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Winemakers from Lodi and beyond share their secrets

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Posted: Friday, May 9, 2014 7:15 am

ZinFest offers a unique opportunity to not only sample Lodi Appellation’s local wines, but also to learn about winemaking through winemaker panels.

That includes two Wine School presentations, “Lodi’s Impressive Diversity of Reds” and “The Light, Refreshing Side of Lodi,” 1 to1:40 p.m. and 2 to 2:40 p.m. respectively.

Plus, there will also be two multi-winemaker panels, featuring the Lodi “Outsiders” and the Lodi Native project.

First up is a presentation by the Lodi Outsiders, a group of four winemakers with wineries outside of Lodi who use Lodi fruits to create a variety of original wines, according to Randy Caparoso, the panel’s moderator.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the Lodi Outsiders — Nathan Kandler of Precedent Wines, Tegan Passalaacqua of Turley Wine Cellars, Matthew Rorick of Forlorn Hope Wines and Adam Webb of Odisea & Cochon Wine Company — and taste their wines, while learning more about what sets them apart from other nearby winemakers.

ZinFest will also feature the Lodi Native project, a group of six Lodi appellation winemakers — Tim Holdener of Macchia Wines, Todd Maley and Chad Joseph of Maley Brothers, Michael McCay of McCay Cellars, Layne Montgomery of m2 Wines, Ryan Sherman of Fields Family Wines and Stuart Spencer of St. Amant Winery. These guys create stripped-down versions of Lodi regional zinfandels from Lodi vineyards.

The idea, says Caparoso, one of the original Lodi Native vintners, is to minimize the winemaking process by removing steps that affect taste.

The purpose is to create a zinfandel that echoes the tastes naturally found in Lodi’s soil and affected only by Lodi’s own climate.

The Lodi Outsiders panel will be held from 3 to 3:40 p.m. May 17 at the ZinFest Wine School. The Lodi Native Project will follow at 4 to 4:40 p.m.

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