85+ Award Winning Wineries In Lodi, California
Now more than ever, it’s important to prioritize having some fun. You want to escape the stress of work and home and go somewhere relaxing. You also want a destination that isn’t overly crowded, stuffy, or expensive. More than anything, you just want to go somewhere where you can just be yourself.
You want Lodi, California.
Lodi is one of Northern California wine country’s best-kept secrets. A scenic masterpiece, it’s located at the point where the San Francisco Bay Area transitions into the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Lodi is widely known as the Zinfandel Capital of the world, famous for producing the grapes that make up a portfolio of more than 125 award-winning varietals. But there is so much more to this place than wine.
Whether its eating at one the award-winning eateries, paddle-boarding, hiking, or just wrapping yourself in the luxury of a resort hotel, Lodi has something for everyone who is looking to get away, unplug from the workaday world, and destress for a few days.
Lodi isn’t just about the wine–but if, to you, unwinding doesn’t happen without a glass of bliss, there is no better wine destination on the globe. Lodi has more than 85 boutique wineries, some of which are run by 5th-generation winemakers. Zinfandel is a staple, but Lodi also leads other California wine grape growing in Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc. In fact, Lodi has 110,000 acres for wine growing, with 23,850 of those as Certified Green Acres under the Lodi American Viticultural Area (AVA) for sustainable wine growing.
You can always find a friendly Lodi vintner ready to line up bottles for a personal tasting or lead you through a tour of the vineyard and production facilities. On most weekends, there’s at least one winery holding a unique event for connoisseurs and casual sippers alike.
Who can relax on an empty stomach? Lodi has you more covered there, too. No matter what you’re craving, from American comfort food, farm-to-table fare, or fine dining, you can find it fixed up by some of the best chefs in the country.
For instance, Steve Ding’s Woodbridge Crossing features fine dining in a beautifully restored 19th-century brick building in downtown Woodbridge. The eatery is famous for its prime rib, but you can also find bottomless champagne brunch on Sundays. And of course, it features a full assortment of Lodi wines.
If your taste buds are calling from something more international, there’s Pietro’s Trattoria, a farm-to-fork Italian eatery that specializes in pasta, chicken parm, and homemade gnocchi. There’s also Thai Kitchen, a quaint hole in the wall where you can find big and authentic Thai flavor. (Try the green papaya salad, a perfect marriage of spicy and sweet with a unique peanut crunch.) Or for sushi, look no further than Sushi Komachi for the freshest Japanese delicacies infused with a California flourish.
There are also hours of outdoor recreation for the adventurer in you. Scenic trails, both short and long, abound around the Lodi Lake Wilderness Area, home to millions of migratory birds and lush vegetation. Lodi Lake Park is also ideal for family kayaking, paddle boarding, rafting, tubing, canoeing, and fishing.
After a day filled with wine, food, and fun, you want to relax. Lodi has accommodations for every comfort level and budget. And if you grow to love Lodi as much as many visitors do, there are also vacation houses for rent that will make this destination and its people your home away from home.
For more information or to plan your visit, head to www.visitlodi.com.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.