If you are looking for a new wine tasting destination, then I’d suggest heading to Lodi, CA. Lodi is located 90 miles east of San Francisco. This area is known for its Zinfandel – perhaps you’ve heard of the “7 Deadly Zins” from Michael David Winery?
On a very quick day trip here, I was impressed with the variety of venues and the variety of wine. Do you know that Lodi has more than 85 wineries in and around the area? Too many wines – too little time!
The Lodi Visitor Center website states that “Lodi is known to produce more wine grapes than any other California appellation” An appellation refers to where the grapes are grown and then made into wine.
I highly suggest heading to the Visitor’s Center downtown to get some ideas on what wineries to visit. Nicole was so informative on the winery venues and helping me select a broad range of venues and different wines to taste!
There are a number of wine tasting rooms downtown. Right next door to the visitor’s center is Weibel – how convenient! As I do have a penchant for bubbly and it was still morning, I thought this might be a good place to start!
What was super fun to do, you select your wines from a list and mark them down right in front of you on the glass counter.
Weibel is also known for wine slushies in the summer months and many different types of mimosas.
My next stop was to McCay Cellars. Their downtown location had just been open for a couple of weeks. I was lucky to be served by Cindy who provided great friendly service and who is very knowledgeable about their wine. They are known for their Zinfandel and Rhône varietals. Lovely wine.
Next stop Jeremy Wine Company. Great service here in this downtown location. Jeremy not only has had a career in wine making, he also had an award winning graphic design studio. You’ll notice the detail to the surroundings and the bottle label designs. My favorite wine here is the Albariño.
Harney Lane was next on my list. I was there to see the venue versus tasting their wine. This was a lovely property and warm inviting tasting room. All of their wines are estate wines which means that 100% of their grapes come from their property. They have a wide range of varietals to choose from ranging from Albariño, Rose, Chardonnay, Zinfandels, Merlot, Tempranillo.
Bokish is known for their award winning Spanish influenced wines. I had an opportunity to compare a couple of their Albariño’s here. You might also enjoy their Tempranillo, Garnacha and Tinzona.
A friend had suggested that I visit Pondl. Now I know you’re wondering about the name. The name comes from the initials of its two founders, Pat O’Neill and David Lugan jr. Two guys passionate about wine with a cool purple tasting room. PONDL sources their grapes locally from single vineyards. They also partner with other premier California wine-growing regions. I loved what they said on their website about their wine making.
“We make wine that is as beautiful as a lady, and as well mannered as a gent.”
My last stop of the day Michael David. I was curious to visit the home of the “7 Deadly Zins” and I delight in their wine labels. For example take a look at this one!
This venue has a more commercial feel to it. They do have a café if you are looking for a bite to eat.
Even though I made it to all of these wineries, I was doing little sips, so that I could maximize my tasting experience and still be able to drive around!
I will be back to Lodi – I enjoyed the hospitality, the different venues, and of course – the wine!