Country chic dinner at Oak Ridge Winery, the V.I.P. trip at WBC 2016

It has been the fate that brought me to Oak Ridge Winery and I couldn’t be more grateful to my lucky star. During the Wine Blogger Conference 2016 in Lodi we, attendees, were supposed to choose a small card with the mysterious title of a winery trip. Among more than 12 choices, I picked “VIVA LA VINO”, sincerely only because it made me laugh since it’s a wrong Italian sentence (in my mother language it should sound VIVA IL VINO). From a misspelled joke came the chance to know this beautiful winery which is the oldest operating in Lodi.

Let’s step back just a little to give to my Italian and not American readers some informations about Lodi Ava:

  • 110,000 acres of wine grapes, 17 % of California’s total wine grape production
  • 2/3 of the acres are red varietals
  • More than 100 varieties of grapes are grown in Lodi, mainly Zinfandel, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. (35% of California Zinfandel is grown here)
  • Climate: mediterranean, sunny with night breezes.

My V.I.P. experience visiting Oak Ridge Winery started with an interesting trip to the old vine Zinfandel vineyards. Challenged by the 95F temperature at 4 pm me and my fellows bloggers were enough brave to leave the AC conditioned bus to see the vines and I suddenly had a deja-vu. The training system of those old Zin vines was exactly the one I saw in Salento, Puglia (Italy) for Primitivo (that is actually a ‘relative’ of the Zinfandel variety). Puglia and Lodi area have also in common a dry and warm mediterranean climate: growers have to deal with excessive heat during the ripening season and this Goblet training system with long canopy protects the fruit from the sun exposure.

While I kept on thinking to this Italian-Californian boundaries the winery staff surprised us with a gorgeous aperitivo buffet in the vineyards: charcuterie, cheeses, fruits, everything graciously disposed on the back of a pick-up, the image speaks itself…

After our country chic aperitivo, the Maggio family, who owns Oak Ridge together with other 2 families (Reynolds and Dondero’s) welcomed us in their villa’s garden for an unforgettable dinner experience. A lovely setting, attention to each little detail: from the flowers to the napkins holders, it was simply perfect! While the sunset was giving us the few moments of magic light and some refreshment after the hot day, we had a 6 course full dinner with wine pairing. It was lovely!

Here my favorite wines of the dinner:

2015, OZV Rose’

  • Grapes: Zinfandel and Chardonnay
  • Average price: 12 dollars
  • Tasting notes: the soft pressing and the cool fermentation give to this wine a beautiful bouquet of cherries, raspberries and strawberries. Hints of aromatic herbs, dill and thyme. Crisp, pleasant, perfect as aperitif.

2015, Old Soul Pinot Noir

  • Grapes: Pinot Noir, Zinfandel
  • Average price: 12 dollars
  • Tasting notes: Pinot Noir together with Nebbiolo is one of the most porous varieties in terms of terroir, this wine expresses perfectly the Lodi terroir, it is ripe, with a backbone without losing the spicy notes and the floral bouquet of the main grape (Pinot).


Comments (4)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Articoli recenti

  • | ,

    Moscato d’Asti Docg: prejudices at home, success in the U.S., the search for quality

    Moscato is one of the most "bullied" grape varieties at home, in Italy, and one of the most exported in the world, especially in the States where the most appreciated version is the low-alcohol, sugary and effervescent one typical of the Asti area. It was there that I recently went to discover the history of this wine often associated with festive moments, but unjustly subject to the prejudice of being a wine suitable only for those who are not very wine-knowledgeable or experienced. The reality is quite different, especially thanks to the investments made by producers and the Consortium, which in recent years have focused on quality and on clarifying styles by distinguishing between the Moscato d'Asti Docg and Asti Docg appellations, sparkling, dry and sweet versions.
  • | , ,

    Wine is more than natural: the creative genius of Hans Terzer and the new Appius

    Wine is the result of the magical combination of many elements: nature, vine, terroir, but there is a factor which is too often considered as secondary, in particular in this latest fashion of "natural" wines.
  • The first prototype of a biogas tractor for Fontanafredda’s first “green” Barolo

    A noble wine, a historic cru, from organic grapes, and produced with the help of an innovative zero-emission tractor. It will be Barolo Vigna La Rosa, Fontanafredda, 2021, a vintage destined to make history: for the first time a winery has joined a research and innovation project led by FPT industrial, a brand of the […]
Don't miss a drop of Italian wine

* The compilation of the above form does not storage any data entered, the storage and use of the data will take place only after explicit confirmation contained in the email that will be sent after pressing the "subscribe" button

Back to To

2021 @ Laura Donadoni - All rights reserved / design