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 canal from the Mokelumne River separates old vine vineyards on the Westside
Visiting Bechthold Vineyards 1886 Cinsault Planting
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 2011 Cinsault from the Bechthold Vineyard. Onesta also makes rosé from the site.
Tasting Estate Crush 2012 barrel sample Cinsault from Bechthold Vineyard with Nick Sikeotis.
Inspecting the Cinsault (some of the clusters were showing early veraison)
Standing in the old vines
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 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
Tasting wine made from the Maley Brothers 1958 planted Old Vine Zinfandel from M2 Wines, and Maley Wines at vineyard side.
Winemaker Chad Joseph walking among the 1958 planted Maley Vineyard
Randy Caparoso inspecting the Zinfandel
Zinfandel in veraison
Visiting Lot 13, planted in 1915
Michael McCay standing next to one of his favorite vines of 1915 planted Zinfandel in his Lot 13 Vineyard
Tasting McCay Cellars reds
Tasting McCay Cellars Zinfandels
Attending the Lodi Native Zinfandel Terroir Project Meeting, and Tasting
The Lodi Native group meeting reviewing notes to prepare for Zinfandel tasting
Winemaker Chad Joseph, Maley Wines
Vineyard Manager Kevin Soucie, Soucie Vineyards
Winemaker Stuart Spencer, St Amant Wines
Winemaker Layne Montgomery, M2 Wines
Winemaker Ryan Sherman, Fields Family Wines
Winemaker Michael McCay, McCay Cellars
Visiting Acquiesce Vineyards and Winery
Sue Tipton of Acquiesce Vineyards pouring her 2012 Grenache Blanc
Chalk drawing from a recent visitor outside the Acquiesce Winery on our way to the vineyards
Sue Tipton shows us her Grenache Blanc
Tasting the Grenache Blanc with dinner
Rodney Tipton serving the next course for dinner
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.
Copyright 2013 all rights reserved. When sharing or forwarding, please attribute to WakawakaWineReviews.com.