According to the Lucas Winery website, wine tasting at The Lucas Winery is very different than you will encounter at most wineries. We move through the winery while tasting different wines. Depending on the time of year, you might prune a vine, taste Zinfandel grapes almost ready to harvest, punch down some newly harvested grapes, or sample some freshly fermented wine. During my visit we walked through the vineyards as well as the Grand Chai room.
Since 1978, Lucas Winery has made Zinfandels from their historic 90-year old ZinStar Vineyard. Thy also makde Chardonnary. Their specialty is unblended wines. According to the website, winemakers and owners (who are married!) David Lucas and Heather Pyle-Lucas create balanced, food-friendly, elegant wines that reflect the full potential of California’s Lodi Appellation. The ZinStar vineyard is CCOF Organic Certified and their winery is 100% solar powered. Heather says she spends more time in the vineyard than in the winery. She loves getting up in the middle of the night in her pajamas and checking in on how her fermentations are doing!
Lucas is a lovely property and you get the true “heart and soul” feel from every touch point, whether it’s from the warm greeting upon arrival, the pride from the staff as they take you through the vineyard, or the care taken in pouring the wines and telling you the story in the glass.
ZinStar is their signature wine sourced from their 83-year old CCOF organically certified and hand harvested ZinStar vineyard (3.5 acres). The wine has black cherry notes and subtle notes of white pepper. It is a wonderfully complex wine showcasing fruit, spice, and leather. It is VERY food-friendly! We tried the 2012 vintage during this trip. The current vintage is 2015 and retails for $58.
The tasting room is open Wednesday-Sunday and a tasting is $10 and includes a souvenir Riedel glass. They also offer more extensive tastings including the Elevated Tasting Experience which is $40 per person and includes the hands-on, interactive portion of the regular tasting plus the opportunity to taste wines from the library. The other option is the Winemaker’s Tour, which is $75 per person. This tour is private and intimate and includes a tasting menu customized to include library wines, barrel tastings (when available), and rare vintages.