Sick of wine tasting in Napa and Sonoma? Why not check out one of Northern California’s other wine regions? From Livermore to Paso Robles, there are a plethora of local escapes that are doing wonderful things with grapes. One area that keeps popping up on our radar is Lodi. Located about an hour and forty minutes East of San Francisco, Lodi has the largest concentration of old grape vines in the country, and it’s piosed to be the next big wine destination. Don’t believe us? Here’s five reasons why you should plan your next wine tasting in the central Californian city.
1. You’ve already tasted Lodi’s grapes. As we mentioned, vine have grown in Lodi for a long time, since the Civil War. The distinctive soil is resistant to the phylloxera pest that ravaged Europe and Napa in the 19th century, which means vine have been consistently growing for over 100 years. Most of that time, the grapes were harvested and sold to bulk winemakers who would use to the grapes to make wines simply labeled as Californian. Only in the past twenty years have the grape growers set up their own wine making facilities and started to produce local juice.
2. The wineries offer plenty of variety. While Napa is known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, Lodi is becoming known for its diversity of varietals — in fact, the area offers over 100 different types of wine. For white drinkers, there is Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Grenache Blanc, Picpoul, Verdelho, and Kerner. Red fans can sip Carignan, Primitivo, Pinotage, Tempranillo Cinsault, and plenty of great Zin, the varietal that Lodi is most traditionally known for.
3. The region has set the standard for green wine making. With over 30,000 acres of certified and accredited organic vines, Lodi is the leader of sustainable wine making.
4. There’s plenty of wine-centric events to check out. From last weekend’s Wine and Chocolate tasting to May’s ZinFest to the Fall’s Sip, Savor Lodi, the area has a different reason to escape to wine country every season.
5. The Wine & Roses Hotel and Spa. No wine country weekend is complete without a luxurious and relaxing spot to lay your head, right? With its botanical gardens and close proximity to over 70 wineries, Lodi’s most swanky hotel, the Wine & Roses, is the ideal retreat.
Photo Credit: Randy Caparoso