What wine comes to mind when I say Lodi? For many, Lodi represents Zinfandel. Did you know only 25% of wines produced in Lodi is Zinfandel? That’s right! Lodi is known for its Zinfandel because it produces some of the highest quality Zinfandels in California; however, if you only know Lodi Zinfandel, then you do not know Lodi.
Lodi is known for its Mediterranean climate. This climate allows Lodi wine producers to craft a wide variety of wines including Grenache, Syrah, Tempranillo, Cinsault, Barbera, Nero D’Avola, Picpoul, Viognier, and Grenache Blanc, to name a few. Lodi has a unique place in California viticulture due to its climate and the variety of wines that are produced there.
Another example of the uniqueness of Lodi is its sustainability program. Lodi launched its first sustainability program in 1991; followed by a vineyard certification program in 2005; today over 100 growers and 36,000 acres are part of the Lodi Rules program. Lodi is a 5th and 6th generation farmer community. They strongly believe in stewardship, taking care of the land is not an option, it is an obligation.
“Don’t be afraid to think of Lodi as only big, dark zin; there are a lot of other [Lodi] wines that are elegant and gentle the you should try.” ~ Mike McCay, McCay Cellars
While I was in Provence, Snooth hosted a Lodi wine virtual tasting. I was fortunate enough to receive the wines so upon my return I clicked on the link below to watch the virtual tasting event hosted by Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser, with Stuart Spencer of the Lodi Winegrape Commission and Mike McCay of McCay Cellars.
They tasted through four delicious Lodi wines; here are my thoughts on those wines:
2015 Acquiesce Winery and Vineyard Belle Blanc Lodi White Blend ($26): This wine was crafted of 45% Grenache Blance, 45% Roussanne, 10% Viognier; exquisite aromas; rich and fragrant with loads of southern france herbal notes including lavender, thyme, and rosemary; along with aromatic white floral notes; wow; round acidity and a lovely lime zest; pair with chicken salad, quiche, seafood, shellfish, cheese; scallops with lemongrass, or an asparagus risotto;
2013 McCay Cellars Grenache Lodi ($35): Crafted of 100% Grenache; elegant style Grenache with soft color, represents the lighter, more sophisticated side of Lodi, round notes of red fruit with cinnamon and nutmeg lead spice notes, pink peppercorn, touch of violets, with a tease of balsamic figs; round acidity with well-structured, integrated tannins; a delightful wine crafted in an old world style that gives a whole new meaning to Lodi wine; perfect for Thanksgiving
2014 Lange Twins Winery and Vineyards Lodi Nero D’Avola ($20): a Lodi wine crafted in the quintessential Italian style; a beautiful blend of red and black fruit with round spice notes and savory herbal notes; fresh, fruity, and light with round acidity and rustic tannins; get ready for fall pork, lamb, and pasta dinners
2013 Klinker Brick Farrah Old Vine Syrah Lodi ($20): elegant, approachable wine; bright red fruit balanced with floral notes, beautiful spice notes with loads of pepper, and a touch of smoke, supple tannins, smooth on the palate, well-structured wine with round acidity; an easy wine to love and consume; another perfect wine for lamb, steak, pork and hearty pasta.
“At the end of the day there is lots of good wine made all over the world. When you come [to Lodi] it’s about approach-ability with the people. The people are very giving and nice people….there is an authenticity to [it] that really makes it attractive.” ~ Stuart Spencer, Program Manager, Lodi Winegrape Commision & Owner/Winemaker, St. Amant Winery
“It’s Napa 40 years ago.” ~ Tim Gaiser, Master Sommelier
Lodi is a great place to visit for a down home, wine tasting experience. A visit to Lodi takes you back to the days of slower paced tasting with food, meeting the family and the winemaker, and relaxing with a delicious glass of wine. One trip to Lodi and you will want to be stuck there! These wines are just a small representation of what the 2015 Wine Enthusiast Wine Region of the Year has to offer. The weather is always fine, so visit any time!
What is your favorite Lodi wine?
My Song Selection:
Get your own bottle of Lodi wine and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!