Lodi, two hours inland from San Francisco and a galaxy away from Napa Valley, is known for big, fruity Zinfandels. In fact, Lodi wineries produce some of the finest Zins in the world, and in a multitude of styles. But what many folks don’t know is that local producers tend to branch out like crazy with grapes from every corner of the world for the rest of their offerings. They like to make and drink light, crisp, refreshing whites, rosés, and sparkling wines all summer long, including 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.
While it is warm and sunny enough to fully ripen their grapes each year, cooling effects of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, running from the Central Valley directly to the chilly, gray San Francisco Bay allow the grape plants repose, and as a result, allow natural grape acidity to maintain its presence, the key to balance, focus, and longevity.
Here are our top picks of sunny white, rosé and sparkling wines from Lodi wineries to enjoy all summer long on your patio, pond, beach or boat.
2017 Acquiesce Bourboulenc 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 here.
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 here.
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 here.
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 here.
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 here.
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 here.
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 here.
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 here.
2017 Oak Farm Sauvignon Blanc Mohr-Fry Lodi California USA 88
Fresh, dry and racy with notes of lemongrass, lime zest and peach.
More Oak Farm reviews here.
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
Light, dry and fresh with notes of lime zest, pink grapefruit, mango, citrus blossom and sourdough bread.
More Peltier reviews here.
2016 Uvaggio Cinsault Lodi California USA 89
Fresh, lively and dry with notes of lemon, raspberry and strawberry.
More Uvaggio reviews here.
2017 Van Ruiten Family Vineyards Pinot Grigio Lodi California USA 89
Light, juicy and refreshing with notes of lemon pith, peach, egg custard, toasted almond and chamomile.
More Van Ruiten reviews here.
Find these wines at Whole Foods, wine.com, 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 Amazon.