TOP

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
 
December 13, 2021 | Randy Caparoso

Old vine Christmas shopping list

Zinfandel cluster from old vines in Clements Hills-Lodi's Stampede Vineyard.

There are over 100 grapes commercially grown in the Lodi appellation. All the same, the region justifiably hangs its hat on what are called "old vines," and for good reason: There is more acreage of old vine plantings in Lodi than in any other California wine region... 

  Continue »

Time Posted: Dec 13, 2021 at 8:00 AM Permalink to Old vine Christmas shopping list Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
December 7, 2021 | Randy Caparoso

The year's best photos of Lodi wine country (July to November 2021)

July is the brightest time of year in Lodi wine country in terms of sunlight and the changing colors on the vine (called veraison) — in this photo, Wegat Vineyard (Zinfandel planted in 1958).

Continued from The year's best photos of Lodi wine country (December 2020 to May 2021)

June

In June the vines go boom,
And spread out their leafy green canopies under a sun finally bereft of clouds...

  Continue »

Time Posted: Dec 7, 2021 at 8:00 AM Permalink to The year's best photos of Lodi wine country (July to November 2021) Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
December 1, 2021 | Randy Caparoso

The year's best photos of Lodi wine country (December 2020 to May 2021)

In early March 2021, end-of-winter pruning of old vines in Clements Hills-Lodi's Stampede Vineyard.

It's always hard to pick our "favorite" photos of Lodi wine country, but the less said the better about this collection, presented in order of the months and seasonal changes during the past year...

  Continue »

Time Posted: Dec 1, 2021 at 8:00 AM Permalink to The year's best photos of Lodi wine country (December 2020 to May 2021) Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
November 29, 2021 | Randy Caparoso

LVVR Sparkling Reserves combine the exuberance of Lodi grapes with classic champagne elegance

LVVR Sparkling Cellars owner/winemaker Eric Donaldson in front of his tasting room/winery in Lodi's Tuscan Winery Village.

One of Lodi wine country's biggest success stories has been LVVR Sparkling Cellars, founded in 2012 by owner/winemaker Eric Donaldson, prompted by the encouragement of four friends who happen to be sisters named Leticia, Vanessa, Virginia and Rose (hence the name, LVVR).

It has been just five years (in 2016) since LVVR first opened its doors to the public in Tuscan Winery Village in Lockeford, east of the City of Lodi. Just over the past two years, according to Donaldson, production has expanded by over four times. He not only crafts sparkling wines for his own brand, but he now produces a myriad of different sparklers for over 40 other wineries based in Lodi, the Sierra Foothills and elsewhere in the state...

  Continue »

Time Posted: Nov 29, 2021 at 8:00 AM Permalink to LVVR Sparkling Reserves combine the exuberance of Lodi grapes with classic champagne elegance Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
November 22, 2021 | Randy Caparoso

'Tis Autumn in America's largest winegrowing region

Varying colors of autumn in the Fry family's Marian's Vineyard — elongated-spurred, own-rooted head trained Zinfandels that have seen no less than 120 yearly cycles during the course of their lives.

The trees say they're tired, they've borned too much fruit
Charmed all the wayside, there's no dispute
Now shedding leaves, they don't give a hoot
La-di-da, di-la-di-dum, 'tis Autumn

- Henry Nemo, 'Tis Autumn (most notably sung by Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and Stacey Kent)

In Lodi, it is well known, grapevines can live long lives. While historic regions like Mother Lode Country in Amador County have grapevines planted as long ago as 1853, there are more vines over 50 years old in Lodi than anywhere else in the U.S...

  Continue »

Time Posted: Nov 22, 2021 at 9:00 AM Permalink to 'Tis Autumn in America's largest winegrowing region Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
November 17, 2021 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi Winegrape Commission celebrates its 30th anniversary

The Lodi Winegrape Commission's Lodi Wine & Visitor Center, established in 2000.

Today (November 16, 2021) is National Zinfandel Day. We strongly advise you to pull out of bottle of Zinfandel, preferably one grown in Lodi, to celebrate this "all-American" grape with us (while we now know that Zinfandel originated in Croatia, it is in California that the grape has come to excel like nowhere else in the world). Read why you should be drinking "Lodi" here.

Also today, members of the Lodi Winegrape Commission come together to celebrate the organization's 30th anniversary...

  Continue »

Time Posted: Nov 17, 2021 at 12:00 PM Permalink to Lodi Winegrape Commission celebrates its 30th anniversary Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
November 15, 2021 | Randy Caparoso

Thoughts on perfect Thanksgiving wines (and why Lodi fits the bill)

Ancient vine Carignan, planted in 1909, in Lodi's Rauser Vineyard, producing the ideal red for Thanksgiving turkey spreads.

Thanksgiving — or at least, Thanksgiving food and and wine shopping — is upon us as we speak.

Not everyone opts for the mythic, traditional turkey dinner, of course. Many families prefer roast beef, lamb, goose, or something different coming out of the oven. After a threatened delay, California's 2021 Dungeness crab season has begun, and so many a family's Thanksgiving Dungeness crab celebration will be taking place after all...

  Continue »

Time Posted: Nov 15, 2021 at 9:00 AM Permalink to Thoughts on perfect Thanksgiving wines (and why Lodi fits the bill) Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
November 8, 2021 | Randy Caparoso

Everything you need to know about the use of appellations on wine labels

Petite Sirah, a grape widely grown in Lodi that has been utilized for decades to enhance everything from Zinfandel to Pinot Noir bottled under labels carrying appellations other than Lodi.

Understanding the language of wine labels is difficult even for those of us in the wine industry, or among the wine media. A few weeks ago, for instance, a wine writer contacted me and said she was puzzled by a statement made on this page: that many grapes grown in Lodi go into wines labeled as "Napa Valley..."

  Continue »

Time Posted: Nov 8, 2021 at 7:00 AM Permalink to Everything you need to know about the use of appellations on wine labels Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
November 4, 2021 | Randy Caparoso

Dueling Zinfandels by the prestigious Matthiasson and Marchelle brands from Lodi's oldest (1889) vineyard

Star winemakers Greg La Follette (left) and Steve Matthiasson in Lodi's historic Royal Tee Vineyard for 2019 harvest.

It's not like it was a competition. But at the break of dawn of September 11, 2019, two of California's most cutting-edge vintners harvested grapes from Lodi's oldest Zinfandel block, called Royal Tee Vineyard (planted in 1889 by Joseph Spenker), at the very same time...

  Continue »

Time Posted: Nov 4, 2021 at 1:00 PM Permalink to Dueling Zinfandels by the prestigious Matthiasson and Marchelle brands from Lodi's oldest (1889) vineyard Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
November 2, 2021 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi's annual Tour of Tempranillo, and everything you need to know about this emerging varietal red

Ribera del Duero clone Tempranillo in Lodi's Bokisch Vineyards.

Be sure to mark down the weekend of November 13-14, 2021 for Lodi's sixth annual Lodi Tour of Tempranillo.

This year nine of the Lodi region's wineries who specialize in Tempranillo will open their doors for this self-guided tour. It's a special event because Tempranillo, a grape that originated in Spain and generally considered that country's finest red wine variety, has found a natural home in Lodi's Mediterranean climate and grape-friendly soils. In short, Tempranillo produces first class red wines, as fine as any in the world, and certainly as fine as any in Lodi...

  Continue »

Time Posted: Nov 2, 2021 at 8:00 AM Permalink to Lodi's annual Tour of Tempranillo, and everything you need to know about this emerging varietal red 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.