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So. Cal Ambassador

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Posted: Monday, June 23, 2008 12:00 am

There is a winery in Camarillo, half-way between Santa Barbara and L.A., flying a banner for Lodi. Mike Brown, son of Bill and Ruth Brown of Acampo, opened a tasting room last year for his winery named" target="_blank">Cantara Cellars.

And it’s almost all based on Lodi fruit, including Chardonnay from a vineyard located in Acampo on Kennefick Road, south of Acampo Road, that Mike’s grandfather purchased back in 1924. Syrah and Sauvignon blanc grapes come from" target="_blank">Vino con Brio. And Ted Leventini chips in Barbera from his vineyard on Peltier Road.

The big winner, however, is Mike’s 2006 Petite Sirah ($35), which just won a special four-star gold medal at the 2008" target="_blank">Orange County Fair wine competition. It was one of twenty-two wines to receive the award out of a total of 3,287 entries." target="_blank">Gregg Lewis (who is getting ready to open his own micro-winery where Cottage Bakery was on School Street) grew the award-winning Petite Sirah for Mike along the bank of the Mokelumne River off highway 88 in Clements near Collier Road. A little Zin from the Graffigna Ranch at Acampo and Bruella Roads grown by Jonathan Wetmore spiced up the blend.

Thank you, Bill and Ruth, for the heads-up!