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.
Phenomenal three-way blends made from Lodi grapes by Sandlands, McCay, Marchelle and Neyers
Believe it or not, some of the finest red wines to come out of Lodi over the past few years have not been varietal or even single-vineyard wines coming from, say, heritage Zinfandel sites. Lately, it's been blends of different grape varieties, grown in separate vineyards, that have been the most impressive...Continue »
Tokay series fine sandy loam, part 2 — sandy loam vs. loamy sand
Continued from Tokay fine sandy loam, part 1 — the Mokelumne River's defining natural features
Taxonomic profile of Tokay series fine sandy loam
Soil series taxonomy in the United States was originally developed by the USDA for the purposes of agricultural advisory. Over 14,000 different soil types have been identified. According to the information on Tokay series fine sandy loam soil found in usda.gov...Continue »
Tokay fine sandy loam, part 1 — the Mokelumne River's defining natural feature
The historic environment of valley oaks and grapes
Lodi's Mokelumne River AVA — an American Viticultural Area (i.e., AVA) established in 2006 by the TTB along with six other Lodi sub-appellations — is defined primarily by one common factor: Its deep (as much as 90 feet), porous yet high vigor soil, classified by the USDA as Tokay series fine sandy loam...Continue »
Burning questions about appreciating old vine wines
As a follow-up to our previous post on Why everyone loves old vines, some answers to pertinent questions usually brought up in discussions about old vine wines...Continue »
Why everyone loves old vines
Of all the different sides of Lodi winegrowing, none is more compelling than the region's old vines. There is beauty, to begin with it, in the thick, creviced, tree-like trunks of vines over 50 years old, and in their long, sturdy, twisting, muscular arms, or "spurs." There is beauty in each vine's story, what we know of them or what we just imagine. Older vines have histories, and the more we know, know, know about them the more we love, love, love them.
So let's learn more about old vines. At least, those of the Lodi Viticultural Area, where thousands of acres of old plantings have been thriving since as far back as the 1800s (although, granted, in the late 1800s the vines considered "ancient" today were still young bucks). For starters...Continue »
Zinfandel is the ideal autumnal wine
Zinfandel is the ideal autumn sipper. Make that quaffer. Why fool around?
Why Zinfandel? Because it is one of the few red wines with a propensity for spice qualities in the nose and flavor. By spice, we mean a pungent quality ascribed to an aromatic compound called rotundone, the or sesquiterpene (or class of terpenes) responsible for the "spicy" or "peppery" aroma and taste commonly found, first and foremost, in peppercorns, but also in other plants like juniper, geranium, and various kitchen herbs...Continue »