The final stop on the Lodi wine trail was Mohr-Fry Ranches, where we got a look at the gnarled old vines that made Lodi famous. We parked near Marian’s Vineyard, which has 8.3 acres of ancient vine Zinfandel planted in its roots and is certified historical. Lodi’s west side, in the highly regarded Mokelumne River AVA, is home to the vineyard. This historical vineyard was established in 1901 and has sandy soils on the Mohr-Fry Ranches estate. Jerry Fry called the vineyard after his mother, so it became known as Mother Vineyard.
This property has many different things. They grow grapes and cherries. And they grow beans too! The people who live here have been doing this for a long time. They started in the 1850s with Cornelius Mohr, who left his job on a whaling ship to become a farmer when he moved inland to California.
Heirloom red varieties from California’s Lodi Lake region are the ‘Lodi Native’ Marian’s Vineyard Zinfandel, a classic blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. 2017 – Vibrant and plush with a bouquet of mixed berries and aromas, a hint of violet flavor.
Spencer’s ‘St Amant’ Marian’s Vineyard’ Old Vine Zinfandel 2017 – Spencer jokes that it is the “mother of all Zins,” giving the nod to the vineyard named after Jerry Fry’s mother, and gives a nod to the name. The wine has a full body with aromas and flavors of mixed berries with a
Oak Farm Vineyards Block 417 Mohr-Fry Ranches Zinfandel 2017 – In 2005, this vineyard block was the first in Lodi to be certified under the Lodi Rules. There are 6,472 vines that were planted in 1945 and have their own roots. Over 14 acres are planted on the block and the vines are spaced about 10 feet apart. Its soil is fine sandy loam. There were only 245 cases of this wine made. Although 15% alcohol, this wine is rather light and medium-bodied, well-structured, and with fresh acidity. There are elegant floral flavors and bright aromas of red cherries and berries, which unfold in a soft, long finish.
These wines are all highly recommended.