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Lodi’s forgotten fruit: Flame Tokays

Once-popular grape now obscure; few vines remain for the picking

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Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 5:58 am, Thu Oct 14, 2010.

The reddish-yellow orbs were once a cash crop for Lodi, but now are nearly forgotten. The Flame Tokay grape is a seeded table grape that features a crisp skin and full, fruity flavor. It was widely popular in vineyards around town in the early 1900s, but as consumers’ tastes for seedless grapes grew, the Flame Tokay’s demand basically fell off a cliff. The crop is so obscure now that San Joaquin County’s Agricultural Commissioner’s office doesn’t even track how many acres of the crop are grown.

“There are a few (Flame) Tokays around town, but we have next to no information about them,” said Gary Stockel, assistant agricultural commissioner for the county.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • David R. Schindler posted at 9:18 am on Wed, Oct 13, 2010.

    David R Schindler Posts: 9

    When I was at San Joaquin County Historical Museum at Micke Grove with my daughter a few years back I thought I remember them growing some Tokay grape vines. Maybe you could call them and get a cutting or two if they still have them...

  • Craig Cawelti posted at 6:51 am on Wed, Oct 13, 2010.

    Craig Cawelti Posts: 36

    While visiting Dave and Helen Dart's winery a couple of weeks ago, I was delighted to find a large bunch of Tokays for tasting. I have loved them for years. I do miss them also and would like to obtain a cutting for my back yard. There is nothing like sitting on the porch during a warm Indian Summer October evening, spitting seeds while you eat a chilled bunch of Tokays.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:18 am on Wed, Oct 13, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    If someone would be so kind, does someone know someone that has a few tokays so I could get a few cuttings, I would appreciaite it. I grew up with 20 acres of tokays but have not seen them for years. I would love to plan a vine or two as I enjoyed that grape.

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