Lodi may be full of Zinfulness, and be the largest grape growing area in California at 110,000 acres, but Acquiesce Winery is breaking down preconceived notions about the AVA, and is surrendering itself to being a stand-alone, small-production winery.
What Does it All Mean?
According to dictionary.com, the word “acquiesce” is a verb meaning to “submit or comply silently, without protest”. Why would one name a winery with such a term? After all, everything is in a name, as one of my memorable university professors so duly noted one day during a Shakespearean lecture.
Sue Tipton, the winemaker at Acquiesce Winery, tells us a bit more.
We named the ranch Acquiesce when we purchased the property and at the time, we had no intention to become a winery. The name comes from a K.D. Lang song of the same name and its fun how it ended up being our guiding philosophy when it comes to our wine making
Tipton says the goal for her wine making is to use what nature has provided her and take a “minimalist approach” to crafting beautiful wines.
Acquiesce has become our mantra — to submit to nature, to yield to the vineyard, to acquiesce to the grapes so they present their own true character.
Vines With History
With having sourced their vines from Chateau Beaucastel in the Rhone Valley in France, one can only imagine how intriguing Acquiesce’s wines must be. I mean, let’s be real. Sourcing vines from one of the best chateaus in all of France must contribute to some divine energy in Lodi! (Well, being a huge fan of Beaucastel, I’ll keep thinking that anyway.) And since Lodi has straightforward weather patterns, they need not worry about freakish hail storms or frost-bitten vines.
So what, you say? Well, this certified green winery is, for a fact, only making white wines. Being an area of California that is highly valued, shall we say, for its Zinfandel production, it is fascinating that Acquiesce’s wine production is only white wine-based, but also making white wines using Picpoul, Grenache Blanc, Bourboulanc, and Viognier grapes. Tipton recognizes that Lodi’s land is more than a place to produce grapes for boozy reds.
The Lodi region has very good soil and temperatures for growing white grapes and with the cool delta breeze that blows nearly every evening, the average temperature of the grapes themselves during the growing season is optimal.
Here at Acquiesce we chose to do all white and all Rhone varietals because they are our favorites and because whites work so well here. We are not the only ones who think so as there are a good number of whites done in Lodi that are quite delicious.
As their production totals 1,500 cases per year, Acquiesce’s wines are small-batch and well-cared for. Tipton, in addition, practices a “no oak” rule in order to ensure her wines are showcasing the fruit and terroir that Lodi has to offer.
As a result of creating fresh, lively wines that reflect the land, this also leads to Acquiesce’s creations to be, as Tipton calls it, “a chef’s dream companion”.
Rhone Inspired Winemaker Dinner
The lot of us that landed dibs on the “Pick a Peck of Picpoul” excursion during the recent Wine Bloggers Conference were pleased when we arrived at Acquiesce for the winemaker’s dinner. I’m sure the natives of Lodi could hear us on our limo bus chanting “Ac-qui-esce! Ac-qui-esce!” as we roared down the streets drawing nearer to the winery on that hot evening.
The wines were so perfectly paired, that many of us were silenced as we delighted in the prosciutto wrapped melon with mint basil pesto paired with the crisp 2015 Picpoul Blanc. Being food and wine lovers, we are no stranger to the bliss that culinary delights can afford us. Lest we not forget the Heirloom tomato Panzanella salad with the 2013 Grenache Blanc, or the crisp duck confit with the 2014 Roussanne. I’m drooling just dreaming about it. Yes, I’m drooling while dreaming about duck. (I like alliteration.) A bow of gratitude to Chef Jennifer Kupka, from Chef Lodi Airport Cafe, for preparing such a phenomenal meal.
My wine-loving friends, if I may be so bold, I encourage all of you to visit Lodi. Its charming vineyards and welcoming winery owners will not only fill your boots with wine, but also fill your hearts with pleasure!
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