A few weeks ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to lunch with Michael Phillips, co-owner with his brother of California’s Michael-David Winery, during a visit to the Valley. Born and raised in California, Phillips is a sixth-generation winegrower whose pride emanates when speaking of the family’s Lodi farm. The farm began to take shape around the 1860’s with his great-great grandparents and their dream of growing a vegetable farm. Over time, the Phillips’ produce farm expanded to include fruit that in return created grape “juice”.
Fast-forward a century (or two) and the brothers of Michael-David Winery are continuing with the family’s vision while also expanding on it. Today the property encompasses 650 sprawling acres (more than triple its original size and most of which is hand-picked come harvest time), a tasting room, farm stand and café. The family’s hard work and dedication proved successful, as the winery quickly became one of the area’s most prominent winegrowers specializing in hand-crafted Rhone varietals and highly sought after Old Vine Zinfandels. The winery’s 25th Anniversary last year commemorates that success; prior to that, the farm grew grapes for other wineries.
Here is a list of their palate-pleasing wines as described by the winery.
7 Deadly Zins
Notes of sweet plums and pepper dominate the nose, while flavors of blueberry, raspberry, cinnamon, and black pepper pack the palate from start to finish. The silky-smooth tannins hold the wine together and deliver a soft, fruit driven experience.
7 Heavenly Chardonnay
Mango, pineapple and vanilla dominate the nose. Creamy and balanced with nicely integrated acidity. The flavor profile is a light lime and a touch of butter. The oak treatment on this wine is apparent, but no obtrusive or over the top.
6th Sense Syrah
Striking aromas of ripe dark fruits radiate from the glass in an earthy, smoky tobacco context. Full, rich fruit flavors of dark berries, whole plum, and blackcurrant fill the palate and hold their flavors through a long and smooth moderately peppery finish.
Bright honeysuckle and jasmine jump out of the glass into a rich, fleshy mouth-feel. Flavors of pineapple and ripe apricot create a fruit medley of tropical-laced essence.
Huge, dark and rich. Coffee, dark chocolate, blackberry, plum and black cherry aromas, with smoky, spicy notes. Powerfully rich in the mouth with good intensity. A long spicy finish.
And if wine is not your forte, then their eye-catching labels, created by Phillips son, will certainly seal the deal.
For more information on Michael-David Winery, please visit www.lodivineyards.com. –Christine Whitton, assitant editor