Zinfandel and the Accidents of Terroir

Clay Mauritson’s family have been in California’s Dry Creek Valley for 150 years and their history parallels that of the California wine industry. Clay makes wine from the small Rockpile AVA which is heavily influenced by Lake Sonoma, the creation of which devastated the Mauritson family’s way of living fifty years ago. Without Lake Sonoma, not only would Clay’s wine taste completely differently, they might not exist at all…


A recent visit to Lodi challenged its reputation as a hot region only capable of making big, full-bodied, inexpensive reds. With the price of land rising elsewhere and climate change affecting growing conditions, Lodi’s Mediterranean grape varieties may play a strong part in California’s future.

Paso Robles Revisited

Paso Robles is one of my favourite California regions, producing Rhône-style wines as well as Petite Sirah and Zinfandel. A revisit to the area introduced me to some new producers, and confirmed the quality of the wines being made there.

Old Vine (not just) Zindandel

California is famous for its old-vine Zinfandel, some vines dating back to the late 1800s. Those aren't the only old vines in the state though, with Mourvèdre, Carignan, and Syrah vines just as old. A trip to Ridge gave me the opportunity to explore these old vines.