Acquiesce Winery Review
Address: 22353 N. Tretheway Road Acampo,California 95220.
Phone Number: 209-333-6102
Tasting Hours: Fri-Sun 11:00-5:00
Region: Lodi AVA, California
Reviewer: Jill Barth
Review Date: 11/8/2016
Reviewer: Jill Barth
Susan Tipton, winemaker and founder of Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards in Lodi, California, fell in love with a white wine from Châteauneuf de Pape, in Frances Southern Rhône Valley. What she tasted in France inspired her to try something unique: to grow white Rhône varietals in Lodi, where shed recently relocated with her husband Rodney. Ready to begin the dream that would become Acquiesce, Susan sourced vines from Château de Beaucastel of Châteauneuf du Pape and planted them on her property, which at the time was a Zinfandel vineyard.
Tipton believed that the sandy soil and Mediterranean climate in Lodi would provide a welcoming growing environment. She seems to be correct, having enjoyed growth since her first commercial vintage in 2011. Though Lodi is known for red wine grapes (Zinfandel has historically been the regions bread and butter) the soils and climate are suitable to support white wine grapes, an opportunity that has been beneficial to Acquiesce.
The tasting room is a tastefully restored barn, flanked by plantings of sage and lavender, a welcome reminiscent of Southern France. Inside the barn, mustard shades and dark wood flourishes set a warm note. The room features a large tasting bar as well as several tables for group seating. Glasses of wine can be taken outside to the shaded patio with a view of the vines, including the rare-in-Lodi varietal Picpoul.
Tastings at Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards feature wine pairing with small plates. This food-for-thought method is intended to showcase qualities of the wine that emerge when paired with just the right flavors. The tasting price is $10, which includes the food pairings.
On my visit in early August 2016, I was in the tasting room with Susan and Rodney. They worked together to pour wine and offer food platters (all tastefully presented). They also collaborated to tell their story, one of inspiration and resourcefulness. It sounds easier than it is. More romantic but at this Rodney lifts his hat and goes on, no hair. Its this casual and friendly approach which gives buoyancy to an enterprise named Acquiesce, meaning to surrender or become quiet. In other words: to let things work in their natural course.
My tasting included most of the current releases, all from 2015 and priced between $24-$26 a bottle. First was the 2015 Picpoul, made from a planting of only 100 vines. The name of this grape translates to lip stinger; expect generous acidity in form of pineapple and lemon flavors. An interesting conversation-starter that sold out early in the season, but was still available for tasting.
Belle Blanc 2015 is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Viognier. In addition to the blend, Acquiesce also makes single varietals from each of these grapes. I tasted the 2015 Roussanne as well as the 2015 Viognier, both of them food-friendly in their own ways.
The 2015 Grenache Blanc is based on the Châteauneuf de Pape wine that inspired Susan. It also won Best in Class from Sunset Magazine. This wine is based on the CDP I fell in love with that made me plant here, said Susan, clearly proud of her landmark wine.
Acquiesce also makes a Grenache Rosé, but it was already sold out when I visited. All of the wines are decidedly small-batch, with only 1,500 total cases produced in 2015. 650 of these go to the wine club which is waitlist only – limiting the quantity further.
A stop at Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards is recommended to capture the global influence and variety that is available in Lodi these days. The portfolio and methods at Acquiesce are a unique part of modern Lodi and visitors will want to enjoy a tasting in the old barn as they become familiar with a new classic.