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Lodi Arch welcomes visitors to the charming downtown shopping area

Lodi Arch welcomes visitors to the charming downtown shopping area

If you follow my posts, you know that I adore wine tourism. I love to seek out idyllic destinations around the world where you can enjoy a Vino con Vista; a beautiful place to enjoy wine in the place where it is actually grown. Places like Piedmont and Tuscany in Italy; and the Napa Valley, the Santa Ynez Valley and Sonoma County in California offer perfect Vino con Vista opportunities. Let’s face it, grapes and vineyards seem to thrive in the most glorious destinations in the world! I guess we can thank the Greeks and the Romans for the fascinating aspects of modern day wine tourism in the sun-drenched vineyards of Lodi.

Wine Map of Italy

Wine Map of Italy

“Celebrate the Harvest” A Tribute to wine growing in downtown Lodi by Rowland Cheney

Wine grapes

Wine grapes

Old Zinfandel Vines in Lodi

Old Zinfandel Vines in Lodi

I recently discovered an enchanting wine destination along the Mokelumne River in Northern California with over 80 wineries and plenty of tasting rooms. I had a opportunity to get up close and personal with the region’s grapes and many of the multi-generational growers in Lodi at the 9th annual Wine Bloggers Conference. Lodi California 604

WIne Bloggers Conference on Hutchinson Street at Robert Mondavi's former high schoool

Wine Bloggers Conference on Hutchinson Street at Robert Mondavi’s former high schoool

Lodi Wine

Lodi Wine

Located in San Joaquin County between the San Francisco Bay and the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the region is a wine-lovers paradise! The region’s innovative and passionate producers are generating exceptional food and wine experiences that should catapult Lodi into the wine tourism strastophere! I am so confident about Lodi’s future that I may even buy a place in downtown Lodi. I loved the charming, well-maintained historic California Craftsman bungalows.

It’s relatively close to the UCDavis legendary Department of Viticulture and Enology. Now that I have retired from 30 years as a business professor, maybe I’ll pursue a new degree. I would love to better understand the scientific study of grape-growing and winemaking.

 

Cute houses in downtown Lodi

Cute houses in downtown Lodi

Lodi California 077

LODI FACTS:

Lodi AVAs

“The Lodi AVA is located in the northern Central Valley of California, at the northern edge of the San Joaquin Valley east of the San Francisco Bay.

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LODI
Type American Viticultural Area
Year established 1986, amended in 2002
Country USA
Sub-regions Alta Mesa AVA, Borden Ranch AVA, Clements Hills AVA, Cosumnes River AVA, Jahant AVA, Mokelumne River AVA, Sloughhouse AVA
Climate region Mediterranean
Total area 551,000 acres
Size of planted vineyards 90,000 acres

Robert Mondavi was one of the most influential wine gurus in the industry and he grew up in Lodi. In 2001 Robert Mondavi donated $25 million to the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UCDavis for the establishment of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, which opened October 2008.

His former high school in Lodi has been converted into a spectacular conference venue.  Woodbridge is the home of his well known winery. We can probably thank the Mondavi and Gallo families for the success of the wine industry growth in the region. Lodi producers filled the pipeline for powerhouses like Mondavi and Gallo. The growth of the tasting rooms in Downtown Lodi are a perfect example of the profitability of Mondavi’s vertically integrated wineries.

Tasting Wine in Downtown Lodi

Tasting Wine in Downtown Lodi

Many winemakers are following in Mondavi’s footsteps in Lodi. Harney Lane Winery poured their amazing wines at my table at the Blogger Award Event. The product of a 5th generation farming Mettler family offers interesting excursions at Oak Farm Vineyards. Most of their amazing inventory sells out in the Tasting Room.

BBQ at the Blogger Awards Dinner paired perfectly with the Harney Lane Wines

BBQ at the Blogger Awards Dinner paired perfectly with the Harney Lane Wines

Dinner at Estate Crush

Dinner at Estate Crush

At Estate Crush, we made our own Zinfandel blend and then they produced enough bottles for all of the bloggers to take home.

We had a lovely dinner at Estate Crush surrounded by old ZInfandel heritage vines that are used for the "Native" Project

We had a lovely dinner at Estate Crush surrounded by old ZInfandel heritage vines that are used for the “Native” Project

Macchia’s owner Tim Holdener and his bubbly wife Lani poured so many terrific wines that I joined his Wine Club and anxiously await my first shipment. The Barbera was incredible and I loved the dessert wine. The last time I joined a wine club was Moshin in the Russian River Valley and that was many years ago.

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Many of the 80 wineries are winning awards and producing award-winning wines. Located just 90 minutes from San Francisco and 60 minutes from Napa; Lodi produces more wine than Napa and Sonoma combined. Sipping and savoring handcrafted wine produced from multi-generational wine growers and passionate Lodi California winemakers is an excellent way to spend a pleasant vacation in Northern California.

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Lizzy James Old Vine Zinfandel

Lizzy James Old Vine Zinfandel

Historically, Lodi is best known as the full-bodied “Zinfandel Capital of the World” with many vines that are over 100 years old. It is the home of the famous Seven Deadly Zins. More recently, the “Lodi Native” project is releasing some incredibly luscious old vine Zinfandel wines.

The six premier Lodi Native Wines

The six premier Lodi Native Wines

Schmiedt Ranch 2013 Zinfandel

Schmiedt Ranch 2013 Zinfandel

Many Lodi wines are sold exclusively at the respective winery. From the vineyards to the Tasting Rooms, there are plenty of wine tourism opportunities in Lodi.

There are plenty of Vino con Vista opportunities in Lodi

There are plenty of Vino con Vista opportunities in Lodi

Lodi AVAs Lodi California 512

 

Lodi is predominately a red winegrowing region (“approximately two-thirds of the acreage is dedicated to red varieties”). More recently, Lodi vintners are increasingly winning awards for their Rhone and Mediterranean style varietals. In addition to Zinfandel, Lodi is currently the nation’s leading producer of several popular varieties including: Chardonnay, Sauvingnon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. It has over 100 varieties in production.

Lodi offers a vast portfolio of diverse wines. Lodi’s 100,000 acres of deep loam in the AVAs and the desirable Mediterranean climate creates numerous microclimates that allow an incresingly larger variety of grapes and award-winning wines to thrive. The soil is similar to the French Region of Chateauneuf du Pape. Lodi winemakers are winning awards for their Rhone and Mediterranean varietals.

Here’s a list of varietals from the Lodi Wine Commission’s website:

Wine grapes from Lodi

Wine grapes from Lodi

Spanish Varieties:

Albariño, Verdejo, Graciano, Tempranillo, and Garnacha are just a few of the interesting Spanish varieties grown in Lodi soils.

Portuguese Varieties:

Touriga Nacional, Tinta Cão, Souzão, Verdelho, and Tricadeira are grownfinding a natural home in the The wines being produced from these vineyards are utterly delicious. Vibrant, intriguing and refreshing flavors make these varietal wines well worth seeking out.

German Varieties:

Kerner, Bacchus, Riesling, Dornfelder, Gewürztraminer, and Zweigelt some of the German varieties grown in Lodi.

Italian Varieties

Barbera, Aglianco, Sangiovese, Teroldego, and Vermentino made me feel like I was field-tasting in Italy.

Southern Rhone

Cinsault, Viognier, Syrah, Picpoul Blanc, Tannat and many others are grown in Lodi.

Made from Cinsaut grapes in Lodi

Made from Cinsaut grapes in Lodi

Lodi Arch welcomes visitors to the charming downtown shopping area

Lodi Arch welcomes visitors to the charming downtown shopping area

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Wine Map of France

Wine Map of France

To learn more about Lodi visit:

http://www.lodiwine.com/About-Lodi

http://www.lodiwine.com/Wineries

Book a room at the luxurious Wine and Rose Hotel and Spa on Turner Road www.winerose.com  and I’ll meet you at next year’s Zinfest.

http://www.zinfest.com/

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Pictures of Diverse Varietals from Around the World (Courtesy of the Lodi Wine Commission)

 

Spanish Varietals in Lodi

Portuguese Varietals Lodi

German Varietals Lodi

Italian Varietals Lodi

Rhone Style Varietals Lodi


Filed under: Italy Travel Guides Tagged: Italian wine, Lodi Wine, The Best Vino con Vista Wine Tourism Adventures in Italy's Major Wine Regions with Italian Wine Maps, Travel and Tourism, vino con vista, Vino con Vista Wine Trips, Wine, wine tasting, WIne Tourism, Wine Tourism in California, Zinfandel Wine
Lodi California 602

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Chicago’s Holiday Renegade Craft Fair 2015 at the Bridgeport Art Center

by www.vino-con-vista.com on November 12, 2015


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Chicago’s Holiday Renegade Craft Fair will return to the stunning Bridgeport Art Center on December 5+6, 2015! 

If you are interested in participating in any of the Holiday Fairs, visit their Apply page. 

WHEN: 11am-6pm.

WHERE: Bridgeport Art Center,  at 1200 W. 35th St.
You can find route directions to the Fair here.

Filed under: Italy Travel Guides Tagged: Renegade Holiday Art Fair 2015 in Chicago

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Celebrate Fall at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago

by www.vino-con-vista.com on October 12, 2015

 

Celebrate Fall Fest at the Zoo!

“Enjoy harvest-themed family fun across the zoo—including a corn maze, Ferris wheel, giant fun slide, bounce house, pumpkin patch and strolling entertainers—at this new seasonal festival.”

Fridays–Sundays, October 2–18 and Monday, October 12
Find Out More About Fall Fest


Sleepover at the Zoo
Grab your nighttime gear and join us for an indoor adventure at a zoo animal house!

Saturday–Sunday, October 17–18
Sign Up for the Sleepover

Nature in Motion
Explore Nature in Motion: Sculpture at Lincoln Park Zoo, a free art exhibition set amid the zoo’s beautiful gardens.

Through October 31
Learn More at www.lpzoosculpture.org

 

Friday, May 15–Saturday, October 31
Nature in Motion: Sculpture at Lincoln Park Zoo
Enjoy a free, public exhibition of sculptures located throughout the zoo’s beautiful gardens! Free, guided tours of the large-scale works by local artists are offered at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Saturdays, September 19–November 21
LEAP: Learn, Explore and Play (Sold Out)
Children ages 2–3 and an adult can connect with nature in an immersive play space that includes animal encounters, building, drawing, climbing and music-making activities.
Wednesdays, September 23–November 18
LEAP: Learn, Explore and Play (Sold Out)
Children ages 2–3 and an adult can connect with nature in an immersive play space that includes animal encounters, building, drawing, climbing and music-making activities.
Thursdays, September 24–November 19
LEAP: Learn, Explore and Play
Children ages 2–3 and an adult can connect with nature in an immersive play space that includes animal encounters, building, drawing, climbing and music-making activities.
Monday, October 12
Columbus Day Zoo Camp
Kids in preK–4th grade can spend their school holiday discovering the wildlife wonders of East Africa’s Great Migration during this fun, themed day camp.
Monday, October 12
Fall Fest
Enjoy harvest-themed, family-friendly attractions across the zoo including a corn maze, pumpkin patch, rides and seasonal treats!
Wednesday, October 14
Evening Sculpture Stroll
Want to have the zoo all to yourself after the crowds have gone home? Join a sculpture tour guide and a zoo garden expert on an after-hours stroll through the zoo’s sculpture exhibition, Nature in Motion: Sculpture at Lincoln Park Zoo.
Friday–Sunday, October 16–18
Fall Fest
Enjoy harvest-themed, family-friendly attractions across the zoo including a corn maze, pumpkin patch, rides and seasonal treats!
Saturday, October 17
Members-Only Lecture: The Mating Game
Lincoln Park Zoo members ages 12 and older can enjoy a free talk by population biologist Sara Sullivan about animal matchmaking for nearly 600 species throughout North American zoos.
Saturday–Sunday, October 17–18
Sleepover with the Animals (Sold Out)
Families and groups with children ages 5–12 can enjoy after-hours activities and exhibit tours at the zoo, then curl up in sleeping bags next to the zoo’s amazing animals!
Thursday, October 22
Haunted Zoo Lecture
Chicago ghostlore expert Ursula Bielski will share a historical overview of haunted zoo locations and tales from the past to the present in this special talk at historic Café Brauer—itself the purported site of paranormal activity.
Saturday, October 24
Spooky Zoo Spectacular
Celebrate Halloween in a free, safe and family-friendly environment at this annual event hosted by the zoo’s Auxiliary Board! Guests are invited to learn fun facts about the animals, stimulate their minds while making crafts, collect treats and enjoy entertainment throughout the zoo while dressed in their best or spookiest costume!
Tuesday, October 27
Wine & Wildlife: Science of the Magical
Enjoy a glass of wine at this special evening talk by Matt Kaplan, science and technology correspondent for The Economist and author of “Science of the Magical: From the Holy Grail to Love Potions to Super Powers.” A paleontologist by training, Kaplan is also an intrepid explorer of remote wildlife habitats and a chronicler of little-known, amazing animal facts.
Wednesday, October 28
Zoo Ghost Tour (Sold Out)
Join paranormal investigator Ursula Bielski for an after-hours ghost tour of the zoo! The Chicago ghostlore expert will share the zoo’s cemetery roots, highlight a 19th-century “Suicide Bridge” and identify which animal house is most likely to be haunted.
Wednesday, November 11
Veterans Day Zoo Camp
Kids in preK–4th grade will burrow into themed activities exploring how animals hibernate during this fun holiday day camp.
Saturday, November 14
Animal Enrichment Workshop
Adults and kids of all ages can make edible piñatas and other creative enrichment items for the zoo’s animals, then watch the recipients enjoy them in their exhibits!
Wednesday, November 18
Wine & Wildlife: The Masked Bandit
Join zoo scientists and conservation partners for an evening of wine and ecological insights as we discuss efforts to rescue the black-footed ferret from extinction in its native habitat.
Saturday–Sunday, November 21–22
Sleepover with the Animals
Families and groups with children ages 5–12 can enjoy after-hours activities and exhibit tours at the zoo, then curl up in sleeping bags next to the zoo’s amazing animals!
Thursday, December 3
Members-Only Night at ZooLights
Lincoln Park Zoo members and their guests will enjoy exclusive access to ZooLights Presented by ComEd and PowerShares QQQ as well as free skate rental and ice time at Ice Skating at Lincoln Park Zoo!
Monday, December 28
Winter Break Camp
Winter Break Camp offers exciting exploration opportunities for animal and nature lovers in grades preK-4th grade. Discover animal diversity, environmental conservation and ways Lincoln Park Zoo cares for animals at the zoo and conserves them in the wild.
Tuesday, December 29
Winter Break Camp
Winter Break Camp offers exciting exploration opportunities for animal and nature lovers in grades preK-4th grade. Discover animal diversity, environmental conservation and ways Lincoln Park Zoo cares for animals at the zoo and conserves them in the wild.
Wednesday, December 30
Winter Break Camp
Winter Break Camp offers exciting exploration opportunities for animal and nature lovers in grades preK-4th grade. Discover animal diversity, environmental conservation and ways Lincoln Park Zoo cares for animals at the zoo and conserves them in the wild.
Thursday, December 30
Winter Break Camp
Winter Break Camp offers exciting exploration opportunities for animal and nature lovers in grades preK-4th grade. Discover animal diversity, environmental conservation and ways Lincoln Park Zoo cares for animals at the zoo and conserves them in the wild.
Monday, January 18, 2016
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Zoo Camp
Kids in preK–fourth grade can spend their school holiday at the zoo participating in a variety of exciting activities! We’ll be exploring special animal defense adaptations in this day camp, from rhino horns to porcupine quills.
Monday, February 15, 2016
Presidents Day Zoo Camp
Pre-K–fourth graders can spend their school holiday at the zoo participating in a variety of fun, exciting activities. The theme of this camp is animal attractions, from deer antlers to colorful bird plumage!

Filed under: Italy Travel Guides Tagged: Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago

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Open House Chicago 2015

October 11, 2015

“The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago (OHC) is the city’s annual architecture festival. For one weekend in October you can explore Chicago’s most iconic and unique architectural treasures. From mansions to sacred spaces, theaters to private clubs, hotels to … Continue reading

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Boo at the Brookfield Zoo for Halloween near Chicago

October 11, 2015

  Location: Various ‘BOO! AT THE ZOO’ is a  series of Halloween events including: “not-so-scary Zoo Chats” on  bats, wolves and ravens, to a “haunted hayride,” costume parade and pumpkin-carving demonstrations. WHERE: Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield; $16.95 adults, … Continue reading

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Chicago Graceland Cemetery Tour for Halloween

October 11, 2015

Chicago History Museum’s Graceland Cemetery Tour The Chicago History Museum offers guided tours of historic Graceland Cemetery. Established in the 1860s, Graceland is the final resting place of prominent Chicago luminaries, including Louis Sullivan, George Pullman, Marshall Field and Mary Hastings Bradley. … Continue reading

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Sumptuous Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona Spain: Cathedral of the Sea

September 27, 2015

I love the Sumptuous Santa Maria dei Mar cathedral in Barcelona Spain; also known as Cathedral of the Sea in Catalonia. Catalonia was part of the great Aragonese maritime power and at one time it was one of the most … Continue reading

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Monaco’s is a Perfect Destination Wedding Location on the French Riviera

September 25, 2015

If you are looking for the perfect destination wedding spot, go to Monaco on the French Riviera. This is where the highly anticipated Royal Wedding took place. The fairy-tale principality of Monaco is where  Prince Albert II and his South … Continue reading

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Alghero’s Cathedral of Santa Maria in Italy

September 25, 2015

Alghero is a beautiful coastal city of medieval origin situated in the northwestern coral coast of Sardinia. This town is 300 miles off the coast of Spain near Barcelona. They speak Italian as well as Catalan. The recently refurbished cathedral … Continue reading

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Alghero’s Museum of Sacred Art is Full of Treasures

September 24, 2015

Alghero‘s origins date back to the 10th century when the Genoese, with the help of Pisans, repelled the Arabs. Then they obtained land grants from the Judges (giudicati) of Logudoro that governed Sardinia during the Middle Ages. The first capital city … Continue reading

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