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Summer Sippers


Chill with red, white and pink wines from Lodi.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Lodi, California is home to old vine Zinfandels, with some plantings dating back to 1888. Many of Lodi’s winegrowing families have also been here for more than 100 years. And while it remains a predominately a red wine-producing region, these days Lodi is also making some other very interesting wines from its 75+ varieties.


Another evolution at Lodi is its wineries historical practice of sourcing grapes rather than bottling their own wines. In the past, many of its wineries supplied their Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay grapes to California’s most famous wine houses. But today some wineries are hanging onto their grapes instead and making their own wines—with their family’s labels. The Lodi Winegrape Commission created the standards for the state’s first third-party-certified sustainable winegrowing program, Lodi Rules. And approximately 23 percent of the acreage in Lodi—and some outside the area—is now certified.

Three Lodi wines lend themselves to Alabama’s summer humidity, a red, white and pink. Macchia Mischievous  Zinfandel 2010 ($19) is a Lodi Old Vine Zin. I love a red that needs a bit of a chill as this wine does. Smooth and jammy, Mischievous offers deep notes of blackberry and is 15.1 percent alcohol—thus mischievous indeed. Bokisch Vinyeards Verdelho ($18) is a lovely, Spanish varietal wine that is pale straw color, big in body, with nice acidity and notes of pineapple, pear, grapefruit and lime. It also holds the Lodi Green Certification. And the Sorelle Bella e Rosa ($16) is a 50/50 blend of Sangiovese and Barbera. A well-chilled glass of this salmon color wine makes me feel happy. And its fruity flavors of cherry, cranberry and strawberry beat the heat.

Published, B-Metro magazine, July 2013

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