Last month the Amarose team packed their bags, hit the road, and converged on Lodi, California to participate in the annual Celebrate Lodi Rosé festival. We braved temperatures of nearly 110 degrees fahrenheit, a sweltering heat to us New Englanders that registered as merely ‘pretty warm’ to the native residents of the Central Valley city. I personally drove up from Los Angeles, a 6 hour drive that had me worried on several occasions that my car might overheat right there on the I-5.
It was worth the heat, though. As a boutique winery, Amarose doesn’t have a tasting room, but the people at the Lodi Wine Visitors center were kind enough to let us set up a station in their tasting room, making us both the first and the last winery that many saw as they made their way through Lodi’s many delicious offerings. All weekend we treated the denizens of Lodi to free samples while they treated us to wonderful conversation and great feedback about our new 2021 vintage. We met a lot of friendly faces, from a local almond farmer to a Naval officer visiting from Hawaii.
We were busy with our own tasting station, but we still found time to visit a few brick and mortar wineries. The first one we visited was Nostra Vita family winery, a beautiful mediterranean style building nestled in a vineyard with a relaxing outdoor tasting space. There, we enjoyed two tasting flights, one of sparkling wine and one of the regular flat variety. We also decided to go a little crazy and ordered a few wine slushies, which, despite our initial skepticism, turned out to be astonishingly good.
The second winery we visited was Klinker Brick, the primary winery of our very own winemaker, the award winning Joseph Smith. Just as he did with Amarose, he knocked it out of the park with Klinker Brick’s oeuvre of wines. We especially loved the Farrah Syrah, one of Klinker Brick’s top rated reds.
The official name of the festival is ‘Celebrate Lodi Rosé,’ and it’s a relatively new event– 2022 is only its second year. It’s a great showcase of Lodi’s diverse selection of wineries and the wide range of rosé that the region creates. In many ways, Lodi and rosé are a perfect pair: both are up and comers, but to those in the know, they contain as much complexity as their more prestigious counterparts.