Vacation trip to Lodi and Sonoma – Aug 2019 – Days 1 and 2

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″ css=”.vc_custom_1567018291533{margin-top: 700px !important;}”][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”900px”][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Vacations are Awesome!!

For about the last 6 months I’ve been planning our first long vacation . .2 weeks away from home.  And it was also our first long trip with our new RV . . . a 25ft Fleetwood Pulse that we had acquired in March.  My gracious wife determined to let me plan where we would be going and when.  I had decided that I wanted to return to Sonoma county CA, partially because of the great wines to try there, but also because it would be a relatively medium length trip for our first long foray with our new transporter.

The itinerary was structured-ish and flexible to doing other things besides driving and tasting.  I determined about 2 dozen wineries that I wanted to visit, many for the first time.  During this planning phase we have visited a few other wineries and tasting rooms.  One of whom in particular gave us some sage advice.  Steve Saxton at Bravuro Cellars in Newberg acquires most of his grape varieties from Lodi CA.  I mentioned to him what we were planning and he offered his 2 cents . . . which as it turned out was worth much, much more. More on that later

I had determined that there were places with some repute that pop up in Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator from time to time that I wanted to visit.  And a few from our previous visit 2 years ago that I wanted to visit again.  One of the important insights I discovered on this trip was that just because some places is widely known doesn’t automatically make it good. . .to me.  Wine is a very subjective topic.

We began our journey just outside Portland and drove the first day to Redding, with a brief stop in Medford at RoxyAnn Winery.


Roxyann Winery

2017 Pinot Gris – A little citrus and stone fruit on the nose . . .Mid palate had mild flavors and good viscosity with a nice acidity.

2018 Viognier – Bright herbal essence on the front . . .hint of stone fruit and grapefruit . .Really lovely wine . . .Structurally awesome.

2016 Malbec – Deep, dark and luscious . . . The nose and the flavors are in perfect sync . . . loads of dark fruit, mostly plums and cherries with a rounding of chocolate . . .Solid structure. . .Like a winter blanket on my soul

2015 Cabernet Sauvignon – The nose is milder than the Malbec and nicely fruity with some cola . . .the flavors are consistent with the aromas and really well integrated tannins . . Finishes a bit astringent. . just begging for food.

2015 Claret – This is what I came for . . .Cab Sauv 40%. Merlot 30%, Cab Franc 15%, Malbec 15% . . . Explosion of fruit on the front . . it’s very difficult to express how much I love this . . .THIS exudes everything I love about blends . . .


We continued on down the road into Northern California.  We did have to stop at The Olive Pit in Corning.  If you enjoy olives, olive oil or balsamic vinegar . . .This is a must stop. So many variations and choices. . we could have spent hours.

We arrived in the RV park in Redding in the early evening, around 6pm.  It was still near 100 degrees.  Thank you Lord for A/C.  This was just an overnight stop.  On into Lodi in the morning.


We bounced out of bed the next morning and broke camp.  I was very much looking forward to venturing around Lodi.  Our first stop was Harney Lane Winery.  As it happened, we arrived on one of their Pick-up party days.  Parking appeared to be at a premium, but one of the fine gentlemen working the parking lots that day saw us coming in our 25ft RV and directed us to follow him . . . around the tasting room and unto the crush pad area.  He directed us a wide area at the far end of the crush pad, in the shade provided by the production building and the towering trees  . . .nice.  The tasting room was quite bustling.  we were greeted and asked if we were there to pickup, as we quickly let them know that it was our first time.  We were quickly taken to the far end of the bar and dutifully greeted by Jill.  She told us all about the history and legacy that is Harney Lane as she poured some delicious wines.  Even as busy as they were, she remained to give us First Class treatment.  Granted, there were quite a number of ladies behind the bar providing patrons with whatever they might be requiring.  Nevertheless, I believe Jill deserves a shout-out for her splendid customer service.

Harney Lane Winery

2018 Albarino – Zesty citrus aromas . . .Very bright and fresh . . .Great viscosity and texture . . Acids are expertly balanced.  Taking one home.

2018 Dry Rose – A blend of Petit Sirah, Zin and Tempranillo . . .Bright nose of nectarine/peach as well as floral . . .light acidity . . .flavor is a bit herbal and woody

2016 Tempranillo – Lighter side of bold . . .aromas of cherry and tobacco . . .solid structure . . .medium bodied and fruit forward . . 14.5 abv

2016 Zinfandel – Great fruit on the nose . . .dark cherry, blackberry, and a bit of wood with some baking spice . . . nicely integrated . . .a bit hot . . 15.0 abv

Extra pour . . . 2016 Old Vine Zinfandel – More elegant overall but very similar in aromas . . lighter body and lighter flavors . . juicy acidity and supple tannins, ending with a round, pillowy soft finish layered with jammy fruit.

2016 Petit Sirah – A bit more jammy nose . . .palate is very soft with gorgeous flavors of juicy plum, black tea, dark chocolate and pepper.  Taking one home.

NV Lizzy James Zinfandel Port – Gorgeous dark fruit and no notes of dried fruit . . Palate is fresh and very fruit forward.  Seductively sweet, but not cloying, it offers a mouthful of richness.  Very nice!!


Overall, a very enjoyable stop.  I wished we had time to enjoy the tours of the property, but alas. . we are on a mission!!  Onward!![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][dt_fancy_title title=”Photo Gallery” title_align=”left” title_size=”h3″ title_color=”accent”][vc_media_grid element_width=”2″ grid_id=”vc_gid:1567019516991-288bb256-bf4e-3″ include=”15164,3151,3138,5,3119″ css=”.vc_custom_1513876882333{margin-top: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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