Premier Winery Experience participant
For a visit to a family-operated winery that manages to merge the best of modern production and hospitality with rich California farming history, head out northwest of Lodi to the end of rural DeVries Road to where the pioneering DeVries family first settled and began farming back in the 1860’s. The Panella farming family purchased the historical property in 2004 and renovated and updated the vineyards and ranch while maintaining its feel of agricultural history. The 70 acre property is still graced by ancient oaks and features William DeVries’ lovingly-preserved colonial farmhouse built in 1874. Much more than just a tasting room, the deluxe visitor facilities are tied together with the modern-era winery by an expansive and open portico with outdoor spaces where visitors can picnic and purchase a glass or bottle. There is also a private patio for seated tastings with salumi and cheeses, and indoors, a spacious tasting bar and lounge where you can taste through the selection of interesting varietals that are deftly crafted by the two person winemaking team of proprietor Dan Panella and Marilia Nimis Schrader. Lodi’s highly-respected vineyard advisor and winemaking guru, Chad Joseph is Oak Farm’s longtime wine consultant. Oak Farm produces a diverse selection of red and white wines, but Zinfandel is a signature wine. In addition to the Lodi estate blend, be on the lookout for two ringers in particular Hoenrieder and Mohr-Fry. Both are famous old vine Zinfandel sources in Lodi that each produce their own unique taste profile. Arrange to take the Historical Legacy Tour so you can get the in-depth story of the property, the historic home, grounds, and winery operations.