Letters from Lodi

An insightful and objective look at viticulture and winemaking from the Lodi
Appellation and the growers and vintners behind these crafts. Told from the
perspective of multi-award winning wine journalist, Randy Caparoso.

Randy Caparoso
January 19, 2024 | Randy Caparoso

For 2024 Lodi Wine & Chocolate Winery Tours (February 3), a description of each winery and their offerings

While Lodi's 2024 Wine & Chocolate weekend is a three-day event—including individual winery dinners on Friday (February 2) and a gala Winemakers Toast at Wine & Roses Hotel on Sunday (February 4)—the main event is still the self-guided, passport style Winery Tours on Saturday (February 3).

On this day, over 35 Lodi appellation wineries will open their doors between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM. They each go all-out to outdo each other with special tastings, delectable treats, live music (at many wineries), and of course, lots of chocolate.

The challenge, as Lodi wine and chocolate lovers have found over the past 26 years, is picking and choosing where to go, as there isn't enough time or capacity (we want you to enjoy your Lodi Wine & Chocolate weekend safely and sensibly!) to go everywhere. 

To help you choose, we've compiled the list of participating wineries, a brief description of what they specialize in, and some of the "extras" they are planning on this day. We encourage you to plan ahead (re a map of participating Lodi wineries).

If you are engaging a bus or limousine, please note that not all wineries are able to accommodate these vehicles or parties of over 10. We have specified the policy for each winery listed below.

Tickets for all Lodi Wine & Chocolate events (including the $75/person passport to the Saturday Winery Tours) are available on this page.

The scoop on what Lodi wine lovers will find at each stop on Saturday, February 3, along with photo-memories of past Lodi Wine & Chocolate celebrations...

Barsetti Vineyards
400 4th St., Suite 150, Galt 95632
(209) 744-6062
Located in the charming community of Galt, just 15 minutes north of Lodi proper, and producing some of the appellation's finest Merlot and Zinfandel, crafted in sleek, svelte styles. Live music by Phil & da Pinots, a chocolate fountain, an array of appetizers, wine and merchandise discounts, plus offerings from artisan vendors Coco's Soy Wax, Rose in the Garden, and Fused Glass by B&K Designs. Accepting buses, limousines and groups of 10+.    

Bokisch Vineyards
18921 Atkins Rd., Lodi 95240
(209) 642-8880
No exaggeration, probably the finest grower/producer of Spanish varietals in the state, if not America. The Bokisch family is certainly one of the first in the country to explore Albariño, Tempranillo and Graciano grapes, inspiring a host of other Lodi growers and vintners to do the same. They also produce an array of French varietals under the Tizona label, all impeccably crafted at their Clements Hills winery estate. On this Saturday, offerings will include a Spanish-style chocolate tapas cone and special tasting menu, not to mention spectacular photo op views of the rolling hills of Lodi's east side. Appointment required for buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

Cabana Winery
710 S. Beckman Rd., Suite D, Lodi 95240
(916) 476-5492
One of Lodi's independent, handcraft urban wineries, located on the eastern edge of the City. Offering chocolate pairings by Capital Confections, a food truck and wine discounts. Appointment required for buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

Calivines Winery & Olive Mill
13950 N. Thornton Rd., Lodi 95240
(209) 210-3162
Besides the fact that that this is the home estate of the most award-winning olive oil brand in the state (no one leaves Calivines without buying stashes), this Lodi family also produces its own line-up of LODI RULES sustainable wines. There will be live music, a food truck, artisan vendors plus (of course!) utterly delicious flights of olive oil to taste. More than worth the 10-minute drive (from the center of town) to the western edge of the appellation. Accepting buses, limousines and groups of 10+. 

Cellardoor by Michael David Winery
21 N. School St., Lodi 95240
(209) 329-7384
Lodi's most successful and internationally acclaimed, homegrown family winery celebrates Wine & Chocolate weekend at its Downtown Lodi wine bar (rather than at the Michael David Winery on Hwy. 12). Lots of tasty treats from Michael David bakery served in a lively atmosphere—always a buzz in the air at Cellardoor—with, of course, the wide and amazing range of the Phillips family's all-sustainably grown wines. No buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

d'Art Wines
13299 N. Curry Ave., Lodi 95240
(209) 334-9946
This artisanal handcraft winery is always a must-stop. While producing a full range of premium wines, Port is always winemaker/owners Dave and Helen Dart's specialty, which you can experience in a Port barrel tasting along with the winery's fantastic chocolate chili. No buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

The Dancing Fox
203 S. School St., Lodi 95240
(209) 366-2634
A landmark Downtown Lodi winery/bakery/restaurant of endless charm and mirth. Enjoy house made chocolate treats with five estate wines, while enjoying slices of artisanal brick oven pizza. Appointment required for buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

Delta Artisan Winery & Distillery
927 Industrial Way, Suite B, Lodi 95240
(209) 403-1226
Ready for something completely different? This recently opened handcraft producer specializes in old vine Zinfandel plus an exotic Tokay Brandy and Vodka (after all, it is a distillery, harkening back to the days when Lodi produced even more brandy and fortified wines than table wines). Owner/winemaker Blake Bomben invites you to take a tour of his working stills while enjoying wine and chocolate flights. No buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

Drava Wines
1378 E. Turner Rd., Suite D, Lodi 95240
(209) 400-5009
Small batch, handcraft winemaking par excellence in a no-nonsense setting on the eastern edge of the City, operated by brothers Steve and William Carson (Drava is the name of the river that runs through the Slovenian city of Maribor, where the oldest grapevine in the world, planted in the 1500s, still grows, duly inspiring the Carsons). They will be offering equally unusual grilled chocolate ganache sandwiches along with pairings of whites and reds. Accepting buses, limousines and groups of 10+. 

E2 Family Winery
9009 W Hwy 12, Lodi 95242
(209) 334-5911
Take a walk on the wild side at the western edge of the Lodi appellation (on the Delta side of the interstate) to enjoy this family-owned winery's multiple brands consisting of fresh, imaginative wines, along with live music, handcraft vendors and a few edible offerings. Accepting buses, limousines and groups of 10+. 

Estate Crush
2 W. Lockeford St., Lodi 95240
(209) 368-7595
Owner/winemaker Bob Colarossi's grilled tri-tip slider (slathered in a Port reduction, no less) is an experience itself, but so is the Estate Crush family of wines offered along with barrel tastings and special weekend prices in Downtown Lodi's original custom crush urban winery. Appointment required for buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

GoodMills Family Winery
17266 Hillside Dr., Lodi 95240
(209) 727-0728
This small batch family winery on the east side of Lodi will offer food pairings with a full range of wines, from classic Lodi Zinfandel and Petite Sirah to superpowerful Teroldego and delicate rosés of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Appointment required for buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

Grace Vineyards
28001 N. Nichols Rd., Galt 95632
(209) 370-4333
Visit this lovely "Galt country" site and enjoy live music, delicious chocolate treats and fire roasted tomato bisque with grilled cheese sandwiches. Appointment required for buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

Hanford Ranch Winery
13200 Loll Rd., Galt 95632
(916) 812-5399
If you choose to visit the charming community of Galt, just north of the City of Lodi, stop by the Hanford family's hilltop ranch to enjoy live music, food, and the handcraft works of local vendors. Accepting buses, limousines and groups of 10+. 

Harmony Wynelands
9291 E. Harney Ln., Lodi 95240
(209) 369-4184
In the heart of the east side of Lodi's Mokelumne River appellation, this family owned estate grows and produces some of the region's most exuberant wines, which you can enjoy with the live music of Anissa, exquisite delectables prepared by the acclaimed Ignis Provisions as well as, of course, chocolate treats. Appointment required for buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

Housley's Century Oak Winery
22211 N. Lower Sacramento Rd., Acampo 95220
(209) 334-3482
Always one of Lodi's most happening stops, this 37-acre family estate will be offering live music, an array of crafts by local artisan vendors, lots of chocolate and a food truck offering fortifications. Accepting buses, limousines and groups of 10+. 

Intercoastal Vineyards
13731 N. Hwy 88, Lodi 95420
(209) 213-7142
Intercoastal invites you to "glamp" in style with second generation grower/vintner/proprietors Mitch and Rachele Spaletta. Enjoy s’mores by a camp fire, photo ops and waffles on a stick with toppings by Eventful Cart Co. Appointment required for buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

Jeremy Wine Co.
16750 CA-88, Lockeford 95237
(209) 367-3773
Take a short drive to the country community of Lockeford to visit Jeremy, plopped down in the middle of a block of Prohibition era old vines. Savor owner/winemaker/growers Jeremy and Choral Trettevik's specialty Chocolate Port, and the red and sweet wines they love to show with chocolates. Appointment required for buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

Klinker Brick Winery
15887 Alpine Rd., Lodi 95240
(209) 333-1845
The Felten family, who have been farming in Lodi since the end of the 1800s, have established one of Lodi's most prestigious wineries. It's not just a fact that they are now known in every state of the union and beyond, but also the fact that their wines—from Albariño and Grenache Blanc to some of the finest Zinfandels, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and other varietals—are really second to none. More than enough reason to stop by this Alpine Rd. landmark. No buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

The Lounge at Lodi Crush
21 E. Elm St., Lodi 95240
(209) 400-2112
This Downtown Lodi custom crush facility (where wines for multiple brands are produced) is anchored by proprietor Gerardo Espinosa's Anaya Vineyards; sourced from family vineyards turning out some of the most compelling Albariño, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah in the appellation, not to mention an utterly unique Nebbiolo. Enjoy live music, food, and wines botled for multiple boutique brands. Accepting buses, limousines and groups of 10+. 

m2 Wines
2900 E. Peltier Rd., Acampo 95220
(209) 339-1071
For going on twenty years, m2 has stood for quintessential old vine Lodi Zinfandel, full stop, exclamation point. But that's not all. The iconic, ever entertaining winemaker/partner Layne Montgomery is also known to throw a curve or two; such as a sensual Petite Sirah, sparkling rosés and even an Italian inspired Nebbiolo. From 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM there will be live music by Samantha Henson, plus a "Love Wall," assorted chocolates and the wares of artisan vendors Wine Country Fashions, Lisa Art and Jewelry, and Coco's Creations Cheesecake. No buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

Macchia Wines
7099 E. Peltier Rd., Acampo 95220
(209) 333-2600
For over two decades Macchia has set the standard for some of the most intense and powerful red wines (particularly Zinfandel and Barbera) in Lodi—make that the entire state—bottled under multiple vineyard-designate labels. To borrow an expression, "no wimpy wines" here. There will be live music (prepare to boogie), complimentary meatballs served with a chocolate habanero Zin Port reduction, assorted chocolate treats, and for the love-bugs, a handy photo booth to capture the moment. Appointment required for buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

McCay Cellars
18911 N. Lower Sacramento Rd., Woodbridge 95258
Lodi's most critically acclaimed, natural style, handcraft producer, owned by Mike and Linda McCay, is now headquartered in Woodbridge Uncorked, in the historic community of Woodbridge. In short: Phenomenal wines, largely sourced from Lodi's most venerated ancient vine blocks. A tasting of McCay wines is like a walk through Lodi history. Enjoy Rocky Mountain Chocolate, wine special  pricing and more in this storied setting. No buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

McConnell Estates Winery
10686 W. Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove 95757
(916) 685-5368
Make a stop at Elk Grove on the north side of the Lodi appellation to visit the winery and vineyards sustainably farmed for five generations by the Wackman family. Among the more adventurous botlings are Vermentino, Barbera and a proprietary Sheepherders Blend (Barbera/Tempranillo), as well as a classic Zinfandel, Malbec, Petite Syrah and champagne style Blanc de Noir. Appointment required for buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

Mettler Family Vineyards
7889 E. Harney Ln., Lodi, 95240
(209) 369-3045
The name Mettler is like nobility on the east side of Lodi; and in fact, Lodi wines could not be any nobler than this family's nationally acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon, classically styled Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, or more unusual (for California) innovations such as Aglianico and Pinotage, although their Albariño and Chardonnay are second to none. You will find live music, assorted chocolates, a food truck and local jewelry vendors. Accepting buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

Nostra Vita Family Winery
1150 W. Turner Rd., Lodi 95242
(209) 334-0274
If you love dry, authentic champagne style sparkling wine, look no further than this W. Turner Rd. winery. Grower/owners Robert Indelicato and Leslie Bloudoff will welcome you with musical entertainment by Jimmy Ashley, provisions sold by Boxcart Deli, plus opportunities to taste from barrels, sipping by an open fire pit and even games of cornhole. Appointment required for buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

Oak Farm Vineyards
23627 N. DeVries Rd., Lodi 95242
(209) 365-6565
No visit to Lodi is complete without a stop at this spectacular estate, with its state of the art winery nestled alongside a historic 1800s home right out of "Gone with the Wind." Can you say photo op? The wine styles are fresh and floral in their perfumes, including all the classic Lodi varietals plus a hard-to-find Fiano (a rare Italian varietal white). Appointment required for buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

Oak Ridge Winery
6100 E. Victor Rd., Lodi 95240
(209) 369-4769
Owned and operated by the Maggios, who have been farming grapes in Lodi for five generations. Lest you think that this family is only about popular, nationally distributed labels such as OZV and Old Soul, think again. They are now producing ultra-premium bottlings of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay under a 1906 label that more than hold their own against the finest in the state. We kid you not. Besides an extraordinary range of wines, you can enjoy live music and a "sweet crunchy" goodie bag. No buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

One Way Winery
6539 E. Peltier Rd., Acampo 95220
(209) 918-0692
This "little winery that could" is located on the east side of Lodi along E. Peltier Rd. will be offering Cabernet truffles and brownies to go with their handcraft Cabernet Sauvignon as well as Pinot Grigio. Accepting buses, limousines and groups of 10+. 

Peirano Estate
21831 N. Hwy 99, Acampo 95220
(209) 503-3079
The wines of Peirano Estate are as unfussy yet expressive and honest as they come, which probably explains why they are perennial winners of gold and double-gold medals in the most prestigious competitions in the state; reflections of an estate faithfully planted to old school head trained vines and doted on by the same family since the 1890s. Look for gourmet chocolate wafers, appetizers and case discounts during this weekend celebration. No buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

Pondl Winery
665 W. Turner Rd., Lodi 95242
(209) 367-3672
Enjoy chicken mole tacos and this postage stamp sized, small batch winery that is as personal as they come. Accepting buses, limousines and groups of 10+. 

Rippey Family Vineyards at Lodi Vintners
3750 E. Woodbridge Rd., Acampo 95220
(209) 368-2019
Many of Lodi's finest wines (under several brands) are actually made at the Rippey family's historic Lodi Vintners facility (the Lodi region's first winery was established on this spot in 1900) on E. Woodbridge Road. If you love Sauvignon Blanc, you probably won't find a better one than Rippey's (sourced from Lodi's oldest planting of this grape), although their Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon are also first class. Enjoy live music and creative wine and chocolate pairings at this venue, located right alongside historic railroad tracks. Accepting buses, limousines and groups of 10+. 

Scotto's Wine & Cider
14 S. School St., Lodi 95240
(209) 224-8590
The Scotto family has its own storied history; arriving in Brooklyn in 1903 from Ischia (a winegrowing island in Italy's Bay of Napes), before landing in California to start a wine brand (Villa Armando) in 1963. Today's fifth generation of Scottos take as much pride in their cider production as they do their winemaking, which they show off at their School St. tasting room. They are offering live music as well as various snacks to go with their full range of adult beverages, including Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Sangiovese from Lodi's acclaimed Mohr-Fry Ranches, and a Torrontés (a stunniingly aromatic varietal white of Argentine origin) from the multi-award winning Silvaspoons Vineyards. Accepting buses, limousines and groups of 10+. 

Spenker Winery
17303 N. DeVries Rd., Lodi 95240
(209) 367-0467
Much more than a 100% sustainable vineyard and winery, Spenker Family Farm is also a Farmstead Cheese estate, housing its own herd of specialty goats and pristine cheesemaking facility. It doesn't get more "handcraft" than this! Enjoy the family's estate grown wines with their truly fresh and delicious variations of chèvre, along with a "popcorn bar," and maybe a chance to say hello to their certifiably cute dairy goats. No buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

St. Amant Winery
1 Winemaster Way, Bldg. 1, Lodi 95240
(209) 367-0646
St. Amant is where the most discriminating connoisseurs of Lodi wine go. Exquisite Zinfandels crafted from historic vineyards, "Best of Show" winning Barbera, Petite Sirah and Ports, and even Lodi's most acclaimed red wine blend (called Speakeasy Red)... it doesn't get better than this. The Spencer family will also be serving chocolates; but once you're there, guaranteed all attention gets focused on wines for which words like "amazing" and "authentic" are just understatements. No buses, limousines or groups of 10+. 

Stama Winery
17521 N. Davis Rd., Lodi 95240
(209) 727-3314
Wines crafted by winery/vineyard owners, the Kapiniaris family, who came from Greece with winemaking already running through their veins. Expect a full range of classic Lodi and California varietals served with decadent chocolate brownies, plus live music from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Accepting buses, limousines and groups of 10+. 

Valensin Vineyard & Winery
10675 Valensin Rd., Galt 95632
(916) 883-2555
Another Galt community destination consisting of a winery and 11 acres of grapevines nestled along a picturesque lake. Enjoy chocolate pairings with a full range of varietal reds, whites, rosés, sparklers and Port style dessert wines. Accepting buses, limousines and groups of 10+.



Lodi Wine Visitor Center
2545 West Turner Road Lodi, CA 95242
Open: Daily 10:00am-5:00pm

Lodi Winegrape Commission
2545 West Turner Road, Lodi, CA 95242
Open: Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

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