The LoCA 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 16, 2019 | Randy Caparoso

Visiting sommeliers experience Lodi's unique diversity and share thoughts on how to get the word out

Visiting sommelier, James Brim of Atlanta's City Winery restaurant, picking Zinfandel from 130-year-old vine in Jessie's Grove's Royal Tee Vineyard

Last week – from Sunday, September 8 to Thursday, September 12 – eight sommeliers selected from across the U.S. and Canada by the SommFoundation (a scholarship program associated with the Guild of Sommeliers) – visited Lodi wine country for a full-immersion course. These eight wine professionals were selected from a list of over 60 applicants.

One local sommelier, Benjamin Caldwell of Lodi’s Wine & Roses Hotel & Spa (relatively new to the region, Mr. Caldwell moved to Lodi earlier this year), also joined the group in their study of the appellation during this fortuitous time frame – the middle of the 2019 harvest!

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Time Posted: Sep 16, 2019 at 4:00 PM
Randy Caparoso
September 13, 2019 | Randy Caparoso

Ursa Vineyards finds dream warm climate grapes in Lodi's Alta Mesa appellation

Ursa Vineyards co-owner/winemaker Greg Stokes in his Placerville mountain tasting room

Greg Stokes and Deborah Elissagaray, the husband/wife winemaking owners of Ursa Vineyards, relocated to the Sierra Foothills back in 2001 from Santa Cruz Mountains in order to pursue their love of warmer climate winegrowing, after meeting at David Bruce Winery where they specialized in Pinot noir.

While they source most of the grapes for their Ursa label wine in the Foothills, naturally they’ve also been drawn to the Lodi Viticultural Area because, as Stokes puts it, “We also love to work with unusual stuff...”

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Time Posted: Sep 13, 2019 at 11:00 AM
Randy Caparoso
September 3, 2019 | Randy Caparoso

Exactly why, at 10 to 15 years, a Lucas Lodi Chardonnay is just beginning to spread its gold tinted wings

The Lucas Winery owner/grower/winemakers David Lucas and Heather Pyle examining Chardonnay vintages stretching over 20 years with dinner at Wine & Roses Hotel's Towne House Restaurant

In Lodi we talk a lot about Zinfandel because it’s been the appellation’s leading wine grape at least since the 1880s.

But Lodi also grows a lot of Chardonnay. According to the USDA’s 2018 California Grape Acreage Report, there are 12,416 acres of bearing Chardonnay vines in Lodi, compared to 17,814 acres in Monterey, 15,819 acres in Sonoma County, and 7,860 acres in San Luis Obispo/Santa Barbara.

Although Chardonnay grows well in Lodi, an actual “style” for the varietal as a premium Lodi grown wine has yet to be identified, but that may soon change. Slowly but surely, family owned wineries such as Michael David Winery, Harney Lane Winery and Oak Farm Vineyards have been etching out a profile of bright fruit buoyed by crisp natural acidity in their commercial bottlings...

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Time Posted: Sep 3, 2019 at 8:00 AM