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.
Lodi grown rosés are not just classically dry, but also made from a dazzling array of red wine grapes. Because rosé grapes are typically picked early each season to achieve light, graceful, mineral inflected styles, it is not always easy to delineate "varietal" distinctions in their aromas...Continue »
Monte Rio winemaker explains his puristic, terroir-driven approach to three Ancient Vines reds, from Lodi's oldest vineyards
Monte Rio Cellars—a small, independent, handcraft label owned and operated by former longtime New York City sommelier Patrick Cappiello—has just released three Lodi grown wines he is calling his "Ancient Vines" series.
Many winemakers exaggerate. Cappiello does not. These three wines are absolutely "ancient" by most of the wine world's standards; all fashioned from the oldest vineyards of their grape type in the Lodi appellation, planted and cultivated on their own rootstocks by the Spenker family...Continue »
Lodi's first Assyrtiko
Perlegos Family Wine Co. is entering its second phase, following up on this grower/producer's inaugural releases this past October—and it's a doozy.
The big news: The release of the 2022 Perlegos Family Thera Block Clements Hills-Lodi Assyrtiko ($28), along with the family's latest vintage of a Lodi-grown Cinsaut as well as a Southern Italian-inspired Nero d'Avola...Continue »
In our continuation of Everything You Wanted to Know About Old Vines and Why They're a Big Deal—which is also the subject of our 12:00 PM Wine Seminar at the upcoming 2023 Lodi Wine Experience Grand Tasting in bucolic Lodi Lake, Saturday, May 20, 2023—let's drill down into more specifics on why old vine viticulture is more important than ever all around the world. Ten points...Continue »
Everything You Wanted to Know About Old Vines and Why They're a Big Deal is the subject of the 12:00 PM Wine Seminar taking place during the 2023 Lodi Wine Experience Grand Tasting in bucolic Lodi Lake, Saturday, May 20, 2023. If you want to learn about old vines while tasting phenomenal wines made from vineyards anywhere from 80 to nearly 140 years old, you don't want to miss this event.
The concept of old vines is a big deal in Lodi because there are more plantings over 50 years old—our technical (if unofficial) definition of an "old vine"—in Lodi than any other wine region in California, thus the entire country. More than that, though, old vines have recently attained a cachet appreciated by wine cognoscenti all around the world...Continue »
Everything You Wanted to Know About Old Vines and Why They're a Big Deal is the subject of the 12:00 PM Wine Seminar taking place during the 2023 Lodi Wine Experience Grand Tasting in bucolic Lodi Lake, Saturday, May 20, 2023.
The moderator of the Old Vines seminar, as well as the following two educational events—Rosé All Day! at 1:00 PM, and East vs. West Side Zinfandels at 2:00 PM—will be Randy Caparoso, the author of the recently published 450-page book, Lodi! The Definitive Guide and History of America's Largest Winegrowing Region...Continue »
Are your ready for a different kind of wine experience?
One that takes place in a lush oasis dotted with towering oaks and willows, surrounded by the ice-cold waters of the Mokelumne River on one side and an enchanting lake on the other? Love will be in the air, as it always is during wine events at bucolic Lodi Lake. Love of wine, that is, and love of wine-friendly foods, love of learning and talking about wine, love of nature and love among, well, wine lovers of similar ilk, from neophytes to connoisseurs. Almost takes you back to the immortal words of Jimi Hendrix...
If you can just get your mind together
Then come on across to me...
But first, are you experienced?
Have you ever been experienced?
Well, I have...
This coming Sunday (April 9, 2023) is Easter. I don't know about you, but my Easter dinner main course is all set: a leg of lamb!
What's up with the entire idea of "spring lamb?" The USDA actually defines lamb meat as such:
Most lambs are brought to market at about 6 to 8 months old. A lamb weighs about 140 pounds and yields approximately 46 to 49 pounds of edible lean retail lamb cuts, semi-boneless. If the phrase "Spring Lamb" is on a meat label, it means the lamb was slaughtered between March and October...Continue »
Voluptuary + Lucid embraces Lodi grapes like gifts of nature, perfectly suitable for adventurous winemaking
A "natural" winemaker in flux
There is a micro-winery located in our State Capitol of Sacramento owned by a winemaker named Kevin Luther. Mr. Luther bottles wines under his Voluptuary + Lucid brand, all with curious, almost dreamy, artistic labels reflecting the restless dispostion of the winemaker himself.
Not that Voluptuary + Lucid wines are "all about Kevin." Surprisingly, they are not, despite the continuous compulsion to explore perspectives and techniques on the part of this particular Kevin in question...Continue »
Arianna Wines harbors a passion for Lodi-grown Torrontés, one of the world's most exotic white varietals
Many of America's best independent winemakers are driven by passion; and not uncommonly, it is passion first fired up by one moment of serendipity.
For Arianna Wines owner/winemaker Arianno Spoto, that moment came in 2014, while she was working a harvest in Argentina's Mendoza region, when a colleague shared a bottle of local white wine with her.
"It was a wonderful," recalls Spoto. "The wine had an amazing fragrance, like rose water and spice, reminding me a little of Gewürztraminer, but with a freshness that reminded me a little of a ripe Sauvignon Blanc. I asked, 'what is this?' I was told that it was made from Torrontés, a grape that grows everywhere in Argentina, sort of like Chardonnay is found everywhere in California...Continue »