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 20, 2016 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi's 2016 Wine & Chocolate Weekend is upon us!

Wine and chocolate lovers at Oak Farm Vineyards tasting room

OMG, the 19th Annual Lodi Wine & Chocolate Weekend is less than a month away: taking place Saturday/Sunday, February 13 + 14, 2016!

If you haven’t partaken of this sweet and savory experience before, here’s the scoop: this is easily the most popular passport-style event put on by Lodi’s wineries each year; for a number of good reasons, including... 

  • Over 50 wineries fling open their doors and offer out-of-the-ordinary treats – music, constant nourishment (from chocolate chilies and cupcakes to, of course, decadent chocolates), special barrel or library tastings, photo booths, and any number of gala twists to make your experience memorable.

  • Lodi’s wine country hospitality is, like, the real thing, baby. Different from that of other wine regions. In how many other places are you able to walk through tasting room or cellar doors and be able to personally meet and chat up winemakers and winery owners or principals (which in Lodi often means people from families who can trace their farming history in the region over 100 years)?

  • It’s still all about the juice. Lodi’s mild Mediterranean climate and classic sandy soils are not just why you find more wine grapes grown in Lodi than in any other region in the U.S. These natural conditions also engender lusher, often softer, finer, oft-times purer, more delicate and sometimes intriguingly earthy styles of wine; and not just heritage vineyard grown Zinfandel (Lodi crushes close 40% of California’s annual production of the grape), but also exciting Spanish, Portuguese, German, not to mention classic French varietals and blends. Lodi is a place where adventurous wine lovers go to expand their horizons and enjoy wines that are, simply, easy to love!

Commemorative glass and chocolate tins in Downtown Lodi's Estate Crush

So here’s how it works:

  • You can buy your tickets online right here; each ticket ($55 in advance; $65 on days of the event) valid for both Saturday and Sunday, February 13-14.

  • Complimentary tickets are available to designated drivers, which we strongly encourage. All ticket holders must be 21 or over, without exception (ID required to pick up wristbands).

  • Tickets include a commemorative Lodi Wine & Chocolate event wine glass, a chocolate treat, an event map and guide, wine tasting and admission to all the events at participating wineries. Don’t forget to check your chocolate treat for a possible “Golden Ticket” for a chance to win one of over 100 prizes!

  • For further details on what each participating winery will be offering, please visit this page.

Gang's all here in Oak Farm Vineyards

One final note on large groups: while Wine & Chocolate Weekend is the perfect way to share wine and good times with friends, lovers and family, a number of Lodi’s wineries are handcraft, boutique sized (why we love them!); hence, unable to accommodate groups of 20, 40, or more. Many, of course, can. Therefore, to better plan your visit, please visit this page detailing policies on large groups and buses, plus advisory on how to enjoy he weekend responsibly.

We look forward to seeing you! Meanwhile, some photo-memories of Lodi Wine & Chocolate Weekends past...

Lodi wine and chocolate lovers communing with vines in Van Ruiten Family Vineyards

Good times at Van Ruiten Family winery

Pensive moment at Barsetti tasting room in Galt

Chocolate chili with local Lockeford sausage and Zinfandel at Harney Lane Winery

Friends and lovers at m2 winery

Celebrating Valentine's and a birthday at Macchia winery

Here's a couple: for Macchia owners Tim and Lani Holdener, Wine & Chocolate Weekend are red letter days

It could happen to you: surprise marriage proposal at Van Ruiten Family Vineyards

Chocolate brownies and Zinfandel at Macchia winery - nirvana

Straight-from-barrel Zinfandel tasting at Harmony Wynelands

At Oak Farm Vineyards: Lodi's Wine & Chocolate Weekend is definitely for lovers

Old fashioned sentiments

Butler style service at LangeTwins Family Vineyards & Winery

Still all about the juice in LangeTwins Family's barrel/tasting room

At Klinker Brick tasting room: girls just wanna have fun






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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