Monday, April 29, 2013

Sorelle Winery – An Italian Winery in the Lodi Wine Country


 
Located in the south eastern side of the Lodi Wine Country is one of the most beautiful wineries in the region - Sorelle Winery. The history of the property dates back to 1776 when it was fishing grounds for the local Miwok Indians. Later settlers migrated to the area in 1825 who were attracted by the abundance of wild grapes.  Today two plaques in front of the estate landmark the spot that was used as a campsite on March 26, 1844, by General John C. Fremont and his expedition scout Christopher “Kit” Carson.

The property was then purchased by Jonathon Holt Dodge in 1857 who then built his home on the property in 1866. Dodge was a native of Vermont living in Illinois when the news of the California Gold Rush broke out at which time he headed west to Sacramento. Despite all his efforts, gold prospecting was not profitable but rather than return back east he began to farm in the San Joaquin Valley. There he grew grains, raised thoroughbred horses, cattle and sheep. He then planted a vineyard in collaboration with George West, a viticulturist and founder of the El Pinal Winery. During that time Jonathon Dodge married and helped build the one-room Calaveras School in 1866, and that same year constructed the home that has been preserved on the estate.[1]

More than a century later, the estate was purchased by Mike and Joanne Scott in August of 2007. Mike made his money as the owner of an industrial supply company that provided materials for the wind-turbine industry. Then in honor of Jonathon Dodge’s two daughters and their own two daughters, Kim and Melissa, Mike and Joanne established Sorelle Winery (“Sorelle” means “sisters” in Italian). They then built a winemaking facility with a barrel room and adjoining tasting room in keeping with the architecture of the historic home. The winery was finished with thick Douglas-fir shelves from a century-old warehouse in downtown Stockton and a large window separating tasting room from cellar also comes from the warehouse.
 
The Sorelle Winery winemaking team was then joined by Chad Joseph, a consultant for several wineries in Lodi. In keeping with the family’s Italian heritage they focus on producing about 2,000 cases Italian varietal wine such as Pinot Grigio, Primativo as well estate Sangiovese and Barbera that surround the home and winery. 
 

While visiting I sampled the following wines:

The first pour was the 2012 Pinot Grigio. This wine is very clear, almost water-white. On the nose it displays aromas of peach, apricot, lemon-lime and a hint of wet stone. On the palate it is light bodied (medium-), very crisp (medium+), with a medium+ length finish. This was the perfect wine for a hot day as it was 90 degrees that day! This was my favorite in the line-up and I brought a bottle home for $16.

The second sample was the 2012 Rosato (Rosé) made from 50% Barbera and 50% Sangiovese. On the nose it has subtle aromas of strawberries and cranberries, on the palate it is light bodied, crisp with medium + acidity and a medium- length finish. It is a fairly simple wine that sells for $16 a bottle.


The third wine and first red was the 2010 Estate Barbera. This wine has explosive aromatics with pronounced aromas of fresh blueberries and a hint of smoky bacon fat. On the palate it is medium bodied with refined tannins, mouth-watering acidity (medium +) and a hint of bramble bush on the finish. This was my second favorite wine in the line-up. It sells for $25 a bottle.

The fourth wine was the 2010 Estate Sangiovese. This wine is ruby red with subtle aromas of cherries and strawberries. On the palate it has medium acidity, medium body and a short finish. I don’t think I have ever said this before, but I think this wine may actually need more oak. This wine sells for $23 a bottle.

The fifth sample was the 2010 Primitivo. This Italian Zinfandel displays aromas of raspberries, blackberries and a hint of dried herbs. On the palate it is has a silky texture with refined tannins, it is medium body and acidity, and it has a lingering peppery finish. This wine sells for $22 a bottle.

The final sample was the 2012 Muscat Canelli. On the nose this wine displays vibrant aromas of canned peaches, mandarin oranges and pears. This wine has a touch of sweetness with 3% residual sugar yet it maintains refreshing acidity so it isn’t quite a dessert wine and it would pair well with spicy dishes. It has a medium length finish and is an enjoyable wine on a hot Spring day. This wine sells for $18 a bottle.


To see more pictures of the Sorrelle Winery, check out Erik Wait’s Wine Country Photography at:


To visit or for more information:

Sorelle Winery
9599 N Hwy 88
Stockton, CA 95212
Phone: 1-209-931-4350

[1] In 1976 the Calaveras School was moved to Micke Grove Regional Park in Stockton.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Viaggio Estate Winery – A Tuscan Villa in Acampo, California



After visiting St. Jorge Winery last weekend I drove down the road to Viaggio Estate Winery, which was founded, by Kent and Tamara Raverty. It was then sold to three local couples: Larry and Terri Lawrence, Leo and Darla Van Warmerdam, and Gerald and Debbie Schwartz who all have backgrounds in agricultural production and marketing, including row crops, dairy and rice. While visiting I met Larry in the tasting room and his wife Terri who is the winemaker. They are both very friendly and hospitable.
 
The beautiful estate has similar styled architecture as St. Jorge Winery but on a much grander scale. Adjacent to the winery and event center is a beautiful mansion. This Tuscan styled villa is over 10,000 square feet and has a total of five bedrooms, including a 1,200 square foot Master suite. The other four spacious bedrooms all have their own private balconies overlooking the Mokelumne River, the walnut orchard and vineyards. 
Three of the four bathrooms also have Jacuzzi tubs. The mansion has a full gourmet kitchen, along with casual and formal eating areas throughout the home. Although this area is marked off from the winery as a “private residence” visitors can see from a distance that it has a large beautiful infinity pool with a cascading waterfall, a lower pool area as well as large patio with a stunning view of the river. On the estate there is also a 1,000 square foot one bedroom cottage which can be used by guests to prepare for ceremonies.
The tasting room is inside a 9,900 square foot event center which has three levels. Surrounding the event center are patios and an outdoor promenade with multiple seating areas and water fountains and an outdoor fireplace for cooler evenings. The event center also a 6,000 square foot elegantly decorated tasting room, barrel storage area and large commercial kitchen. If that wasn’t impressive enough, the large parking also has a helipad. 


While visiting I sampled the following wines:

The first pour was the 2011 Pinot Grigio - California. This wine was lightly oaked in American and French barrels. On the nose it has subtle notes of citrus, lemon, tangerine and mandarin oranges. On the palate it is light bodied, crisp and has a medium length tangy finish. This wine sells for $18 a bottle.

The second sample was the 2011 Chardonnay – Lodi. On the nose this wine displays subtle aromas of green apples, pears, a hint of popcorn and butter. On the palate it is medium bodied, medium acidity and a medium length finish. The wine isn’t overly buttery or oaky and it sells at a fair price at $18 a bottle.
The third wine pour was the 2010 Merlot Reserve. This wine displays aromas of very ripe cherries, red currants and a hint of clove. On the palate it has very soft tannins, medium acidity and a medium length finish. In term of flavor profile it offers more on the nose than on the palate as it delivered a fairly simple splash of cherries from start to finish. This wine sells for $24 a bottle.

The fourth sample of wine was the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. This wine displays pronounced aromas of cassis and dark cherries. On the palate it has smooth tannins, it is medium bodied with medium acidity and a medium (+) length finish. Like the Merlot, the flavor profile is fairly simple and it lacks structure, complexity and nuance. This wine sells for $24 a bottle.

The fifth wine was the 2010 Carignan Reserve. This wine has pronounced aromas of dark fruits, a hint of fresh cracked black pepper, beef jerky and a hint of smoke. On the palate it has refined tannins, is medium bodied, has medium acidity and a medium length finish. This was without a doubt the best wine in the line-up so I brought one home for $24.

The final sample was the Zinfandel Dessert Wine, which is a late harvest Zinfandel that has been fortified with brandy. On the nose this wine displays aromas of maple syrup, caramel and butterscotch. On the palate it has ample weight with medium (+) viscosity but it isn’t syrupy in texture. After the mid palate transition it has a spike of heat followed by a prolonged hazelnut finish. A tasty dessert wine, it sells for $27 a bottle.

To see more pictures of the Viaggio Estate Winery, check out Erik Wait’s Wine Country Photography at:


To visit or for more information:

Viaggio Estate Winery
100 East Taddei Road
Acampo, CA 95220
Phone: 1-209-368-1378

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

St. Jorge Winery – A Portugese Winery in the Lodi Wine Country




This past weekend I decided to make another trek out to the central valley to take more pictures of some twisted gnarly old vines. With clear skies and summer-like weather in the forecast (90° f) I knew it would be an absolutely beautiful weekend.   

The Napa Valley and the Sonoma County are primarily known for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (mostly from the Carneros sub-AVA). While there are wineries that produce these varietals in the central valley and they tend to sell at more reasonable prices, when venturing out to Lodi I prefer to experience what this warm-climate terroir does best – Zinfandel, Rhone varietals and increasingly Portuguese varietals. While these wines may not be as well-known as Cabernet, Merlot or Chardonnay (which are the top 3 sellers on the market) Lodi does have the perfect climate and soils for producing high-quality Portuguese wines.



 With that in mind, my first stop was at St. Jorge Winery which is located in Acampo on the north side of the Lodi Wine Country. The winery was founded by Vern Vierra and Jenise Vierra whose Portuguese family has been making wine for hundreds of years. His family tree is rooted on the Azores Island of St. Jorge where his grandfather farmed and produced wine. 



 The St. Jorge Winery follows the Portuguese tradition of producing wines that are full fruit flavor using the traditional Portugese grapes such as Verdelho, Tinta Roriz (a.k.a Tempranillo), Souzão, Tinta Cão, Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira (a.k.a. Tinta Amarela). They also produce an Old Vine Zinfandel and Alicante Bouschet. The grapes are selectively picked by hand and brought into the winery early in the cool of the morning. The red wine grapes are not crushed and de-stemmed only. After clean sorting is finished the grapes undergo a three day cold soak prior fermentation in order to acquire optimal extraction of flavor from the skins. The wine is then is racked into French oak barrels for about 18 months before bottling. The result of this winemaking technique is intense, concentrated and flavorful wines.

The winery sits on a 14.47 acre etsate and the architecture resembles a Tuscan villa. In the front plaza between the tasting room and winemaking facility is a large water fountain and an patio lounge where visitors can enjoy the sunshine while sampling the wines. Behind the winery adjacent to the vineyards is an amphitheater and a commercial kitchen. The interior of the tasting room remains naturally cool and it is beautifully decorated with a baby grand piano and art work painted by Vern and Jenise’s daughter. In fact, on the label of every bottle is a replica of her painting of St. Jorge slaying the dragon.



While visiting I sampled the following wines:



The first pour was the 2011 Verdelho Seco. This is a clear, dry white wine with aromas of honeysuckle, melon, citrus and lemon custard. On the palate it is medium bodied, crisp with medium (+) acidity and it has a prolonged tangy finish. One of the benefits of this varietal is that it can be served fairly cold without losing any of its aromatic character, unlike Chardonnay which tends to become muted when served too cold.  This makes Verdelho  the perfect summer wine to be enjoyed on hot days. I really enjoyed this wine and brought three bottles home. It sells for $18 a bottle.



The second sample was the 2011 Verdelho. This wine is made in the same fashion as the previous wine except it has 1.2% residual sugar giving it a touch of sweetness and a softer edge. While I preferred the Seco Vern stated that the average consumer preferred this off-dry wine. The aromas of this wine are similar to the Seco except that it has more lemon/lime notes, it isn’t as crisp and the finish isn’t as long. This wine also sells for $18 a bottle.




The third pour and first red wine was the 2010 Tempranillo (a.k.a Tinta Roriz Tempranillo). The Tempranillo grape is known by several other names throughout Spain (Albillo Negro, Aldepenas, Aragones and Valdepenas just to name a few) and in Portugal it is known by a particular clone named Tinta Roriz. But, in the United States wherever it is grown it usually labeled Tempranillo which is why Vern has given it this designation. The nose on this wine has explosive aromas of fresh blueberries, berry pie and cocoa and subtle earthy undertones. On the palate it has intense flavors, silky tannins with medium body and medium length finish. This wine definitely has the delicious factor going on and I brought a bottle home for $28.



The fourth wine was the 2010 Alicante Bouschet – Estate. I had recently tasted a similar Alicante Bouschet at Harmony Wynelands. This wine is clear, deep and bright ruby red and on the nose it has intense and concentrated aromas of blackberries with subtle notes of damp earth, tar, and black licorice. On the palate it has additional subtle notes of dried black fruits (plums, dates, raisins) with tight refined tannins. It is medium bodied with medium acidity and a medium length finish. I purchased a bottle of Alicante Bouschet when I visited Harmony Wynelands but more as a novelty than as a wine I would want to enjoy with friends. I do not think there are many who would enjoy it as I do. So, to be perfectly honest, after tasting this one I am convinced that Alicante Bouschet is better off used as a blending grape to add color to blended wines than as a stand-alone wine (example: Borra Vineyards uses small amounts in their 2010 Red Fusion wine). This wine sells for $28 a bottle.



The fifth wine was the 2009 Souzão - Silverspoon Vineyards. This wine is inky black and on the nose it has aromas of intense black fruits and rich chocolate covered cherries. On the palate it is fruit forward with silky tannins, it is round with a full mouth feel, ample acidity and a medium (+) length finish. It is a delicious wine that sells for $28 a bottle and I brought two of them home.



The sixth pour was the 2010 Trincadeira - Silverspoon Vineyards. This grape is also known as Tinta Amarela and I had never even heard of this grape, let alone tasted it.  In Portugal it is used in Port wine production. The grape is noted for its dark coloring and in the Douro region has been increasingly used in recent years. The vine is susceptible to rot and performs better in dry, hot climates like the Lodi AVA. This wine is lighter in color and less intense in aromas and flavors than the previous wine so I probably should have sampled it earlier. It has mild aromas of blackberries, black tea and hints of herbs. On the palate it has additional notes of cherries and tart raspberries. It has a medium body, medium acidity and soft tannins and a medium length finish. It is an interesting wine but having never tasted it before I don’t have any basis for comparison for quality. This wine sells for $23 a bottle.



The seventh sample of wine was the 2009 Vinho Tinto Belo – a blend of 1/3 Touriga Nacional, 1/3 Souzão, and 1/3 Tinta Roriz. This wine is dark ruby red with subtle aromas of dark fruits. It is dry, medium bodied, with medium tannins and ample acidity  and a medium (+) length finish. Although it is a blend of some of the previously tasted grapes, it is less intense and concentrated in flavor. This wine sells for $28 a bottle.



The eight pour was the 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel. This wine is dark and inky with aromas of blackberries, dark cherries and cocoa, On the palate it is jammy with silky medium tannins, ripe black fruits and slightly sweet on entry, medium body and a tough of oak on a medium length finish. Almost every winery in the Lodi Wine Country produces a Zinfandel so the competition is fairly tight. This wine sells for $25 a bottle.




The final wine was the 2010 Vinho Tinta Doce Port. This wine is made from Touriga National, Touriga Francesa, Tinto Cao, Tinta Roriz and Alvarelhao. This wine has aromas of fresh black fruits, sweet raisins, and dark chocolate. On the palate it is definitely sweet with good viscosity, not syrupy, full bodied and with a little heat on the finish. This wine is extremely young and it is St. Jorge’s first fortified Port styled wine. I suspect that this wine will greatly improve with age over the next 5-10 years. This wine sells for $48 a bottle (750 ml.) and only 72 cases were produced.



To see more pictures of the St. Jorge Winery, check out Erik Wait’s Wine Country Photography at:




To visit or for more information:



St. Jorge Winery

22769 N. Bender Rd.

Acampo, CA 95220

Phone: 1-209-365-0202

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Van Ruiten Family Vineyards – Bud Break and Old Vines in Lodi, California





Van Ruiten Family Vineyards was founded by Dutch immigrant John Van Ruiten. After his arrival in the United States shortly after World War II, he settled in the Lodi area and began farming over 800 acres of wine grapes. For the next 50 years Van Ruiten vineyards grew grapes that sourced were by other wineries. Then in 1999 the family began producing their own wine from their estate vineyards. A year later in the year 2000 they opened a state-of-the-art winery among their vineyards along Highway 12 and the next year they opened their quaint tasting room. Then in 2007 they planted of 40 acres of Primitivo vineyard which originated  in the Puglia region of Italy.  This red varietal, also known as Zingarello, is genetically related to California’s Zinfandel. After five decades the family farms an estimated 1000 acres of wine grapes, with only their best fruit destined to carry the family name.  Today three generations of the Van Ruiten family work together tending the vineyards, producing wine and managing the winery.


Van Ruiten has two tasting line-ups, the “Signature Flight” ($5) and the “Reserves Flight” ($10). The primary difference in winemaking style is that the former are made with American Oak while the Reserves are made with French Oak barrels. Since I was spitting the wine in order to avoid intoxication I decided to sample both flights. While visiting I tasted the following wines:



The first pour was from the “Signature Flight,” the 2012 Pinot Grigio. On the nose this wine is very floral with aromas of orange blossoms and honeysuckles followed by pears and tangerines. On the palate this wine is fairly light with medium (-) body, crisp acidity and a lingering lemon and mineral finish. A nice wine for only $14 a bottle.



The second wine was also from the “Signature Flight,” the 2012 Chardonnay. Recently released, this wine is fermented 50% in oak and 50% in stainless steel. On the nose I picked up subtle tropical notes, pears, and melon. On the palate it is dry, full bodied and round, medium acidity with just a hint of oak and butter and a medium (+) length finish. This wine sells at a fair price for only $15 a bottle.

 

The third wine was from the “Reserves Flight,” 2009 “Double Barrel” Chardonnay. This wine is barrel fermented and barrel aged. On the nose it has aromas of freshly popped popcorn, butter, marshmallows, caramel, butterscotch, baked pears and apple pie crust. It is full bodied with medium acidity and it has a long finish. This wine sells for only $23 a bottle and I have tasted many like it that sold for over $30.


The fourth wine and first red was from the “Signature Flight,” the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is deep ruby red with big ripe fruit on the nose, blackberries, cherries and cassis. On the palate it has explosive fruit, silky tannins, medium weight and acidity and it has a hint of anise on medium length finish. This wine is fairly priced at $19 a bottle.



The fifth wine was from the “Reserves Flight,” the 2010 “Reserve” Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is similar to the previous Cab but with additional notes of black currants, a hint of pepper and vanilla and a touch of earth and it isn’t as much of a fruit bomb. This wine sells for $35 a bottle but it doesn't quiet compete with many Napa Valley Cabs that sell for the same price.



The sixth sample was the 2010 “Reserve” Merlot, which was also from the “Reserves Flight.” This wine has subtle notes of black cherries and spice, it is medium bodied and a medium length finish. This wine sells for $35 a bottle but it doesn't quiet compete with many Napa Valley Merlots that sell for the same price.



The seventh pour, from the “Signature Flight,” was the 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel. On the nose this wine delivers aromas of blueberry jam, dried black fruits, a hint of cigar box and anise. It is medium bodied with medium acidity, well balanced and has a long finish. This wine sells for $23 a bottle.



The eighth sample, from the “Reserves Flight,” was the 2010 “Sideways” Lot. No. 69 Zinfandel. This wine is bigger, jammier with more ripe fruits, vanilla and a hint of freshly cracked black pepper. It is fruit forward with ample mouth-watering acidity and a medium (+) length finish. I definitely preferred this Zin to the previous wine, but it has a heftier price tag at $34.69 a bottle.


The ninth wine was from the “Signature Flight,” the 2010 Petite Sirah. This wine displays subtle aromas of dark plums, spice and a hint of herbs. On the palate it is fruit forward with a touch of sweetness on entry with silky tannins, medium body and a medium length finish. This wine is fairly priced at $20 a bottle.



The final wine in the line-up was from the “Reserves Flight,” the 2010 “Reserve” Shiraz. This wine is intense ruby red that stains the glass when swirled. On the nose it has aromas blackberry jam, plums, a hint of smoke, beef jerky and black pepper. On entry this wine is luscious with a touch of sweetness, silky tannins, medium body, and mouth-watering acidity. It is well balanced and has a long finish with a touch of pepper on the return. This was my favorite wine in the line-up so I brought a bottle home for $35.



To see more pictures of Van Ruiten Family Vineyards, check out Erik Wait’s Wine Country Photography at:




For more information or to visit:
Van Ruiten Family Winery

340 West Highway 12

Lodi, CA 95242

Phone: 1- 866-334-5722

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Harmony Wynelands – Spring Budding of Old Vines in Lodi, California





It is spring time in the vineyard! It is that time of the year when the vines transition from winter dormancy to bud break. While younger vines (under 40 years old) aren’t very interesting to look at during this season I find gnarly old twisted vines to be most fascinating, before they are covered up with large vine and leaf canopies in the summer. 

During April of 2012 I visited the Alexander Valley to photograph Old Zinfandel vines and up to the Sierra foothills to see Old Zinfandel and ancient Mission Grape vines. The only other well-known AVA that is home to old vines is in the Lodi wine country. So, this past weekend I headed out to the central valley and visited two wineries.


My first stop was at Harmony Wynelands which was founded by Bob and Linda Hartzell in 2002. The name of the winery was derived from a trip they took to South Africa where the term “wynelands” is used to describe grape vineyards. As you travel down their long driveway you’ll pass by 40-60 year Zinfandel vines and then come to the light blue and white farm house that is surrounded by beautiful gardens and it has become a popular venue for hosting weddings and special events. Inside the farm house is the showroom for the wine and an large 1921 Robert Morton Theater Pipe Organ which Bob Hartzell acquired from San Francisco’s historic Castro Theater. 


Chad Joseph is the winemaker for Harmony Wynelands. He has a degree in botany, and is from a family of Central Valley farmers and had previously worked as one of Gallo’s many winemakers. He then worked as a consultant at Vino Piazza  and today in addition to Harmony Wynelands he serves seven client wineries including  Harney Lane, Boitano, Valhalla,  McConnell Estates, McCormack-Williamson, and Dancing Coyote.


While sampling the wines I met Shaun MacKay, Linda’s son, who is the assistant winemaker and handles sales, marketing, and winery operations. Shaun studied communication, science, and film studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Afterwards he pursued additional Wine and Wine Marketing education at UC Davis. After finishing his undergraduate education, he traveled extensively throughout the Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands before returning to Lodi. Shaun joined Harmony Wynelands in 2004 to work alongside lead winemaker Chad Joseph. He is quite the wine-philosopher as he loves to talk about wine making as a holistic philosophy.

While visiting I sampled the following wines:

The first pour was the Rosé (non-Vintage) made from a blend of Zinfandel, Grenache and Mourvèdre made from free-run juice in the saignée method. On the nose this wine has aromas of a splash of fresh strawberries, cherries and subtle floral notes. On the palate it is fruit forward and dry, very vibrant with crisp acidity, medium weight with a medium length tangy and zesty finish. This is a refreshing wine that I sure to be a hit during the summer and it is fairly priced at $16 a bottle.

The second sample of wine was the 2010 Chardonnay. On the nose it has subtle tropical aromas followed by Golden Delicious apples and pears. On the palate it has additional notes of green apples with medium weight, medium acidity and a medium length finish with mandarin oranges and tangerines on the return. This wine sells for $16 a bottle.


The third wine and first red was the 2008 Alicante Bouschet. While this grape was widely planted in California early in the 20th century it is rarely found in California today. Where it is grown, seldom is it bottled as a 100% varietal wine as it is usually used for blending to add color to a wine. It is a cross of Petit Bouschet (itself a cross of the very old variety Teinturier du Cher and Aramon) and Grenache.  Alicante is a teinturier grape, one with red flesh and red juice and it is one of the few that belong to the Vitis vinifera species. At the turn of the 21st century, Alicante Bouschet was the 12th most planted red wine grape in France with sizable plantings in the Languedoc, Provence and Cognac regions. This wine is clear, deep and bright ruby red and on the nose it has intense and concentrated aromas of blackberries with subtle notes of damp earth, tar, and black licorice. On the palate it has additional subtle notes of dried black fruits (plums, dates, raisins) with tight refined tannins, it is medium bodied with mouth watering acidity and a medium (+) length finish. This wine sells for $30 a bottle and I brought one home.

The fourth pour and second red wine was the 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel. This wine had recently been bottled so it may need a few more months to show its best. On the nose it has very fresh and vibrant cherries as well as dried black fruits. On the palate it is fruit forward with a hint of sweetness with additional notes of vanilla, strawberry jam and just a hint of sweet oak. This wine sells for $23 a bottle.

The fifth sample of wine was the Pipe Dreams Old Vine Zinfandel, a blend of the 2008, 2009 and 2010 vintage. On the nose I picked up intense and concentrated dark cherries, dark chocolate and black licorice. On the palate it has a hint of sweetness on entry, velvety smooth tannins, medium +) body and a medium length finish. If you’re going to Lodi to find great old vine zins, this is what you’re looking for! An absolutely delicious wine, it sells for $44 a bottle and I brought one home.

The final wine was the Late Harvest Riesling (Non-Vintage). On the nose I picked up notes of honey and apricots, canned pears, and white raisins. On the palate it is sweet but it isn’t syrupy and it has a medium +) length finish. This wine is not listed on the web site. It sells for $23 for a 350 ml bottle.


For more information or to visit:

Harmony Wynelands

9291 E Harney Lane

Lodi, CA 95240

Phone: 1-209-369-4184