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.
There is a new “boss” in town at The Lucas Winery on Lodi’s west side: Mitra Lucas, who has just recently taken over winery management; although she prefers to refer to herself simply as “Owner & Daughter.”
“She may fire me yet,” said David Lucas this past weekend, with the familiar puckish glint in his eyes. Mr. Lucas founded his eponymous winery and vineyard estate in 1978, making it the second oldest boutique scale operation in the Lodi Viticultural Area.Continue »
Long known as one of the world’s greatest “food wines” because of its higher than average acidity – think of what vinegar does for oil, how lime makes a ceviche, or how a simple squeeze of lemon on a fish or even a slice of beef immensely improves a dish – the black skinned Barbera grape has also recently emerged as one of California’s favorite varietal reds, period.
Witness the 2,000 or so Barbera lovers who descended upon the sleepy town of Plymouth in California's Amador County this past Saturday (June 11, 2016) for the 6th annual Barbera Festival. That’s a lot of people, coming from all over just to enjoy just one, single type of wine.Continue »
One of the brands used by Holman Cellars, a micro-winery based in Napa Valley, is called Uncharted – an apt description of the Lodi grown white wine presented by owner/winemaker Jason Holman at a winemakers’ lunch and tasting in Mokelumne Glen Vineyards this past Saturday (June 4, 2016).
The wine in question: the 2015 Uncharted (by Holman Cellars) Mokelumne Glen Vineyard Lodi Bacchus ($25); a crisp, bone dry, buoyant and fluid medium bodied white wine with beautiful perfumes and sensuous, lingering flavors suggesting the pungent oils of sweet thyme and lavender rubbed between the fingers, the stringy flesh of apricot pulled off a pit, and ribbons of skin peeled from a baking apple.Continue »
At first sniff and sip, the 2015 Oak Farm Vineyards Lodi Chardonnay ($25) tastes like many other well made Chardonnays with its airy sense of freshness and the creamy smoothness of its modestly full, seamless, silken textured body.Continue »
The advantages of a micro-sized – that is, an artisanal or “boutique” – winery can also be disadvantages. It’s good to be small because you can lavish far more attention on 2 to 6 barrels of a wine than you can on 2000 to 6000 barrels; which is the difference between a winery like PRIE Vineyards in Lodi and, for example, an E. & J. Gallo in Modesto or Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville.Continue »
110 years ago – on November 27, 1906, to be precise – an election was held in Lodi (population 2,000 at that time) to incorporate as a City. Finally, as local historian Toni Christman puts it in Our Time to Shine (2012), “citizens were well on their way to respectability.”Continue »
Are Lodi wine lovers different? We think so. At least judging from over 4,000 of them who entered through the gates to Lodi Lake Park to enjoy the 2016 Lodi ZinFest Wine Festival this past Saturday, May 14.
What we saw were peeps looking to enjoy wine without a speck of attitude, pretension or self-consciousness, among those of like mind. Sure, many were there to learn; or more like, to enhance their experience by discovering new and delicious things. Some came dressed in crafty style, and everyone came just to have fun, an d enjoy the perfect, breezy, sun splashed 72°-average-temperature Lodi spring day. That's what makes Lodi and its wines Lodi...Continue »
Don't blame it on the sunshine
Don't blame it on the moonlight
Don't blame it on good times
Blame it on the boogie
- The Jacksons
It may be all about the luscious, juicy Zinfandel, crisply balanced Albariño, powerful Petite Sirah, suave and earthy Tempranillo, and dozens of other styles of wine among the 200-plus bottlings that will be poured for your sampling pleasure at this Saturday’s Lodi ZinFest Wine Festival (May 14, 2016, 12 to 5 PM), taking place on the pristinely lush peninsula of Lodi Lake Park (or ticket information and online purchase, go directly to zinfest.com).
But as longtime ZinFesters well know, it’s also about friends, family, good times and the great life engendered in a classic, all-American, proudly agricultural town like Lodi. And what’s the great life in a beautiful park and town without great music? At 2016’s ZinFest there will be lots of everything, setting the mood and sprucing up the palate:Continue »
OMG, the 2016 Lodi ZinFest Wine Festival is already here, this Saturday, May 14!
What is good wine without food? As the late, great wine sage Andre Simon put it, “Food without wine is a corpse; wine without food is a ghost; united and well matched they are as body and soul, living partners.” Amen, bro'!
There is a reason why our yearly Lodi ZinFest Cooking School is one of our most popular events: It is the naturally lush yet balanced, fruit forward qualities of Lodi grown wines that make them such an easy match for an endless variety of dishes.Continue »