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.
Turn of the century rise of Lodi wineries and growers’ cooperatives
In 1900 Urgon Winery was founded by an enterprising German emigrant named Adolph Bauer, who recognized the need for a wine production facility at a time, during the late 1890s, when many Lodi farmers were transitioning from watermelons to grapes. With the help of his partner John Guggolz, Bauer established the first independent facility for wine and brandy production in the Lodi region. Prior to that, Lodi growers were forced to sell most of their grapes to El Pinal Winery – later re-incorporated as George West and Son Winery – located further south in Stockton...Continue »
Mokelumne (before Lodi was Lodi)
The first settlers of European descent arrived in the area we know as Lodi in 1846; finding what Ralph A. Clark (Lodi – Images of America) described as "an abundant paradise," perched just a few feet above sea level, sandwiched between the lower foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the east, and the lower elevation wetlands of the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta to the west. The Delta is the only break in the coastal mountains in the entire state of California.
The Native American tribe occupying this plush pocket just prior to the onslaught of settlers from Europe or other states was the Plains Miwok; most of whom had already succumbed to a plague that ravaged all the Native American tribes in the San Joaquin Valley in 1832...Continue »
In a post that recently popped up on the multiple "Best Wine Blog” Award winning Terroirist site, contributor Isaac James Baker commented on six 2012 Lodi AVA grown Zinfandels produced under the Lodi Native banner: "Tasting all six together, I was stunned by the tremendous variation in flavors and textures, and found it fascinating to dissect my perceptions of each wine.Continue »
The second week of September is usually when the California grape harvest is just getting started. This year, at this same time, many growers and vintners are saying that they are more than a third of the way through. Why the accelerated time table? Three things conspired to upset 2014's grape carts to some extent:Continue »
Harmony Wynelands has recently released the last of its wines from one of the Lodi AVA's most venerated ancient vine plantings: Mohr-Fry Ranches' twelve and a half acres of Alicante Bouschet, which originally went into the ground in 1921, but was completely torn out following the 2012 vintage.Continue »