Tomorrow is National Women in Wine Day, intended to be a day highlighting all women working in the wine business. It was created last year, by Renae Perry and Yolanda Papapietro, co-owners and founders of Papapietro Perry Winery, shining a light on women who take the initiative in wine. In its second year each March 25, it’s now officially off and running as an annual event.

Today, for tomorrow, I’m devoting this year’s story to three sister, highlighting their efforts in wine, who’ve reached out to me with their story and wine samples to taste. They are Raquel Casity, Laura Durham, and Lisa Kammer, of Oak Ridge Winery, in Lodi.

  • Raquel is general Manager and partner
  • Lisa Kammerer is hospitality manager and partner
  • Shelly Maggio Woltkamp is brand ambassador and partner
  • They also list Rudy Maggio as patriarch, and so they should. Behind every great woman, there is a man.

Last night, I created my own Take My Wine to Dinner Day. It had been a really long day, reaching out to other people in wine, trying to have them understand the importance of having an automated external defibrillator (AED) in the wineries. An initiative of Ron Rubin, of Ron Rubin Winery, after Ron suffered a heart attack, died. He was revived by an AED, and decided he’d give back life to someone else. So he purchased 450 AEDs ($1,700 value each), to be given away as a FREE to wineries. I was also working a project with the Geyserville Planing Committee, as a board member. Exhausted, as I sat down to have a tasty soup created by my husband, I grabbed the sisters OZV (Old Vine Zin), to also enjoy with the the soup, and created Take My Wine to Dinner Day. Necessary steps:

  • Take it to the table.
  • Taste it.
  • Take notes in Google Keep, and you’re on your way.
  • Voila!

The 2020 Old Vine Zin, Estate, grown in Lodi, was a really fabulous choice. I paired it with something I learned in Tuscany, called Ribollita.  At the end of each day, a mother (or grandmother) takes whatever other meals were created that day, and combine them into a soup. Topped with anything one wants, like toast and cheese perhaps. Mine was pasta and soup with some Spanish spices. What a great blend, with a fabulously delicious wine. Wine from Lodi have their own character, as the region is inland and typically pretty juicy. This wine did not disappoint. P.S. This Ribollita was made by my husband.

BACK LABEL: Five generations of grape heritage enables us to craft this delicious expression of Lodi’s unique terroir; jammy with milk chocolate, boysenberry and mocha flavors, and a supple mouth feel. Enjoy!

Well, there you go! I hadn’t read the label, yet, while I wrote: The wine has flavors of bright August, ripe raspberries. It brought back memories of juicy berries I used pick, while harvesting them “out to camp,” from my secret berry patch. And then the flavors lingered, reminding me of my grandfather’s campfire smoke, defining those fortunate nights on Sabattus Lake, in Maine. Those were days that kids in New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut used to dream about, while I had them all summer long, until we went back to school again in September. This was a wine that paired so well with Take Your Wine to Dinner Day. I highly recommend this day to you, every day.

March 25 is Women in Wine Day

And let this stand as my contribution, for recognition. Since I’ve been a women in wine since 1993… I get it, I’m seasoned. I’ve been instrumental in helping to initiate two wine advocacy groups, Petite Sirah I Love You and the Association of African American Vintners… besides launching innumerable small brands: I know I’m in the category, so I’m doing my due diligence to get out the word for others. Today’s it’s Oak Ridge Winery. Part Two will finish tomorrow. There’s still so much more to write about… Three bottles arrived and I’ve just begun with only one of them.

Today and Tomorrow My Mind is Oak Ridge Winery

I’ve tasted their wines once before, and have yet to write about them. (Shingles took over, and I’m still playing catch up.) The wines I tasted really caught my attention as scrumptious. Both wines were called “Old Soul.” Yeah, it’s not easy being an old soul, but these three women proprietors really pulled it off. One was a 2021 Old Soul Estate Grown Chardonnay from Lodi. The other was a 2019 Old Soul Estate Grown Petite Sirah, also from Lodi. Both were really stood out as also great with food, and I loved them.

While Lodi might not be top of mind for those of you outside of California, if you see a Lodi appellation on a bottle of wine, don’t be shy. Lodi delivers on flavors. While different then cooler climate grapes, having to do with close proximity to the Pacific Ocean. This makes the wine flavors more lean. For me, cool climate wines blend well with creamy foods, like a French onion soup. Inland valley fruit develops more unctuous flavors. I love pairing them with Thai foods. I also like finding foods that are more lean, and let your palate find the perfect balance. Just remember, it’s all very subjective.

Now, I’ve just received this trifecta, from the three sisters, who are operating and managing their Oak Ridge Winery. I do believe they’re having a blast with labels, as much as they are in making wine, as evidenced by these bottle. They have what they refer to as a “very expansive portfolio.” Yes, they do.

So here’s the skinny on the rest of Oak Ridge Winery’s Written This Weekend

Their three wines:

1) Three Girls 2022 Sauvignon Blanc, Lodi, CA, Estate Grown
2) OZV 2020 Old Vine Zinfandel, Estate Grown Lodi
3) Moss Roxx 2020 Old Vine Reserve Zin

Three cheers, if ever there was one! These are women I’m more than happy to promote, continuing next week.