Our First Time to Lodi

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9 months ago

A place that I have heard so much about, yet hadn’t had the chance to visit until last weekend. Lodi is a little treasure trove of beautiful wines and even better people. So warm and welcoming! Something special that I noticed more than anything. They were all mostly fourth and fifth generational farmers and so passionate about the region and winemaking. Also incredibly supportive of each other. Every time we shared our itinerary for the weekend of tastings, everyone had such good things to say about their fellow winemakers. They all seem so close-knit and that was so refreshing.

We were lucky enough to cover a bevy of properties throughout our trip and I’m so excited to share them with you! I loved how different each winery felt, and the stories behind them. All of the wines were very unique too, which was so fun to discover and try new things I had never tasted. I even got to try a glass straight from the barrel! Lodi is awesome in how easy it is to get around. Everything is about a 15 min drive max to all wineries and their downtown area. Such a lovely place, especially if you are a fan of Zin. This is where the Zinfandel magic happens. Highly recommend a visit if you have yet to do so!

We drove up on Friday evening and made it to our hotel, Wine & Roses, right before a tasting began at their onsite Lodi Wine & Visitor Center. It was so lovely. We met the kindest people (we became Instagram friends with the guy leading our tasting), tried such delicious wines, and ended up buying a bottle before heading to dinner. We had a delicious meal on property at their restaurant The Townhouse (amazing artisanal cheese plate, fuji apple salad, and the roasted duck breast). Under twinkle lights and music cascading in the courtyard, it was such an ideal way to ease into weekend mode…

The next morning, we grabbed a bite to eat at the onsite cafe Town Corner Café and Market which is so adorable and had the best baked goods!. We got these little egg souffle bites that were insane, a seasonal fruit smoothie, and to-go coffees. The property has a beautiful grass lawn aligning a small vineyard, so we walked with our coffee and let Scout play (get out his ya-ya’s) before our first wine tasting appointment.

So let’s talk about the wineries we got to visit…

Oak Farm Vineyards | Our dreamy first stop. This place was gorgeous, repleting fall covered leaves, luscious green backdrops everywhere, and some of my favorite wines of the trip. We tasted 5 of their varietals, and I absolutely loved with Chardonnay and the Barbera. This was definitely my style winery. The cozy, charming vibes. Scout was a huge hit here, too… that’s another thing we love about Lodi. Dog-friendly and very encouraged!

M2 | Such a treat to visit M2. A little more industrial and modern tasting room, overlooking the vineyards through big open farm doors. A beautiful lawn behind it as well with picnic tables and twinkle lights strung above. They were the friendliest bunch! They also love their wines and their passion really showed through the tasting. Our favorites here, unsurprisingly, were the zins! This is where we got to take a little peek in the back area where we got to sip wine straight from the barrel.

Bokisch Vineyards | Loved the vibes here and the Tempranillo! It actually really reminded us of Scribe with a beautiful open lawn overlooking the vineyards, lots of outdoor and sunshine hangs, corn hole, and just a happy, relaxing atmosphere. They specialize in Spanish wines, which Matt really enjoyed. He loves a little spice in his glass. We left with a bottle, which was so good and perfect for upcoming fall gatherings. Highly recommend a visit here!

Harney Lane Winery & Vineyards | This was such a cool experience. This property is absolutely breath-taking, and the family has owned (and lived on!) the property for 100 years. We met the current founders, Jorja and Kyle, and they walked us through their delicious wines. Jorja‘s mom lives in this little cottage right next door and helps with tasting each week. We thought this was just the coolest story, and one of the most unique properties we’ve ever been to. It’s bigger and spread out. You can taste in their open tasting room, in their patio courtyard, throughout the trees at little picnic tables, or back on the lawn with a picnic blanket overlooking a pretty fountain. It felt so private, relaxed, and special. We sat on the lawn and enjoyed our last bit of sunshine of the day. Another must while in Lodi.

McCay Cellars | This charming little tasting room is located in the Lodi downtown area. Lovely and relaxed and had some very delicious rosés (the owner, Michael McCay’s favorite). We got to sit down with Michael as he walked us through the tasting, which was such a nice treat and endnote for our winery train. Michael and his family have farmed in the Lodi area for 25 years. Another person who was so passionate about the region and was so excited to talk about his story, thoughts, and passion behind winemaking. We loved it.

We got sandwiches to-go from the Town Corner Café and Market before we left the hotel and ended up having a gorgeous lunch setting midday at Bokisch. We walked through their vineyards with our last tasting glass and picnic in tow to a big oak tree surrounded by picnic tables. It was such a special experience. I felt like we were in a movie, mesmerized by the serene and stunning surroundings.

Have you ever been to Lodi? What is your favorite winery/things to do there?

A big thank you to Lodi for collaborating on this post! It was so nice to finally explore and get to know the region better. We will be back. (:

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