Wine Tours

Tempranillo Wines to Try in Lodi

While most people who visit Lodi will tell you that the city is clearly known for being the Zinfnadel capitol of the world, there are quite a few varieties of wine grapes grown in the area. One of the more popular ones being tempranillo.

Tempranillo is often referred to as the “Cabernet” of Spain because of its “structure and #1 status as the backbone of red,” as stated by a recent press release by Bokisch Vineyards, a Lodi vineyard that specializes in spanish varietal wines. “It is actually the fourth most planted wine grape in the world. When young it is fresh and fruity, however with oak and age it shows serious mature qualities that make it a collector’s item.”

To celebrate International Tempranillo Day, which lands on November 15, thirteen of Lodi’s wineries who produce tempranillo wine will be participating in a weekend-long celebration from November 15 to 17, 2019. Look for the spanish variety wine at the following Lodi wineries. And don’t worry – this is all a self guided tour, so you can take as long as you’d like at each of the wineries. Whether you are in town to celebrate international tempranillo day, or just passing through – be sure to swing by one of the following wineries in Lodi to try this spanish varietal favorite.

  1. Bokisch Vineyards Markus and Liz Bokisch have a love of Spain due to Markus’s family heritage. Markus spent many a childhood summer watching his water glass go from a light shade of pink to eventually a dark red as the ratio of wine to water matched his age. After graduating from UC Davis, Markus cut his teeth in the wine industry at Joseph Phelps Vineyards as their viticulturist from 1989 to 1992. It wasn’t long before the lure of Spain enticed the newlyweds to move to Catalonia where they gained their inspiration for growing and producing Spanish varietal wines in California.
  2. D’art Winery Helen and Dave Dart started their dream as home winemakers with a passion for great wines. After winning several awards in that category, they decided to make small lot commercial wines to share with like-minded enthusiasts. Dave blends his creativity for art and wine by creating rich, bold, colorful, Wines in the bottle with his artwork on the bottle and in the tasting room art gallery.
  3. Dancing Coyote Wines Dancing Coyote is a family run, owned and operated vineyard located in a beautiful stretch of land in California’s Clarksburg appellation. They’ve been farming in the Delta region along the Sacramento River for five generations. These days they keep busy nurturing over 600 acres of exquisite wine grapes in the ideal climate and soil of the Sacramento Valley.
  4. Drava Wines Experimenting with various small lot varietals each vintage, Drava focuses on Certified Sustainable Lodi Appellation wines.
  5. Fields Family Wines The goal of Fields Family Wines is to craft wines that showcase the vineyards from where they come and employ a minimalistic approach to winemaking. Grape growing and winemaking should go hand in hand – as winegrowers, they seek to enhance this relationship.
  6. Goodmills Family Winery After years of navigating the hustle and flow of the big city lifestyle, Brad and Lauri Mills decided to escape to their ten acres of paradise. Their new generation of winemaking started under the light of a blue moon, when they said “I do”.
  7. Harney Lane Winery In 1907, long before it was fashionable to go wine tasting, the ancestors of Harney Lane Winery planted their first vineyard just east of Lodi, along rural Harney Lane. In time the family home was built, which would bear witness to the lives of five generations of grape growers intent on perfecting their farming skills.
  8. Heritage Oak Winery At Heritage Oak the focus is on the fruit and on the land. Winemaker & grower Tom Hoffman employs a style that does not diminish the natural fruit flavors from the grapes while highlighting varietal characteristics. Wines produced include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Syrah, Carignane and a number of blended red table wines.
  9. McCay Cellars Michael McCay and his family have farmed in Lodi for 20 plus years. Michael came to Lodi in the mid 1980s, started making wine in 1994 and launched the McCay Cellars label in 2007. From the beginning, Michael’s winemaking style has involved native fermentation…discovering and exploring the layers and trueness of this “old world style” winemaking.
  10. McConnell Estates For five generations, the Wackman family has been farming the land just north of the Cosumnes River along Highway 99 in Elk Grove where sustainability is not just something you talk about – it’s a way of life. The beautiful McConnell house, built over 100 years ago, is now a bustling winery and tasting room where you can come to taste their estate grown and produced wines, sing along at a summer outdoor concert, or sit back and relax in the warm valley sun while tasting the locally produced wines.
  11. Riaza Wines Erin & Rick strive to make wines that are traditionally, authentically Spanish. They focus on crafting traditional wines from Tempranillo (Spain’s noble grape) along with other varietals such as Garnacha, Graciano, Monastrell, Albariño, Torrontes and Verdejo.
  12. Ripken Vineyards & Winery The Ripken family considers themselves an artisan “barnista” winery that is uniquely different, electric, eclectic, quirky, esoteric, even wacky, but never boring or weird.
    Ripken Vineyards & Winery appeals to adventuresome wine drinkers with mostly non-traditional varieties producing extraordinary flavored wines.
  13. St. Amant Winery St. Amant focuses on Mediterranean grapes crafting distinctive wines from Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian varietals in addition to California’s own Old Vine Zinfandel. They strongly believe that all great wines are made in the vineyard, and meticulously focus on low yields with concentrated fruit flavors. Their winemaking follows simple traditional hands-on techniques designed for maximum expression of each of the vineyard sites.

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