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.
"Dangerously easy to drink" is the way popular wine blogger Hannah Spiegel (find her on vinoforbreakfast.com and @vinoforbreakfast on Instagram) described the uniquely dark and delicious Bourdon Sparkling Syrah she tasted at the 2023 Lodi Wine & Chocolate Brunch, this past Sunday, February 5th at the luxurious Wine & Roses Hotel.
You could, in fact, describe most of the wines produced in the Lodi appellation in exactly this way. It is the region's Mediterranean climate and rich yet eminently grape-friendly soils that naturally grows this style of wine: consistently round, smooth and pungently aromatic in a fresh and intense fruit-forward fashion...Continue »
Say, for once, you've had the presence of mind to make dinner reservations ahead of time for Valentine's night—the second busiest day of the year (after Mother's Day) for restaurants. If you haven't, you may have already blown it.
So what are you going to do if you know your date prefers wine, but you know absolutely nothing about it? Should you ask, "Why don't we just go for pints of Guinness?" Wrong! If your dining partner is truly important to you, it is definitely to your advantage to whisper those three magic words: "Let's order wine..."Continue »
2023 update on Lodi vineyards finally getting their due by being recognized by Historic Vineyard Society
Long overlooked old vines finally get their due
In France plantings of old vines are called vielles vignes (pronounced "VEE-le VEE-nye"). In Germany, alte reben ("AL-teh RAY-ben"). In Spain, vina vieja.
In the U.S., as well as countries such as Australia and South Africa, the phrase on the lips of wine lovers, and frequently popping up on wine bottles, is "old vine..."Continue »
LODI RULES launches fourth edition of its industry leading guidelines for certified sustainable winegrowing
This past December 26, 2022, Lodi Winegrape Commission's sustainable winegrowing director Dr. Stephanie Bolton announced the launch of the newly accredited Fourth Edition of LODI RULES Sustainable Winegrowing Certification Standards.
According to Dr. Bolton: "We have pored over the LODI RULES sustainability certification program based on new knowledge that’s been gained over the last decade. By improving the program over time, the certification continues to be relevant and progressive and stays at the forefront of sustainability innovation..."Continue »
Seemingly everyone in the wine world—wine lovers, self-appointed experts and writers, sommeliers, and media “influencers” and the like—is now into “old vines.”
But why? Or, you might ask, what’s wrong with young vines—virile, vigorous vineyards planted with the knowledge of the latest technology, viticultural hindsight and deep, deep pockets?
The answer is... it’s all good. It’s just that older vines, presumably planted during years when growers were not so smart or well heeled, now deserve their due because, well, they’re old. Somehow they’ve survived years and years and slings and arrows of market fortunes and misfortunes, when the land they sit upon could have easily been converted into other usages—more lucrative crops or industries, houses and highways, or of course, higher demand grapes...Continue »
What you may not be aware of, however, is that in 2023 this yearly celebration comes a week earlier than normal: February 3-5, 2023, rather than closer to Valentine’s Day...Continue »
The 2022 harvest is in the books, the grapes turned miraculously into wine, wineries preparing whites and rosés in tanks for bottling and checking on other wines resting in barrels.
In an initial report posted last November, California's Wine Institute summarized the state's overall performance as such:
Vintners across the state are expecting a high-quality vintage for 2022 following a season filled with curveballs. For many California wine regions, this was a tale of two harvests, as a Labor Day [September 3-5] heat wave divided the season into earlier and later picks. As harvest wraps up across the state, vintners predict that 2022 will produce memorable wines of great concentration and complexity...Continue »
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 »