Lodi is a region that I was not too familiar with until the recent 2016 Wine Bloggers conference which took place in Lodi and which I attended. You can read my Lodi Wine Bloggers coverage here. During the blogger conference weekend, I tasted a lot of Lodi wines but didn’t really get to visit many wineries, so when the Lodi Winegrape Commission invited me back for a visit I immediately accepted the invite!
Fast forward to my recent visit to Lodi this May which began with a fully packed day beginning at 10am concluding around 4pm followed by the ZinFest Vintner’s Grille that evening. Factoring in the 90 mile drive from San Francisco to Lodi, I decided to head up Thursday night and spend the night at the acclaimed Wine & Roses Hotel, Restaurant, and Spa before my big day in Lodi on Friday.
Wine & Roses Hotel
I felt fortunate that my itinerary included a stay at the fabulous Wine & Roses Hotel located in Lodi. This hotel was beyond charming with spacious rooms, an incredible pool (the first place I went upon getting back from the tasting on Friday), and a delicious restaurant I enjoyed breakfast at both Friday and Saturday mornings and highly recommend checking it out during a trip to Lodi. The restaurant’s service was amazing. I had one of the most attentive waiters I’ve ever had and everything tasted extremely delicious and was just a lovely experience. I will for sure be returning to the Wine & Roses Hotel for any future trips to Lodi. Thanks again for hosting me as your guest for this Lodi getaway! 2505 W Turner Rd, Lodi, CA 95242
The Wine & Roses lobby, I love the cozy, intimate feeling of the hotel.
The pool where I enjoyed some R & R after my full day of wine tasting and fun!
The Palm Room I stayed in. It was quite spacious and I loved that there was also a terrace with seating.
The lovely Lodi welcome bag that greeted me upon my arrival to my room. Thanks so much. I love this tote and have already started using it on my travels. I love a great tote, so perfect for road trips!
Towne House Restaurant’s picturesque outdoor seating area located within Wine & Roses Hotel.
Oak Farms Vineyard
Our first stop during my day exploring Lodi’s Wine Country was Oak Farm Vineyard, one of the larger wineries I have experienced. I was hosted by owners Dan and Heather Panella who were incredible. For a fairly young couple, I would guess late thirties or early forties, they sure have accomplished a lot considering their beautiful winery, amazing assortment of wines, and the creation of a very established well-known brand. This winery is great if you want to taste through a lot of varietals and also enjoy a relaxing experience on their various patios. The setting is gorgeous with beautiful landscaping and lots of trees and greenery to really help you relax and enjoy Wine Country life. Wine Club members also have their own bocce court area which is super fun and relaxing. 23627 DeVries Rd, Lodi, CA 95242
The lineup of wines I tasted with Owners Danny & Heather. I really loved the Chardonnay and the Fume Blanc, and, the Zinfandel was quite lovely out of the reds. Typically, I find Zinfandels a bit heavy with very high in alcohol, but this Zinfandel was very nicely balanced and super drinkable. I am also a fan of their label which was inspired by the large oak tree on the property (shown below).
The delicious Oak Farms Fume Blanc I fell in love with! It was very light and delicate with a creamier taste than a typical Sauvignon Blanc. Any one who likes Chardonnay, like yours truly, I recommend trying the Fume Blanc as they have similar characteristics.
Cheers to this stunning winery. I love this view from the courtyard that looks out into the vineyard (behind the glass). So picturesque and lovely!
The beautiful hallway that connects the outdoor tasting room seating with the wine barrel room. The view from the seating area looks through here to the vineyards and is stunning!
This is the oak tree the winery was named after.
Michael David Winery
A trip to Lodi would not be complete without a visit to this historic farm stand and winery, Michael David Winery. “Michael and David, are Michael and David Phillips, brothers whose family has farmed fruits and vegetables in the Lodi region since the 1850s, cultivating wine grapes for nearly a century. Michael and David constitute the 5th generation of grape-growers in the Phillips family, with the 6th generation now joining the family business.” Credit source, MichaelDavidWinery.com. What I loved about this spot was the variety of experiences offered to the guest varying from shopping the fruit market items, to lunch in the cafe or wine tasting indoors or outside. I had the pleasure of visiting and enjoying lunch at their café with owner David Phillips, who owns the winery with his brother, Michael Phillips. I loved the casual vibe of the café and their delicious seasonal menu. I enjoyed a Shrimp Salad with a side of the Tortilla Soup (which I was told is a must try and I loved it). The food was great and I loved the intimate setting and small, local feel. After lunch we did a tasting in the tasting area adjacent to the restaurant. They were just about to open a new tasting room which I was able to preview (which is stunning). So, I am really excited next time I visit to taste in the new space! 4580 West Highway 12, Lodi, CA 95242
As you enter the winery and market, this is one of the first things you see. I love how this truly feels like a market (which it was before becoming the winery and tasting room).
The homemade pies they are known for. I tried one at lunch and it was divine. I see why people suggest that during every trip to Michael David Winery you pick up a pie to go!
The charming Michael David Café where I enjoyed lunch with Co-Owner David Phillips.
The delicious seasonal Shrimp Salad I enjoyed. Perfect for a hot day in wine country, nice and light with tons of yummy flavor.
Cheers to the amazing visit at Michael David Winery and to this lovely Rose.
The beautiful gardens where guests can relax during their visit to Michael David Winery.
Durst Winery & Estate
Our last stop of the afternoon was Durst Winery & Estate. This had a completely different feel to it than the other three wineries listed, as it is located on the Durst’s residence property and has a smaller, more intimate vibe. Upon arriving, we decided to do the wine & food pairing outside in the garden. It was a no brainer, what else would you do on a gorgeous day in Lodi? Blue skies and stunning gardens line the seating area where we tasted through the wines, I was in heaven. Being from San Francisco, I forget what 85 or 90 degree summer days are like and I miss them. Having grown up in Chicago with hot summer days, I truly crave a few days just like that… The tasting was led by owner Cassandra Durst and her amazing team. What was very special about this visit was not only the delicious wines, but that each wine was paired with a small bite, in one case sorbet. For a very special, intimate, curated wine & food pairing, I suggest you visit Durst Winery & Estate. They also have spectacular grounds and plenty of seating, so plan to stay a while and settle in. 10173 Acampo Road, Lodi, CA 95220
Owner Cassandra guiding us through the tasting. To the right of the picnic table are their gorgeous gardens. I mean, what a picturesque setting!
The food pairing we enjoyed with our tasting, talk about over the top. As a foodie– I love this!
The interior tasting room. After an hour or so in the garden, we toured the winery and concluded with our last tasting which paired with the sorbet.
Tasting the sparkling wine paired with the sorbet. The sparkling was a bit sweeter than I was expecting, but Cassandra explained that her customers always ask for a sweet sparkling wine so this is truly in response to her guest’s requests.
Enjoying a barrel tasting before we concluded our visit.
Durst Winery & Estate photos courtesy of Julie Nicole Photography.
This post was sponsored by the Lodi Winegrape Commission in partnership with The JetSetting Fashionista. As always, I only write about destinations and places I thoroughly enjoy and want to share with my readers.