Why Lodi Is One of California's Top Wine Destinations

  • Discover One of California's Oldest Wine Trails

    Lodi, located 90 miles east of San Francisco and 35 miles south of Sacramento, is quickly coming into its own as one of California's wine stars. Grapes are the heart of Lodi's history and today there are 85 boutique wineries specializing in small lot, handcrafted wines. You can taste your way through more than 100 varieties of wine as you discover the region's picturesque wine trail.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Leaf Peep in Lodi's Rustic Vineyards

    A visit to California's wine country is delightful any time of the year. The period from late fall to early winter is especially scenic, when the vineyards take on vibrant yellow and red hues. Since there are 100,000+ acres of wine grapes in Lodi, you won't have to look far to view the vivid colors that emblazon the vineyards at the end of harvest.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • Old Vines, Magnificent Wine

    Lodi is unofficially known as the "Zinfandel Capital of the World," and no wonder.  Lodi vineyards produce 40 percent of the premium Zinfandel in California, some of it originating from 19th-century vines. David Lucas, owner of The Lucas Winery, pours a 1994 Zin to wine tasting guests, made from grapes produced by his vintage vine dating from 1933.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Step Back in Time in Lodi's Quaint Downtown

    Stroll through sycamore-shaded streets, past colorful 19th-century buildings and savor the city's historical ambiance. Rumor has it that the city's name was derived from similarities to the town of Lodi in Lombardy, Italy and it was officially changed from Mokelumne (the name of the river that runs through the city) in 1874.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Freak Out at the Michael David Winery

    Michael Phillips, owner of the Michael David Winery, poses in front of the colorful vats that picture one of the winery's most famous vintages, Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon. You can taste this outstanding wine, as well as dozens of others, at the charming winery building built in 1976 around the family's roadside fruit stand. If you are a lover of Zinfandel, you'll recognize this winery as the producer of the nationally-renowned 7 Deadly Zins.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Stroll Under the Historic Lodi Arch

    Built in 1907, the Lodi Arch is one of the few remaining Mission Revival structures in California and is the gateway to Lodi's historic old town. The golden California Bear at the top of the structure is a California icon.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Enjoy True Farm-to-Table Cuisine in Lodi's Restaurants

    When you're surrounded by rich farm country, wild ranches, a vast ocean and ample wineries, finding fresh, delectable food is as simple as picking up a fork. Lodi is famous for its farm-to-table cuisine. This original paella, featured at the St. Jorge Winery, is based on a Portuguese recipe and pairs perfectly with the winery's vintages.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • Rollin' Down the River

    Lodi offers a variety of water-based activities. The Mokelumne River flows along the end of town, past vineyards and lush vegetation. For a serene and scenic ride down the river, consider kayaking along the beautiful shores. You'll enjoy some great birdwatching along this route, which includes herons, egrets, falcons, Canadian geese and hawks. You might even spot a river otter munching on salmon, as did this kayaking group in the photo.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • Enjoy a Craft Beer Brew in the Heart of Lodi

    While it's pretty obvious that wine is "king" in Lodi, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a delicious craft beer, available in several breweries in the heart of downtown. Beer is definitely "queen" in Lodi, perhaps a reflection of the German immigrants who settled in Lodi at the turn of the 20th century and remain one of the top ethnic groups in the city today.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Pedal for Miles on Lodi's Picturesque Biking Paths

    Lodi is a great area for bike lovers. Novices love the many gentle and less-trafficked routes, while experts enjoy the long rides along a network of rivers or up into the Sierra Foothills. A variety of bike routes lead from downtown Lodi to various wineries, ecological preserves, Lodi Lake, quaint old towns and past miles of vineyards in all directions. 

    Photo courtesy of Visit Lodi! Conference & Visitors Bureau

  • Kiddin' Around in Lodi

    From Lodi Lake Park and Nature Trail, to the World of Wonders Science Museum, to the Koi Pond at the Japanese Garden, kids will find a wealth of fun and adventure during your visit. The park at the Michael David Winery is always a great attraction for kids, especially in autumn when pumpkins are at the height of their season.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • A Sip of Spain at Bokisch Vineyards

    Markus Bokisch, owner of Bokisch Vineyards in Lodi, explains the fermentation process to wine tasters touring the winery facilities. Markus and his wife lived in Spain for several years to learn more about growing and producing indigenous wines. The result of this effort is evident in the nine premium Spanish wines produced from their vineyards. A large proportion of their grape harvest is contracted to wineries in Napa and Sonoma counties. For decades, Lodi wineries have supplied the grapes for Napa and Sonoma labels. 

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Shop for Fun, Beauty and Wellness

    Lodi is a shopper's paradise, and you'll find one-of-a-kind stores as well as your favorite classics along its picturesque streets. Shop for organic health, beauty and wellness products at the spa store located in the Wine & Roses Resort, a 7-acre property that includes a luxury hotel with 66 rooms and suites. Better yet, book a treatment among the extensive menu of services and packages available at The Spa at Wine & Roses.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • European Ambiance in the Heart of Lodi Wine Country

    If you've never been to Portugal, a visit to St. Jorge Winery is the next best thing. This is a perfect place to sip the wines that are produced by owner and winemaker Vern Vierra in methods learned from his family while growing up in Portugal. Taste unique varietals made from Portuguese vines, which were brought over and now thrive in Lodi soil. Sip an outstanding Verdelho, one of the estate's signature wines, on the outside veranda lined with olive trees and shadowed by century-old oaks. 

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • Colorful Murals Brighten Lodi's Buildings

    Take a walking tour and admire the colorful murals that enliven the walls in downtown Lodi. The murals – which capture the heritage of Lodi as a charming, small town destination and a leader in the wine industry – were created by 100 artists from the U.S. and Canada in 2006 to commemorate the 100th birthday of the city's incorporation.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Paradise for Foodies

    It makes sense that a region blessed by fine wine would also be a foodie's paradise. Fresh garden produce, available year-round in Lodi's rich soil, combines with local artisan cheeses to produce delicious salad combinations such as this baby beet salad with fresh goat cheese. Inspired to learn more about cheese? Visit Lodi's Cheese Central for culinary demonstrations and to purchase cheeses and other gourmet products from around the world.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • Enjoy the Old and the New at Oak Farm Vineyards

    For a wine tasting experience that spans centuries, a visit to family-run Oak Farm Vineyards is a great choice. You'll enjoy the view at the estate's 1876 historic home and barn, nestled among magnificent old oaks and lush vineyards. However, there is nothing old about the winery's state-of-the-art tasting room. The area features a massive U-shaped granite tasting bar, floor-to-ceiling vineyard views and a central plaza with outdoor fireplaces and fountains – all designed to give the visitor a modern, yet unpretentious wine tasting experience.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • When in Lodi. . .

    The banners that line the streets of downtown Lodi say it all:  Shop, Sip, Dine, and enjoy all the experiences and activities during your visit to one of California's emerging wine destinations.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

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