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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
 
September 17, 2010 | Randy Caparoso

Terroir unleashed at Lodi Art Auction

Artisan Auction

Artisan Auction

LODI TERROIR — A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME… Attention shoppers, wine geeks, or anyone who just wants to know more about what the heck they like in a wine (why should geeks have all fun?): at the upcoming Lodi Wine & Art Auction eighteen wineries will present, for your sensory and intellectual pleasure, over twenty barrels of 2008 or 2009 Zinfandels representing single vineyards, as well as the influences of growing conditions associated with the seven official sub-appellations (i.e. AVAs) of Lodi. You, too, can experience the sense of terroir that growers in this historic region – many of...

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Time Posted: Sep 17, 2010 at 2:19 PM Permalink to Terroir unleashed at Lodi Art Auction Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
September 17, 2010 | Randy Caparoso

American pie: the Lodi Grape Festival

Lodi Grape Festival

Lodi Grape Festival

Celebrate the 2010 harvest with us at the Lodi Grape Festival… September 16-19 – When was the last time you've savored true Americana? The annual four-day Lodi Grape Festival has been serving up sky-high slices of it, with sides of Tokay and glasses of teeth staining Zinfandel, continuously since 1934. The first grapefest was a celebration of the previous year's repeal of Prohibition and (since unions were not in fashion then) the quelling of a labor strike during the harvest of '33. Long gone are the mustachioed honorary peace officers, the beauty queen pageantry and grand parades; but still going...

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Time Posted: Sep 17, 2010 at 2:00 PM Permalink to American pie: the Lodi Grape Festival Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
September 12, 2010 | Randy Caparoso

Van Ruiten recipe for world class zin

In 2009 Hugh Johnson, the internationally esteemed British author of The World Atlas of Wine, was asked by the Wall St. Journal Wine Club to head up a panel of other distinguished judges to select the 12 best wines of the world. Among the 12 chosen by Johnson's panel was the 2007 Van Ruiten Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel. Since it was the only Zinfandel among the final selection, that essentially meant it was their "best Zinfandel in the world." A fluke? A case of perfect celestial alignment? Hmmm. Meanwhile, back at the ranch: this very same Zinfandel came away with...

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Time Posted: Sep 12, 2010 at 3:02 PM Permalink to Van Ruiten recipe for world class zin Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
September 12, 2010 | Randy Caparoso

Taste Lodi: Van Ruiten Zinfandel

2008 VAN RUITEN FAMILY, LODI OLD VINE ZINFANDEL The taste of an ultimate zin: Begins with a sweet toned, harmoniously composed nose of aromas suggesting blueberry jam, blackberry syrup and vanilla pods, with nary an overripe or raisiny note. On the palate, the luscious, vibrant fruit qualities are couched in a moderately full, giving body — mouth-filling without being hard or stiff — and filled to the brim with slightly smoky, dark roasting coffee bean-like spices. Keebler elf-like meticulousness: Hand picked from the family's oldest, finest, head-trained, own rooted vines, now approaching their 6oth year. These "bush" vines have matured...

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Time Posted: Sep 12, 2010 at 2:08 PM Permalink to Taste Lodi: Van Ruiten Zinfandel Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
August 28, 2010 | Randy Caparoso

The world according to the Bokischs

Markus and Liz Bokisch, who own Bokisch Vineyards in Lodi, have recently been turning the wine world on its head.

You've probably heard, for instance, winemakers sanctimoniously talk about how they pick grapes "by flavor, not numbers." How they all wait for "physiological ripeness" before harvesting. As if, of course, they would be waiting for "physiological unripeness" before sending out their harried crews. Well, Markus has been following along with that for most of the past eight, nine years, while still making the best damned white wines from the native Spanish Albariño grape in California (of course, there's only three, four other wineries in California producing Albariño, but so what — Markus makes the best!).
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Time Posted: Aug 28, 2010 at 8:00 AM Permalink to The world according to the Bokischs Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
August 23, 2010 | Randy Caparoso

Ron Silva is Lodi's Portuguese Grape King

Silvaspoons Vineyards owner/grower Ron Silva

When tasting the 2009 Alta Mesa Silvaspoons Vineyards Lodi Verdelho in a San Francisco seminar last month (July 2010), Andrea Immer Robinson (a Master Sommelier and author of multiple wine books) could not stop talking about the “silky dryness” and “perky tartness” of this uniquely scented (think lime, lemon verbena and white peach skin), lithe and bracing white wine. Robinson also noted flavors of “marzipan and almonds in the finish as you exhale,” adding that “it makes me crave a Barcelona style spinach salad, laden with pine nuts and raisins...”

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Time Posted: Aug 23, 2010 at 7:00 AM Permalink to Ron Silva is Lodi's Portuguese Grape King Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
August 19, 2010 | Randy Caparoso

Next big thing: Iberian grapes in Lodi

"Lodi may be known for old vine Zinfandel, but right now it is surprising the wine world with the success of its wines made from Spanish varieties." Thus spoke Mark Chandler, Executive Director of the Lodi Winegrape Commission, while leading a seminar called Lodi-Beria – The Latin Side of Lodi at the SF Chefs 2010 celebration, last Sunday in San Francisco.


If you're a jaded, or simply fearless, California wine lover, you would have loved to have sat in on this tasting led by Chandler, with author/Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson as well as San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Bonné adding further commentary. The proof, of course, was in the pudding made up of the eight Lodi grown wines made from native Iberian grapes selected by the wise and wily Chandler.
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Time Posted: Aug 19, 2010 at 8:00 AM Permalink to Next big thing: Iberian grapes in Lodi Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
August 12, 2010 | Randy Caparoso

For Michael David Winery, to Zin is to fly

How to succeed in business by turning lemons into joy juice

"We're told that our Zinfandel is one of the three top selling wines in Sweden," says David Phillips, President/Owner of Michael-David Winery. "I guess the Swedes like to barbecue!"

While polishing off his huevos rancheros in Phillips Farms (more than just a produce stand, but also a fantastic bakery and café, while also serving as Michael-David's tasting room) on Hwy. 12, David talked about the family business's growth and success — which also mirrors the growth and success of Lodi's wines and vineyards in general...
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Time Posted: Aug 12, 2010 at 8:00 AM Permalink to For Michael David Winery, to Zin is to fly Permalink
Randy Caparoso
 
August 9, 2010 | Randy Caparoso

Oh lord, a blog from Lodi!

Demonstration Vineyard on the grounds of the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center

The Growing Groundswell

By now you've heard that Lodi is more than a song (point of fact: after he wrote his famous (Stuck in) Lodi, Creedence Clearwater Revival's John Fogerty admitted he'd never visited this historic California town, but that he simply came across it and thought it had "the coolest sounding name").

Lodi is also a thriving, varied agricultural community — notably, grapes and dairy ranching, almond and walnut orchards, and cherry, olive and myriad other stone fruits — and wine lovers from coast to coast, and even from Singapore to Stockholm, now know Lodi as the source of wines that absolutely kick your butt, without busting the budget!

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Time Posted: Aug 9, 2010 at 8:00 AM Permalink to Oh lord, a blog from Lodi! 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.