VinePair’s Wine 101 is an educational podcast for the everyday wine lover. In this series, they shine a light on some of the great wines being made beyond the more well-known AVAs. In Northern California, just east of San Francisco and south of Sacramento, there’s a Zinfandel goldmine called Lodi.

Lodi became an official AVA in 1986, but the first vineyards were planted way back in the 1850s at the height of the Gold Rush. The hardy grape, Zinfandel, flourished due in part to the area’s Mediterranean climate and sandy soil. Over 150 years later, many of the old vines are still yielding beautiful fruit, and the wine market started going crazy for it in the ‘90s and early aughts. Nowadays, Zinfandel is still Lodi’s main grape, but there are a whopping 125 other varieties growing here as well.

In this episode, VinePair Tastings Director Keith Beavers talks with Lodi winegrower/winemaker and Executive Director of the Lodi Winegrape Commission, Stuart Spencer. Together, they shine a light on the region and the exciting wines coming out of it.

For further education, check out the nine-part History of Lodi series by Randy Caparoso.


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“Wine 101” was produced, recorded, and edited by Keith Beavers at the VinePair headquarters in New York City. He wants to give a big old shout-out to co-founders Adam Teeter and Josh Malin for creating VinePair, to Danielle Grinberg, the art director of VinePair, for creating the most awesome logo for this podcast. Also, Darby Cicci for the theme song and the entire VinePair staff.

E. & J. Gallo Winery is excited to sponsor this episode of VinePair’s “Wine 101.” 

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For more information on the wines of Lodi, visit the Lodi Winegrape Commission’s consumer website,

For more information on the LODI RULES Sustainable Winegrowing Program, visit or