Lodi (AVA)
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Expressing Lodi at M2 Wines with 'Little Gem' Vineyards
by Roger King
March 26, 2012

Lodi has been a mainstay of California grape and wine production for well over 100 years, but recently a wave of smaller boutique producers have taken focus to defining the clear potential of single vineyard expressions from the massive appellation. Along the way nuances between it's 7 sub appellations are beginning to unfold. It is clear there is significant reason to continue this exploration of the heart and soul of Lodi.

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Settled at the northern tip of the San Joaquin Valley just east of the San Francisco Bay, where the fertile and diverse soils begin to make their gentle ascent to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, Lodi boasts a classic Mediterranean climate consisting of warm days and cool evenings accented by a gentle maritime wind from the Sacramento River Delta. This delta breeze makes Lodi unique among other areas of the San Joaquin valley as the lower temperatures allow the ripening fruit to retain natural acidity.

Lodi is also remarkable in the diversity of its soils, though they can generally be characterized as deep and composed of sandy loam, sometimes spotted with the large stones reminiscent of the famed ‘galets’ of the Chateuneuf-de-Pape region in southern France. The Lodi appellation covers 551,500 acres, beginning at the Delta and running south and east, ending where the Sierra Foothills begin. The eight-hundred growers in Lodi farm over 90,000 acres of winegrapes and produce more of the top five California varietals - Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel – than any other wine district in California! While Lodi is known for its capacity for varietal diversity, Zinfandel is the reigning king without rival, as more of it is grown in Lodi than anywhere else in the world. Old Vine Zin is Lodi’s specialty, with the same families tending vines over 120 years old for five generations. Lodi Wine Country is host to roughly sixty wineries, five of those being major producers including Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, Sutter Home, Delicato, and Turner Road Vintners.

~ Dave Chandler, Lodi Regional Correspondent

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In the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia vineyards are small and few, yet the establishment of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands could bring much more.  [>] continue

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Visit Lodi

On the Northern California tourism scene, Lodi Wine County has emerged as a popular wine destination. With over 80 wineries, boasting award-winning wines, Lodi is finally attracting the attention it deserves.

Located just 90 minutes from San Francisco and 60 minutes from Napa, Lodi enjoys a similar climate and growing conditions to its coastal neighbors. Consumers and visitors alike are surprised to find out that Lodi produces more wine than Napa and Sonoma combined. Although having made our name on the fleshy, full bodied Zinfandel, Lodi vintners are increasingly winning awards for their Rhone and Mediterranean style varietals. In addition to Zinfandel, Lodi is currently the nation's leading producer of several popular varieties including Chardonnay, Sauvingnon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

In addition to the wineries, Lodi has an expansive list of activities for the visitor to immerse themselves in. With the Delta Waterway to the West and Mokelumne River to the North and South, nature activities and water recreation is abundant. Visitors can kayak or take a guided tour down the Mokelumne River, fish or swim at Lodi Lake or take in the wildlife at the Consumnes River preserve.

For the lover of the Arts, Lodi's Hutchins Street Square Performing Arts Theatre boasts live concerts and theater performances year-round. Lodi's Knowlton Gallery and Graves Country Gallery have become destination locations for art collectors around the country.

In addition, to the galleries, Lodi is home to a dozen public murals and hosts numerous art-related events throughout the year.

Families will enjoy Lodi as well. Micke Grove Park is a destination unto itself. Visitors can explore the zoo, sit in the shade of the Japanese Garden's cherry blossom trees or laugh and play together at Funderwoods Amusement Park. At the San Joaquin Historical museum, visitors can learn about the history of the region, take in the Antique tractor exhibit, visit the San Joaquin County Schoolhouse or tour the blacksmith shop.

Lodi's historic downtown is also a favorite for Lodi Visitors. Boutique and antique shops adorn tree lined streets. Restaurants and wineries are abundant and visitors can find live entertainment most weekend evenings.

Lodi is so much more than wineries. So bring your curiosity and be entertained.

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Mokelumne Glen Vineyards 2005 Lemberger Lemberger is a crisp, fruity red wine with a hint of spice that is enjoyable with any meal.
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