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
February 13, 2018 | Randy Caparoso

Images of Lodi's 2018 Wine & Chocolate Weekend by Frances Siria

Luscious Lodi Zinfandel straight from the barrel during 2018's Wine & Chocolate Weekend

For our photographic memories of Lodi’s 2018 Wine & Chocolate Weekend, we enlisted local Digital Marketing Specialist Frances Siria to chronicle some of her favorite moments, with images taken with her stealth smartphone. Ms. Siria currently serves as the Social Media Specialist for Wine & Roses Hotel, Restaurant & Spa, and has helped build a strong online presence for a number of businesses and nonprofits.

Asked about her general impressions on how the weekend went, Siria told us:

This year’s Wine & Chocolate Weekend had some of the best weather we have ever experienced during this annual event.

Lodi Digital Marketing Specialist Frances Siria

Rosé wines seemed to rule during the weekend, with most wineries pouring their specialty bottlings of pink wines. Some of the highlights included varietal bottlings by LangeTwins Family, Oak Farm Vineyards, and Van Ruiten Family.

There were more wines than actual chocolates to be had; but still, we enjoyed some delightful chocolate-based savory treats, such as the chocolate chili at Harney Lane Winery, and the chocolate covered sausages at St Jorge Winery.

Omega Vineyards offered food and wine pairings with the tasting of each wine. The perfect way to end the day for wine lovers with a sweet tooth was at Scotto Cellars' tasting room in Downtown Lodi. They were pouring their Sweet Sunset, a mocha coffee flavored dessert wine wine, with their Sweet Sunset Red Chocolate.

Weekend of wine, chocolate, laughter and love at McCay Cellars

As to be expected, the “party” crowd eventually found their way to Van Ruiten Family Winery, where they had a live band going; and they could also be found at the new McCay Cellars pouring room on Sacramento St., in Downtown Lodi.

I especially enjoyed my visit to Spenker Winery – a family affair, as the Spenkers were all on hand to personally greet everyone and share their wines, while highlighting their upcoming artisanal goat milk creamery (including Goat Yoga), which will debut this summer.

Thank you, Frances! And more of her images...

Wine & Chocolate Weekend greeting at Harney Lane Winery

"Rosé all day" at Oak Farm Vineyards

Under the centuries-old oaks at Jessie's Grove Winery

Blue skies, succulents and vines at Oak Farm Vineyards

Good times, wine and love at Oak Farm Vineyards

Barrel-thief slinging sheriff in town at Van Ruiten Family Winery

All about the vino at Ripken Vineyards

Love was in the air all through Lodi's 2018 Wine & Chocolate Weekend

The amazing chocolate chili at Harney Lane Winery

Harney Lane's renowned winemaker Chad Joseph regaling Wine & Chocolate fans

Pink flamingo eyes at Van Ruiten Family Winery

Feelin' the Wine & Chocolate Weekend love at LangeTwins Family Winery

Pouring the fun and fruit-filled Caricature at LangeTwins Family Winery

Toast to good times at Lodi Wine & Visitor Center

At Oak Farm Vineyards, life is too short for less than stellar wines and friends

Red, red Valentine spirit at Mettler Family vineyards

Enjoying the sunny Wine & Chocolate Weekend at LangeTwins Family Winery

It's all good at Oak Farm Vineyards

Rosy greeting at Oak Farm Vineyards

Roasting marshmallows for s'mores at Ripken Vineyards

Pouring on the love at Ripken Vineyards' outdoor tasting room

The warm family feeling at Spenker Winery

Wine o'clock at Spenker Winery

All manner of chocolaty and vinous treats at Van Ruiten Family Winery

Sipping among the barrels at Van Ruiten Family Winery

Classic Wine & Chocolate moment at Downtown Lodi's McCay Cellars

Moment of oneness with Lodi wine at Van Ruiten Family Winery

Exciting news about the new, upcoming Spenker Creamery (Lodi's first farmstead goat cheeses!)

"Hoe Down" team and theme at Van Ruiten Family Winery

Good times at Van Ruiten Family Winery

Ancient vine, emblematic of Lodi wine country's multi-generational heritage

At Van Ruiten Family Winery, fond memories of 2018 Wine & Chocolate Weekend



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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