The West is wine country

The West is home to the country's best wine regions. Explore them all and taste their best offerings, from the cult cabs of Napa to the Pinots of Willamette Valley

One perfect day in Lodi, CA

Visit a Central Valley town that knows its wine

Abundance Vineyards

Stop by Abundance Vineyards for a glass of vino in a Tuscan villa-style tasting room.

David Fenton

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Lodi Wine and Visitor's Center
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Micke Grove Park and Zoo
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Crush Kitchen and Bar
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Why go now: The weather's pitch perfect, the vines are emerald green, and new wineries and tasting rooms are sprouting up overnight.

Another reason: ZinFest (May 13-15; zinfest.com), a three-day tasting party on the shore of placid Lodi Lake that brings you nose to brim with 250 wines from the region's best producers.

Easy going: Most of the action is located within a 15-minute drive from downtown.

The vibe: Laid-back, as in the person filling your glass more often than not made the wine.

Grape cred: The 600,000 tons of wine grapes grown here each year is more than Napa and Sonoma combined.

Star of the show: Zinfandel. Lodi produces nearly half of California's big, juicy red Zin.

Old-school vines: Some local Zin vines date back to the 1880s. Many survived because of the 1970s boom in white Zinfandel--yes, the sweet pink stuff.

Hometown hero: Robert Mondavi, who put California wine on the map, grew up here.

Backroads, big pours: The bulk of Lodi's wineries are concentrated along a grid of country roads. Start at powerhouse Michael David Winery (4580 W. State 12; michaeldavidwinery.com) for five free pours, including the iconic 7 Deadly Zins. Next, shoot north to Abundance Vineyards ($5 tasting; 1150 W. Turner Rd.; abundancevineyards.com) to sip fruit-forward Petite Sirah in a Tuscan villa-style tastint room looking out over the vineyard.

 

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