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.
What should wine lovers as well as wine industry professionals expect in 2023?
A headline in the December 7 beverage industry website just-drinks.com reads: 2023 outlook – economic clouds to linger as wine industry seeks right blend. The global wine industry, it reads, is no different than any segment of the global economy, currently beset by market turbulence, inflation and possible recession, unpredictable supply and demand, and general consumer anxiety about outward issues such as climate change and rampant disease. You know, the usual stuff...Continue »
There is nothing like a bottle of champagne style sparkler to mark the arrival of every New Year.
I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the sound of the pop or the fizz of the bubbling wine that makes us think we are getting rid of the old year, and starting all over with a new one bringing even more luck or good fortune. Hope springs eternal!
Champagne style sparklers are grown and produced in Lodi, despite the fact that the original Champagne wine region in France is associated with cold climate winegrowing, whereas Lodi is definitely warm—much more like the wine regions of Provence or alongside the Mediterranean Sea as opposed to northerly river regions near Paris...Continue »
Choosing favorite photographs out of thousands taken every year is never easy. So I simply threw objectivity out the window and zoomed in on the photos that either popped out like "eye candy," and which seem to "say" the most—the most about Lodi, about its people and history, or about the state of Lodi wines or winegrowing in general.
Here's hoping you enjoy the following images as much as I do, and wishing you a very Merry Christmas from Lodi wine country!Continue »
A look back at 2022's increasing consumer preferences for natural, organic or sustainably grown wines
Consumers rule. Or put it this way: They make the rules, which can be loosely defined because, well, they're the consumers. Details don't matter when they can dictate through the only means that matter, their wallets.
It is true that consumers pick up on cues suggested by advances in the winegrowing and wine production industries. But in the end, it is the winegrowing and wine production industries who follow the cues of consumers, not the other way around. Wine media (writers, journalists, critics, bloggers, influencers, et al.) pretty much go with the flow, covering whatever is produced, and whatever consumers happen to prefer. This is why many wines become popular whether or not they are covered in popular print or online magazines. Consumers determine what writers write about, what growers grow, and what vintners produce...Continue »
As we look back at the past year, one of the most surprising unforeseen developments in the Lodi winegrowing industry has been the marked increase in Lodi-grown wines made by small, handcraft, more artisanally focused wineries, many of them based outside the Lodi wine region.
Small winery sourcing of Lodi grapes, of course, has been going on for years—you could say, since the 1990s, when Sonoma and Napa vintners such as Patrick Campbell, Mitch Cosentino and Larry Turley first started driving over through the Delta in search of grapes from "old vine" plantings that were (at the time) long overlooked and underappreciated by most of California's premium quality wine industry...Continue »
How do you choose the past year's 12 best Lodi-grown wines? You can't. There are now more terrific Lodi wines than you can shake a stick at.
You can, however, choose 12 of the more interesting wines of Lodi. Wines that are making waves for being slightly different than what a Lodi wine lover would have found just, say, five or ten years ago.
To asemble this kind of list, I have to put on my "wine geek" cap. It is, after all, my job as the resident wine investigator to know the individual vineyards, the local growers, the peculiarities of both individual winemakers and the more than 100 grapes grown here in Lodi. I have to know, in other words, where the bodies are buried...Continue »