Quite a nicely done article in the SacBee by MikeDunne:
on the wine scene in Lodi.
He interviews RandyCaparoso, who is the wine journalist for the Lodi WineGrape Comission. Randy has done an extraordinary job in gaining attention and promoting the wines of Lodi. I find his writings very informative and doesn't display the (openly) hucksterism of some spokesmen for some wine regions.
I remember, about 1974, when I made my first wine trip to Calif to do a wine tour. driving my old 1968 DodgeDart/Slant 6. I drove right up I-5 and saw this sign, as I neared Lodi, shouting "Free wine tasting". My very first visit to a wnry tasting room. I stopped into the old diner railroad car perched on a short track alongside the highway, blood boiling with anticipation. The wines were absolutely dreadful. A few miles further along, I saw the sign advertising the AngeloPapagni tasting room, so dodged in there. I walked out with the one btl I purchased, a btl of the Papagni RedWine Vinegar..the highlight of my tasting!!
It's no secret that over the last 10-15 yrs, the quality of the Lodi wines has increased dramatically. This really hit home when I first tasted thru SueTipton's Acquisence whites w/ DarrellCorti. On that same trip, maybe 15 yrs ago, I made my first return visit to Lodi & was hosted by JonBjork. He took me to the Bokisch wnry, introduced me to MarkusBokisch, and tasted thru the Bokisch lineup, plus his PantheonCllrs Syrahs. Walked out mightly impressed.
One thing the article missed was the Lodi Native project, a consortium of 8 winemakers making old-vine Zin from Lodi. When I tasted thru their first release, I was quite impressed. I need to order some of that latest release to try.
One of the real tragedies in Lodi was the sale of the old East-Side Wnry to OakRidge wines. That was the wnry where AndyQuady had his first winemaking job and sparked his interest in making great Calif dessert wines. They had huge stocks of very old Ports/Sherries/fortifieds that I always wondered what happened to. The East-Side Angelica was the base of the original SutterHome Triple Creme Apertif, probably the 3'rd greatest product ever to come from SutterHome (after the original DeaverVnyd Zin and the SutterHome tomato sauce...the highlight of my last stop into the SutterHome tasting room!!). It was an amazing dessert wine that was flavored w/ herbs & spices (including orange peel & orris root) from a recipe DarrelCorti gave to BobTrinchero. I should mention that at one time BobTrinchero made one of Calif's finest red wine vinegars, out back of the wnry towards their Hoot-Smalley WhiteZin vnyd, under Darrell's guidance.
Lodi was one the forefront of the movement to subdivide their basic AVA into a bunch of sub-AVA's. That one I pretty much chalk up as a marketing gimmick.
Anyway, another nice article from MikeDunne.
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Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
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