Acquiesce Vineyards • Lodi, CA
In my wine adventures, I strive to visit as many new wineries as possible. I think I’ve become a bit compulsive. However, I must admit that I have come to appreciate revisiting wineries more and more. (Never thought I would admit that.) On return visits, you see, hear and feel things that you may likely missed on the first visit. It’s like re-watching Game of Thrones episodes just to make sure you didn’t miss anything. I have had the pleasure of visiting Acquiesce Vineyards multiple times now and must admit that it has become one of my favorite stops in Lodi, CA.
When suggesting wine trips for people, the wine geek surges forward and considers travel times, wine storage, time of year and varietal offerings, depth of flights, blah, blah, blah. All things considered, 8 times out of 10 I will send readers, friends and family to Acquiesce as an awesome first stop for their day skipping around Lodi.
For starters, Acquiesce is located on the North East side of the appellation which minimizes back tracking. Not to mention, when traveling from the Sacramento area, it is likely the first region of Lodi you’ll encounter. They start pouring at 11am, Friday through Sunday, which allows your group the opportunity for a prompt start to the day. The shiny button for me is that Acquiesce is that rare winery that focuses on only Rhone style white wines. How perfect is it to begin your tasting day with only white wines?
Acquiesce Vineyards is the rainbow of Susan Tipton. Her passion for Rhone style wines is where her wine geek compass points. Once you meet her, you understand that I don’t think she would be happy making any other style of wine. I bet she would feel like she was cheating. I’ll have to ask her next time I see her. Despite having made the pilgrimage to France and been around the vineyard for plenty of harvests, Sue doesn’t really understand the snobby that seems to creep into so many wineries. In fact, I have seen her pouring wine for folks on more than one occasion and the guests had no idea that the lady pouring for them picked, sorted, tested, made, bottled and stored the wine they were enjoying. Ironically, I don’t think she notices nor cares. I’m sure the accolades and recognition are important to her but from my vantage point, she seems perfectly content to simply share her passion and the energy of the winery reflects that genuine focus.
When you pull into the winery, you feel like you are in the middle of no where. To be honest, there’s not much out there. However, begin to walk up the path and you take notice of the large mustard colored barn before you. Yup, I said, a large mustard colored barn. I hear it’s over 100 years old. To add to the intrigue and cuteness, the doorway is round with a Tolkien feel to the iron work. <morning picture opp between the Picpoul vines and the barn> It’s unique and almost transports you. As you enter, expect your shoulders to lower and your pace to slow. Beautiful light streams into the open barn through huge glass pains. The interior has been spruced up so it looks nothing like a barn inside. The decor is sparse yet comforting with a hint of whimsical. Who doesn’t appreciate a wall sized chalk board waiting for guests to share their dreams? Uh yeah… coolest barn ever!
The typical flight isn’t very long but it is full of passion. It is also full of wines that you likely have never had before. If you tell me a winery Roussanne and Picpoul, I’m planning a trip on that information alone. Let’s just say in my last 100 wineries, I think those have only popped up once or twice. It’s not common. To really cap off your adventure, they love to offer small bite sized pairings that are just delightful. It’s at this point you begin to realize that you have just stumbled into a great wine tasting experience.
If you aren’t convinced, drop me a line and I’ll tell you more on the way over. If you are planning a trip, I definitely suggest a spring morning because the light is so beautiful, especially streaming through the glass windows above the barn door. My first visit to their property was in late November a few years back. What did I know? I was out wine tasting and just following the Lodi Wine signs. When I arrived, I was stunned to find out they were only pouring two wines. Huh? I was so confused. You must keep in mind that Acquiesce is the essence of a boutique winery so they don’t make tons of wine. Combine small production with really good juice and you have a recipe for a winery that must close its doors at the end of the year simply because they have sold all of their juice. Talk about a good recommendation for their product. Luckily for us, Sue love shiny gifts and got one this past year. She isn’t a big jewelry fan but she does love big, new, shiny, stainless steel fermenting tanks. I think that means we can look forward to a little more juice next year. Woo hoo!
22353 N. Tretheway Road
Acampo, CA 95220
How to get there:
Take CA-99 South from Sacramento to Lodi. Exit Peltier Road to the right, it loops right around and over the freeway heading East. Follow Peltier Road almost 5 miles until Tretheway Road. Turn right and the winery is on your immediate right.