Ripken Winery • Lodi, CA
Ripken Vineyards and Winery is truly what Lodi Wine is all about. Ripken is a family winery full of eclectic spirit, homespun brands and a pioneering spirit. Ripken is a great representation of what Lodi Wine is all about. When I popped in to visit on a Friday earlier this year, there was a humble sign that said, “We’re tasting out back today!” It was a warm California winter day and the high 60’s in the new year signaled time to head outdoors and get some sun. As I strolled around back, I soon found myself enjoying a great a private tasting on their sun soaked patio. We were later joined by the winemaker herself and she was happy to takes some time to share her approach to making wine. The more I explore Lodi, the more I find this scenario to be the rule rather than the exception. Lots of humble, friendly folks and plenty of local charm.
As you pull up to the winery, the eclectic winery barn/tasting room emerges and it looks like it is growing out of the vineyard itself. There are grapes on all sides and then there is this barn brightly emblazoned with the Ripken label. It’s a great frame for the camera. Slightly obscured on the east side of the barn is a fantastic patio which I hear has great summer tastings with live music. Peaceful beauty.
Ripken is family winery like so many in Lodi. This is truly a family run business. The winemaker is even a Ripken. Susan Ripken is all about small lots and maintaining a handmade expression. The family motto is, “We go down the road less travelled to bring you wine that is different.” You definitely see this in the variety of appellations harvested and presented in their wines. Their motto is highlighted in their trademarked line named “Under the Sea.” The grapes harvested for these wines come from their vineyard that is located in the nearby delta region. The unique geography of small islands and winding levees have created an agricultural region which allow for a vineyard to be planted below sea level. Definitely not something you see everyday.
Ripken is definitely worth a visit the next time you are in Lodi. Take a lunch and enjoy the patio!
2472 West Sargent Rd
Lodi, CA 95242
How to get there:
Take I-5 to Lodi and exit HWY 12 East toward Lodi. Follow HWY 12 a few miles and turn left on Devries Road. Turn right on the next road which is Sargent Road. The winery will be on your right.