Lodi: California’s Secret Wine Region

by Sam Kimball
California is one big state with a whole bunch of wine regions scattered from top to bottom.

Everyone knows about Napa and Sonoma in the north, and then there’s Temecula in the south.

But right in between is the Central Valley which happens to produce some pretty spectacular wines.

Right there in San Joaquin County in the northern portion of the valley is Lodi, California, also known as the “Zinfandel Capital of the World.”

California is one big state with a whole bunch of wine regions scattered from top to bottom. Everyone knows about Napa and Sonoma in the north, and then there’s Temecula in the south, but right in between is the Central Valley which happens to produce some pretty spectacular wines.

Right there in San Joaquin County in the northern portion of the valley is Lodi, California, also known as the “Zinfandel Capital of the World.” Because of its central location within the state, this region has a traditional Mediterranean (think Spain, Italy) climate with warm days and cool evenings, which is why it is excellent for growing grapes.

Due to the optimal weather, grapes have always grown naturally in Lodi, but in 1850, the first true vineyards were planted. Throughout the late 1800s, farmers focused on growing grapes and noticed that two particular varieties were truly flourishing, Zinfandel and Tokay, an Algerian table grape. Over the next few decades, vineyards and wineries started popping up all over the region, and after the repeal of Prohibition, winemakers really started to make a name for themselves.

Lodi winemakers grow primarily red varieties, with about two-thirds of the 110,000 acres of vines being dedicated to red grapes, and it is one of California’s leading producers of the classic varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel.

One of the most interesting aspects of winemaking in Lodi is the wide variety of diverse grapes from around the world. Because of the Mediterranean climate, conditions are optimal for many global varietals like the bold Spanish reds, sweet German whites, and even the unique Italian reds.

In 2015, Lodi was actually named Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast thanks to their 85+ wineries. Some of these producers go back decades with fourth or fifth generation winemakers taking over for their family business. The history is rich in Lodi but that doesn’t stop these vineyards from progressing into the future with innovative and sustainable winemaking methods.



FEATURED EVENTS

New York Wine Events

November 8, 2020

A once-in-a-lifetime experience in Italy

Barolo and Barbaresco tour

Nov 8 – 14, 2020
6 nights, 7 days
Milan, Barolo, Alba, and Turin

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

November 7, 2020

Industry City, Brooklyn

Brooklyn Crush: Fall Edition

Experience the event Thrillist said was one of the things “You Absolutely Have to Do in NYC”

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

October 17, 2020

Chelsea, NYC

NYC Autumn Wine and Food Festival

space
Named by Wine Enthusiast magazine
“One of 12 wine festivals you should check out this fall”.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

August 22, 2020

Jamesport, NY

Jazz In The Vines: Vincent Ingala

Saxophone Sensation.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

August 8, 2020

Jamesport, NY

Jazz In The Vines: Alex Bugnon and Nelson Rangell

A pairing of smooth jazz all-stars.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

August 1, 2020

Pier 40, Hudson River Park

Rosé Splash

Midsummer cruise + sumptuous tasting of rosé wines.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

July 11, 2020

Jamesport, NY

Jazz In The Vines: Peter White

An evening with an extraordinary guitarist and performer

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

June 20, 2020

Riverhead, Long Island

North Fork Crush Wine & Artisanal Food Festival

Forget Napa–sample world class wines at a stunning vineyard without leaving New York!

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

June 2, 2020

Soho, NYC

Zinfandel Experience New York City

Sample the finest wines we present all year long.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

May 9, 2020

Industry City, Brooklyn

Brooklyn Crush: Spring Edition

Want to discover new wines? Skip the far-away vineyards and head to Brooklyn. We have set up the hottest wine experience in the 5 boroughs.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

March 31, 2020

Join us at the Rainbow Room from 6:00 - 8:00 PM

NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting

Don’t miss your chance to taste over 200 wines from 50 different New York wineries!

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

March 7, 2020

New York's #1 Winter Wine Tasting

NYC Winter Wine and Food Festival

Bid the cold adieu (for a few hours) at the 11th Annual NYC Winter Wine & Food Festival

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

January 19, 2020

Riverhead, NY

RG|NY Blending Session

Join RG|NY winemaker Lilia Perez, for a unique tasting and blending session.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

December 14, 2019

Ulster & Orange Counties, NY

Wreath Fineries at the Wineries

Don’t miss the ultimate holiday wine tasting event in the Hudson Valley. Sales end Thursday, Dec 12 at 11:59pm!

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

November 14, 2019

New York, NY

Around The World In 10 Wines

Experience a global tasting in 2 hours with award-winning artisan cheese and charcuterie

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

November 9, 2019

Brooklyn

Brooklyn Crush: Fall Edition

Experience the event Thrillist said was one of the things “You Absolutely Have to Do in NYC”

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

October 19, 2019

Chelsea, NYC

NYC Autumn Wine and Food Festival

space
Named by Wine Enthusiast magazine
“One of 12 wine festivals you should check out this fall”.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

September 19, 2019

Union Square Park, NYC

Harvest In The Square

The 24th annual event is September 19 in Union Square Park in Manhattan.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

August 24, 2019

Jamesport, NY

Jazz In The Vines: Alex Bugnon & Marc Antoine

A meeting of 2 contemporary jazz giants

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

August 10, 2019

Jamesport, NY

Jazz In The Vines: Peter White

An evening with an extraordinary guitarist and performer

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

August 3, 2019

Manhattan, Chelsea Piers

Rosé Splash

Midsummer cruise

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

July 20, 2019

Riverhead

Summer Rose and Bubbly Fest

At a 200-acre vineyard. Half indoors (air-conditioned), half outdoors (ventilated tent). Free, cold bottled water & seltzer.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

July 13, 2019

Jamesport, NY

Jazz In The Vines: Spyro Gyra

A great opening evening for 2019

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

June 29, 2019

Lake George, NY

Adirondack Wine & Food Festival 2019

The 5th annual event is June 29 & 30th in scenic Lake George, NY.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

June 22, 2019

Riverhead

North Fork Crush Wine & Artisanal Food Festival

Forget Napa–sample world class wines at a stunning vineyard without leaving New York!

PURCHASE TICKETS

RELATED WINE BLOGS

Thursday, January 16th, 2020

The Hunter Valley, New South Wales
The Hunter Valley is named such after a river. Yes, you guessed it, the Hunter River, which was discovered in the late 1700s by European settlers. It turns out they were looking for a fugitive and instead found a gorgeous river valley which became a wine region in the early 1800s when a mere 20 - Read More
Read more...

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

Temecula Valley Wine Country
While most of the wine regions in California exist towards the northern part of the state, the mecca of gorgeous wines known as the Temecula Valley is actually in Southern California.  This 1,300 acre AVA, formally registered as the Temecula Valley AVA, is the beneficiary of both an inland and maritime climate. The warm sun - Read More
Read more...

Thursday, December 26th, 2019

Ring in 2020 With Some Bubbly!
It’s the end of the year and the end of the decade. Crazy, right? That means the celebration should be bigger, bolder, and more enthusiastic! Whether you’re spending December 31st nestled in a cozy blanket by the fireside, ringing it in on a beach in a tropical location, or you’re getting sparkly and dancing the - Read More
Read more...
LOAD MORE