When you think of up-and-coming in the state of California, you probably think of young people, sunshine and hipster events. Many years ago the Napa Valley was considered an up-and-coming wine region, and now it’s the most established wine region in California. Well I’d like to introduce you to Lodi California, it’s the oldest up-and-coming wine region in California. And they make the best Zinfandel wines in the world, in my opinion! A fun fact, Lodi is the home of A& W root beer.
Lodi, California has been making wine since the 1800’s, but it’s only been really noticed in the past 20 years. It wasn’t until 2015 Wine Enthusiast Magazine named it Wine Region of the Year. I completely understand the region winning this designation, and here are a few reasons why.
Although Lodi California is probably best known for the Zinfandel red wines, they are producing some extraordinary Chardonnay, like this Leaping Horse. Most people associate California Chardonnay wines with lots of oak, but this is the exception. Leaping Horse wine focuses on a fresh and fruity Chardonnay, and there is no oak here. At just $16.50 a bottle, it’s a wine you can enjoy time and time again. Here in Halifax, we have to buy this wine at a local wine store, called Bishop Cellar. Definitely worth checking out wherever you live.
This is probably one of the most recognizable Zinfandel wines in the world, and one of my favourites. 7 Deadly Zins are Zinfandel grapes from 7 different growing areas in Lodi and has a little fun with the 7 deadly sins. This wine is sinfully delicious, pardon the pun and runs about $26 a bottle. In my opinion, one of the best ones you can serve with barbeque ribs. As a matter of fact, whenever you see a Zinfandel wine with a food pairing, you’ll often see it associated with barbeque food.
And now for my wine of the week…
It might be called Three Finger Jack, but I give it a resounding two thumbs up. Three Finger Jack was a legendary bandit and gunslinger who roamed central California during the early days of the Gold Rush. Remember, Lodi California has been producing wine since the 1800s, and it is often said they started growing grapes to make wine for those trying to strike it rich during the gold rush. You’ll notice this is called an old Vine Zinfandel, and you’ll see that designation on several Zinfandel wines in your favourite liquor store. In order for a wine to have the designation “old vine”, the vine must be at least 50 years old. Older vines produce lower yields but more higher quality with rich flavour in the fruit. This is a fantastic wine for under $25.
As I sit here enjoying my Saturday morning coffee, I have to get to work because I have a wine-tasting tonight. I’m so excited, this is my third wine-tasting for most of this group of people and tonight will be my largest with 31 guests. I have some really interesting wines to showcase tonight and I will tell you all about it next week
Till then, Cheers