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Relatively Excellent Lodi Tour - Part III

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Posted: Monday, December 22, 2008 12:00 am

If your visiting relatives are staying at the new Hampton Inn & Suites or the Inn at Locke House, the eastern loop of wineries would be a good bet.

Start in the old 50,000 gallon redwood tank that serves as the tasting room for Oak Ridge Winery. Continue the migration eastward in search of elegant and unique Christmas gifts at Berghold, then throw a progressive tasting party featuring five wineries at Vino Piazza.

While Vino Piazza can be a day unto itself, spare some time for Crystal Valley Cellars at the end of the line in Clements. If it’s freezing outside, their cozy fireplace and Rhône reds will warm your bones in no time.

Probably the most romantic of Lodi’s winery loops is found on the southern side of town. Put your guests up at Amorosa Inn, then chauffeur them out to Omega, Harmony Wynelands with Bob’s magnificent pipe organ (ask him to play!), d’Art Wines, and Borra.

End the day at Vino Con Brio, just across the patio from the inn. You’ll be able to take some of your purchases right back to the dinner table, light a couple of candles, and you’ve got a wonderful evening.

Finally, you can make a day of it right around downtown, shopping and sipping at Grands Amis, cellardoor, m2 Wines, and, if you’re lucky, St.Amant.