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
August 30, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Allowing heritage vines to speak their piece in !ZaZin & REDS


!ZaZin Zinfandel clusters, early August 2012

Patrick Campbell – who lives in Santa Rosa, CA, and is the owner/vineyard manager of Tierra Divina Vineyards – sources grapes from his two favorite places in the world:  the Mendoza region in Argentina, and the Lodi American Viticultural Area of California...

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Time Posted: Aug 30, 2012 at 5:31 PM
Randy Caparoso
August 28, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Hunters Oak’s red wines carving out their own niche


Hunters Oak Vineyard, in Lodi's Clements Hills AVA

The cool thing about Estate Crush, located in Downtown Lodi, is that a number of small lot growers’ wines are produced (as well as sold) there.  Third generation Lodi farmer Ross Schmiedt has his Twisted Roots wines made at Estate Crush; so does Bob Lauchland, who has been having fun with his whimsical Crazy Legs and Jubilee labels...

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Time Posted: Aug 28, 2012 at 5:41 PM
Randy Caparoso
August 23, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Road Trip! (passport to celebrating California Wine Month in Lodi)

Lodi roadtrip

Hunters Oak Vineyard, in Lodi's Clements Hills AVA

Most of the cats that you meet on the streets speak of true love,
Most of the time they’re sittin’ and cryin’ at home… 
Truckin’, like the do-dah man…
- Grateful Dead

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Time Posted: Aug 23, 2012 at 5:48 PM
Randy Caparoso
August 20, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Michael David does the reggay and Rhone…


Jamaica's Mystic Bowie loosens up the REGGAE & RHONE crowd...

There’s a word we used to use in Jamaica called ‘streggae’.  If a gal is walking and the guys look at her and say “Man, she’s streggae” it means she don’t dress well, she look raggedy.  The girls would say that about the men too.  This one morning me and my two friends were playing and I said,”’okay man, let’s do the reggay.”  It was just something that came out of my mouth.  So we just start singing “Do the reggay, do the reggay” and created a beat.  - Toots Hibbert (Toots & the Maytals)

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Time Posted: Aug 20, 2012 at 5:57 PM
Randy Caparoso
August 16, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Photographic report on start of Lodi’s 2012 harvest


Liz Bokisch with their first pick of 2012: Vista Luna Vineyard Verdelho

This past Tuesday, August 14, we spent a day checking out the progress of Lodi‘s 2012 crop; which, in fact, was already underway — at least in the Vista Luna Vineyard in Lodi’s Jahant AVA, where we found Markus and Liz Bokisch hand picking Verdelho for their Bokisch Vineyards brand, a select group of their small batch artisanal winemaker/clients (Odisea, Forlorn HopeKongsgaard, and The Scholium Project), as well as machine picking Verdelho for one of their bigger clients (Constellation Brands)...

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Time Posted: Aug 16, 2012 at 7:15 PM
Randy Caparoso
August 14, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi zins rock it at ZAP’s Grill-O-Rama


Wine barrels at Rock Wall Wine Company

The Zinfandel Advocates & Producers’ Grill-O-Rama took place this past Saturday, August 11 at Rock Wall Wine Company’s giant hangar-turned-winery by the San Francisco Bay, in Alameda.  Kudos to ZAP for showcasing Zinfandel in context of where it really tastes best:  with grilled, or barbecued, foods, such as the pulled pork tacos in fresh lime vinaigrette prepared by Picán chef Sophina Uong (named Grill-O-Rama’s “Best Grill Master” by a panel of professional wine/food judges)...

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Time Posted: Aug 14, 2012 at 7:47 PM
Randy Caparoso
August 9, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Van Ruiten’s new winemaker has an uncommon “touch”


Van Ruiten winemaker Matt Ridge

There is a new winemaker at Van Ruiten Family Winery; which, since founded by John Van Ruiten Sr. in 2000, has emerged as one of the Lodi American Viticultural Area’s most consistent, and beloved, producers of wines that are now sold in over 40 states across the country.

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Time Posted: Aug 9, 2012 at 7:58 PM
Randy Caparoso
August 7, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi puts on most arduous wine seminar in the world at Steamboat Wine Festival

Steamboat 1

Winter, spring, summer or fall, a visit to Steamboat Springs – a 6,732+ ft. elevation ski resort/community in the Rockies of Colorado – is a breathtaking affair.  Especially if you happened to participate in the Mud, Sweat and Cheers event that was part of the yearly Steamboat Wine Festival, which took place this past August 2-5...

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Time Posted: Aug 7, 2012 at 8:03 PM
Randy Caparoso
August 3, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Signs of eminent greatness in the 2010 Maley Zinfandel


Zinfandel cluster in Maley’s Weget Vineyard Zinfandel, undergoing veraison (color change) last week

Sometimes a wine just makes itself.  Or practically…

In the case of a good red Zinfandel, you still have to pick the grapes and get it into a fermentation vat, and watch it a little to make sure things don’t go south as it starts to bubble up and turn those sugars into alcohol, while all the goodies found in the skins turn into a taste resembling, say, quivering spoonfuls of raspberry preserve with sprinkles of cinnamon toast, nostril tingling pepper, and just-roasted coffee grounds…

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Time Posted: Aug 3, 2012 at 8:08 PM