Everything old is new again

LODI – A new wine brand is in the market place with a rich history behind it.

Wine industry veteran Richard “Ricardo” Kanikari and Stama Winery in Lodi have resurrected Tipo wines, one of the oldest and most popular wine brands in California first established in 1906 by Italian Swiss Colony Winery in Asti near the Sonoma-Mendocino county line. Tipo enjoyed great success prior to and after Prohibition. During the 1950s, the winery was the second-most visited spot in California behind Disneyland.

Tipo winery closed in the 1970s, and the brand remained dormant before Kanikari purchased the trademark and partnered with Stama to re-create one of the state’s trail blazing wine labels.

“We found it to be an opportunity, Stama Winery, when he came with this to us, being the history of the trademark and where it came from and the whole story behind it,” said Frank Kapiniaris, executive vice president of Stama Winery. “We felt it was a win-win for both us and Ricardo.”


Tipo White, left, and Tipo Red wines represent a label established in 1906 and resurrected by wine industry veteran Richard Kanikari and Stama Winery in Lodi. [BOB HIGHFILL/THE RECORD

Tipo is available for purchase at Stama Winery (17521 North Davis Road). There are two wines with the Tipo label: Rosso (red) — 100 percent old vine zinfandel — and Bianco (white) — chardonnay with a touch of muscat. The zinfandel and chardonnay are from Stama estate vineyards in Lodi, and the muscat was sourced from Sonoma county.

Both wines are from the 2015 vintage and retail for $13.95 per bottle, $135 per 12-bottle case, and are enclosed with stelvin screw caps. The labels are brightly colored and were designed by Kanikari, owner of Pavona Wines in Monterey and host of the web wine show “Wine Nation TV.”

Stama’s winemaker, Franck Lambert, made the Tipo wines. He said research indicated the original Tipo Rosso was zinfandel-based with dolcetto in the blend. The re-released red wine is 100 percent zinfandel from old vines planted at Peltier and Kennefick roads. The chardonnay is from a vineyard on Ham Lane, and the muscat is from an area north of Healdsburg. The original Tipo Bianco had muscat in it and was slightly bubbly (petillant) — an homage to Asti, Italy, the home of Asti Spumante, a popular style of white sparkling wine.

“We followed the trail of the brand as it was created back then,” said Lambert, a native of Provence, France, whose winemaking career includes stints in Bordeaux, France; Capetown, South Africa; and Lodi with Michael David Winery and others in the area. “The chardonnay is fermented in tank with a little bit of oak during fermentation, and the zinfandel is also fermented with oak and aged in tanks.”

Tippo Rosso is a lighter style of zinfandel, bright and fruity, and Tipo Bianco is crisp and refreshing with a pleasant hint of muscat on the nose.

Lambert said about 300 cases of Tipo Bianco and about 500 cases of Tipo Rosso were made.

Kapiniaris said a second release of Tipo with new labeling and packaging should be available early in 2018, if not sooner.



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      Bob Highfill

      Record Sports Editor Bob Highfill is a wine enthusiast and has earned Level 3 certification with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust of London through the Napa Valley Wine Academy. Bob will share some of his experiences from his travels to Lodi and other prime wine locales in his blog and welcomes your suggestions, reviews and wine speak.
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