Wendy Van Diver
August 20, 2012 | Wine Country Travel | Wendy Van Diver

Discovering Lodi (part 2)

Have you ever met a Lorikeet? I hadn’t until I went to Lodi’s Micke Grove Zoo. The intimate zoo lies in the heart of Micke Grove Park… past playgrounds, softball fields, and picnic grounds. On the morning of August 12th, I had the honor of being the first guest to step into the tented aviary to say good morning to the colorful birds. One lorikeet landed on a docent’s head and proceeded to softly peck at her hair. She instructed me to extend my arm and it only took a moment for another lorikeet to land there. He/she inched along my arm curiously. It was a sweet and beautiful way to start another day in Lodi. After my zoo visit and a peaceful stroll through Micke Grove nearby Japanese Garden, it was time to sample some Lodi wine.

My first stop was Klinker Brick Winery where I was welcomed by Stephanie and Kim in the tasting room. I had become familiar with Klinker Brick a while back because it is featured in Touring & Tasting. I was anxious to try its new releases and I was very impressed. I’m taking a bottle of the 2010 Farrah Syrah home with me! Acquiesce Winery’s Susan Tipton was ready for me when I arrived around noon. She has a wonderful way with French white varieties like Roussanne and Viognier—quite unexpected in Lodi. I appreciated the fact that she provided pairings for her wines like Dubliner cheddar smeared with a delightful confit which she sells in the tasting room. Her dedication to expressing her French varietals is even demonstrated in her exquisite French bottles. I bought three!

Wall art at Acquiesce

Wall art at Acquiesce Winery

From there, it was time for lunch. I headed for downtown Lodi and Dancing Fox Winery, Bakery & Eatery. I sat at a long community table where I savored the Garden of Eden salad with freshly grilled chicken paired with a glass of Fire Dance white wine. From there, I strolled up School Street, making stops at Lodi Cooks (a wonderful culinary emporium that’s run by a husband and wife who warmly greet customers and spend a great deal of time answering their questions); and Cheese Central (a delightful cheese shop that promotes local cheeses, charcuterie, jams, and much more, plus cooking classes and tastings).

Cheese Central selection

Cheese Central offers an amazing selection

With Ryan Sherman of Fields Family Wines
With Ryan Sherman of
Fields Family Wines

I had pre-arranged to meet up with Ryan Sherman, co-owner and winemaker for Fields Family Wines, at the winery’s downtown tasting room. Denise was on hand to greet me in the tasting room, and Ryan joined us just as soon as the movie he and his buddies were at ended across the street. Ryan has lived in Lodi most of his life, but he’s a relative newcomer to winemaking. You wouldn’t know it from his impressive portfolio. I enjoyed hearing Ryan’s story about how he moved from the marketing world to real estate and winemaking to lead a healthier, less stressful life. He seems happy and I look forward to seeing what he does next.

It was late in the afternoon when I said goodbye to Ryan and Denise, and I was glad to arrive at Wine & Roses Resort & Spa. I was advised that the adjacent Lodi Wine Visitor’s Center would close at 5, so I sauntered in for one more tasting. This informative tasting room is a co-operative effort representing hundreds of Lodi wines from an impressive number of wineries and vineyards in the Lodi wine region. The pour list changes each Wednesday. I was especially excited to taste the 2011 Lange Twins Sauvignon Blanc, the 2011 Grady Family Vineyards Pinot Grigio, and the 2009 Six Hands Carignane. From there, I got settled in my beautiful, spacious room overlooking a little waterfall and luscious greenery.


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