I know it's tacky to show up at a tasting room five minutes before closing (yes, it really was five minutes,) but I did. With good intentions, I left Sacramento allowing time to stop in Lodi for a tasting on my way home. But Traffic had other plans.
While I wouldn't recommend following my example, the staff were nicer than nice and let me do a quick tasting as other guests where still tasting. My previous visit to Jeremy Wine Co. was on a warm day, relaxing, slowly sipping... but even a short visit and a chance to taste and pick up some wine is better than none.
Combine one-part classic, to one-part funky, and you've stepped into Jeremy Wine Co.'s tasting room. The tasteful décor which is full of personality, and the quaint, European-style outdoor courtyard set the scene for sampling their fine wines. Jeremy and Choral Trettevik are the owners of Jeremy Wine Co. The tasting room is in downtown Lodi—which is suited to walking to shops, dining, and other tasting rooms.
At this year's Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento, I happened to walk by a wine label company's rep-booth. They were using a run of Jeremy wine bottle labels as a demo. The “J” logo really stood out with its simplistic yet stylish look. Check out Jeremy Wine Co.'s site for a little bio on their label. Jeremy, among other things, was a wine label designer for many wineries and has an artistic eye. Without spoiling the story, I can say their label is keenly thought out and attractive.
There is something inherently good about seeing someone get a chance to do what they love, and a chance to do it better, bigger, and with more finesse. I feel that way about M2 Wines.
Somehow, I stumbled onto M2 wines a few years back during a visit to Lodi. At the time, the tasting room and production facility were in an industrial building on the outskirts of town. The wine press was in the parking lot and the juice was in the making. I had the chance to meet Layne Montgomery, M2's winemaker. He mentioned their Old Vine Zin came from Lodi Zinfandel vines that were planted in 1916. It was 100% Zin—and that's not necessarily easy to carry off. Well, it was a delicious bottle of wine!
Fast forward, and I finally had the opportunity to visit again. M2 built a swank new winery (in 2014) which is now in Acampo, just a few minutes north of Lodi. This time I ended up meeting Ted Woodruff, general manager and co-owner. I stood in the breezeway and he asked me what I thought about the place. I told him I wanted to live there.
The buildings are set in the middle of a vineyard with grassy areas. The walls are oxidized steel next to warm woods and huge ribbed sheets of recycled plastic. The high ceilings and various seating areas indoors and out continue the peaceful feel, as well as the visual treat. There is even a piece of Alaskan pipe-line that's been turned into an outdoor fire pit. Ted showed us around the winery and then got us up-to-date with M2 wines.
So what about the wines?
In the middle of M2's expansion—in size, influence, production, and volume—they have continued to make their noteworthy wines with finesse.
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