31 July 2018

WoTM - Loma Prieta ‘Karma Vineyard’ Pinotage 2011

My WoTM for July is Loma Prieta ‘Karma Vineyard’ Lodi Pinotage 2011 – in memory of owner and winemaker Paul Kemp who died earlier this month.


Paul had bought surplus Pinotage grapes from another vineyard some years previously, made wine and fell in love with the variety, as did visitors to his winery where the wine swiftly sold out.

Paul increased production, buying in grapes from various California vineyards as well as planting Pinotage. It wasn’t long before he grafted over his Pinot Noir to Pinotage, and he was making three single vineyard wines from contracted growers as well as his own estate Pinotage.

By now Loma Prieta was the largest Pinotage producer in North America and subscribers signed up to Paul’s Pinotage Wine Club to ensure they received regular consignments of Pinotage.


Paul loved entering his Pinotage into competitions and his tasting room bottles were so covered with medals hanging form ribbons it was difficult to see what they were. Among the many awards was the American Wine Society Trophy for Best Red Wine in 2014 for Bodo’s Blend, an 80/20 blend of Pinotage and Petite Sirah.

Bodo is name of the magician seen flying on Loma Prieta labels, with the eponymous mountain in the background.

In 2016 Paul released the world’s first white Traditional Method sparkling Pinotage.

My wine of the month is a red I have aged, made with grapes sourced from the 8 acre Karma Vineyard in Lodi, planted in the 1990s.

Loma Prieta ‘Karma Vineyard’ Lodi Pinotage 2011 is showing signs of age, its colour faded from its intense garnet of youth to a paler red brick. Pinotage sweetness is to the front, the wine is lighter bodied and has thrown a lot of sediment. There’s some refreshing acidity that encourages another glass.

A delightful and classy wine, but if I had any more bottles left I’d drink them rather than keep them longer.

Cheers, Paul.


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