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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
 
October 18, 2021 | Randy Caparoso

Tokay fine sandy loam, part 1 — the Mokelumne River's defining natural feature

Indigenous valley oak and old vine Zinfandel on the west side of Lodi's Mokelumne River appellation.

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...

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Time Posted: Oct 18, 2021 at 8:00 AM Permalink to Tokay fine sandy loam, part 1 — the Mokelumne River's defining natural feature Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
October 12, 2021 | Randy Caparoso

Burning questions about appreciating old vine wines

2021 Zinfandel harvest in Lodi's Rous Vineyard, originally planted on St. George rootstocks in 1909.

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...

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Time Posted: Oct 12, 2021 at 8:00 AM Permalink to Burning questions about appreciating old vine wines Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
October 8, 2021 | Randy Caparoso

Why everyone loves old vines

Winter pruning of old vines (planted between the 1920s and 1940s) in Stampede Vineyard, one of Lodi's premier old vine Zinfandel plantings.

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...

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Time Posted: Oct 8, 2021 at 8:00 AM Permalink to Why everyone loves old vines Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
October 5, 2021 | Randy Caparoso

Zinfandel is the ideal autumnal wine

2021 Zinfandel harvest on the east side of Lodi's Mokelumne River AVA.

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... 

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Time Posted: Oct 5, 2021 at 11:00 AM Permalink to Zinfandel is the ideal autumnal wine Permalink
Contact

Lodi Wine Visitor Center
2545 West Turner Road Lodi, CA 95242
209.365.0621
Open: Daily 10:00am-5:00pm

Lodi Winegrape Commission
2545 West Turner Road, Lodi, CA 95242
209.367.4727
Open: Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

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