Beautiful grapes!

20110823-093400.jpgWhat is so alluring, elegant and beautiful about grapes? Is it their appearance on undulating hillsides? Is it the promise of wonderful wine to come? It is their association with romantic locales like Italy, France, California and … Lodi?

All I know is that the grapes are looking gorgeous on the vines at this time of year–plump, rich in colour and full of promise.

I devoured the current special edition of Edible Finger Lakes all about wine a few weeks ago and loved the insight into grape-growing, wine-making and the incredible history of these traditions in our area. Pick it up while it’s still in stock.

Speaking of wine and grapes, welcome the new kids on the block, literally, Eremita Winery–our neighbours in Lodi! They’ve been hard at work over the last many months renovating the old church next to my family home on Main Street in Lodi and finally today they are officially open for business! I’ll be stopping in for a tasting next weekend for sure.

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Lodi by the Numbers

Lodi Historical Building

Lodi Historical Building, aka 1 of 2 de-consecrated churches

Thinking about what the different Lodis of the world might be like got me wondering how our Lodi would stack up in the statistical analysis.

Here are the cold, hard facts about Lodi, New York

Population: 1476
Number of libraries: 1
Number of post offices: 1
Number of bars: 1
Number of museums: 1
Number of ice cream shops: 2
Number of de-consecrated churches: 2
Number of active churches: 1
Number of de-consecrated churches for sale: 1
Number of wineries: 5, Kings Garden Winery, Lamoreaux Landing, Wagner Vineyards, Silver Thread Vineyard, Shalestone Vineyards
Number of gourmet restaurants: 2, Suzanne Fine Regional Cuisine, Dano’s Heuriger on Seneca
Number of craft breweries: 1.5 (Wagner Valley Brewing Company and rumour has it that a store front on Main Street of Lodi is going to be a brewery, but that rumour’s been going on for at least 2 years)
Number of empty store fronts on Main Street: 5
Number of boat slips at Lodi Point State Park: approx. 18
Number of annual bluegrass festivals: 1, Pickin’ in the Pasture
Number of Blue Moon Festival (precursor to Pickin’ in the Pasture) t-shirts my brother owns: at least 4
Cost of annual membership in the Lodi Historical Society: $10
Number of different kinds of meat on the menu of the Lodi Rod and Gun club breakfast: 3
Number of Lodi residents named Jim Covert including my Dad (until a few years ago): 3
Number of sheep, cows, horses, chickens and barn cats combined: hard to know, but my guess is that it rivals the number of humans
Number of blogs about Lodi, NY: 1

Are there any factoids I missed?

Summer Visitors




Tomatoes from the garden for dinner

Originally uploaded by j-co

This summer has been the summer of visitors to Lodi. I don’t know why, but we’ve been lucky enough to have a steady stream of friends visiting Lodi for summer mini-breaks over the last month or so.

Most recently we had a house full of 8, including 2 kids, and we had a wonderful time lounging about the house, poking around in the barns, swimming in the lake and touring around the area.

My friends said they had no idea the Finger Lakes were so close, which I think is part of the reason people love coming here: it’s still a relatively unknown little hidden gem of a vacation spot. It’s odd because it is so close to many larger cities: only 5 hours from both NYC and Toronto, 4.5 hours from Ottawa, 6 or so hours from Boston.

I love to show my friends around Lodi and the area. There is so much family history that the stories are amazingly realistic when you can say “My grandfather’s Wallpaper store was right there, across the street”. I feel proud and happy to have the luxury of being so clearly connected to my ancestors and their lives.

Most fun, of course, is showing off the natural beauty of the Finger Lakes with the rolling hills, vineyards and amazing lake views. The wineries are always enjoyable to visit and so convenient with 20 or so within a 20-mile stretch of Route 414 near Lodi. There are fabulous restaurants featuring ingredients procured from local farmers. And there’s always the outlet mall for a little retail therapy, if that’s what you need.

But best of all is gathering together with friends and infusing this house that’s seen so much of my family history over 100 years with the laughter of children, the smells of great meals cooking with ingredients picked fresh from the garden and the enjoyment of warm, wonderful friendship.

So, when are you coming?