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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
 
June 15, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

The 2013 Lucas ZinStar reflects a stubborn legacy of single-vineyard finesse winemaking

The Lucas family's iconic 83-year old ZinStar Vineyard

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.

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Time Posted: Jun 15, 2016 at 7:00 AM Permalink to The 2013 Lucas ZinStar reflects a stubborn legacy of single-vineyard finesse winemaking Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
June 13, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi grown wines shine at 2016 Barbera Festival

Barbera in Lodi's Leventini Vineyard, planted in 1972

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.

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Time Posted: Jun 13, 2016 at 4:00 PM Permalink to Lodi grown wines shine at 2016 Barbera Festival Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
June 8, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

Holman's Uncharted Bacchus goes where few wines dare to go

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.

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Time Posted: Jun 8, 2016 at 7:00 AM Permalink to Holman's Uncharted Bacchus goes where few wines dare to go Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
June 3, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

Oak Farm's 2015 Chardonnay takes giant step towards purer "Lodi" expression

Oak Farm Vineyards' winery and tasting room on Lodi's west side

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.

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Time Posted: Jun 3, 2016 at 11:00 AM Permalink to Oak Farm's 2015 Chardonnay takes giant step towards purer Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
June 1, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

Tiny PRIE's latest wines express true Lodi soul

Lisa and John Gash under one of the spreading old trees in their east side Lodi estate

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.

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Time Posted: Jun 1, 2016 at 7:00 AM Permalink to Tiny PRIE's latest wines express true Lodi soul Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
May 26, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

Macchia's Graciano may be the sexiest bottling of this exotic varietal yet

Macchia owner/winemaker Tim Holdener pouring barrel sample

Graciano is a black skinned grape from Spain, prized for centuries for the deep pigmentation, rich aroma and dense quality it gives to red wines, especially when blended with grapes like Tempranillo.

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Time Posted: May 26, 2016 at 7:30 AM Permalink to Macchia's Graciano may be the sexiest bottling of this exotic varietal yet Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
May 24, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

1906, when Lodi became a City and quit its lowdown ways

In the early 1900s Lodi was going places (even if the speed limit for horseless carriages driven by these two Lodi natives was just 8 MPH!) 

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.”

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Time Posted: May 24, 2016 at 7:00 AM Permalink to 1906, when Lodi became a City and quit its lowdown ways Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
May 16, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

Fun in sun and perfect Lodi Lake day at 2016 ZinFest

Another perfect Lodi day and memorable ZinFest for these colorful wine lovers

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... 

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Time Posted: May 16, 2016 at 4:11 PM Permalink to Fun in sun and perfect Lodi Lake day at 2016 ZinFest Permalink Comments for Fun in sun and perfect Lodi Lake day at 2016 ZinFest Comments (2)
Randy Caparoso
 
May 11, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

Blame it on the boogie at Lodi's 2016 ZinFest

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:

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Time Posted: May 11, 2016 at 11:30 AM Permalink to Blame it on the boogie at Lodi's 2016 ZinFest Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
May 8, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

2016's Lodi ZinFest Cooking School is more stellar than ever

Culinary wine enthusiasts enjoying wine during previous ZinFest Cooking School

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.

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Time Posted: May 8, 2016 at 7:00 PM Permalink to 2016's Lodi ZinFest Cooking School is more stellar than ever Permalink
Contact

Lodi Wine Visitor Center
2545 West Turner Road Lodi, CA 95242
209.365.0621
Open: Daily 10:00am-5:00pm

Lodi Winegrape Commission
2545 West Turner Road, Lodi, CA 95242
209.367.4727
Open: Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

Have a question? Complete our contact form.