California Wine

Life's Basics: Bread & Wine

Apr 26, 2017
Bread & Wine at the Altar
Fr Ian M Delinger

Vern Vierra in his St. Jorge Winery tasting room
Thomas Wilmer

Vern Vierra grew up on the family farm in Acampo, California near Lodi. Vierra opened St. Jorge Winery in 2009, named in honor of his grandfather. Honoring his ancestors who emigrated from the Azores, he naturally loves Portuguese varietals. His wine list includes Vinfandel, Verdelho, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, and Syrah—all ideally suited to the Lodi terroir. The Mediterranean-styled winery is a popular wedding destination in addition to a popular spot on the Lodi Wine Trail.    

Lodi, California Mayor Mark Chandler
Thomas Wilmer

Lodi, California’s Mayor Mark Chandler talks about Lodi’s 150-year history as a premier grape growing region. Chandler shares insights on “Lodi Rules” pioneering sustainable grape growing practices that became a national model, his roots at Cal Poly, water conservation and re-use, and moderating development.

Lodi winemaker and grape grower Larry Mettler
Thomas Wilmer

The Mettler Family started growing grapes in Lodi, California back in 1899. In 1999 Larry Mettler launched Mettler Family Vineyards winery. Ahead of the curve, Larry selected a French clone Cabernet Sauvignon rather than the tried and true Zinfandel. Mettler’s current release includes Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, and naturally, the ever-popular Cab that's won praise from The Wine Spectator.  

Georgia Lerner at Harney Lane Winery tasting room
Thomas Wilmer

Georgia Lerner, owner of Harney Lane Winery in Lodi, California talks about her family’s 120-year legacy as growers, and producers of award-winning old-vine Zinfandel wine. Harney Lane also crafts an array of other varietals, including Tempranillo, Albariño, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay, but their exquisite old-vine Zin is the winery's hallmark.   

Grower, winemaker, Steve Felton at his Klinker Brick Winery
Lodi Wine Grape Commission

Lodi wine grape growers since the late 1800’s, Steve Felton and his sixth-generation has evolved the family growing operations to embrace fine crafted wine production. Steve and his daughter are just now embarking on their 17th season of offering extraordinary, and coveted old-vine Zinfandel wines under the Klinker Brick Label. Come along and join winemaker Steve Felton at his tasting room on the outskirts of Lodi, California, where he talks passionately about the evolution of the Lodi wine world of almost 90 producers, comprised primarily by family operations. 

m2 Wines Lodi California tasting room and processing
Lodi Wine Grape Commission

m2 wines founder Layne Montgomery, a native of Arkansas, started out like many  as a home winemaker.  He produced his first vintage of m2 wine in Lodi back in 2004. Today m2 Wines and Montgomery are known for producing finely crafted award-winning artisanal old-vine Zinfandel, Tempranillo, and Syrah and Petite Syrah blends and more.

Packing Tokay grapes back in the day at Jessie's Grove Winery Lodi, CA
Greg Burns family

Still harvesting Zinfandel grapes from vines planted in 1889, Lodi’s Jessie’s Grove Winery cherishes the oldest Zinfandel vines in the entire Lodi Appellation and amongst the oldest in California. Join Sarah Williams and winemaker/owner Greg Burns at the Lodi tasting room.

a sampler of Acquiesce Winery's award winning white wines
Thomas Wilmer

Sue Tipton tipped the scales in the world of white wines. Tipton did not start her wine making journey until she was 50 years old. Ten years later, she’s an industry star in the world of white wines—that’s all she produces, and her focus might partially explain why her Viognier was awarded “Best in the State of California” at the 2016 California State Fair. 

Wayne Craig, President and CEO Lodi Memorial Hospital and Board Member of Visit Lodi CVB
Thomas Wilmer

Lodi is America’s largest grape growing region, along with approximately 91 family owned boutique wineries. The town of 60,000 residents offers a small town feel. Join Craig for a local’s insight about Lodi attractions, including upscale dining. 

Lodi's Wine & Roses graced with elegant architecture
Thomas Wilmer

Lodi, California has been a major producer of wine for more than a century, but it’s just now etching its place because of it truly word-class fine wines—this is the home of the legendary Seven Deadly Zins. Correspondent Tom Wilmer, reports from Lodi at the Wine & Roses hotel, restaurant, spa, and event center for a visit with Russ Munson as he talks, wine, cuisine, and more.

Thomas Wilmer

The Santa Lucia mountain range delineates the boundary of the California Central Coast’s maritime influenced grape growing region. Head a couple miles inland from the ridge tops of the Santa Lucia’s and you’ll suddenly find yourself far from the cooling influences of the summertime fog, and cooling ocean breezes.