An Overlooked Treasure: Lodi Wine Country

By Bethany Hill,

Sandwiched between some of California’s greatest wine regions, Sacramento is the perfect place to live if you enjoy a nice glass of wine every now and again – or if you are wine obsessed like me.

Not only do you have easy driving access to the ever-famous Napa and Sonoma wine countries, but you can easily explore the not so well known regions like Amador, Russian River, Lake County, Lodi, El Dorado, Clarksburg, Fair Play, Mendocino, or Calaveras on a moment’s notice.

Feel like taking a day trip that’s only 45 minutes away?  You might consider finding yourself a DD and venturing off to Lodi Wine Country.

One of my absolute favorite places to spend my Saturday afternoons is in Lodi Wine Country. I am aware that some regional wine snobs out there may consider Lodi’s wineries to be unworthy of their time. However, your taste buds are seriously missing out on some really fabulous wines. I might even venture to say that some of these people might be spending more time memorizing wine terminology than they do tasting it (in my opinion of course☺).

Don’t get me wrong, I have a serious love affair with many wineries scattered throughout California; and the world for that matter. However, Lodi maintains the “family owned winery charm” that Napa is simply lacking these days. The fact is, Lodi deserves a little more vino street cred. Given Lodi’s climate, the zinfandel grape thrives! The region produces some of the smoothest old-vine zinfandels of California. Not to mention, I found one of my favorite cabernets there as well.

A mere 45 minutes from Midtown, I encourage you to spend a day tasting in Lodi. If I’ve successfully harvested your curiosity, which I sincerely hope I have, I’ve listed below a guide to a few region’s “must taste” wineries.

Michael David
4580 W Highway 12, Lodi, CA
Favorite wines: Petit Petit & Don’s Blend

Jessie’s Grove
1973 W Turner Rd., Lodi, CA
They capture the true epitome of why I love Lodi. It captures that family-owned quality that makes Lodi a gem. Favorite wine: 2004 cabernet sauvignon

Berghold Vineyards
17343 Cherry Rd., Lodi, CA
Favorite wine: Crankcase

15887 N Alpine Rd., Lodi, CA
Favorite wine: old-vine zinfandel (again)

12470 Locke Rd., Lockeford, CA
Favorite wine: Zinfandel Mischievous

St. Amant
1 Winemaster Way Lodi, CA
Favorite wine: Barbera and Tempranillo (they also have some very excellent ports)
(Note: I would strongly advise against attending their annual ZinFest Wine Festival, unless paying $45 to wait in line for 20 minutes in 100+ degree heat, just to receive a warm 2oz. glass of wine sounds like a good time. I’m just saying…)

About Jimmy Spencer

Jimmy Spencer has extensive experience in journalism and new media. As the founding editor of, Spencer combines his writing, reporting and editing skills to produce a "pretty good site about midtown." During the day, Spencer covers government and also covers the NBA. At night, he watches T.V. and plays on the Internet. Every now and then, he walks around his midtown neighborhood. Spencer began his professional journalism career with The Sacramento Bee, finishing his tenure with the McClatchy-owned newspaper in the new media department. Spencer moved to Connecticut where he continued his growth in new media as a writer/content producer for NBC Sports. Spencer also worked in media relations with the Sacramento River Cats, Minor League Baseball Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland A’s. Spencer graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from California State University, Sacramento where he served as Editor-in-Chief of The State Hornet campus newspaper. Spencer was raised in Marin County and currently lives in Sacramento, Calif. Spencer works in the community as a high school basketball coach in the Sacramento area.


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Posted by on Jun 18 2011. Filed under Wine and Mixology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

8 Comments for “An Overlooked Treasure: Lodi Wine Country”

  1. Rachel Broome

    Thank you, I have been wanting to go with some of my friends and was not sure which wineries to visit.

  2. […] (Bethany Hill): An Overlooked Treasure: Lodi Wine County […]

  3. Jessica Love

    I LOVE this article. My fiance and I are having our wedding reception at Berghold, actually. Lodi has long been a favorite of mine, too, for the very same reasons.

  4. Lori VanHamersveld

    Thank you for such a great article. My husband and I have not visited all the wineries you mentioned but now we will. Thanks for the suggestions!

  5. You should all come to Lodi Wine Country for “The First Sip: Lodi Wine Weekend” November 13-14 (11am-4pm both days). Visit for more information. Tickets are on sale now! $35 in advance. $45 at the door.

  6. June Barden

    Thank you for the great article about the wine and wineries. I have more than a few wineries yet to visit – thanks to you!

  7. We love so many of those wineries you mentioned – thanks for sharing some we don’t know! If they’re as good as Michael David, Klinkerbrick and Macchia we are in for a treat on our next Lodi wine trek! And thanks for mentioning Calaveras, our little wine region appreciates the charming focus you are giving wine tasting; it disarms wine snobbery. Keep up the great wine journalism!

  8. […] An Overlooked Treasure: Lodi Wine Country | Sac Midtown […]

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