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Randy Caparoso
May 30, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi wineries June concert calendar: honeyed moons & silvery tunes

On June 2, Bill Russell plays on the Patio at Van Ruiten Family Winery

Ah, the first rays of summer:  if you love to sip and dip while spooning and crooning love tunes under the honeyed moons of June, then Lodi Wine Country is where it’s at!

As they do every summer, Lodi’s wineries are offering numerous ways to enjoy wine together with song during the coming month, providing (as Heritage Oak Winery’s Tom and Carmela Hoffman like to put it) the perfect “stress therapy.”  Better yet, for ticket prices that do not gouge the pocketbook!

Please bear in mind:  San Joaquin County regulations prohibit outside alcohol beverages from being brought into winery venues.  Therefore, please note the varying wine, food and ticket policies at these musical events, and just enjoy!

Wine & music lovers at Abundance Vineyards

The lineup for June 2013…

Saturday, June 1, 6-9 PM:
Abundance Vineyards’ 4th Annual Summer Music Series
Garageland Rodeo kicks off the month of June at Abundance Vineyards with their irresistible sounds – familiar as well as original get-down, down-home compositions, infused with the best of blues, soul and country.   For your culinary pleasure, Abundance stocks delicious meats, cheeses, hummus, desserts, as well as sandwiches and fries by A Moveable Feast – perfect, for a picnic on the lawn or at tables set up in the winery’s stunning open-courtyard, where the bands do their thing.  Tickets are $5/person (21 & over, please); complimentary to (up to 2) Abundance Wine Club members.  Abundance Vineyards’ award winning Bountiful Blanc ($10) as well as Abundantly Rich Red ($12) will be available by the glass or bottle.  And for future reference, the rest of Abundance Vineyards’ concert series, taking place each Saturday in June at 6-9PM:
June 8 – Crosstown 5
June 15 – The Citations
June 22 – Skid Roses
June 29 – Simple Creation (Reggae Remembered)

Borra’s refreshing rose…

Sunday, June 2, 1-5 PM:
Van Ruiten Family’s Music on the Patio
There’s nothing like a glass of fresh, zesty, universally acclaimed Lodi grown wine on the shaded patio at Van Ruiten Family Winery; and with cool, breezy live music, the pleasure increases exponentially.  The Van Ruitens kick off their Sunday afternoon series in fine fashion with the acoustical rhythms of Bill Russell – when he plays, it’s like a samba that swings so cool and sways so gently.  There is a total of five Sundays in June 2013, and the family invites you out to enjoy the rest of their musical fares each week at 1-5 PM:
June 9 – Nic Weethee of Starry Eyes
June 16 (Father’s Day!) – Coco
June 23 – The Ray IAEA Jazz Project
June 30 – Jesse Christian Hendricks

Friday, June 7, 5-7:30 PM:
Borra Vineyards’ First Fusion Friday
“Fusion” refers to the exotically spiced red and white wines now being produced by the outstanding teamwork of Borra Vineyards grower/owner Steve Borra and winemaker Markus Niggli – without out a doubt, some of the most innovative, contemporary style wines coming out of Lodi today.  This summer’s First Fusion Friday will featured the music of Ms. Lizzie and Her Cadillac Kings – and no doubt, the jazz inflected rockabilly blues of Ms. Lizzie will make you dizzy, while the Borra wines will chase those blues away.  $12 admission will include appetizers by Alpine Victor 4-H, and one glass of wine in a souvenir wine glass.

Saturday, June 8, 7-10 PM:
Jessie’s Grove’s Groovin’ in the Grove Concert Series
On this night, SUMMIT kicks off Jessie’s Grove Winery’s 2013 summer calendar with their full-ensemble, ripping, rocking samples of Elvis, Eagles, Journey, Keith Urban, Train, Matchbox 20 and more.  Taking place on the lush lawn amidst the majestic oak trees preserved by Jessie Spenker 100 years ago, the Jessie’s Grove Winery open-air summer concerts are unlike any other in Lodi.  Folks bring their lawn chairs and blankets (Delta nights can get chilly), and some show up with their RV, tents and gear for an all-night adult camp-out (the winery welcomes guests to overnight for free, and will even wake you up with breakfast and coffee the next morning!).  You’re also free to bring your own food and non-alcoholic beverages, although food can also be purchased from local food vendors on the concert grounds, along with (of course) Jessie’s Grove wines, available by the glass or bottle.   Tickets for $27 ($22 for Wine Club members); and children under 5 are free.   If you miss the June 8 date, you can also plan for Saturday, June 29, when Two-Tone Steiny & the Cadillacs come to the Grove with their high energy West Coast Blues sound, mixing gritty Chicago style harmonics with hard driving rock and sophisticated swing.

The Lucas Winery’s David Lucas welcomes guests

Saturday, June 15, 11 AM-5 PM:
Heritage Oak’s Art Fair & Concert
Group Therapy will be Heritage Oak Winery‘s featured band at this daytime event, featuring the artworks of some 20 Northern California vendors; including handcrafted jewelry, stained glass, photography, woodwork and more.  Group Therapy, led by popular local singer Hollee Withee, will begin playing their ‘70s inspired rock, ballads and jazzy tunes at 1 PM.  This will be a free event, to which proprietors Tom and Carmela Hoffman are inviting your entire family!

Friday, June 21, 6-9PM:
The Lucas Winery’s L’Attitudes
Every third Friday of the summer (June 21, July 19 & August 16) The Lucas Winery will be offering their L’Attitudes experience, which is more of a culinary event, complimented by live entertainment:  on June 21, the cool, acoustic “beach” sounds of Modesto’s Bob Moffitt.  For $15/person ($10 for Wine Club member), you can enjoy the exquisitely balanced wines of The Lucas Winery in a souvenir 35th Anniversary 15½ oz. Reidel wine glass.  Matching dishes will be available for purchase at very reasonable prices ($10 or less), or you are welcome to bring a picnic with you.  Space is limited in this small, handcraft winery, and so reservations are suggested (call 209-368-2006 or write

Saturday, June 22, 7-10 PM:
Ripken Vineyards & Winery’s Full Moon of Music & Wine
Few wineries do it better than the Ripken Vineyards, and on this Saturday night they kick off the first of their three summer concerts on the cushy lawn amidst their sea of curlicued trellised vines around the winery with the full-on rocking, jazzy, eminently danceable sounds of The Ben Kolber Project (fresh off their memorable appearance on the stage at the last Lodi ZinFest).  Guests are welcomed to bring their own lawn chairs, blankets, snacks and soft drinks; and the puristic wines of Ripken Vineyards will be available by the glass or bottle.  Admission is $25 ($15 for Wine Club members; kids under 5, free).  Since space is limited (and Full Moon concerts have been known to sell out), you are strongly advised to purchase your tickets at the winery in advance.

The Ripken family at Full Moon concert…


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