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Lodi (California) Wine Region and Wineries

Wine has become a $60 billion industry in America. But most Americans don’t even realize how big the wine industry really is. In fact, according to the Wine Institute, there are over 11000 wineries in the U.S., producing over 700 million gallons of wine each year (2020).

There are many reasons why Lodi is considered one of the “best” wine regions in America. It’s not because of its size or production volume. Instead, Lodi wines are known for their quality and consistency.

Location

Lodi in California lies east of San Francisco Bay and is between Stockton, Sacramento, and Stockton. The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta borders the west part of the region. Its eastern boundary is parallel to that of the Sierra Foothills.
Lodi is the Zinfandel Capital Of The World. More than 40% of California’s finest Zinfandel vineyards can be found here. Lodi is renowned for its collection of old vine bottlings. Some plantings date back as far as 1888. Many of these are grown from their own roots and are naturally low yielding.
Lodi vineyards in modern times are planted with more than 100 California favorite varieties. You can find Spanish, Portuguese or Italian varieties, as well as the Southern Rhone varieties.
Syrah for reds and Merlot for whites are some other key varieties. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier as well as Sauvignon Blanc for whites are also important. Petite Sirah (although less well-known), Barbera, Tempranillo Graciano Riesling, Graciano and Tempranillo are some of the supporting varieties.
Lodi used to be known for its unusual Flame Tokay (also Ahmeur bou Ahmeur). This robust red variety is North African in origin and was traditionally used in Lodi for brandy and fortified wines. No commercial plantings are permitted.

Vineyard conditions in Lodi

Lodi lies at 70 miles/115km from the Pacific. However, it is blessed with a more Mediterranean-like climate than you might expect for this far inland. This is due to the many rivers that run through American Viticultural zones and the creeks which flow into them.
Lodi is situated east of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This delta is the junction point of California’s largest rivers. Lodi has all the benefits that cool water, air, or river breezes can offer. Lodi city is home to most of AVA’s grapes. The cities are flanked by Calaveras and Dry Creek rivers, which run north and south.
As it nears its final leg from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the San Joaquin Rivers, the Mokelumne River cuts through the city. Each of these rivers’ water discharges into the Suisun- and San Pablo bays. Beyond San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean lies San Francisco Bay.
Lodi’s temperatures are not controlled solely by the rivers. Topography is also important. Lodi isn’t separated from the Pacific in California’s Coastal Ranges. The Bay Area has a significant gap which allows on-shore breezes many miles inland. The Golden Gate (the narrow, narrow strait crossed by the eponymous span) is the funnel neck to this gap. It’s famously characterised by fog and wind.
The Delta region is the cooler part of the region. But Lodi enjoys warmer days and is well-suited for producing full-flavored red wines. Sandy clay soils rich in minerals, and free-draining are key to the production of high-quality wines.

History of Lodi Wine 

Lodi wineries have a rich history that allows us to understand the wine’s origins. Lodi has been producing winegrapes ever since the mid-1800s. Today, it is the largest appellation with over 110,000 acres. Lodi, known for its delicious Zinfandels, is also the home of all of California’s most renowned varieties. Lodi was long considered to be the best producer of Cabernet Sauvignon Chardonnay Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, and Merlot. Lodi has over 100 varieties today and offers a variety of wines because of its seven (7) diverse soils. It is one of the most diverse winegrapes regions in the United States.

Things to know about Lodi

  • Lodi Wine Country lies 100 miles east and near San Francisco’s San Joaquin River Delta.
  • Lodi is known for its Old Vine Zinfandel wines, which are full-bodied. Lodi, in addition to Zinfandel wines, is the most prolific wine-producing district in California. It also has the highest production of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, and Chardonnay.
  • Lodi was a major winegrape growing region in the 1850s. Today, Lodi boasts 100,000 acres worth of winegrapes and is farmed by over 700 growers.
  • This region has a Mediterranean climate that is warm and dry in the summer and cool and moist winters. Average annual rainfall is 17 in (42.50cm). It is dominated by sandy loam soils.
  • The region’s annual yield is estimated at 600,000 ton of grapes. It accounts for more than 20% of California’s total winegrape production – more than Napa County and Sonoma Counties.
  • 1986 was the year that the federal government approved “Lodi”, an appellation.
  • California’s top wineries include E&J Gallo Wines, Constellation and Fetzer.
  • Lodi’s 70+ “boutique” wineries specialize exclusively in small-lot, handmade wineries. This has earned them major awards at national and international wine competitions.
  • Lodi winegrape commission was established by local growers. The Commission, which has an annual budget of $1,000,000, conducts programs for marketing, grower education, viticultural and research. The Commission also manages the country’s foremost sustainable viticulture programs, which decrease the use of pesticides or herbicides in winegrape growing. The Commission also manages the “Discover Lodi Wine and Touror Center” which is a must-see for anyone who’s interested in wine and grapes.

Wineries of Lodi

Harney Lane Winery

Harney Lane Winery would be an understatement to say it is a long-established property. It has been managed and owned by the Mettler family for five generations. Since 1907, the Mettlers have dedicatedly cared for the vineyards and began making bespoke wines in 2006. Lodi’s winery covers an impressive 64-acre area southeast of the capital. The winery boasts expansive grounds that are shaded by countless Deodar Cedar trees. You can enjoy wine tastings daily, from 11 am to 5 pm. The ranch also offers guided wine-tasting tours in the garden and the tasting room (inside Ranch Home) for prices between 20$-40. Wine Club members get many free perks.
Lodi’s superb wines from this certified-green winery are so reasonably priced that you might feel guilty for paying so little to enjoy them. We highly recommend the Lizzy Anne Old Vine Zinfandel.

Peltier Winery & Vineyards


A third multi-generational Lodi winery is found northeast of the town, Peltier Winery, and Vineyards. Peltier Winery and Vineyards, just like other Lodi wineries in Lodi, is a family-oriented operation that promotes its wines.
This Lodi CA winery has a reputation for producing exceptional grapes. Rodney Schatz and Gayla Schatz own Lodi wine grape-grower advocacy. Peltier isn’t content to be proud of its long history of wine crafting. Instead, it continues to innovate with a strong emphasis on sustainability.
The winery can be accessed by reservation between 11 am and 5 pm daily for a nominal fee of 10$ per person. For members, the tasting is free. A ninety-minute guided tasting is held on the estate’s beautifully appointed patio. This event is strictly for those aged over 21. Peltier wines can be enjoyed with picnic baskets by guests.
Wines starting at $18 per bottle (2019 Vermentino) are a steal. Their 2018 Black Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon and 2018 Black Diamond Chardonnay are two of our favorite wines. Regular events are held on the grounds, including comedy, live music, wine, and chocolate pairings.

M2 Wines

You’ll find M2 Wines, a winery and tasting space across the Golden State Highway in Peltier. This Lodi winery, which has won numerous awards, produces small-lot, artisanal wines near the Acampo railway. M2 Wines is one Lodi winery that sources grapes from many vineyards in Napa Valley, Sierra Foothills, and Lodi.
M2 Wines first released its wines in 2004. In January 2014, M2 opened its “industrial chic” winery & tasting room. M2 Wines’ vineyard was established in the following year. Layne Montgomery, the founder partner and winemaker takes great pride in making complex, balanced, approachable, and age-worthy wines.
The state-of-the-art M2 tasting room is open from Friday to Monday, 12 pm to 4 pm. You can bring your dog along to the venue, which can accommodate small or large groups. Petit Sirah 2018 is made with grapes grown in M2’s Lodi vineyard. Make sure you give it a shot.
Michael David Winery

Michael David Winery, a sixth-generation Lodi CA winery, is located west of the city, just off Highway 12. The Phillips family is not old-fashioned despite their 150-year-long history. Michael David Winery is known for its unconventional wines. They live by the motto, “We don’t break the rules, but we make them.” The Lodi Rules govern every aspect of the estate’s wine-making processes. They are a set of 100 standards that guarantee the quality, sustainability, and social responsibility.
This is one of the best Lodi wineries. There’s something for everyone. The farm has acres upon acres worth of stunning vineyards. It also boasts lush, expansive grounds, a cafe, and a bakery that serves delicious seasonal food. The kids’ corral is a great place to bring the children on an adventure.
For as low as $5 per person, Michael David Winery is open every day from 9 am-5 pm. There are also regular events at the estate, such as comedy shows or members-only parties.
The winery follows wine industry trends and offers several ranges. It also has oddball label designs by local artists. The 2021 Misfits, Mavens Cinsaut rose, and the 2019 Rapture Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve are house favorites.

McCay Cellars

McCay Cellars is located in Clements, a small family winery that is known for its Zinfandel, and Rhone-style varietals. It’s eleven miles northeast of Lodi. Michael McCay, the owner, and his family have been farming in the Lodi AVA for more than a quarter-century. Michael started his label in 2007 after being encouraged by family, friends, and fellow sommeliers.

McCay Cellars uses grapes from many vineyards in order to make its unique wines using native fermentation. These vineyards each have their own unique terroir and are spread throughout the Lodi AVA.

You might meet Michael McCay at this Lodi winery. He is well-known for his friendly interactions with guests. These charming cellars offer a unique combination of urban and rural styles that is different from the typical Lodi winery experience. The Cellars have been awarded numerous winemaking awards over the years. They are open every day, except Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11 am to 5 pm. Make sure you try the 2019 Rose of Grenache while you’re there.

Wilson Family Winery

Wilson Family Winery, a family-owned business located in Geyserville (California), is operated by Wilson Family Winery. The company now includes eleven wineries in Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley, Sonoma Valley, and Sonoma Valley, Mendocino County, and Anderson Valley. It also owns more than 600 acres of vineyards. Coyote Sonoma is the newest venture. It’s the place to go in Healdsburg for delicious food, wine, and beer. Live music, karaoke, and trivia are all available every week. Three beautiful bed and breakfasts are also available in Healdsburg.

Ken Wilson was born in Ontario, Canada, and is passionate about his wineries and vineyards. Ken Wilson’s vision and wisdom were the key to the variety of vineyard sources that has been created over the years. These vineyards produce the highest quality fruit, which has earned Wilson Artisan Wineries a lot of recognition. Diane and Ken also own Healdsburg’s historic Grape Leaf Inn and the Calderwood Inn (and the Camellia Inn).

Leisure Street Winery

Leisure Street Winery, a family-owned winery located in Livermore is California. In March 2016, Leisure Street Winery was established. Its original street address (511 Leisure St.) is where the wine is made, bottled and stored. Leisure Street Winery has grown over the years and now has a beautiful Estate Tasting Room at 8953 Tesla Rd. Even though it’s a small winery the vast selection of wines will be enjoyed by all who visit. Leisure Street Winery is open to all! We look forward to seeing you at Leisure Street Winery soon!

Vicarmont Vineyards and Winery

Vicarmont Vineyards and Winery is well-known in the Lodi Appellation because it was the beloved creation of Vic and Carrie Mettler. Vic and Carrie combine a love of great wines with a passion to preserve their family’s rich heritage. They continue to develop Vicarmont and embrace their legacy of grape growing. They are 5th generation grape growers, and this pride is evident in their handcrafted wines. Vicarmont Vineyards and Winery specializes in small quantities of Estate-grown Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. They also produce Cabernet Sauvignon and Barbera, Sauvignon Blanc, Rose, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Watts Winery

Since four generations, the Watts family has been cultivating grapes. The unique microclimate of their two vineyards is located near the Mokelumne River. Craig and Sheri Watts have a reputation for producing the best grapes in the region thanks to their dedication to quality.

After many years of providing grapes for the most well-respected wineries in California they decided to create their own 1999 Old Vine Zinfandel. Watts Winery now offers many varietals, including Syrah and Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

Thomas Allen Vineyards & Winery

Allen Lombardi and his family own Thomas Allen. Allen Lombardi and the Lombardi Family started selling wine grapes in the late 1990s to wineries all over the country as avid home winemakers. While searching the internet for California wine grapes, Allen established Lodi business partners in 2001. He was surprised to discover a Central California town with many quality vineyards. It was a match of a lifetime. Allen fell in Love with Lodi’s quality grapes, and the rest is history.

Allen and his family, the Lombardi, continue to work, live, and make great wines at Thomas Allen, Lodi. Their wines have a bold personality and are full of rich, ripe flavor. Allen wines are excellent and affordable. Thomas Allen is a team of wine enthusiasts who believe that wine should be enjoyable and best enjoyed with friends, laughter, quality conversation, and good company.

Ripken Vineyards & Winery

Ripken Vineyards & Winery appeals mainly to adventurous wine drinkers. They have a lot of non-traditional varieties which produce exceptional flavored wines.
They are a delight for wine lovers who wish to enjoy the pleasures and varietals of Marsanne.

They produce small quantities of wines in very small batches, typically less than 100 cases.

They emphasize the importance of maximizing flavor, minimal but adequate irrigation or no-irrigation, sunlight to clusters, full ripeness, mild crops, adequate soil fertility, organic matter in soils, and moderate size crops. These attentions to detail result in balanced wines that have good mineral content and are enjoyable to drink when released.

Stonum Vineyards

The Stonum Family purchased 17 acres of prime agricultural property in Lodi, California, in 1979. The property included seven acres of Tokay grapes, eight acres of cherries, and a farmhouse of sixty years.

Over the next three decades, the Stonum families worked together to make the ranch the ranch they envisioned. The Tokay vineyard was replanted to Zinfandel grapes.

In 2006, the emphasis shifted to making wine of world-class quality in an old-world way. Mike and Kathy Stonum started making wine with their best Zinfandel grapes. Due to their other jobs, there was a steep learning curve. This involved an unwavering search for knowledge, experimentation, and dedication toward detail and excellence. The winery was constructed over four years and featured a state-of-the-art tank room that is used for fermentation and bulk aging, as well as an underground cellar, where barrel-aged wines are stored. The Estate Stonum Zinfandel, which was the first batch of tanks and equipment purchased, was made and released in 2009.

2014 saw the purchase of a fleet winemaking equipment, barrels, winemaking tanks, and chiller systems for white wine production. Stonum Vineyards’ 2014 harvest saw the production of their first Sauvignon Blanc, which was sourced from The Towne Vineyard at Calistoga, and their second Cabernet Sauvignon, which was sourced from Antinori Family Vineyard at Atlas Peak, Napa. A “barn-style” tasting area was planned for the winery’s entrance in 2015. The Tasting Barn was finished in June 2018 and opened its doors to the public that month.

Twisted Barrel Winery

Lodi’s boutique wineries are known for producing high-quality wines with small lots. They specialize in Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese varietals. The winery is a blend of family, friendship, and an open policy. This allows for a truly inclusive tasting experience.

Twisted Barrel Winery started production in 2014 and opened the tasting area in January 2015. Verl Tanner is the Senior Winemaker. He has been making wine for friends and family since 1988.

The winery’s unique blends are slightly twisted and adventurous. However, they still adhere to the traditional favorites Zinfandel Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot Merlot, Tempranillo, Barbera, and many more. Twisted Barrel Winery, as the name implies, likes to be a little crazy, out of the box. We believe in innovation and are committed to providing unique varieties of wine that people don’t often see.

d”Art Hand Crafted Wines

What does a Spanish-trained dancer have to say about a winery with a French name? There is nothing. This was Dave’s very first artwork. He did it around the same time Helen began making wine at home. It’s been the wineries logo ever since they became garagistes winemakers. The Sacramento Home Winemakers wine competition awarded them Best of Show. Their first wine was a 2000 Syrah. They have been hooked ever since. While Helen is half French, Dart can be described as a pure English name.

They live on the Cabernet Sauvignon vine where the winery’s located. The tasting room is a delight for the eyes. Dave and Helen filled the tasting room with their photoart, which reflects their travels throughout the world. Helen is often found in the tasting area, talking about wine-complimentary and special recipes as well as about winemaking.

The tasting room leads to the barrel room, where Dave and Jessie, his daughter, do all the winemaking. Jessie handles the fermentation and barrel ageing while Dave waits to finish his master blend and bottling.

Jeremy Wine Co

Jeremy Wine Company is a boutique winery renowned for its premium wines. Its tasting room is located in downtown Lodi. We are a small-scale winery with limited productions that sell quickly. We specialize in unique varietals, as well as Zinfandel. You will never know which varietal will be featured on their tasting menu.

Jeremy Wine Co. has a unique approach to standing out from the rest of Lodi’s winemakers. The brand logo and the accompanying labels provide a glimpse into their history. Trettevik had spent over 40,000 hours working in the wine industry before starting his own company.

Estate Crush Tasting Room

Estate Crush, a downtown Lodi custom crush facility for premium wine production, was established in Spring 2009. Estate Crush is a way for wine brand owners and managers to get their feet in the water without spending a lot of capital to buy equipment or build a bricks & mortar production facility. Your brand can be easily tested and built. You can then concentrate on marketing and leave the winemaking to them.

Estate Crush’s state of the art custom crush facility can handle small to medium quantities and create the best, handcrafted luxury wine. T

PONDL Winery

PONDL Winery was started with a simple vision: make great wine, create unique wines, and then share that with others. PONDL, a combination of the initials of Pat O’Neill Jr. (founders) and David Lujan Jr. (founders), is an example of what happens to innocent hobbies when they get out of control.

Pat, as the winemaker had the vision of creating beautiful wines that were both enjoyable for those who enjoy wine and for those who have yet tasted it.

Borra Vineyards

Pat, as the winemaker had the vision of creating beautiful wines that were both enjoyable for those who enjoy wine and for those who have yet tasted it.

Nostra Vita Family Winery

Nostra Vita Family Winery, a family-owned winery with a strong commitment to quality grapes, is a family-owned enterprise

They’ve been involved in the wine business for over 50 years and know what it takes to make a wine that is unique. They want to establish a long-lasting relationship with you through memorable wines and excellent customer service.

Robert, a winemaker and owner, was challenged in 2013 to tackle a unique project. Leslie, his wife, challenged him to make extraordinary sparkling wines. With his reputation on the line, he utilized the methode champenoise process–labor-intensive and time-consuming. It was a sparkling wine one can enjoy at any time, or on any occasion. It has a balanced acidity, smooth body, crisp fruits, and silky yeast character. This clearly shows that quality sparkling wines are possible in Lodi.

Mettler Family Vineyards

Since the late 1800s, the Mettler family has been growing wine grapes in Lodi Appellation. They are one of Lodi’s oldest farming families and take great pride in organically and sustainably growing their vineyards. Their wines are made from the best grapes and they have a lot of integrity for the land. From the vineyard to the bottle, the Mettler family is involved in growing, harvesting and winemaking.

Bokisch Vineyards

Since the early 2000s, Liz Bokisch and Markus Bokisch have produced award-winning Spanish varietals. Bokisch Vineyards was founded by Liz Bokisch and Markus Bokisch, who were inspired to make Spanish varietal wines. It is located in the Lodi AVA’s Clements Hills.

Markus and Liz met at UC Davis and moved to Spain in 1992. In their 1967 VW Bus, they traveled across the country. Markus was a winemaker in Sant Saduri d’Anoia, while Liz taught English. After falling in love with Spanish food and wine, they decided to produce Spanish varietal wines when returning to California.

They purchased Terra Alta Vineyards in the Clements Hills in 1995. In 1998, they imported budwood from Spain. Their Las Cerezas Vineyard was planted with Spanish varietals, including one acre of Albarino and Tempranillo.

In 2000, they began making wine using their organically grown and estate-grown fruit. Nine Spanish varieties are produced by Bokisch Vineyards, including Verdejo, Garnacha Blanca, and Garnacha. They introduced the Tizona label in 2012, which allows for small-lot production of specialty blends and varieties like Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Old Vine Zin.

Weibel Family Vineyards and Winery

The Weibel Family has been making California Champagne and fine wines for over eight decades. They started in Switzerland, then moved to California in 1938. Fred E. Weibel Sr. and Rudolf brought with them traditional, old-world winemaking methods and traditions along with a personal commitment and high quality.

The Weibel Family continues to produce California Champagne today. They also offer a wide range of wines under the Weibel Family Label, including Zinfandel and Chardonnay, from their Estate Vineyard in Mendocino County. We also have our popular Raspberry Sparkling Wines, including Almond, Peach and Pomegranate.

Weibel Family Vineyards & Winery provides custom labels and private control to industry partners like casinos, hotels, restaurants, and wine shops.

Van Ruiten Family Vineyard

The Lodi grapes from the Van Ruiten vineyards have been harvested every summer for 50 years and sent to other wineries. In 1999, the first Van Ruiten Lodi Wines were produced. The family decided to venture into winemaking. One of the most beloved and most lasting wines of the family was the Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blend. It is still one the most loved today.

Oak Ridge Winery

The Lodi grapes from the Van Ruiten vineyards have been harvested every summer for 50 years and sent to other wineries. In 1999, the first Van Ruiten Lodi Wines were produced. The family decided to venture into winemaking. One of the most beloved and most lasting wines of the family was the Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blend. It is still one the most loved today.

The Dancing Fox Winery

Oak Ridge Winery is Lodi’s oldest operating winery. It was established in 1934 by Maggio, Reynolds, and their families. The winery produces estate wine under various wine labels. Two families purchased the winery in 2001 from a winemaking cooperative. They saw more than just saving a little bit of local history. They renamed Oak Ridge Winery and began to modernize the facility, making it a state-of the-art winery.

The families started a comprehensive renovation of Oak Ridge Winery in 2002. It was capable of meeting the needs of a changing global market for quality, style and volume.

Lucas Winery

The Lucas Winery’s focus has been on the production of vineyard-designated Zinfandels sourced from our historic ZinStar Vineyard since 1978. Heather Pyle-Lucas and David Lucas are winemakers who create elegant, balanced wines that can be enjoyed with food. They also reflect the potential of California’s Lodi appellation. Their winery is 100% solar-powered and their vineyard is organically certified by CCOF. This wine family will delight both the palate as well as the planet.

Berghold Vineyards

The Berghold family name dates back as far back as the 1600s in Austria. It can be traced back to the meaning “vineyard worker”. This ancestral fact could explain why the Berghold family is passionate about producing the best winegrapes possible and estate wines.

Since 1986, the Lodi winegrapes have been grown by the Berghold Family. The estate consists of three contiguous vineyards covering 85 acres of Syrah and Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlot, Zinfandel, and Merlot. Since the family’s inception, they have been selling winegrapes and other products to many fine wineries, some of which are located in Napa or Sonoma.

After almost a decade of selling their grapes to wineries around the world, the Bergholds decided it was time to bottle and market wine under the Berghold brand. Berghold Vineyards Syrah, Viognier, and other wines were born in 1999. The winery produces Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as Viognier. It also produces Merlot and Zinfandel. Miles Berghold, the son of the Berghold and winemaker, makes all wines estate vintages. All wines are terroir-driven and made using traditional techniques and state-of the-art technology.

Joe and Kay Berghold are avid collectors. They own a Victorian winery. The couple have been collecting antiques from the American Victorian period (1896-1899) for nearly 20 years. They wanted to create an architecturally distinctive winery and tasting area that was representative of the time they had purchased them. This is also the same era as the start of Lodi winemaking history. Berghold Vineyards and Winery has made this dream a reality.