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
August 25, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi's 2016 harvest is all of the above (so far)

2016 Zinfandel harvest in Harney Lane's Lizzy James Vineyard

You may have heard: so far the 2016 wine grape harvest in the Lodi Viticultural Area has been early, it has been late, and it has been normal. The crop has been bigger than usual, and also smaller. So which is it?

All of the above, of course. What’s “normal” is that you hearing conflicting reports because it all depends on which grapes and which sites winegrowers are speaking about when giving their assessments...

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Randy Caparoso
August 22, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

LangeTwins Family's Nero d'Avola bolsters Lodi's reputation as a cutting-edge wine region

LangeTwins Family's Joe Lange introducing wine bloggers to the 2014 LangeTwins Family Nero d'Avola during the speed tasting at the recent Wine Bloggers Conference in Lodi

The future of California red wine is here. Imagine the taste of the plumpest, drippiest, shimmeringly red, mid-summer Bing cherry filled out with a belt of tannin strapping the tongue like soft Italian leather, and zapped by completely natural, zesty, fresh fruit acidity.

Also imagine that this red wine is neither light nor heavy in body; but rather, a bouncy, moderately weighted 13% alcohol. A red wine with the type of fluid, food friendly drinkability that grandpa and grandma keep muttering about when talking about the “good ol’ days” when wines didn’t give you a headache, even after a jug was emptied in one sitting... by just two or three people...

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Randy Caparoso
August 16, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

Snapshots and bloggers' fond memories of the Wine Bloggers Conference in Lodi

Wine blogger, Rob Frisch (Odd Bacchus), experiencing break-of-dawn Viognier picking in Lodi's Phillips Farms

The 2016 Wine Bloggers Conference (August 10-14, 2016) has come and gone through sleepy ol' Lodi Wine Country like the digital tornado it was: nearly 300 wine blogging demons, plus a couple dozen wine industry professionals attending as speakers or observers (wine blogging as a marketing medium, after all, is an animal of a different stripe).

It went well, if we say so ourselves. But don’t take our word for it. Here is a photo log, along with insights from a number of those in attendance...

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Randy Caparoso
August 8, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi 101 for this week's visiting wine bloggers

Enduringly healthy, nimble 115-year-old Zinfandel in Lodi's Marian's Vineyard (July 2016)

Starting this week (Wednesday, August 10) and for 4 days thereafter, over 300 online wine journalists and distinguished speakers will be gathering here in Lodi for the 2016 Wine Bloggers Conference.

Lodi wines and grapes, of course, won’t be the conference's only topics of discussion; but they will be the major ones. So in expectation, for the benefit of our visiting bloggers, here are 12 basic things they might want to keep in mind about Lodi Viticultural Area as they dive deeper into specifics and start their live adventures in the vineyards and wineries...

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Randy Caparoso
August 3, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

Neyers Zinfandels gently preserve the natural beauty of Lodi's Borden Ranch

Neyers Vineyards' Tadeo Borchardt with cobbled stones of Bokisch Ranches' Vista Luna Vineyard

Yesterday (August 2, 2016), walking through the trellised rows of Bokisch Ranches’ Vista Luna Vineyard, Neyers Vineyards winemaker Tadeo Borchardt plucked berries off a couple dozen Zinfandel clusters for analysis back in his winery, located a good 90 minutes' drive away, just east of St. Helena in Napa County.

Vista Luna Vineyard is located in Lodi’s Borden Ranch Viticultural Area; a sub-region consisting of rolling hills of reddish, rocky, shallow soils over a clay pan, at 200 to 250-ft elevations. This, in essence, represents the slightly elevated lower-low foot-slopes of the Sierra Foothills; in dramatic contrast to the fine, silty sandy loam and nearly flat topography of the more historic Mokelumne River AVA surrounding the City of Lodi, no higher than 50-100-ft., and with nary a rock or even speck of gravel to be found...

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

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

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