This year I had the chance to attend Lodi Wine & Chocolate, one of my favorite annual events! I was so sad that I couldn’t attend last year’s so I made it a point to participate this time. I was first introduced to Lodi wine tasting through one of my first jobs in advertising. My former agency was doing some branding work for them, and I ended up being featured in one of their ad campaigns. Over the years, I’ve grown an affinity for the region, returning for wine tasting and now meetings! One of my clients is located in Lodi.
So, why Lodi? Well, first off, the wine is delicious. Who can pass up good wine at countless wineries?
Second, it’s close to home and you don’t have to deal with traffic as you might going to other wine regions. From my house in Midtown, it took about 30 minutes to get to one of the main wine tasting “trails.”
Third, you can go as you are, whether that is dressed up or comfy in your stretchy pants. The vibe in Lodi is unpretentious and friendly.
Lodi Wine & Chocolate is one of their many Lodi Wine branded events where you’re able to take part in celebrations and indulge in handcrafted Lodi wines and delicious chocolate treats as you embark on a self-guided tour. More than 50 wineries participated this season – and I’m sure next year there will be even more. One of my girlfriends accompanied me on the second day of the event for a little fun in the winter sun. Here’s where we went:
The Lodi Vintners Tasting Room is my favorite tasting room in Lodi and it better be – I have been friends with the team and have the pleasure of working with them on projects. The LV team did junk food wine pairings with their wines. My favorite was the Rippey Family Vineyards Old Vine Zin with an Oreo, but I can’t discount the Twinkie with Rippey Family Vineyards chocolate sauce paired with SIP Moscato. Klinker Brick also did wine tastings onsite and their Rosé was quite lovely.
I didn’t realize that Lodi had a sparkling winemaker until I stumbled upon the label a few days before the event. LVVR is located at the Tuscan Wine Village along with Lone Grape Winery. We enjoyed the zip of the Blanc de Blancs upon arrival and Lone Grape had a juicy Malbec that I’m still thinking about.
I had been wanting to visit m2 Wines for a long time and was so happy to catch them during Wine & Chocolate. There were numerous stations pouring up wine, but the Purple Squirrel Cabernet Sauvignon was my absolute favorite! When the weather is better, they open up all of the panels of the tasting room, for a true “in the vines” tasting experience. I can’t wait to return.
Since tasting Lodi wine is literally down the road from Sacramento, there’s no reason why you should wait for an event like Wine & Chocolate to go down there to enjoy some vino! Lodi is predominately a red winegrowing region but it’s home to all of California’s leading varietals. If you want to start planning your visit to this hidden gem, check out the Lodi Wine website where there are a ton of resources to help you curate the perfect experience. For first timers, I suggest checking out the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center on Turner Road. You can learn all about wineries to visit, places to eat, things to do – and of course, taste wine. Yes, they have a tasting room on site.