Our last Wine Wizard found us travelling to France to learn about Old World wine making. Now, we are headed back home and focusing on two of our favorite California wine regions: the Napa Valley & Lodi.
With a great featured Chardonnay from Napa winery Mi Sueno and a fantastic Cab-Shiraz blend from Lodi producer Van Ruiten Family Vineyards, we can’t wait for Gold Series members to get the holidays started with these awesome wines. In the meantime, learn a bit about the history and wine making practices of these two wine regions.
What is Lodi’s most popular grape varietal?
Lodi is the self-proclaimed Zinfandel capital of the world, producing over 40 percent of California’s Zinfandel vines. Many of the region’s wines come from the thousands of acres of “old vines” – some dating back to the 1880’s. Growers, vintners, and consumers from around the world are quickly discovering the great Lodi Zinfandel.
What was the first AVA to be designated in California?
Napa Valley was the first American Viticultural Area, or AVA, to be designated in California in 1981. Though just 30 miles long and a few miles wide, Napa Valley is home to diverse micro climates and soils uniquely suited to the cultivated of a variety of fine wine grapes. Napa Valley accounts for only 4% of California’s wine grape harvest and is best known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Franc.
When are sparkling wine grapes harvested?
In California, sparkling wine grapes are typically harvest in late July to early August (earlier than the majority of harvest seasons that occur in late August through early October). The reason sparkling wine grapes are harvested early at a slightly unripe point is to help maintain acidity in the finished wine.
With the holidays just around the corner, now is the perfect time to impress your family members with some wine country knowledge. It will be hard to not be impressed when you flaunt your familiarity with California AVA history Lodi grape varietals. We hope you enjoy being a Wine Wizard this holiday season!