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 29, 2019 | Randy Caparoso

In Lodi autumn colors overflow like poetry

Riverbend vineyard on the east side of Lodi's Mokelumne River appellation

Mornings are dipping into nose-nipping sub-40 degree temps. Leaves on the trees are doing their yearly dance of death, and vineyards are preparing their wintry beds on frost gilded coverlets of greens skirted with crinkly leaves of vines and oaks hued in fiery reds, oranges, yellows and rusty browns.

It’s autumn in Lodi. Or as Robert Frost put it, Nature’s first green is gold… her hardest hue to hold… (and) nothing gold can stay...

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Randy Caparoso
November 25, 2019 | Randy Caparoso

Thanksgiving made simple thanks to Lodi wine country

Home for the holidays: Lodi wine country farmhouse in November 2019

Why should Thanksgiving be complicated, especially when it comes to wine? This is the time of year when home is in the heart, and the focus is on family and friends. Lord knows, home, family and friends can be complicated enough.

I guess this is why for many of us, the Thanksgiving dinner is not complicated. In fact, it's predictable, because predictable means comfort, and comfort has a way of bringing back the feel of home, and makes family and friends all the more easy to enjoy.

This, in a way, is why Lodi grown wines are ideal. The reds tend to be softer and more fragrantly fruit-forward than wines from other West Coast regions. The whites are light and crisp, often a little minerally and palate slaking. The dry rosés are pure and fresh, uncomplicated if you will, which is the way a good, dry rosé ought to be...

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Randy Caparoso
November 20, 2019 | Randy Caparoso

Why you should celebrate National Zinfandel Day with Lodi grown Zinfandel

Second crop, early November Zinfandel in TruLux Vineyard on the west side of Lodi's Mokelumne River AVA

Today (November 20, 2019) is National Zinfandel Day!

We know, we know: there's a day for everything these days. But National Zinfandel Day holds significance in Lodi because:

 Zinfandel qualifies as California's heritage grape because, for most of the past century and a half, it has been the state's most widely planted wine grape (today, it is California's fourth most widely planted grape, behind Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot noir)...

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Randy Caparoso
November 19, 2019 | Randy Caparoso

Sommeliers share thoughts on Lodi wines and how to expand their market presence

Jessie's Grove owner/grower Greg Burns telling visiting sommeliers his family's story as Lodi farmers, dating back to 1870s

SommFoundation, a supportive arm of Guild of Sommeliers (which, in turn, is the educational arm of the Court of Master Sommeliers), has just released its post-event survey reporting on a "Harvest Enrichment Trip" to Lodi wine country experienced by eight sommeliers this past September 8-12, 2019. The sommeliers traveled to Lodi from Austin, Brooklyn, Orlando, Atlanta, Chicago, Fort Worth and Edmonton, and were also joined by a sommelier representing Lodi's Wine & Roses Hotel & Spa.

SommFoundation's self-stated mission is "to assist wine and spirits professionals to achieve the highest level of proficiency and accreditation in the food and beverage industry," which it does by providing "enrichment opportunities and scholarships to sommeliers, restaurant professionals, wine journalists, and winemakers..."

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Randy Caparoso
November 14, 2019 | Randy Caparoso

This weekend's 4th Annual Tour of Tempranillo celebrates the ease of growing this Spanish grape in Lodi terroirs

2019 Tempranillo growing in McCay Cellars' Lot 13 Vineyard (Mokelumne River-LodI AVA)

This weekend, November 15-17, 2019, 13 of Lodi's top Tempranillo producers are opening their doors for the fourth annual Lodi Tour of Tempranillo, in coordination with International Tempranillo Day (officially, today, November 14!) events taking place around the world.

Tempranillo is a varietal that has become increasingly identified with what makes Lodi unique. Sure, Zinfandel is still the region's heritage grape; but after Zinfandel, the red wine varietal sold by more Lodi wineries than any other is Tempranillo, primarily because it's what grows naturally well in the appellation's Mediterranean climate...

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Randy Caparoso
November 4, 2019 | Randy Caparoso

Our favorite Lodi images gleaned through Polaroid-ized lens

More than a few visitors have remarked on how Lodi wine country is almost retro -- we think, like a Polaroid "instamatic" camera -- in its pure, honest, no-fuss... fun-ness.

The City of Lodi itself, to begin with, sticks to its twentieth century feel, starting with the Mission Revival inspired Lodi Arch standing at the corner of Lodi's historic Pine and Sacramento streets, steps away from the original Central Pacific Railroad station established in 1869. The railroads turned many an American cow-town into bustling metropolises, and the Lodi Arch was first erected in 1907 to commemorate a proud, burgeoning city's first big, high-profile celebration (the 1907 Tokay Festival celebrated over three days, which you can read all about in our blog on When Lodi celebrated grapes like no American city never-ever has)...

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

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

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