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Friday, June 16, 2017

What About Lodi?

  Pronounced low-die as in "Stuck in Lodi Again" by John Fogerty. Most wine shoppers have run across Lodi on wine labels at some point. Lodi is a Central Valley town about 80 miles from the Pacific and 35 miles south of Sacramento. This inland area of the state is known for farming, but not for quality wines. So what's the deal with Lodi?
  
Image from lodiwine.com

 The key to Lodi as a wine growing area is its location a few miles east of the Sacramento and San Joaquin River delta (known to locals as just The Delta). The coastal area of the state is known for premium grapes as the cooling influence of the Pacific waters is the magic ingredient. The central area of the state is much hotter during the growing season, but Lodi actually gets some cooling breezes off the delta. The average high temperatures in the summer are quite warm -- in the low 90s, but the breezes kick in during late afternoon and it cools to the mid-50s overnight.

  The area has a long history of grape farming with the Bechthold Vineyard being continuously farmed since 1886. Now there are over 80 wineries in the Lodi appellation. The area is mostly known for Zinfandel. You will also find Petite Sirah, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. The newest are a white grape from Spain, Albarino, and a red from the Rhone region of France, Cinsault.

  Zinfandel from Lodi tends to be fruity, soft (lower acid), low tannin, medium to full-bodied, and what people like most, they are usually less expensive than Zins from most other parts of the state.
   
Old, head-pruned Zinfandel in Lodi
Image from lodiwine.com