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 10, 2024 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi's Wine & Chocolate (February 2-4, 2024) is a finer, funner, purer, more multifaceted and educational experience than ever

Now is the time to snag tickets to Lodi wine country's most popular event of each year: the Lodi Wine & Chocolate Weekend!

And it's coming right up, on February 2-4, 2024!

2024's proceedings will be the region's 27th celebration of the theme of Lodi-grown wine, locally crafted chocolates (plus many other foods!), and of course, the love of companionship, be it with significant others, friends, and family. These are some of the reasons, no doubt, why Lodi wine lovers have been coming out in droves each year for this unique experience.

Lodi Wine & Chocolate is, in fact, perhaps the most important business weekend of the year for the Lodi winemaking community. It has been not only an opportunity to reconnect with friends, both old and new, but it has also served to generate funds in support of the region's continuing programs in marketing, education, research, and sustainable viticulture

Since 1997, the goal of Lodi growers and vintners has been to promote and elevate the region and its wines. More than 100,000 guests have helped to generate over $2 million in support of programs directly impacting the Lodi grape growing and winemaking industry.

Simply put, the more wine and chocolate lovers celebrate and learn about Lodi, the better the grapes and wines coming out of the region! Longtime February visitors have undoubtedly noticed this—that the lush, honest, pure fruit-driven styles of Lodi wine have been getting finer, lusher, more honest, and purer in style by the year, and the future is even brighter!

Three components to Lodi Wine & Chocolate

Lodi wine lovers can pick one of three (or all three) separate ways in which to celebrate the weekend. Tickets to all events can be pre-purchased here at

Here is the skinny...


If you prefer more intimate winery experiences, and opportunities to taste and chat one-on-one with winemakers and owners, the following select events may be for you. 

Please note, that two of the events are already sold out, and the limited seating at other venues will be closing up soon. Seats range from $75 to $125, and you can read more about the Friday evening events here.

Harney Lane Winery
Decadent Delights: Wine & Chocolate Pairing (4:00 PM)

Heritage Oak Winery
Winemaker Dinner (5:00 PM)

Housley's Century Oak Winery
Library Wines Tasting & Tour (2:00 PM)

Klinker Brick Winery
Wine & Food Tasting with Tour (1:00 PM)

Oak Farm Vineyards
Winemaker Dinner (6:00 PM)—sold out

Peltier Winery & Vineyards
Blending Experience with Custom Flight (2:00 PM)

Rippey Family Vineyards at Lodi Vintners
Winemaker Dinner (6:00 PM)—sold out

St. Amant Winery
Winemaker Dinner (5:30 PM)

The Dancing Fox Winery & Restaurant
Winemaker Dinner (5:30 PM)


You could describe Saturday's passport-style, self-guided Wine & Chocolate experience as the  "main event," even if it's not the only one. Saturday's challenge is deciding which stops to make because you can't see them all! You can find the list (with a map) of more than 35 participating wineries here.

Each year every winery goes all-out—offering a wide range of edibles (including, of course, chocolates!) to fortify wine lovers—and will be opening their doors between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Tickets are $75 per person.


From 11:00 AM-2:00 PM on the final day, the Wine & Chocolate celebration takes place at the luxurious Wine & Roses Hotel. There is, perhaps, no hotel in the country as romantic as Wine & Roses. Just walking the grounds and breathing the air stimulates the senses of ardor and taste.

For this event, a select group of Lodi's finest wineries will be pouring their whites, rosés, and, of course, festive sparkling wines alongside a generous myriad of bites prepared by the amazing chefs of Wine & Roses. Individual passes are $95, and (fair warning!) limited in availability.

See you at 2024's Lodi Wine & Chocolate celebration!

Some great memories from last year's (2023) Lodi Wine & Chocolate festivities...

Bourdon Wines' Becca Kufrin—also a "Bachelorette" and "Bachelor" star—with her winemaker, E2 Family Winery's Brett Ehlers, pouring her "dangerously easy" sparkling wines during the 2023 Wine & Chocolate Sunday Brunch at Wine & Roses Hotel.

Lodi wine lovers at the Wine & Chocolate weekend Sunday Brunch. 

Former Major League All-Star Greg Vaughn showing off one of his GV 23 wines at E2 Family Winery.

Sparkling rosés at Lodi's Wine & Chocolate Sunday Brunch.

Great gang of wine and chocolate lovers at Mettler Family Vineyards.

Moment of peace at Bokisch Vineyards in Lodi's Clements Hills appellation.

Keen anticipation during a walk into Mettler Family Vineyards for Lodi's Wine & Chocolate's Saturday festivities.

Exceptionally wine-savvy couple at Sunday Brunch at Wine & Roses Hotel.

The widely followed wine influencer/educator/sommelier Samantha Capaldi (@samanthasommelier on Instagram) enjoying the end of Wine & Chocolate's Saturday tastings at The Lounge at Lodi Crush.

Musical corner at The Lounge at Lodi Crush at the end of Lodi's Wine & Chocolate Saturday tastings.

"Samantha Sommelier" visiting with Lodi Crush/Anaya Vineyards owner/winemaker Gerardo Espinosa (left) and Seis Soles Wine Co. owner/winemaker Christopher Rivera at The Lounge at Lodi Crush.

Goofing around at Mettler Family Vineyards.

Wine and chocolate lovers at Mettler Family Vineyards.

Mettler Family Vineyards matriarch Charlene Mettler personally pours her family's specialty vineyard-designate bottlings Zinfandel.

Letting the good times roll at Mettler Family Vineyards.

Lodi's Gina Licari feels the sudden urge to dance at Mettler Family Vineyards.

Kodak moment at Mettler Family Vineyards.

Mettler Family Vineyards GM Kim Mettler Eells overseeing another great, smoothly run Wine & Chocolate weekend.

Rocking it at Mettler Family Vineyards.

Piece of paradise at Bokisch Vineyards.

Leisurely Saturday in the Bokisch family's Terra Alta Vineyard.

Good times at E2 Family Winery.

Enjoying the taste of celebrity wine brands at E2 Family Winery.

Wine and Chocolate lovers at E2 Family Winery.

Toast to red wine perfection at St. Amant Winery.

Forthcoming taste of the ultra-smooth and rich The Bootleg Society Speakeasy Red Blend at St. Amant Winery.

The LangeTwins Family Winery & Vineyards table at Sunday's Wine & Chocolate Brunch.

Burlington Chandler Wines owner/grower Mark Chandler (also the City of Lodi's two-time former mayor) with his son Dave Chandler, pouring their family wines at Woodbridge Uncorked Wine Bar.

The absolutely fabulous time during Sunday Brunch at Wine & Roses Hotel.

Music by Primitivo—violinist David Holob and guitarist Bill Russell—at Lodi's Wine & Chocolate Sunday Brunch.

Visiting bon viveur Erin DeSoto—an educator from Phoenix—savoring the goods during the Wine & Chocolate Sunday Brunch.

Bokisch Vineyards co-owner Liz Bokisch serving her amazing Rosado (Garnacha-based dry rosé).

Sampling the wines of Lodi's acclaimed white-wine-only Acquiesce Winery (although they also produce amazing dry rosés).

A good moment at the Wine & Chocolate Sunday Brunch.

Peltier Winery owner/growers Gayla and Rod Schatz with winemaker Gianni Abate (back) and former winemaker Susy Vasquez (now Senior Winemaker at LangeTwins Family Winery).

Savoring the moment during the Wine & Chocolate Sunday Brunch.



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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