Michael David Winery is located just west of downtown Lodi, California, in the Lodi AVA (American Viticultural Area). This area, southeast of Sacramento, includes about 551,000 total acres of which just over 100,000 acres are farmed for wine grapes in the AVA’s seven sub-regions (see map below). Zinfandel is the predominant varietal grown here, though around 50 different wine grapes are raised within the AVA.

Lodi AVA map

Michael David Winery is named for two brothers – Michael and David Phillips. Their family has been grape farming in the area for over 150 years and they began producing wine under their own label in 1984. Their wine production ventures from primarily Zinfandel commonly offered in the area to include wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Sirah, Petite Verdot, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cinsault, Carignane, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Symphony (a Mustcat de Alexandria/Grenache Gris clone). Their inexpensive 7 Deadly Zins ($16) is a wine commonly seen in wine shops, grocery stores and warehouse retailers (production volume not available).

The Michael David Winery tasting room is a unique destination. There are three operations within the single space, including a casual dining cafe, a small fresh foods grocery and the wine tasting bar. On the rainy day I visited, the tasting bar was packed with visitors most of the time.

Here are two wines I tasted that deserve a special mention:

2014 Freakshow Cab ($20) – Lots of vanilla and cherry, with medium oak influence and soft tannins. 100% Lodi AVA Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 17 months on French oak, 14.5% alcohol.

2014 Gluttony ($59) – A very solid old vine Zinfandel produced from grapes grown in Amador County (best known for the Sierra Foothills AVA and the Shenandoah Valley AVA – not to be confused with the Shenandoah Valley AVA located in the Commonwealth of Virginia). Dark fruits and spice, 17 months in American oak with elevated alcohol at 16%.

Special thanks to Lori and Michael at Dracaena Wines for providing tips for my wine tasting adventure in the Lodi area. Wine Adventurers can follow their highly informative Twitter feed at @DracaenaWines.

Visit Michael David Winery –  4580 West Highway 12, Lodi, CA 95242   Phone: (888) 707-WINE