If you want to drive into the countryside west of Lodi, Phillips Farms is a key destination.
Locals know the ranch as Phillips Farms, while those outside the area know it better by its alter ego, Michael~David Winery.
Located on Highway 12, about six miles west of Lodi near Interstate 5, Phillips Farms is a one-stop destination for all the produce you imagine, all kinds of wine, a restaurant that will fill your tummy and an area for children to enjoy.
The Phillips family settled in the Lodi area in about 1865, planting 160 acres of crops. In the late 1960s, Don and Jeannie Phillips started a roadside fruit stand operation at their present Highway 12 location, and added a restaurant in 1978 where farmers could get some hamburgers and fresh-fruit milkshakes. They got into the wine business in 1984. Now they have 800 acres of winegrapes throughout the Lodi area.
Although Don and Jeannie Phillips, the patriarch and matriarch of the family, have turned over operations to their sons Michael and David Phillips, Don still enjoys greeting children.
“Dad was a teacher,” David Phillips said. “He wants to educate children about where food comes from.”
Children are welcome to romp around the grounds and greet the turkeys, rabbits, chickens and pygmy goats.
What food can you buy at Phillips Farms?
All kinds of fresh-fruit pies, ranging from $13.50 to $15.50.
Freshly-baked breads with various ingredients.
All kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables, some grown on the family farms and other purchased locally.
Sweet Red Devil Sauce.
Sticky Sweet Grill Glaze.
Grape cherry syrup.
Grandpa Don’s Homemade Jam (with Don Phillips’ picture on the label).
What about the wine?
Phillips Farms — or Michael~David Winery — has several kinds of wine, some with colorful names. The most famous is 7 Deadly Zins.
“It came from tasting seven different barrels,” David Phillips said.
But if you aren’t “Zinful,” you might want to try some Sloth. Perhaps, you can become part of a Freakshow, or if you think the world is coming to an end sometime soon, have yourself some Rapture. They’re all Michael~David wines.