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Lodi Wine Country

Located in a rural area east of San Francisco by the Sacramento River Delta, the Lodi Wine Country is characterized by its warm sunny days, cool breezy nights, and sandy soils. These conditions make this region a prime grape growing area. 18% of California’s wine grapes come from Lodi.

Visitors to the Lodi Wine Country will appreciate the rural atmosphere and friendly tasting rooms. Wine tasting is usually complimentary. While sampling wine in this area, you may notice the abundance of Ancient Vine Zinfandel. Lodi is fortunate to have many ancient Zinfandel vineyards, which are at least 50 years ancient. Ancient vines have fewer and smaller grapes that produce more intense flavors, color, and sugar. The wines are typically more full bodied and complex than younger vines.

Wineries are scattered throughout Lodi and nearby communities. From Interstate 5 go west on Turner Road into Lodi. Your first stop will be Jessie’s Grove Winery. This winery is in a secluded spot where you can taste wine, picnic and even delight in a concert on summer evenings. They have a huge buttery Chardonnay and many other fine wines to sample.

Just around the corner on Davis Road, you will find The Lucas Winery. Taste some their wines and delight in a small tour of their vineyard and barrel room. Back on Turner Road continue going east to reach the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center where you can explore their exhibits, pick up maps, and sample Lodi wines for a small fee. They serve wines made from Lodi grown grapes. Since many wineries from outside the area buy wines from Lodi, you could well be tasting wine from wineries throughout California.

Wine and Roses is right next door to the visitor center; making this a excellent time to stop for lunch. Wine and Roses is a resort and restaurant. The grounds are gorgeous and the food is always fantastic. They serve lunch and dinner during the week and brunch and dinner on the weekends. You will delight in the ambiance made by live music, brilliant service, and lush landscaping.

After lunch, explore some of the wineries east of Highway 99. One of my favorites is a new winery owned by David and Helen Dart . D’Art specializes in red wines. From Highway 99 exit east on Harney Lane and turn right onto Curry Avenue. All of their wines are fantastic, but be sure to try the Port and the Ancient Vine Zinfandel. Return to Harney Lane and continue going east to reach Vino Con Brio and Harmony Wynelands. Both are small, friendly wineries that are fun to visit and have a large variety of excellent wines to sample.

If you have time, drive into Lockeford on Highway 88 for a visit to Vino Piazza. Vino Piazza could easily be your single destination for a day of wine tasting. This complex has 12 wineries serving wine. Don’t miss tasting the Ancient Vine Zinfandel at Macchia. It’s one of the best Zinfandels you will find in Lodi. These small, family owned wineries will delight you with their friendly service and excellent wines.

Plot a trip to the Lodi Wine Country where fantastic wines are waiting to be learned and loved.

Kathy Howe and her husband, Steve, spend much of their free time enjoying and tasting wine. Their interest in wine is reflected in their Web Site, cheers2wine.com cheers2wine.com – a comprehensive guide to the California Wine Country.

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