By Linda J. Bottjer

Photo Credit: Linda J. Bottjer

Both wine connoisseurs and budding enthusiasts appreciate how Lodi’s Zins are full of robust berry
and black cherry tastes accented by high notes like vanilla. Zins are well paired with grilled meats to
seasoned pasta dishes and dark chocolate. Many wineries offer Old Vine Zinfandel. These grapes are
harvested from vines planted at least 50 years ago. Attending the annual Zin Fest in May is a must as is
following well-placed signs to individual winery tasting rooms. Here is a top list of where to enjoy Lodi’s

Photo Credit: Linda J. Bottjer

Lodi Wine and Visitor Center
2545 W Turner Road
Lodi, CA
(209) 365-0621
Hours: Daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This is a perfect destination to begin a Lodi wine adventure. Weekly, the LWVC presents different
tastings from local wineries. Through easy-to-understand graphics and exhibits the facility also
offers information on Lodi’s grape growing history and how granitic soils allow Zinfandel grapes, particularly, to flourish here. Outside, walk through a small vineyard of various grapes with different styles of trellising. You will leave sated and smarter.

Price: Tasting fee: $5.00

Photo Credit: Linda J. Bottjer

Michael and David Winery
4580 W Highway 12
Lodi, CA
(209) 368-7384
Hours: Daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Pricing: Tasting fee $5.00 -$10.00 refundable with purchase

Mama might have warned you against gluttony, greed, sloth and the like, but Michael and David
Phillip’s signature wine gives you plenty of good reasons to sin with Zin.

Their acclaimed “7 Deadly Zins” is a blend of fermented juices from seven different Old Vine
vineyards in Lodi. The wine also contains a bit of Petit Sirah and Petit Verdot and has 15 percent alcohol content.

An onsite café, bakery, seasonal fruit stand and plant laden picnic area inspires individual al fresco food
and wine pairings.

Photo Credit: Linda J. Bottjer

Van Ruiten Vineyards
340 W Highway 12
Lodi, CA
(866) 334-5722
Hours: Daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Pricing: Tasting fee $5.00 refundable with purchase you take stock in awards the Wall Street Journal named Van Ruitan’s 2007 Old Vine Zinfandel as the “Best in America”. Grapes grown from vines planted over half a century ago by founder John Van Ruitan gives the Zin bright berry flavors and aging in new American oak imparts a delightful depth to the wine’s finish. Other Zins offered are “Glory Days”, “Late Harvest”, “Sideways – Lot 69” and “Ancient Vine”.
The flower abundant outdoor patio invites wine lovers to linger.

Photo Credit: Linda J. Bottjer

Jessie’s Grove
1973 W. Turner Road
Lodi, CA
(209) 368-0880
Hours: Daily noon to 5 p.m.
Pricing: Tasting fee $5.00 refundable with purchase
Reviews, Directions & More InfoEvery sip of their Zin blends the past with the present. Jessie was the current owner’s grandmother and her German immigrant father, a rancher, planted vines in 1888. The grapes are still harvested and transformed, in part, into the spiced and hearty fruited “Westwind” Zin. Other Zins include “Fancy Quest” and “Earth, Zin and Earth”. The tasting room is an eclectic mix of dainty great aunt treasures and rugged cowboy gear. Outside, enjoy the free museum of old farming and ranching implements and frequent concerts held under a grove of oak trees.

Photo Credit: Linda J. Bottjer

M2 Wines
E Turner Road #D
Lodi, CA
(209) 339-1071
Open: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Thursday to Mondays
Pricing: Tasting fee $5.00 refundable with purchase Lodi’s industrial area look for four stacked wine barrels, along the roadside, to discover one of the
new artisan winemakers. M2 Wines spends their resources on their products instead of a stunning
tasting room. The deep berried and cherried flavor Old Vine Zin comes from grapes grown at the
nearby Soucie Vineyards while the “Artist” series is a blend of three vineyards’ fruits.

Don’t feel like working so hard? Check out the Best Wine Bars in the Sacramento area.

Linda Bottjer is a full-time writer whose love of California wine leads her on many grape adventures. Her
work can be found at