Sunday, January 22, 2012

STUCK IN LODI, AGAIN - Pt. 3 - Berghold Vineyards

Pt. 3
Berghold Vineyards

Yup.  Still stuck in Lodi sipping some delicious wine.  Tough job I know, but you know what they say (whoever “they” are): “Someone’s gotta do it.”

And, remember… this was Thanksgiving week. Richard and I have a “tradition” when going north to Sacramento and the Bay Area for the turkey holiday.  No Christmas music on the drive up… but, once that turkey’s been carved and eaten, Christmas music in the car prevails.  However, even though we’d devoured the turkey two days prior, I wasn’t getting into the Christmas spirit.  Well, that was about to change.

When we walked into the tasting room (actually two large rooms) of the Berghold winery, “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” streamed through my head. Owner Joseph Berghold and his wife (and winery manager) Julia...

...had decorated every corner and tabletop in the rooms with a holiday visual wonderland.


Transplanted from Pennsylvania, the Bergholds have been farming grapes since 1986 and opened their winery and tasting room in 2005.  Their son Miles is their winemaker, keeping it all in the family.

The winery’s décor is Victorian and filled with marvelous American antiques (circa 1800s) the Bergholds have been collecting since their antique business days back in Pennsylvania. The winery is filled with one of the largest collections of fine American antiques in the country including a clock from Amish country

stained glass windows, one from a Mainline Pa. mansion

banjos, guitars, accordions, cymbals


 armoirs galore (including one turned into a wine refrigerator and another into a cigar humidor)

and a carved, mahogany bar that began its life in New York, but was moved to a bordello in a coal mining town in Pennsylvania (love this provenance) and now graces the winery where tasters can sidle up and sip to their hearts’content.

But above all, this is still a winery and, as Joseph gave us a tour of his collection, we sipped wine made from grapes on the surrounding 85 acres.  And, what an early Christmas present these wines turned out to be.  

The 2008 viognier ($19.99) with its rich fruit and spice flavors and buttery aftertaste was my favorite white.

And three reds topped my list: The 2007 Foot Stomp Zinfandel ($22.99), the 2007 Merlot ($22.99) and the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.99). 

Well, four. Can’t forget the non vintage 2009 Crankcase red ($34.99), a secret blend of four varietals  - big, bold, bawdy and bursting with fruit.  Perfect for sipping at a bar with a bordello in its past.

We marveled at the antique collection, sipped wonderful wines, then bid farewell to the Bergholds.  Our tasting adventure was over, but I do hope to be stuck in Lodi again.

Berghold Vineyards
17343 N. Cherry Road
Lodi, Calif. 95240

Note:  As is customary, wines are discounted for wine club members.

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