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
November 28, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

Poetry in early Lodi autumn mornings

There is nothing like a late November walk through Lodi vineyards at the break of dawn; when vines are shrouded in ghostly fog, over a lush, green carpet soaked in numbing dew (waterproof boots recommended).

From afar, the dying leaves on the vines might look depressing – curled up or burnt crisp, another year of life on the wane – but up close, each leaf might also beguile the senses. As poets are apt to put it, there is beauty in death; particularly in cloaks of yellow, flames of orange, or rivers of blood-red color on gnarled spurs and trunks of more ancient vines. Who doesn’t find joy in such loud and violent cacophony?

  Continue »

Time Posted: Nov 28, 2016 at 5:00 AM Permalink to Poetry in early Lodi autumn mornings Permalink
Randy Caparoso
November 20, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

The best wines with turkey

Can we talk?

Ready for the one-hundred-millionth article on what wines to serve with your Thanksgiving turkey? Heck, we’ve composed a good half-dozen ourselves; and yes, we always recommend Lodi grown wines – but for real, practical reasons, not just wishful thinking.

This fact, to begin with: the beloved turkey is as bland a centerpiece as anyone could possibly choose for a meal considered to be the meal of meals in American life. Why do you think, other than the occasional turkey sandwiches or carnival drumstick, the vast majority of us eat turkey only once a year? It’s not like, every other weekend, we can’t wait to get home and pop a turkey in the oven. We eat, or enjoy, turkey mostly under duress.

  Continue »

Time Posted: Nov 20, 2016 at 3:00 AM Permalink to The best wines with turkey Permalink
Randy Caparoso
November 18, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

Meet Wendy Brannen, Lodi Winegrape Commission's new Executive Director

Wendy Brannen, Lodi Winegrape Commission's new Executive Director

This past October Wendy Brannen crossed the country from her longtime home in Washington D.C. to Lodi to assume her new position as Executive Director of the Lodi Winegrape Commission – the organization representing more than 750 winegrape growers and 85 wineries in the Lodi American Viticulture Area, a large number of them belonging to families who have farmed in the region for over 50, 100, or even 150 years...

  Continue »

Time Posted: Nov 18, 2016 at 6:00 AM Permalink to Meet Wendy Brannen, Lodi Winegrape Commission's new Executive Director Permalink
Randy Caparoso
November 17, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi Winegrape Commission Celebrates its 25th Anniversary

The last five years have seen a tremendous swell of support and recognition for the Lodi wine region, most notable being the receipt of the coveted title of 2015 Wine Region of the Year from Wine Enthusiast Magazine. This success could not have happened, however, without the dedication and vision of the region's winegrowers and the grower-established and funded Lodi Winegrape Commission. Lodi's winegrowers are what sets the region apart and truly makes it special. In Lodi, there is an intense sense of cooperation among its winegrowers and the non-competitive belief that "a rising tide lifts all boats."  Continue »

Time Posted: Nov 17, 2016 at 10:06 AM Permalink to Lodi Winegrape Commission Celebrates its 25th Anniversary Permalink
Randy Caparoso
November 15, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

A Lucas family Lodi Thanksgiving

Mitra and David Lucas (the father/daughter team behind The Lucas Winery)

Mitra Lucas – the “owner and daughter” of Lodi's The Lucas Winery and its founder/grower David Lucas – has many fond holiday memories growing up in this groundbreaking, certified organic estate, established the year she was born in 1978.

Ms. Lucas tells us: “The Lucas family’s Thanksgiving tradition has always been to invite more family and friends to dinner than we could possibly have room for. And so, since 1978, we have always held Thanksgiving dinner in our old barn which would transform, for one magical evening, into an exquisite dining hall filled with music, warm food, and the comfort of family and friends...

  Continue »

Time Posted: Nov 15, 2016 at 6:00 AM Permalink to A Lucas family Lodi Thanksgiving Permalink
Randy Caparoso
November 7, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

What the Lodi Rules seal means on a bottle and to the Lodi community

Lodi grower Dave Devine's Lodi Rules certified L.D.L. Vineyard Zinfandel planting in Lodi's Clements Hills

Here at the end of 2016 – a year marking 25 years of existence for the Lodi Winegrape Commission – we cannot let the year go by without talking about a crowning signature achievement of this association of over 800 growers and wineries: Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing; first conceived and developed during the 1990s, and officially launched in 2005.

One of the surest marks of quality that you can find on a bottle of Lodi grown wine is the “Certified Green” seal, usually found on back labels, signifying it has been made from grapes passing a rigorous, third-party audited and certified process...

  Continue »

Time Posted: Nov 7, 2016 at 6:00 AM Permalink to What the Lodi Rules seal means on a bottle and to the Lodi community Permalink
Randy Caparoso
November 3, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

The quintessential Lodi Zinfandel and ideal artisanal cheese matches

Essence of Lodi: vintages of St. Amant Marian's Vineyard Zinfandel

The Quintessential Lodi Zinfandel

Lodi is known for Zinfandel. There is more of this grape grown here than anywhere else; untold numbers of acres of this classic Vitis vinifera lovingly cultivated by multiple generations of families for over 50, 75, or even 100 years.

So what is the quintessential Lodi Zinfandel? Lodi may have a Mediterranean climate similar to that of Sonoma County, Napa Valley, Paso Robles, the Sierra Foothills and other California regions, but deep sandy loam soils – particularly in the historic Mokelumne River Viticultural Area surrounding the City of Lodi – and slightly narrower diurnal swings (cool nights that are not quite as cold, and fewer days of searing 100-degree heat) generally result in softer, more gentle, somewhat flowery, red fruit centered styles of Zinfandel, with variations of earthy undertones...

  Continue »

Time Posted: Nov 3, 2016 at 8:00 AM Permalink to The quintessential Lodi Zinfandel and ideal artisanal cheese matches Permalink
Randy Caparoso
November 1, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

November's Lodi Tour of Tempranillo (and why Tempranillo is an ultimate food wine)

This November, discerning aficionados of red wines made from the Tempranillo grape will be able to experience a time of their life in Lodi wine country.

Liz Bokisch, co-owner of Bokisch Vineyards and its viticultural arm Bokisch Ranches, has announced a weekend-long celebration of International Tempranillo Day (officially, November 10, 2016): a Lodi Tour of Tempranillo taking place on November 11-13 (Friday-Saturday-Sunday), involving 17 Lodi based producers of Tempranillo...

  Continue »

Time Posted: Nov 1, 2016 at 5:00 AM Permalink to November's Lodi Tour of Tempranillo (and why Tempranillo is an ultimate food wine) Permalink

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

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

Have a question? Complete our contact form.