright coral or flamingo-like colors.  Yet all are classified as rosé wines because they are made from black skinned grapes that normally produce red wines:  most commonly, grapes like Grenache, Tempranillo, Carignane, Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel (although those pink wines that first became so popular in the eighties – sold as White Zinfandel – were also commonly called “blush” wines)...

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Time Posted: Jul 5, 2012 at 8:56 PM Permalink to Round-up of Lodi’s finest dry rosés Permalink
Randy Caparoso
July 3, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Summer sensations of Downtown Lodi’s Farmers Market & Wine Bars


Fields Family Wines' Russ and Melinda Fields and Jalynn Sherman hanging loose at their Downtown Lodi tasting room during last week's Farmers Market

It’s that time of year, when locals, visitors and families by the thousands are flocking to Downtown Lodi‘s picturesque main drag (School St.) to enjoy The Downtown Certified Farmers Market, which got  off in full swing at the beginning of this past June, and will continue every Thursday (5 to 9 PM) through the month of August...

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Time Posted: Jul 3, 2012 at 9:03 PM Permalink to Summer sensations of Downtown Lodi’s Farmers Market & Wine Bars 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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