If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again!

Well, 2013 had zero, zippo, nada posts.  It began with a herniated neck disc that prevented me from doing  all sorts of activities, especially anything with a keyboard!  But I have consistently seen so many ideas about Lodi to write about that I feel compelled to get back to the starting gate.  To our guests that come to the Cottages on Armstrong for so many different reasons, there are fabulous festivals, wineries, any several different places to go and things to do.  So, again, I want to feature some of the jewels of our Lodi area.  Along with that will be the the inevitable things I enjoy from living in our little corner of Lodi.  

Today as Mr. D and I visited a downtown tasting room, I heard my words again express how much I love our area and the  lifestyle we are blessed to enjoy here.  

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May Warms Up the Local Events

It’s May!  Lots of events and lots of vine growth.  The blooms are being pollinated in the vineyard.  It never ceases to amaze me how rapidly the vineyards change each week, no matter what the varietal is.  Each varietal has a unique management style…they way they are trellised, thinned, how the canopy needs to be managed.  We have warm but mild weather for this phase…good for the growers!

We’ve just had the Asparagus Festival in Stockton.  This month, Zinfandel is celebrated with Zinfest.  This three day festival begins with dinner with winemakers on Friday night, most of the day at Lodi Lake enjoying lots of wonderful food, tasting our local wines, especially Zinfandel, seminars on wine and food and live entertainment.  And that’s just half of it!  Sunday the local wineries host a wide variety of special events…food, comedy, music.  It’s a wonderful weekend.  This year our dates are May 18 and 19 and 20.  Mother’s Day is another special weekend at the wineries.

You can tell it’s getting to be boating weather on the Delta.  Passing through Rio Vista and Brentwood in the last few weeks, folks are prepping and launching their boats  and the eateries along the Delta waterways are filling up their parking lots.  Memorial Day weekend is a great time to be out on the water.  

 

Congratulations to Steve and Bev Borra, and Markus Niggli, the winemaker at Borra Vineyards.  Borra Vineyards received the Winery of the Year Award from our local Tourism Board.  They received huge awards at the Wall Street Journal Wine competition, and just scored in the High 80’s in Wine Spectator for their 2009 Red Fusion.  Did I mention that they are the nearest winery to the Cottages and they treat our guests exceptionally well!! 

 

It’s a full house this month at the Cottages.  We are looking forward to welcoming many returning guests, celebrating graduations, engagements,  and wedding visitors. We’re especially looking forward to having Roby and Carolyn LaPorte stay this weekend to celebrate their daughter’s graduation from UOP.  Roby and Carolyn are our web designers and owners of WowiZowi web design.  They brought their daughter to UOP three and a half years ago to begin college, and after an amazing four years (one in Italy), Ariana graduates this weekend!  They’ve been amazing people to work with and so supportive of our business and our area.  ImageImage

May Warms Up the Local Events

It’s May!  Lots of events and lots of vine growth.  The blooms are being pollinated in the vineyard.  It never ceases to amaze me how rapidly the vineyards change each week, no matter what the varietal is.  Each varietal has a unique management style…they way they are trellised, thinned, how the canopy needs to be managed.  We have warm but mild weather for this phase…good for the growers!

We’ve just had the Asparagus Festival in Stockton.  This month, Zinfandel is celebrated with Zinfest.  This three day festival begins with dinner with winemakers on Friday night, most of the day at Lodi Lake enjoying lots of wonderful food, tasting our local wines, especially Zinfandel, seminars on wine and food and live entertainment.  And that’s just half of it!  Sunday the local wineries host a wide variety of special events…food, comedy, music.  It’s a wonderful weekend.  This year our dates are May 18 and 19 and 20.  Mother’s Day is another special weekend at the wineries.

You can tell it’s getting to be boating weather on the Delta.  Passing through Rio Vista and Brentwood in the last few weeks, folks are prepping and launching their boats  and the eateries along the Delta waterways are filling up their parking lots.  Memorial Day weekend is a great time to be out on the water.  

 

Congratulations to Steve and Bev Borra, and Markus Niggli, the winemaker at Borra Vineyards.  Borra Vineyards received the Winery of the Year Award from our local Tourism Board.  They received huge awards at the Wall Street Journal Wine competition, and just scored in the High 80’s in Wine Spectator for their 2009 Red Fusion.  Did I mention that they are the nearest winery to the Cottages and they treat our guests exceptionally well!! 

 

It’s a full house this month at the Cottages.  We are looking forward to welcoming many returning guests, celebrating graduations, engagements,  and wedding visitors. We’re especially looking forward to having Roby and Carolyn LaPorte stay this weekend to celebrate their daughter’s graduation from UOP.  Roby and Carolyn are our web designers and owners of WowiZowi web design.  They brought their daughter to UOP three and a half years ago to begin college, and after an amazing four years (one in Italy), Ariana graduates this weekend!  They’ve been amazing people to work with and so supportive of our business and our area.  ImageImage

Springtime in the Vineyard

Lodi Grape Statue Downtown

We have the four “B’s” going on right now! Blooms, Birds and Bunnies! But most important, we have  bud break in the vineyard. Discing has started this week  between rain showers.  Driving by the vineyards, you see a line of green about 4 feet high floating over the ground as the new shoots of lime green have quickly developed in the last week.

We have bottling scheduled with many friends next month for our 2010 Zinfandel and Carigagne.  Time to set up the barn and equipment and tweak the wine a bit before then.

Spring brings many local events to Lodi.  This  Friday evening is the School Street  Stroll in downtown Lodi.  Congratulations to Borra Winery for its recognition as Winery of the Year by the VisitLodi Tourism Board.  Later this month, the fabulous  Asparagus Festival is in Stockton,  and we look forward to  the annual Zinfest next month at Lodi Lake.

Another Favorite Asparagus Recipe

For Easter we added this dish to dinner.  Oven Roasted Asparagus

Clean and prep spears.  Lay them out on a cooking sheet pan.  Heat the oven to 350. Drizzle the asparagus heavily with olive oil.  Season with Kosher salt and garlic salt and some minced onion flakes.  Put into the heated oven and roast for about 15 minutes.  Remove and sprinkle generously with Gorgonzola cheese and fresh Parmesan cheese, adding additional salt and pepper and garlic.  Return to the oven for another 1o to 15 minutes depending on your preference.  Very, very easy and VERY tasty.

Wine and Chocolate Weekend, February 2012

English: Corks at the Public tasting event of ...

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Cottages On Armstrong.

We are moving into February and look forward to our guests arriving for Wine and Chocolate weekend, February 10 and 11.  We fill up early for this kickoff to our  annual winery  events. Each winery features something fun and unusual, usually involving chocolate and food.   But there’s also entertainment!  Watts Winery  features a comedy performance, with proceeds benefiting cancer cure.  Acquiesce Winery will have a belly dancer and free fifteen minute lessons.  Borra Winery usually features Steve’s famous oyster bake.  The price of this event is 45 dollars and the benefits are tremendous.  Lodi Wineries recently received many awards at the largest wine judging event in th country, the San Francisco Wine Competition, with over 5,500 entries.  Enjoy these award winning wines while touring the wineries and don’t forget the new tasting rooms that have opened in downtown Lodi.

Welcome, Acquiesce Winery!

We welcome a new winery to our local features.  Acquiesce Winery has just opened this month, and we celebrated their opening as our Lodi Amateur Vintners Association held the first meeting of 2012  in their lovely, restored tasting room.  Rodney and Sue Tipton, the owners and winemakers, have distinguished themselves in focusing on whites and blush solely, in a region identified with big reds and Zinfandels.  Their Rose, Granache Blanc and Belle Blanc will soon be joined by Viognier and Roussane.  This winery is near Heritage Oak, Macchia, Watts Winery, and Kidder Family Wines in our north-east quadrant of Lodi’s wine country.