Live from Lodi

Where in the heck is Lodi? Find out as I'm joined by Lodi Winegrower's Commision Program Director Stuart Spencer and Macchia Winery owner and winemaker Tim Holdener


Lodi California has slowly become a real powerhouse in the California wine scene, but it's not a region that gets much attention. Slowly but surely, generations of farmers in this plain state-like piece of California, just 90 minutes east of San Francisco, have made a name for themselves, first as great growers that supplied the country with high quality fruit at affordable prices, and more recently as winemakers, taking the fruits of their labors and putting their name on the label. Generations of German and Italian forebears must be proud!

I recently got the chance to visit Lodi and sit down with Lodi Winegrower's Commision Program Director Stuart Spencer and Macchia Winery owner and winemaker Tim Holdener to discuss the wines of Lodi, the challenges and advantages the region offers its farmers, and the state of winemaking in this up and coming region. I was surprised by the stories I heard during my stay in Lodi, as well as by the wines that ranged from the expected, powerful and plush to wines of real finesse and elegance. Come give a listen and learn a bit about California's not so little secret.

It's not as hot as you think

Yes there is a lot of sun, and it's pretty warm, but as the air heats up it rises, drawing in cooling breezes from the coast. These daily Delta breezes help to keep temperatures under control, allowing for a long warm growing season that is focused within a 30 mile wide corridor centered around Lodi.

Lodi Rules

The region is dry as well, though with more than adequate supplies of water to help give the vines exactly the right water supply at exactly the right time. The control over the irrigation practices in Lodi are part of Lodi Rules, the industry leading effort to codify practices that make not only the vineyards sustainable, but to make sure that the industry itself remains sustainable. The details of Lodi Rules are surrounded here by a discussion of irrigation, and some comments on coyotes, deer, and turkeys!

Lodi is about diversity

Lodi was founded by families of Germans and Italians, bringing together two distinctly different cultures, and palates. Today, that heritage shows up in a little east-side vs. west-side rivalry, but it also has contributed to a more diverse, and perhaps more open-minded approach to grape growing in the region.

Lodi is not a uniform appellation

Today the local families are working both as grape growers, as well as winemakers, working hard to understand the lands they work and honing in on the best grapes. The region really offers tremendous variety of terroir and growing conditions, which makes it easy to experiment with these new varieties.

Lodi has Style

The wines of Lodi have a signature; rich and ripe with a supple, mouth-filling texture. Due as much to winemaking as it is to the climate, this is the terroir of the region. Stuart and Tim discuss some of the influences that help to shape the wines of Lodi.


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