Quantcast

Last Rites for Lodi's old vine growths

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

sour_grapes

Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers
Joined
Sep 19, 2013
Messages
11,488
Reaction score
9,667
Location
near Milwaukee
Aaack! Say it ain't so!

So, it looks like I can buy Seven Deadly Zins with a clear conscience. But I wonder/would like to know how far down the list of "top producers" I should go? For example, Bogle is "only" the 18th largest producer, with ~3% as many sales as Gallo, but they sell an OVZ (that I like) at ~$9/bottle. Should I buy it (to support Lodi) or should I NOT buy it (to support Lodi)? :?
 

VanMkr

Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2017
Messages
34
Reaction score
3
Wow, just wow. What a sad, sad day this would be. Shame on the "big boy" wineries for trying to bully them (the growers) into as little as $0.25 a pound for grapes. :po

Last Rites for Lodi's old vine growths
That definitely sucks. :po


About 7 years back I was an indifferent red wine drinker, once I tried a Zin, my palate has rarely strayed and I always return to Zin.

It would be a real shame if those specific genetics were lost to "economies of scale"...
 

dcbrown73

Clueless Winemaker
Joined
Mar 28, 2016
Messages
1,219
Reaction score
902
Zinfandel is one of if not my favorite varietal so far, and my Lodi old vine Zinfandel is the best of all the wines I've made thus far... (granted I still have many that haven't hit the year aging mark yet)
 

pgentile

Still learning
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
900
Dang....I have been doing my share, I buy Lodi old vine zin more than anything else I buy commercially. I've done 3 Eclipse Lodi kits. This just means that the cost of the wines I like will be going up.
 

VanMkr

Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2017
Messages
34
Reaction score
3
Dang....I have been doing my share, I buy Lodi old vine zin more than anything else I buy commercially. I've done 3 Eclipse Lodi kits. This just means that the cost of the wines I like will be going up.

Maybe members of forum near/in Lodi could get their hands on some clippings which could be re-rooted to preserve for the community?

Just a random thought...
 

cmason1957

CRS Sufferer
WMT Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
4,079
Reaction score
3,309
Location
O'Fallon, MO - Just NorthWest of St. Louis, MO
I often wonder how old the vines have to be, to be considered "old". I did a quick google search and it looks like it can be almost anything you want it to be. I think the ones that will be going away are the vines sort of haphazardly planted, not in genuine rows, like we think vines should be planted and almost certainly not capable of being machine harvested. I think you will still be able to buy wines from Old Vines, but those vines may not be as old as my children are (30 ish right now).
 

pgentile

Still learning
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
900
Nope, Old Vines is similar to the word Reserve on a wine bottle and has no legal definition.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_vine

There are many other places that say that same thing.
Right.... however the article is about zin vines actually 50+years old in Lodi.

"So right now, the question for many Lodi growers still sitting on old, gnarly, head rained, spur pruned Zinfandel planted prior to 1967 – the Historic Vineyard Society defines “old vines” as anything over 50 years old – is, why bother?"

But yeah label marketing using "Old Vine" is like "Reserve" or "Fume" or "Organic" or the millions of others to sell wine.

For all I know the commercial Lodi Old Vine Zin I buy only has 1% in it. But i like them.
 

JohnT

Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
9,958
Reaction score
5,620
My question is this.. Did they rip up vines in order to plant zinfandel 50 year ago?

I would not be surprised.

Personally, I am torn. On one side, you have the shame of 50 year old vines being sacrificed so that the growers can earn a decent living.

On the other more positive side, this might mean that there is less white zin being produced (hooray!)..
 

pgentile

Still learning
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
900
My question is this.. Did they rip up vines in order to plant zinfandel 50 year ago?

I would not be surprised.

Personally, I am torn. On one side, you have the shame of 50 year old vines being sacrificed so that the growers can earn a decent living.

On the other more positive side, this might mean that there is less white zin being produced (hooray!)..
The impression I got from the article is that the old vines zins would be taken out and possibly planted with new zin vines that could be machine harvested and/or less labor intensive. It sounds like labor cost is high and demand for the old vine grapes is low. We'll probably see cost and demand go up after this for the old vine zin and then an oversupply on whatever they are replaced with down the road.

So it could end up with more white zin available.
 

lilvixen

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2016
Messages
195
Reaction score
108
(Disclaimer: I know nothing about cultivating grape vines.) The article said that the old vines have deep roots, but is transplanting them into rows, rather than replacing them with new vines, feasible? Or if they're replacing Zin with Zin, perhaps they're using cuttings of the existing vines? It seems like they'd want to use proven vines if they're staying with the same varietal. Either way, I'm saddened that they're yanking out old vines. Hopefully I/we are pleasantly surprised with the results.
 

balatonwine

The Verecund Vigneron
Joined
May 9, 2017
Messages
978
Reaction score
676
Location
Badacsony wine region. Hungary
Interesting article. Good overall presentation. But this really, I think, takes it home:

The solution is “simple,” says Mike McCay; but at the same time, it's not. According to McCay: “We always pay top dollar for old vines, but it’s taken years to convince some of these old time growers to even sell to us. In many of these cases, the growers simply would rather sell to one big producer than deal with a bunch of small producers
I interpret that as both the local Lodi wineries and the farmers are looking at economics of scale, to compete on the International level. That is, not interested in maximizing quality with small wine makers, only in maximize quantity, minimize costs. Another example of the effects from globalization of wine, which has been an up creeping issue for many years now:

http://www.westernfarmpress.com/markets/orchards-over-vineyards-2030-0
 

Latest posts

Top