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Lodi Offers Wine Tasting Like it Used to Be

Have you ever wondered what happened to all of the grapes during Prohibition? Did their removal by government agents lead to the end of Old World varietals? Not in Lodi, California. Farmers here maintained hidden vineyards or produced wine for local churches. Importantly, these operations sustained heritage varieties like Zinfandel, for which the region became famous. Today, the same fertile soil and excellent climate help explain why the Lodi area claims more Old World vine stock than any other region in the U.S.

The abundance of wineries, 85 and counting, is another example of the many surprises visitors discover when traveling to Lodi. Though best known for deep reds, including 40 percent of California Zinfandel, the region’s winemakers produce more than 125 varietals, including many award-winning white wines.

What hasn’t grown dramatically is the cost associated with wine-tasting experiences in Lodi. Standard tastings in Napa Valley, where the average bottle of wine now costs $108, have risen to $81 per person; reserved tastings average $128. Tasting fees in Sonoma and Paso Robles, $38 and $28, respectively, also soar above Lodi, where the average tasting room fee ranges between $5 and $10 per visit.

Wine legacy, production and affordability are just three interesting and lesser-known notes about the Lodi appellation. The region’s climate lends itself beautifully to Old World wines, says Markus Bokisch, founder, with his wife Liz, of Bokisch Vineyards.

“Our focus has always been to craft the most exceptional, Spanish-style wines possible in California,” he says. “Lodi is the best location in California for accentuating a Spanish profile! Our Spanish vines thrive in the volcanic soils of Clements Hills and the sandy loams of the Mokelumne River AVAs.” READ MORE

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