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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
 
September 23, 2014 | Randy Caparoso

A history of Lodi winegrowing, part 2

San Francisco artist John Garth’s 1960 mural in the Lodi Grape Festival hall, depicting Lodi seasons of yesteryear.

San Francisco artist John Garth’s 1960 mural in the Lodi Grape Festival hall, depicting Lodi seasons of yesteryear.

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...

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Time Posted: Sep 23, 2014 at 1:53 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
September 22, 2014 | Randy Caparoso

A history of Lodi winegrowing, part 1

Pre-19th century Lodi: at Jessie’s Grove Winery, you can still see native grasses and ancient valley oak trees (several hundred years old) in a 32-acre grove preserved by founder Joseph Spenker and his daughter Jessie for future generations.

Pre-19th century Lodi: at Jessie’s Grove Winery, you can still see native grasses and ancient valley oak trees (several hundred years old) in a 32-acre grove preserved by founder Joseph Spenker and his daughter Jessie for future generations.

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...

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Time Posted: Sep 22, 2014 at 2:26 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
September 14, 2014 | Randy Caparoso

Can we stop talking about Zinfandel being too high in alcohol?

Picking knife resting on macro-bin of 2014 Schulenburg Vineyard Zinfandel (west side of Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA)

Picking knife resting on macro-bin of 2014 Schulenburg Vineyard Zinfandel (west side of Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA)

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.

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Time Posted: Sep 14, 2014 at 3:18 PM
Randy Caparoso
 
September 10, 2014 | Randy Caparoso

Snapshots of Lodi’s 2014 harvest: coming in fast and furious

Daybreak, September 6: consulting winemaker Heather Pyle (left) sorting through Acquiesce Vineyards Piquepoul Blanc pick

Daybreak, September 6: consulting winemaker Heather Pyle (left) sorting through Acquiesce Vineyards Piquepoul Blanc pick

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:

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Time Posted: Sep 10, 2014 at 11:18 AM
Randy Caparoso
 
September 7, 2014 | Randy Caparoso

The last of Lodi’s rare ancient vine Alicante Bouschet

The blindingly scarlet colors of Mohr-Fry Ranches Alicante Bouschet in 2012, just before being uprooted

The blindingly scarlet colors of Mohr-Fry Ranches Alicante Bouschet in 2012, just before being uprooted

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.

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Time Posted: Sep 7, 2014 at 11:29 AM