A remote, upper-west-side vineyard has become the home to Lodi's newest exciting asset.
I'm not writing about a new winery or large species of bird, but rather a longtime, multi-award-winning restaurant wine consultant, wine journalist, and former wine brand owner named Randy Caparoso.
In July Randy pulled up stakes in Denver, Colorado and moved boxes of books, wines and photos of family and winemaker friends from a 30-year career, to a charming home surrounded by 49-year-and-older Zin vines.
Randy was already well known as a Founding Partner of the Roy's restaurant group - started in Honolulu in 1988 - as well as a wine judge before discovering the potential for high quality Lodi wines early last decade.
He describes his revelation in one of the countless stories he's written, scattered throughout blogs and wine journals:
"... I was one of about 60 judges at Jerry Mead's annual New World International Wine Competition, where we tasted a Syrah that was so good, so phenomenally intense and proportional, that we all had to vote it ‘Best Wine' (period!) in the entire Western World. What could we say, after all the wines were unveiled, when we found out that this Syrah was grown and vinified in Lodi by Delicato Family Vineyards and sold for a ridiculous $8 a bottle across the country?"
I was personally very excited to hear that Randy was joining the Lodi team as a social networking consultant and blogger for the Lodi Winegrape Commission, because his move represents another significant stamp of credibility within the wine industry.
Look at Randy's page on Facebook and you'll find him standing side by side with the world's greatest winemakers and writers.
Wilfred Wong of Beverages & More!, for example, says, "Randy is one of the top guys in the wine industry with a background that encompasses the globe. His understanding of the synergy of food and wine is unsurpassed, and on top of that he has a great eye for quality."