Lodi

Founded on agriculture, Lodi was once the watermelon capital of the country. Today it's surrounded by fields of asparagus, pumpkins, beans, safflowers, sunflowers, kiwis, melons, squashes, peaches, and cherries. With about 100,000 acres of mostly rich alluvial soils planted to more than six-dozen grape varietals—more types than in any other California viticultural area—Lodi is a major a wine-making grape hub, particularly for Zinfandel. Eighty or so wineries do business in Lodi and neighboring Acampo, Lockeford, and Woodbridge. Lodi itself retains an old rural charm. You can stroll downtown or visit a wildlife refuge, all the while benefiting from a Sacramento River delta breeze that keeps this microclimate cooler in summer than anyplace else in the area.

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