Master-Somm-Catherine-Fallis-presents-at-Lodi-ZinFest-2015-300x200Lodi ZinFest tents from across Mokelumne River (3)

Lodi grape growers and winemakers produce some of the best Zinfandels in the world.  Two hours inland from San Francisco, temperatures climb and the sun shines bright all summer here, allowing grapes to ripen perfectly year after year. But thanks to cooling effects of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, running from the Central Valley directly to the chilly, gray San Francisco Bay, little fingers of fog and wind caress Lodi vineyards every afternoon, allowing the grape plants repose, and as a result, allowing natural grape acidity to maintain its presence, the key to balance, focus, and longevity.

While staying in their lane with good old American Zinfandel, local producers tend to branch out like crazy with grapes from every corner of the world for the rest of their offerings. For this article, we reviewed made wines made with Verdelho, a grape from Madeira, Albarino, Garnacha and Verdejo from Spain, Bourbolenc, Cinsault, Chenin Blanc, Clairette, Picpoul, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Viognier from France, and even Vermentino and Pinot Grigio from Italy. The wines across the board were vibrant, lively, unoaked, and crisp – perfect patio, pond, beach or boat wines.

Here are our top picks of sunny white, rose and sparking wines from Lodi to enjoy all summer long.

2017 Bourboulenc label

2017 Acquiesce Bourbolenc Mokelumne River Lodi California USA  91
12.5%, 750 ml, $28
Silky and creamy then tart and dry with notes of lemon zest, yellow apple, yellow cherry, peach pit and ginger.

More Acquiesce reviews:

2017 Verdejo Front

2017 Bokisch Vineyards Verdejo Clay Station Borden Ranch Lodi California USA  88
12.5%, 750 ml, $20
Lightly sweet and supple with notes of lime, honeydew, peach, guava and fennel sausage.

More Bokisch reviews:


HL Albarino

2017 Harney Lane Albarino  Lodi California USA  91
13.5%, 750 ml, $20
Creamy and subtle with notes of lemon curd, apricot, almond, sage and pine needle.

More Harney Lane reviews:

2017Grenache Blanc-F-01

2017 Klinker Brick Winery Grenache Blanc  Lodi California USA  90
12.8%, 750 ml, $25
Fleshy, juicy and dry with notes of lemon pith, red apple skin and just ripe pear.

More Klinker Brick reviews:


2017 Lange Twins Sangiovese Estate Lodi California USA  91
12.6%, 750 ml, $15
Deliciously refreshing and dry with notes of lemon, apricot, watermelon, dried herbs and violet.

More Lange Twins reviews:


nv LVVR Chardonnay Verdelho Viognier  Lodi California USA  90
12.8%, 750 ml, $24
Rich and dry with fine, long-lasting bubbles and notes of almond croissant, lemon bar and caramelized ginger.

More LVVR reviews:

ReserveRose-McCay Cellars

2017 McCay Cellars Grenache  Lodi California USA  89
12.8%, 750 ml, $18
Crisp and fresh with notes of lemon, strawberry and just ripe watermelon.

More McCay Cellars reviews:


2017 Michael David Winery Sauvignon Blanc  Lodi California USA  90
12.5%, 750 ml, $16
Soft, inviting, light and dry with notes of lemongrass, thyme, peach, guava and pineapple.

More Michael David reviews:


2017 Oak Farm Sauvignon Blanc Mohr-Fry Lodi California USA  88
12.5%, 750 ml, $20
Fresh, dry and racy with notes of lemongrass, lime zest and peach.

More Oak Farm reviews:


2016 Paskett Winery Verdelho Silvaspoons Lodi California USA  90
13.5%, 750 ml, $28
Fresh, crisp and dry with notes of lemon custard, pink grapefruit, nectarine, kiwi and dried sage.


2017 Peltier Vermentino  Lodi California USA  90
12.5%, 750 ml, $18
Light, dry and fresh with notes of lime zest, pink grapefruit, mango, citrus blossom and sourdough bread.

More Peltier reviews:

14 Rosato

2016 Uvaggio Cinsault  Lodi California USA  89
12.5%, 750 ml, $24
Fresh, lively and dry with notes of lemon, raspberry and strawberry.

More Uvaggio reviews:

2017 Pinot Grigio

2017 Van Ruiten Family Vineyards Pinot Grigio  Lodi California USA  89
12.4%, 750 ml, $10.99
Light, juicy and refreshing with notes of lemon pith, peach, egg custard, toasted almond and chamomile.

More Van Ruiten reviews:


Find these wines at Whole Foods,, at your local grocer or wine merchant or order from the winery websites.

Would you like to learn more about the ten most popular grapes in the world? Check out our latest book, available for pre-order on

10 Grapes to Know by Catherine Fallis

Enjoy summer!

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