Through the sipping glass - A Wine Lover’s Guide to Stockton
There’s a lot more to wine tasting than sipping ancient elixirs from a stemmed glass.
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The truth is you can drink wine anywhere, but to dig deeper into how a wine region develops its culture from nearby appellations is an entirely different story, most people look for answers to in places like Napa and Sonoma.
Stockton has incredible resources to help answer these questions—without the pricey Napa tastings or the intimidation of overzealous sommeliers. Stockton is located just south of one of California’s best-kept wine secrets. And with easy access to fresh ingredients from the Central Valley, Stockton knows a thing or two about wine pairing.
Here are some unexpected ways to sip, learn, explore and celebrate wine in Stockton.
A Historical Perspective
Sorelle Winery was founded in 2007, when new owners of the historic Dodge House replanted the vineyard, which had been a source of income for the Dodge family as far back as 1866. Today the estate is a beautiful reminder of days gone by, and a sentiment to the bountiful farmlands that helped shape the Central Valley.While the Dodge House and Sorelle Winery are often used for private events and weddings, visitors can go explore these grounds most days and can enjoy a wine tasting at the family’s tasting room Thursday through Sunday. Bring your own picnic and enjoy classic Italian varietals like sangiovese, muscat and more. Plus, you’ll get to peer back in time and gain a historical perspective of Stockton only few places can offer.
Find Your Happy Place
Located in Stockton’s bustling Miracle Mile shopping district, Mile Wine Company is a wine bar with a specially curated wine selection by proprietor and sommelier Paul Marsh.This swanky bar has a contemporary vibe with rustic finishes inside and on the sweeping patio. There are lots of ways to enjoy wine here, including a guided wine tasting with certified sommeliers every second Tuesday of the month; but the real party goes down every Monday through Thursday for happy hour, when you can enjoy $5 house wines and $5 draft beers. Whether you’re looking for a bit of education or just a good time, Mile Wine Company has what you need to get happy with a glass of wine in Stockton.
Just north of Stockton is the city of Lodi, surrounded by the well-known Lodi appellation, which over generations has become the “Zinfandel Capital of the World.” Klinker Brick Winery has been in the Felton family for five generations. This winery has become a leading authority on zinfandel, having been one of the first family wineries in the area to successfully grow the varietal. Old Ghost, an annually produced, old-vine zinfandel, is one of the winery’s most recognized and celebrated bottles. The wine is made from grapes that grow on a small plot of vines that date back more than 90 years.Don’t miss your chance to taste these historic grapes and learn more about how they helped shape Lodi’s good fortune. Klinker Brick Winery’s tasting room is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Phillips family has been cultivating Lodi farmlands for six generations. In addition to growing fresh fruits and vegetables, David and Michael Phillips began making wine with progressive farming techniques that are today 100 percent sustainable certified. In addition to Michael David Winery, the Phillips Farm Stand features farm offerings like fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as hot food dishes from the inside restaurant. And don’t forget to stop by the nearby tasting room for a chance to taste the locally produced wines. You can explore the vineyard and farm with friends or family, and learn more about sustainable, organic farming. Plus, this vineyard is dog friendly, so feel free to bring your well-behaved pooch while you explore.
Wine and Cheese Pairings
Oakdale Cheese and Specialties has been making handmade cheese for four generations. Located east of downtown Stockton, wine enthusiasts simply can’t ignore an opportunity to explore the wine pairing possibilities inside this creamery. The store opened in 1893, and specialized in a handful of creamy confections including yogurt and smoked gouda. Today, you’ll find all kinds of wine accoutrements inside Oakdale. Stop by the creamery during store hours and enjoy a self-guided tour of the facility, and learn all there is to know about cheese-making while you’re there.
The wine culture of the San Joaquin Valley is through and through a unique experience. Enjoy it through a different lens the next time you’re making moves in and around the Stockton area.