Beloved passport-style event to replace annual lakeside festival at limited capacity in 2021
LODI, CA – Lodi’s highly anticipated 24th annual Wine & Chocolate weekend safely returns Saturday, May 15, and Sunday, May 16, 2021! This event is a fantastic way to spring forward into the new normal with a safe and fun opportunity to taste the diverse selection of renowned Lodi wines while sampling decadent chocolate treats at 20 wineries. This year’s celebration will temporarily replace the region’s annual Row x Row Festival at Lodi Lake which it is unable to host in 2021 due to current health and safety guidelines.
Unlike the bustling weekends of the past, this year’s Lodi Wine & Chocolate will have a more intimate, relaxed feel due to a reservation-only format. At time of ticket purchase, guests of the event will have the opportunity to create a two-day itinerary by pre-booking up to four, one-hour tasting reservations between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. each day for a total of eight reservations over the weekend. Thirty-minute windows between reservation times will allow for travel to and from locations as well as ample time to purchase your favorite wines. Other key changes to this year’s event may be found at lodiwineandchocolate.com/faqs.
“We are eager to welcome guests to our region and tasting rooms during Lodi Wine & Chocolate Weekend,” said Stuart Spencer, Executive Director of the Lodi Winegrape Commission. “A smaller event footprint and attendance will allow us to provide guests with increased opportunities to safely and intimately connect with our winegrowers and vintners.”
This year’s festivities and food delicacies lineup includes live music by The Ryan Hernandez Band at Oak Farm Vineyards, The Primitivo Trio (Saturday) and Paul Blakemore’s Good Time Rock & Roll Roadshow (Sunday) at GoodMills Family Winery, grilled tri-tip with port wine reduction sauce at Estate Crush, cherry port chocolate ice cream at Heritage Oak Winery, grilled chocolate ganache sandwiches at Drava Wines, and more.
Two-day tickets to Saturday and Sunday’s Grand Tasting Tours are $65 per person (plus tax and convenience fees) by advance purchase only at lodiwineandchocolate.com and go on sale today, April 19, at noon. In adherence with safety guidelines, less than 1,300 tickets will be available. Sales will close at end of day Friday, May 7, and will not be available on the days of the event. Tickets to the Grand Tasting Tours include a commemorative wine glass, chocolate treat from partner The San Francisco Chocolate Factory, wine tasting, and admission to pre-selected participating wineries. There is no charge for designated drivers although reservations and tickets are required and may be booked along with reservations and tickets for tasting. All attendees, including designated drivers, must be 21 years of age of older to attend.
About the Lodi Winegrape Commission, event organizer
Established in 1991, the Lodi Winegrape Commission represents the common interests of Lodi winegrowers with programs in marketing, education, research, and sustainable viticulture. The Commission collectively and effectively promotes Lodi’s vibrant, multi-generational farming community and California’s most dynamic wine region. Comprised of nine commissioners and nine alternates, the board of directors provides direction and input on behalf of the region’s 750 winegrowers. For more information about the Lodi Winegrape Commission, visit lodigrowers.com.
About The San Francisco Chocolate Factory, event partner
Passionate about chocolate and determined to deliver a product produced from the finest cocoa beans sourced worldwide, The San Francisco Chocolate Factory (TSFCF) was founded in 1999 as a family business, by Michael Litton who, today, serves as the company’s CEO. Since then, while the company has grown, it has not lost sight of its mission: A passion for and desire to provide quality chocolate for all and love and support of the local community.
Introduced in 2001, the Wine Lover’s Collection by TSFCF featured discs of gourmet dark chocolate in six varying percentages, all wrapped in sleek tins. The trend-setting collection was one of the first on the market to specifically pair wine and chocolate in such a distinct fashion. Still considered as the best on the market, today’s collection has grown to include milk and white chocolate offerings – each accompanied by a suggested wine pairing. Each pairing is taste-tested and endorsed by an in-house sommelier. The San Francisco Chocolate Factory also offers a robust, custom tin program – perfect for corporate and promotional clients as well as weddings and retailers.
The San Francisco Chocolate Factory is proud to continue its mission of providing excellent chocolate and supporting the local community by partnering with Lodi Wine for its annual Lodi Wine and Chocolate Weekend in May of 2021. For further information on TSFCF, visit sfchocolate.com.
About the Lodi American Viticultural Area (AVA)
A historic winegrowing region since the 1850s, Lodi is perfectly situated 40 miles south of Sacramento and 90 miles east of San Francisco. Lodi’s Mediterranean climate and distinct soils allow its growers to cultivate 125 winegrape varieties, making Lodi the most diverse winegrowing region in the United States. The region also serves as home to 85 boutique wineries specializing in small-lot, handmade wines that have garnered major awards at domestic and international wine competitions.
Lodi is naturally a leader in sustainable viticulture. Created by California farmers and accredited by world-renowned scientists, LODI RULES is America’s original sustainable winegrowing program. Held to a high standard of scientific rigor and excellence, the program emphasizes environmentally and socially responsible practices, while keeping economic feasibility in mind for long-term business success. Today, there are more than 51,000 acres certified throughout California and Israel. For more information about the Lodi AVA or LODI RULES, visit lodiwine.com and lodirules.org.