Fifty Feet and a Gazillion Seeds
Lodi, the self-proclaimed Zinfandel Capital of the World (it produces over 32% of California zin), is also home to 100 different grape varieties, more than any other California region. These include: albariño, tempranillo, verdelho, sangiovese, and carignan, as well as more ubiquitous varieties like cabernet. The region began to evolve as a wine region in the early 1900s. Before that, Lodi had been dubbed the Watermelon Capital of the World, boasting melons that were said to be up to 50 feet long. (Hmmmm). Today, Lodi includes some 90 wineries and almost 800 growers farming 100,000+ acres of grapes. The region, about 90 miles east of San Francisco, has become a hotbed for young winemakers priced out of more expensive land elsewhere. Lodi also possesses some of the oldest plant material in the state. Numerous vineyards were planted in the 19th century.