Summertime at the Winery

We’ve had a busy summer here at Harney Lane. We’d like to catch you up on all the good times we’ve been having at the winery! In May, we celebrated Lodi’s ZinFest weekend, where we welcomed hundreds of wine lovers to Harney Lane.  We hosted our Wine:30 Club Pick Up Party over Memorial Day Weekend, serving up delicious picnicking treats alongside our chilled 2011 Albarino and the very popular 2009 Petite Sirah. In early June, it was Ladies Night Out, where hundreds of ladies came out for an evening of tasting and shopping in our beautiful wine country gift shop. Early August was once again time for a great Wine:30 party- this time ... Read More...

We’ve had a busy summer here at Harney Lane. We’d like to catch you up on all the good times we’ve been having at the winery! In May, we celebrated Lodi’s ZinFest weekend, where we welcomed hundreds of wine lovers to Harney Lane.  We hosted our Wine:30 Club Pick Up Party over Memorial Day Weekend, serving up delicious picnicking treats alongside our chilled 2011 Albarino and the very popular 2009 Petite Sirah. In early June, it was Ladies Night Out, where hundreds of ladies came out for an evening of tasting and shopping in our beautiful wine country gift shop. Early August was once again time for a great Wine:30 party- this time we treated folks to a Gourmet Popcorn Bar! Guests loved creating their own concoctions, including popcorn tossed with bacon, blue cheese, parsley and Fiori’s seasoning! With the popcorn, members were enjoyed our 2009 Lodi Zinfandel and the exclusive-to-members, Primitivo! The very next weekend, we hosted our annual Crush Pad Jam. This year, we featured Miss Lonely Hearts Band, which the crowd absolutely loved! Guests enjoyed wine-by-the-glass, wood fired pizzas by Guantonio’s and live music all night.
Please enjoy these photographic memories of our fantastic summer. Want to join the fun? Become a Wine:30’er today! You’re clearly missing out if you haven’t joined us yet!!

Join us for our upcoming activities this fall, including our Tasting Room’s 3rd anniversary September 14-16 as well as our 2nd annual STOMP out Cancer grape stomp on Sunday, September 23. In the meantime, LIKE us on Facebook for all the latest and greatest events, photos, specials and more!

Did you hear? Lizzy has a sister…

Check out this recent blog posted on lodiwine.com all about our beloved Lizzy James! Photo courtesy lodiwine.com Since its inception in 2008, Harney Lane Winery has shot up the proverbial charts of Lodi wine lovers with hit after hit of outstanding Lodi grown wines. A flowery fresh Albariño, a first class barrel fermented style of Chardonnay, a velvet lined leather glove-y Tempranillo, and a cigar blast of a Petite Sirah have all found favor among Harney Lane aficionados; but it is Zinfandel – Lodi’s heritage grape – that still anchors the brand. Which makes sense because the Harney Lane heritage actually dates back to over a century of grape growing by the same family ... Read More...

Check out this recent blog posted on lodiwine.com all about our beloved Lizzy James!

Photo courtesy lodiwine.com

Since its inception in 2008, Harney Lane Winery has shot up the proverbial charts of Lodi wine lovers with hit after hit of outstanding Lodi grown wines.

A flowery fresh Albariño, a first class barrel fermented style of Chardonnay, a velvet lined leather glove-y Tempranillo, and a cigar blast of a Petite Sirah have all found favor among Harney Lane aficionados; but it is Zinfandel – Lodi’s heritage grape – that still anchors the brand.

Which makes sense because the Harney Lane heritage actually dates back to over a century of grape growing by the same family who first planted on the present day winery property just east of the town of Lodi.  A terroir that falls well within the parameters of Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA, with its ideally deep, porous yet fertile Tokay sandy loam soil and a Delta cooled climate similar in temperatures and seasonal patterns to other proven wine regions such as Napa Valley and Sonoma County.

Harney Lane’s flagship wine is called Lizzy James Zinfandel; named after Lizzy and James, the elementary school age children of proprietors Jorja and Kyle Lerner.  Lizzy and James enjoy the typical lives of kids growing up on a Lodi farm – pruning canes, pulling leaves, driving tractors, loading up grape gondolas, running through the fields kicking up the summer dust with the dogs who are frantically digging for gophers or chasing down those wascally wabbits.  This was Jorja’s early life when her dad, George Mettler, was actively running the ranch, and probably not much different from the life of Henry Schnaidt, George’s grandfather and mentor, who planted the property’s first vines back in 1907.

Today, Kyle is in charge of farming the 60 acres around the winery, plus another 750 acres within the vicinity either owned by the family or leased from other longtime Lodi residents; including what is now known as Lizzy James Vineyard, a venerated 20 acre plot of gnarly, wizened Zinfandel vines, first planted on nearby Alpine Rd. in 1904.

When the Mettler family purchased Lizzy James twelve years ago, according to Lerner, “it was a restoration project… a lot of dead spots, a lot of vines that needed resuscitating, but we nursed it back to health and, since then, it’s produced our most award winning wines.”  Sitting on super sandy, beach-like soil, the Lizzy James vines give miniscule proportions of Zinfandels that are known not so much for sheer intensity or big, rotund proportions often associated with contemporary style Zinfandels, but rather for a svelte, focused, almost pure black cherry/raspberry varietal character that sticks to the palate like burs on summer pants.

“It’s a goofy little vineyard,” adds Lerner, “probably made up of as many as 10 different clones of Zinfandel, largely because of the continuous replanting in the various dead spots over the years” (typical of Lodi’s pre-Prohibition vineyards, not all the vines in Lizzy James are of the same age).Only 365 cases of the 2009 Harney Lane Lizzy James Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel ($33) were produced, and it was given the royal treatment of 100% French oak aging to highlight its flowery raspberry tea infused nose and dense yet fine, zesty, supple length of flavor, weighted evenly from front to back.

There is a segment of wine geeks and sommeliers these days who like to talk about “the question of balance” in a wine, and how many California wines are farmed (or made) incorrectly and thus are not truly expressive of their terroir.  It’s a shame most of them probably haven’t yet discovered Lizzy James, because this is as true an expression of a place (as opposed to a “varietal” profile) as it comes.  It just happens to be made from good ol’ Zinfandel; not Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, or other such things.

photo courtesy lodiwine.com

But wait, as they say, there’s more… now Lizzy James has a sister wine, also 100% from the Lizzy James Vineyard:  the nonvintaged Lizzy James Old Vine Zinfandel “Port Style Wine” ($35/500 ml.) – so-called because, legally, new American made fortified sweet reds are not allowed to be bottled as “Port.”  There is a reason why Portuguese grapes like Touriga and Tinta Cão are favored over grapes like Zinfandel for the making of fortified reds:  their skins are considerably thicker and more deeply pigmented, allowing for easier late season ripening, whereas the thinner skinned, tightly bunched Zinfandel is prone to bunch rot when fall weather turns inclement.

Yet Lerner, and his highly respected consulting winemaker Chad Joseph, have managed to produce a pure and bright sweet fortified red purely out of the Zinfandel grape.  This Lizzy James may not be quite as weighty as traditional Port, but is nevertheless as juicy rich and well balanced in its zesty, silken sweetness as any good “Port style wine.”  Think chocolate coated raspberries fed to you while reclined on satin pillows… any questions?  Just enjoy the taste of Lodi’s heritage!

Thank you Randy, for your great words. We love our Lizzy and sure are glad you do too!

Read the original blog here

A Grand Weekend!

September 19th and 20th we had the privilege to celebrate our Grand Opening of our new tasting room!  Two days of great wine, food, music and lots of great friends (old ones and new ones!!)!!!  We think we may have seen around 900 hundred of you smiling faces over the weekend!  What a great turnout!!  And we are also very blessed to have wonderful friends and family that jump in and help wherever needed.  THANK YOU!! It was great to see the space used as it was intended…..a full tasting room, people strolling the gardens, sitting under the trees, on the patio listening to music.  And the new 2007 Lodi Zin ... Read More...

September 19th and 20th we had the privilege to celebrate our Grand Opening of our new tasting room!  Two days of great wine, food, music and lots of great friends (old ones and new ones!!)!!!  We think we may have seen around 900 hundred of you smiling faces over the weekend!  What a great turnout!!  And we are also very blessed to have wonderful friends and family that jump in and help wherever needed.  THANK YOU!!

It was great to see the space used as it was intended…..a full tasting room, people strolling the gardens, sitting under the trees, on the patio listening to music.  And the new 2007 Lodi Zin seemed to be a hit too!  Thank you for all of you that came to celebrate with us!  It made it all worth while.  And if you missed it…we missed you, so come see us soon!!!!