Lodi, California: The Ultimate Wine Lover’s Getaway
Approximately 20% of California’s wine grapes come from Lodi, according to the Lodi Winegrape Commission. Wine tasting opportunities abound, including right here on the grounds of Wine & Roses. Rebecca Deurlein
True wine lovers know that a trip to California isn’t complete without a stop in Lodi. This picturesque town is perched in the heart of California’s wine country and boasts a range of vineyards, top-notch wine tasting opportunities, and plenty of outdoor activities to keep visitors busy. Whether you’re looking to relax and sip a glass of vino in the sunshine, or you’re seeking adrenaline-fueled adventures like kayaking and cycling, Lodi has it all. In this article, we’ll explore why Lodi is the ultimate wine lover’s getaway and guide you through the best things to do, see, and taste in this charming corner of California.
Introducing Wine & Roses: The Perfect Home Base for Your Lodi Adventure
Start your trip by checking into Wine & Roses, a locally-owned resort hotel with rooms nestled into jungle-like surroundings. You’ll fling open your double doors to the sounds of a waterfall and birdcalls, settle into your surroundings, and have everything you need. On the grounds (which are stunningly beautiful, with overflowing hydrangeas in every hue, canopies of trees, leafy ferns, and fountains), you will find the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center. Here, you can learn about and taste regional wines without ever leaving your resort.
Wine & Roses offers guests excellent dining options, so you don’t have to go far for a delicious meal. Steps outside of your room, grab a coffee and fresh pastries and sandwiches at Towne Corner Café & Market. The resort’s Towne House Restaurant is open for weekend brunch, lunch, and dinner and, along with the adjoining bar, offers fine dining and hand-crafted cocktails.
The resort offers special events throughout the year, with their Easter Brunch kicking off spring in style. A stroll around the gardens of Wine & Roses, a resort hotel just a short drive from all Lodi has to offer, is a study in beauty and tranquility. The sounds as you tour the property are unforgettable, from the parrots that say hello as you walk by, to the splash of water just outside your spa treatment room, to the live music serving as a backdrop to the spirited atmosphere in the bar.
Outdoor Activities Galore: From Kayaking to Cycling
Wine & Rose’s central location makes it easy to get to everything you want, from wine to cycling to kayaking. Just a short drive will take you to your choice of outdoor recreation. Dip your toes and your paddles into picturesque Lodi Lake, where you can kayak or paddleboard your way through beautiful lagoons. Headwaters Kayak will hook you up with classes and everything you need to see the waterbird life, tall grasses, turtles sunning on rocks, and beautiful resident homes that pop up at various portions of the lake and its lagoons. On April 15, don’t miss the 8th annual Paddlefest where you can bring the whole family to enjoy food trucks, live music, and all the watersports you can handle.
But kayaking isn’t the only outdoor activity on offer in Lodi. For those who prefer to stay on land, take advantage of the relatively flat terrain and comfortable weather to rent bikes from local shops like Lodi Cyclery. Both avid cyclists and casual riders will love taking a spin on routes that can challenge or are a pure breeze. Choose your route, set your course, and get some exercise while soaking up this beautiful part of California. You can even bike through wine country, arriving at Oak Farm Vineyards, a truly gorgeous estate. Take a stroll around the grounds to see the restored white colonial home built in 1876 and surrounded by ancient oak trees. Then step into the breathtaking tasting room and ask for the estate grown Fiano.
Discover Serenity in Micke Grove Japanese Garden
For a little peace and tranquility, or to recharge your batteries before your next winery, visit the completely unexpected and incredibly impressive Micke Grove Japanese Garden. Dedicated by the Joaquin County residents of Japanese ancestry, this secret hideaway beckons you across its red arched bridge to meander along a babbling brook, where waterfalls splash into a koi fish pond. Follow the stepping stones around the stone lanterns that rise up out of the landscape, and stop to appreciate the maple trees bursting through the sea of lush, green landscape.
Indulge in Delicious Wine at Lodi’s Best Vineyards
Of course, no trip to Lodi would be complete without a stop at the best vineyards in the region. Sipping a wine at Bokisch Vineyards (the Albariño is a standout) is a true pleasure. Take a seat in a red Adirondack chair, and gaze out at the hearty vines spread before you. To sample a variety of grapes, belly up to the tasting bar at the eclectic Michael David Winery, which offers wine for varying tastes. Sip their popular Inkblot Petit Syrah under a covered, pond-side cabana and hear the story of how their whimsical labels were designed. Grab some lunch at the on-site farmstand Cafe & Bakery, where the locals flock for homemade pies and meat sourced from the local 4H program.
If white wine is more your speed, Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards is for you. Their small batch productions of Roussanne 2020 and Grenache Blanc 20202 have won Best of Class awards, and their Clairette Blanche and double gold medal 2021 Belle Blanc are divine. Bokisch Vineyards, with hilltop views of the vines and the sunset, made an Alberiño lover out of me.
In conclusion, Lodi, California is the perfect wine lover’s getaway for those looking for a relaxed, picturesque wine country experience mixed with excellent dining, outdoor recreation, and top-notch vineyards. Whether you’re kayaking on Lodi Lake, cycling through wine country, discovering serenity in Micke Grove Japanese Garden, or sipping wine at one of the many vineyards, Lodi has something for everyone. Don’t miss the chance to visit this hidden gem and create unforgettable memories on your next California wine country adventure.