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.
Summer sensations of Downtown Lodi’s Farmers Market & Wine Bars
It’s that time of year, when locals, visitors and families by the thousands are flocking to Downtown Lodi‘s picturesque main drag (School St.) to enjoy The Downtown Certified Farmers Market, which got off in full swing at the beginning of this past June, and will continue every Thursday (5 to 9 PM) through the month of August.
Besides live music, an array of foods from gigantic Lockeford sausage dogs and grilled teriyaki chicken to gourmet paella and colorful snow cones, there’s a Kids Zone to keep the munchkins entertained while adults pick out the seasonal local produce (including those from a number certified organic growers), as well as a number of places befitting a wine country’s urban center: Downtown Lodi’s wine bars. Among these civilized oases:
- Cellar Door - The urban outpost for three of Lodi’s most acclaimed wineries – Bokisch Vineyards, Michael David Winery and Van Ruiten Family Winery (also offering Happy Hour priced appetizers and 15% bottle price discounts every Thursday night).
- Dancing Fox Winery & Bakery – From Colleen Lewis’ wood burning oven, some of finest artisanal breads made in California; plus a wine bar exclusively pouring the handcrafted wines from Gregg Lewis’s own vineyards in Lodi’s Clements Hills AVA.
- Fields Family Wines – In the midst of all the School St. action, this ultra-premium wine producer’s tasting room and retail outlet offers an extremely comfortable vinous haven.
- Jeremy Wine Company – A single winery tasting and retail sales room, located just under the old Lodi Arch on W. Pine St. — some of Lodi’s most finely balanced wines, bottled under Jeremy and Choral Trettevik’s stunning labels.
- Lodi Wine Cellar – The W. Pine St. home for a formidable foursome of top-notch producers; including Benson Ferry Vineyards, Heritage Oak Winery, McCay Cellars, and Vicarmont Vineyards & Winery (also offering retail sales).
- Wine Ot – A retail store specializing in furniture made from recycled wine barrels which, starting on July 6, will also open a wine bar featuring the award winning bottlings of Lodi’s Sorelle Winery, plus Sacramento River Delta’s Six Hands Winery.
Then, of course, there is the Downtown Lodi dining scene, which has recently added the exciting, innovative, modern Mexican cuisine of Ruben and Adi Larrazolo’s Alebrijes Mexican Bistro; not to mention some of the other outstanding standbys, including: Crush Kitchen+Bar (chef/owner Michael Warren’s impeccable wine country cuisine); the posh, elegant Rosewood Bar & Grill (owned and operated by Wine & Roses Hotel‘s Russ & Kathy Munson); LangeTwins winemaker David Akiyoshi’s School Street Bistro (an all-time Lodi locals’ comfort food favorite); and the ever-popular, sudsy fresh Lodi Beer Company.
Some of the summer sensations seen at Lodi’s Farmers Market this past June: