One Fine Day: Lodi
Explore Lodi wine country in style: where to eat, drink, play, and stay.
Courtesy of Visit Lodi
Just an hour outside the East Bay, the city of Lodi—loved for its Zinfandels and warm, welcoming vibe—brims with wineries and neighborhood eateries. The town is also known for its annual events; come May 15–17 for ZinFest, September 17–20 for Grape Festival, or in November for the Sandhill Crane Festival.
Eat: Grab breakfast at Avenue Grill, where residents flock to chow down on chicken-fried chicken, egg scrambles, and biscuits and gravy. (209) 333-8006.
Shop: Browse downtown’s family-owned Fashion Safari and The Antiquarium for fun clothing and vintage home wares. Sample before you buy at Cheese Central, where you’ll find up to 100 varieties of cheese, plus Lodi Olive Oil and Homestead Favorites jams made by a third-generation family of cherry farmers. (209) 369-8222; (209) 365-1700; (209) 368-3033, cheesecentrallodi.com.
Taste: Check out one of the downtown tasting rooms: Family-owned Jeremy Wine Company offers a variety of reds, Riaza Wines specializes in Spanish varietals, and Weibel Family Winery makes delicious California bubbly. (209) 367-3773, jeremywineco.com; (209) 625-1103, riazawines.com; (209) 370-6013, weibel.com.
Eat: Get a table at The Dancing Fox, a Lodi staple housed inside a century-old building, featuring salads, wraps, and hot sandwiches, as well as local wines and brews. (209) 366-2634, dancingfoxwinery.com.
Play: Micke Grove Zoo, a five-acre park, is home to more than 130 animals, including bobcats, tortoises, and lemurs. The grounds also feature a Japanese garden and the San Joaquin Historical Society and Museum, which showcases the region’s history. (209) 953-8840, mgzoo.com, sanjoaquinhistory.org.
Sip: A former walnut farm on the Mokelumne River, Viaggio Estate and Winery has been transformed into an elegant Tuscan-themed property. The secluded, family-run winery produces reds, whites, and sparklers, with a focus on single-vineyard wines. (209) 368-1378, viaggiowinery.com.
For a more unusual experience, step inside Oak Ridge Winery’s stunning tasting room, which is housed inside a 50,000-gallon converted wine barrel. Try the signature Old Zin Vines. (209) 369-4758, oakridgewinery.com.
If organic and sustainably farmed are more your style, stop at more than a century-old Mettler Family Vineyards for Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, and Zinfandel. (209) 369-3045, mettlerwine.com.
At the grand Berghold Estate Winery—built to feel like a romantic California Victorian barn—don’t miss the Footstomp Zinfandel, other red varietals, and Viognier. (209) 333-9291, bergholdvineyards.com.
Eat: If the weather is nice, get a table in Pietro’s Trattoria’s outdoor garden, where many of the Italian restaurant’s veggies are grown. (209) 368-0613, pietroslodi.com.
Stay: Decide to spend the night? Head to the luxurious Wine and Roses hotel and spa. Stroll through the garden or hang by the pool the next morning, and swing by a cherry stand on your way out of town. (209) 334-6988, winerose.com.
For a chance to win a one-night getaway to Wine and Roses, visit diablomag.com/wineandroses2015.