As harvest wraps up for most of us, it is good to look back and reflect on the year. This 2019 vintage should again prove to be a good one. The growing season had lots of ups and downs with temperatures, but mostly warm days and cool nights thanks to the Delta breeze that we get here in Lodi.
The wine market is an interesting one this year. There are unfortunately many farmers that still have grapes hanging on the vines that will go unpicked this year. Most of these fields consist of Zinfandel grapes, but also everything including Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot Noir and more. This is due to many different factors, but the major ones are an over supply of grapes due to increased planted acreage and larger crops with a lack of consumption from the population.
Over the past few years growers here in the Lodi region have been getting paid less and less for our fruit from the big wineries. Wages and the cost to farm are going up, with more regulations being implemented from the State. Growers have removed older plantings, replaced them with new fields that have bigger producing yields and have the ability to use more mechanical practices to eliminate labor. It is unfortunate that growers are forced to make these changes to be profitable. Lodi currently grows some of the best fruit that is used in many well know wines from other regions. Not only does Lodi supply great fruit, it also produces wines that compete with some of the highest scoring wines in blind tastings.
Lodi will continue to push forward in this down market and showcase the quality wines that we can produce here. If you have not given much attention to Lodi wines in the past, the time is NOW! Look at that wine list when you go to dinner and ask if they carry any wines from Lodi. It is up to consumers to demand what restaurants carry. If you don't ask for it, they won't showcase it!