Daily Archives: Jul 10, 2013

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Traveling the Mokelumne River AVA

When traveling intensively through a wine region it is difficult to post in depth information. Instead, I try to post photos from the day as I go to offer a glimpse of the activities and appellation. More in depth write-ups of the region, and particular people and wines will follow later.

On Day 2 of touring Lodi we focused on unique old vine sites throughout the Mokelumne River AVA, looking at vineyards on both the West and East sides. The day took us through a wealth of old vine Zinfandel tastings, and also a series of encounters with Rhone varieties (yum).

A Mokelumne River Channel on the West side of the AVA

a canal from the Mokelumne River separates old vine vineyards on the Westside

Visiting Bechthold Vineyards 1886 Cinsault Planting

Bechthold Vineyard Old vine Cinsault planted in 1886

One of Joseph Spenker’s first vineyard, the 25 acre 1885 Cinsault planting exists today thanks to pride in tradition and family heritage. The fruit was unknown, called Malvoise for almost a century. It was recognized as a dark, thick skinned grape that made soft wine and sold for only $200-250 per ton. The family lost money on it every year. Almost ready to pull it out, the family took up conversation with a UC Davis faculty member and agreed to send samples out for DNA identification of the vines. It was discovered that the Malvoise was actually Cinsault, the oldest such vineyard in North America, and one of the oldest in the world. With grape type identified better vineyard and vinification handling could also be brought. Almost immediately after renaming the vines, Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon started sourcing the fruit for his Cigare Volant program. Today wineries such as Onesta, Estate Crush, Turley, and Scholium Project all also utilize Bechthold fruit.

Onesta old vine Cinsault from Bechthold Vineyard

Onesta 2011 Cinsault from the Bechthold Vineyard. Onesta also makes rosé from the site.

Tasting Estate Crush Old Vine Cinsault from Bechthold Vineyard with Nick Sikeotis

Tasting Estate Crush 2012 barrel sample Cinsault from Bechthold Vineyard with Nick Sikeotis.

Old Vine Cinsault

Inspecting the Cinsault (some of the clusters were showing early veraison)

Standing in the old vines

Standing in the old vines

In the midst of the vineyard

 

Visiting Soucie Vineyard, Old Vine Zinfandel, planted in 1916 Ed Soucie

Ed Soucie

Visiting Soucie Old Vine Vineyard planted in 1916

Kevin Soucie standing in his family vineyard, planted in 1916. 6 acres of the original 1916 vines still in tact. Kevin also manages the vineyard.

Tasting Old Vine Block Soucie Vineyard m2 Zinfandel with Layne Montgomery

Tasting M2 wine’s Soucie Vineyard 2011 Old Vine Zinfandel, and 2010 Select Block in among the 1916 vines with Layne Montgomery.

Visiting Maley Vineyard, planted in 1958

Maley Vineyard old vine Zinfandels

Tasting wine made from the Maley Brothers 1958 planted Old Vine Zinfandel from M2 Wines, and Maley Wines at vineyard side.

Visiting the Maley Vineyard with Chad Joseph

Winemaker Chad Joseph walking among the 1958 planted Maley Vineyard

Maley VIneyard Zinfandel planted in 1958

Randy Caparoso inspecting the Zinfandel

Old Vine Zinfandel going through Veraison

Zinfandel in veraison

Visiting Lot 13, planted in 1915

Visiting the Lot 13 Vineyard with Michael McCay, planted in 1915

Michael McCay standing next to one of his favorite vines of 1915 planted Zinfandel in his Lot 13 Vineyard

Tasting McCay reds

Tasting McCay Cellars reds

Tasting McCay Zinfandels

Tasting McCay Cellars Zinfandels

Attending the Lodi Native Zinfandel Terroir Project Meeting, and Tasting

Attending the Lodi Native terroir project meeting

The Lodi Native group meeting reviewing notes to prepare for Zinfandel tasting

Chad Joseph

Winemaker Chad Joseph, Maley Wines

Kevin Soucie

Vineyard Manager Kevin Soucie, Soucie Vineyards

Stuart Spencer

Winemaker Stuart Spencer, St Amant Wines

Layne Montgomery

Winemaker Layne Montgomery, M2 Wines

Ryan Sherman

Winemaker Ryan Sherman, Fields Family Wines

Michael McCay

Winemaker Michael McCay, McCay Cellars

Visiting Acquiesce Vineyards and Winery

Tasting Acquiesce Vineyards with Sue Tipton

Sue Tipton of Acquiesce Vineyards pouring her 2012 Grenache Blanc

Outside Acquiesce

Chalk drawing from a recent visitor outside the Acquiesce Winery on our way to the vineyards

Inspecting Grenache Blanc at Acquiesce

Sue Tipton shows us her Grenache Blanc

Tasting Grenache Blanc with dinner

Tasting the Grenache Blanc with dinner

Rodney Tipton

Rodney Tipton serving the next course for dinner

Tasting Acquiesce wines

Acquiesce makes all Rhone whites, and a Rhone rosé, a fun close to the day. Tasting them with dinner.

***
Thank you to Randy Caparoso.

Thank you to Nick Sikeotis, Jillian Johnson, and Yuri DeLeon.

Thank you to Ed and Kevin Soucie, and Layne Montgomery.

Thank you to Chad Joseph.

Thank you to Michael McCay for taking the time to return to Lodi to meet with us.

Thank you to Ryan Sherman, Stuart Spencer, Tim Holdener.

Thank you to Sue and Rodney Tipton for so generously hosting us for dinner.

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