Explore Lodi’s Downtown Tasting Rooms
By Whitney Butler
Nobody lines up to be the designated driver for a fun day of wine tasting, and why would you? With so many ridesharing apps available and local tours to choose from, if you plan your day right, nobody has to.
Just 85 miles east of San Francisco, the Lodi appellation is one of California’s top wine country destinations. There are more than 85 wineries here, with around 65 regularly operating tasting rooms scattered throughout the city. What’s more, Downtown Lodi has more than a dozen tasting rooms within walking distance of its visitor center, so you can shop small boutiques, eat at local restaurants and sip wine without the need to buckle up.
Grab some walking shoes and throw on some sunscreen: Here’s a handful of tasting rooms in Downtown Lodi you can visit on your own custom wine tour—no driver needed!
Cellar Door has one of the best patio views in Downtown Lodi, and features award-winning wine from Michael David Winery and Van Ruiten Family Winery.
These two family vineyards are neighbors to each other off Highway 12; but it would take you an hour to walk to these vineyards from Downtown Lodi. Thanks to Cellar Door, you can cartwheel to this tasting room if you feel like it.
Weibel Family Vineyards & Winery
A steps away on School Street you’ll find Weibel Family Vineyards & Winery. For still and sparking wine, and intimate accommodation, this tasting room in Downtown Lodi is a great place to try something new.
Try their sparkling pomegranate or bubbly peach mango wine. During warm summer days, this is a great place to cool off after a day of shopping in Downtown Lodi.
Be sure to hit this tasting room at the start of a tour, and not the end. Sparkling wine is best tasted before fuller-bodied wines like Cabernet or Malbec.
For a lunchtime tasting room, Wine Social is your next stop. Here you’ll find wines by Sorelle Winery and Six Hands Winery, both nearby family vineyard that specialize in French and Italian wines.
Fill up on small plates of popular wine accouterments like roasted almonds and olives, or enjoy a hot-pressed panini with brie and dried pears. The food is fresh and the wine is local—it’s everything you need to fuel up for more walking on your downtown tasting tour.
Twisted Barrel Winery
If you feel like packing a picnic lunch instead, head over to Twisted Barrel Winery, where you can drop your bags and unpack a feast on their beautiful outdoor patio.
Here you’ll find several different varietals for your tasting pleasure!
Stop by this tasting room on Sun & Mon 1-6 PM, Thurs 1-6 PM, or Fri & Sat 12-8 PM.
Now make your way over to Riaza Wines on West Elm Street.
Riaza family winery is passionate about Spanish wine varietals like Tempranillo, but also plays with Albariño, Torrontes and Verdejo, which are grown nearby in the Clarksburg and Sierra foothills.
Riaza is a great place to kick off red wine tasting for the day, which is best after you’ve enjoyed your whites and your sparkling wine.
Jeremy Wine Co.
Finally, go back down School Street and hang a left to hit up Jeremy Wine Co. for bold reds and dessert wines you won’t find anywhere else.
Jeremy Wine Co. is a beautiful building and tasting room featuring bold flavors ideally left to the end of a tasting tour.
Try their new Chocolate Port, a dessert wine made with premium cocoa and aged to perfection, or try other popular reds like their Black Label Zinfandel or Sangiovese. This warm and inviting tasting room is the perfect place to end your tour and contemplate the next one.
Plan your Lodi getaway at VisitLodi.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for news and information on upcoming events. Image credit to Robert Calzada.
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