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
September 28, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi’s 2012 harvest thus far: ideal pace & patience


Chad Joseph points out lighter colored water ripened bunch (not be as flavorful as darker bunches) in incoming bin of Mohr-Fry Ranches Zinfandel (for Valhalla Cellars)

Although the Lodi vintners began picking white wine grapes like Sauvignon Blanc and Verdelho in August, and Zinfandel as early as the first week of September, so far the 2012 harvest has been a little more mañana and a little less of the usual frenzied poco loco.  There was a slight spike in activity in Lodi vineyards and wineries this past week (September 23-28), but so far vintage 2012 in Lodi Wine Country has been a surprisingly calm, methodical affair...

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Randy Caparoso
September 24, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

This October 6: LoCA Uncorked (Lodi winefest) roars in with Blue Angels o’er Treasure Island


There once was an artist formerly known as Prince who is now known as… Prince.

LoCA Uncorked

Well, there once was a yearly event in October known as the Treasure Island WineFest that is now known as LoCA Uncorked – The Best of Lodi California Wines… and why not?  Like a Prince by any other name, these annual affairs are one and the same and not 2b 4gotten:  taking place on beautiful Treasure Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay, and featuring the wines of California’s Lodi AVA – a Delta climate wine region growing in international prestige seemingly by the day...

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Randy Caparoso
September 18, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Mystery wine for the ages: the 2010 Borra Heritage red


80 year old Church Block Carginane (Sept. 2012)

Part of being a winemaker in Lodi, evidently, is being a prognosticator; albeit, no spooky powers necessary – just good sense.

During the first week of October 2010, on the day that Steve Borra, and his Borra Vineyards field manager Manuel Maldonado picked the grapes going into their yearly “field blend,” Borra winemaker Markus Niggli took one look at the fruit coming in – plump and bursting with vivid, zesty flavors – and pronounced the quality “fantastic,” and confidently predicted, “2010 will be a great vintage” (re our original October 14, 2010 blogpost, Rhapsody in red)...

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Randy Caparoso
September 13, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Interview with George Mettler: the patriarch of Harney Lane


Harney Lane Wiinery's George Mettler

The latest wine by Harney Lane Winery – a red wine bottled as the Harney Lane Lodi Patriarch’s Promise ($40) – is as special as any that this acclaimed winery has ever made:  thick and chewy with dense, yet perfectly smooth, flavors of dried trail-mix berries, spiced with cinnamon, cracked pepper and, strangely enough, aromatic suggestions of fennel root and loamy earth, veering towards a mushroomy broth; at the same time, brightly fruited and full bodied, without tasting weighty or ponderous...

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Randy Caparoso
September 10, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Early days of harvest in Lodi


7 AM, September 10, 2012: Zinfandel picked for McCay's Truluck's bottlng (west side of Lodi's Mokelumne River AVA)

Of yearly harvests, Carl Sandburg once waxed poetic:

Under the summer roses
When the flagrant crimson
Lurks in the dusk
Of the wild red leaves,
Love, with little hands,
Comes and touches you
With a thousand memories,
And asks you
Beautiful, unanswerable questions.

… and some of our own memories of the first few weeks of Lodi’s 2012 harvest...

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Randy Caparoso
September 6, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Passport advisory: where to find Lodi wines that walk the wild side


Attention, “all you protest kids” (to quote Lou Reed’s Sweet Jane) on the look-out for something off-the-beaten-track during this month’s Passport (good through October 6) Road Trip!:  the Lodi AVA does indeed grow and produce its share of glass shattering wines… if you know wherefore or what to look for...

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Randy Caparoso
September 4, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Game plan for your LoCA Passport Road Trip!

Polaroin 4

As part of Discover California’s official California Wine Month, Lodi’s winegrowers have put together an exciting calendar of events running through the entire month of April and through October 6, 2012:  the LoCA Road Trip!

And to make it easy for you to pick and choose, there is a LoCA Road Trip Passport that will get you into everything either for free or entitling you to fantastic discounts...

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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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