Our first visit to Lucca Winery was an invitation to a pick-up party in the Fall of 2014. Located on River Road near Ripon, we were surprised at the number of cars parked in the peach orchard, alongside the road and in the driveway. We were fortunate to find a space next to a tractor. Owner, Mark Lucchesi is a peach and almond farmer who loves to make wine. Judging by the size of the crowd, he has a number of loyal club members who love to drink his wine.
On this visit, we arrived late on a Friday afternoon. This wasn’t the Navigator’s fault. We didn’t make adjustments for the traffic from Turlock to Ripon. It was like driving the 405 in Los Angeles. Yes, we were definitely ready for wine. The Lucca tasting room is part of a large barrel room which can be used for special events. The bar is not huge but there are tables spread around the room, so sitting and tasting is the norm. There are three white wines, one rose, 12 reds and two dessert wines on the tasting menu. The enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff will assist you in choosing. It was the perfect way to “wine down” on a windy Friday afternoon. We tasted the reds and gave top scores to the Old Vine Zin, the Guido and the Dionisio (red blends), the petite sirah and the mourvedre. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the mourvedre. Wine club members receive a 20 percent discount or 25 percent on case purchases and enjoy amazing (I’m not kidding) pick-up parties. If you’re in need of a “wine down,” the tasting room is open Friday through Sunday.
Lucca Winery is hosting its second annual Summer Concert Series. The first show will be June 3 with Foreverland, a 14-piece tribute to Michael Jackson. For tickets and more information on the remaining summer concerts go to Red-Tie.org.
If you’re looking for inexpensive summer white wines, track down these three from Seaglass; the 2015 chardonnay (State Fair Gold), the 2015 sauvignon blanc (Double Gold) and the 2016 pinot grigio (Double Gold). List retail prices are $12 but sale prices should be under $10. You can find the results of the 2017 State Fair Competition at CAStateFair.org/California-Commercial-Wine. The 2016 roses are out and four to look for are; Charles and Charles Columbia Valley Washington, Chronic Cellars Paso Robles Pink Pedals, Ryder Estates Central Coast, and Gerard Bertrand Cotes des Roses. All are readily available, excellent value to price and under $15. Happy wine hunting. Cheers!