There are one-hundred-and-twenty-five different grape varieties planted in the Lodi AVA. This shows wide-spread willingness to think outside the box. However, Acquiesce take that approach to extremes. Sue Tipton, owner and winemaker at Acquiesce offers a portfolio of white wine with a still and sparkling rosé. Not a single red wine on the list. Moreover, her focus on Rhône varieties results in an absence of Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.
K.D. Lang’s Acquiese was inspiration for the winery’s name (After tasting these wines though, I am not sure if K.D. Lang’s Constant Craving wouldn’t have been more appropriate). Sue and her husband Rodney picked the name Acquiesce before they had even found the property or started making wine. The “About Page” on their website explains the name as: “Acquiesce – verb: to surrender, to become quiet. Acquiesce has become our mantra — to submit to nature, to yield to the vineyard, to acquiesce to the grapes so they present their own true character.”
The tasting room is in a barn that dates back over a century. Eighteen acres of land grow the grapes for their white-centric line-up. The varieties include: Picpoul Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Viogner, and Rousanne.
On the wall of the tasting room is a large chalkboard. It bears the title: “Before I die”. Visitors write in chalk to complete the sentence: “Before I die I want to…”. The wishes vary from the material: “Win the lottery” to the more profound: “Fall in Love”. After this visit, I think I should add “drink more white wine” to my life goals.
Acquiesce Tasting Experience
The tasting at Acquiesce pairs four current release wines with small food bites. Rodney Tipton prepares these perfect bites, worthy of any fancy restaurant. It takes him several days a week to put the dishes together so that the tasting room can easily serve them as part of their elevated tasting experience.
2020 Picpoul Blanc
The Picpoul was paired with California Sunshine canapé. Cannellini beans in dijon mustard in philo pastry cups. Whilst it sounds like a weird combination of flavors, the hint of mustard and the earthiness of the beans and the crunch of the pastry cups was a delight. It was magic paired with the light, crisp flavors of the Picpoul.
Initially, Sue had planted a few hundred vines of Picpoul. After trying many French expressions of this grape that were, to quote, “too screamingly acidic for American tastes.” The name of the grape reflects those characteristics. Picpoul translates to “lip stinger.” Her intent was to use it for blending. However, Lodi’s warm climate gave the wine a fruit-forwardness to balance the acidity. Thus, the Acquiesce single variety Picpoul was born. Picpoul now accounts for 1.3 acres of plantings.
The nose of crisp apple led to a creamy mouthfeel with zesty lemon acidity. $28.
2020 Grenache Blanc
Sue described this as Acquiesce’s signature wine: One that converts red wine drinkers who state that they don’t care for white, and end up joining the club.
The Grenache Blanc was paired with an endive feta boat. Its nose was of honey. In the mouth a lush creamy texture had lemon acidity on balance. A mid-palate of dust and spice flecked apples. The feta exposed a minerality that I had not found in the wine alone.
Bottling had taken place about eight weeks before we tasted the new release. Sue described it as a baby and feels that it will be drinking perfectly with a little time in the bottle – about six months or so. The Greanche Blanc plantings cover three acres. $28.
2019 Clairette Blanche
This grape is a rarity in California and is in decline in its native France. Although it remains the most widely planted white grape in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Most grape names are masculine in French. Clairette is feminine, so the colour adjective is “blanche” and not “blanc”.
Paired with Gruyere Gougère (a fancy name for cheese puffs) was an opportunity to show this cheese loving wine at its best. The nose was rich in honey and a hint of star jasmine blossoms. The mouthfeel was soft, creamy velvet with hints of apple. The cheese lifted the wine making it brighter and fresher. $26
2020 Grenache Rosé
As with the Clairette Blanche the clippings for these grapes come from Beaucatsel Winery in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It was paired with a Chorizo Olive Pop. The wine offered aromas of strawberry. The palate had honey sweetness balanced by melon, strawberry, and cherry. We both loved this wine and pick it as one of our favorites. $26
This tasting experience costs $20. This seems a more than fair deal for the quality wine. With delicious and well-thought food pairings added, this price is a bargain not to be missed.
Our enjoyment of these wines, tasting experience, and warm hospitality made Acquiesce a must visit any time we visit Lodi.