Food Stuff

Illustration By Conrad Garcia

The most visionary feature in the regional wine scene is Vino Piazza, located in the San Joaquin County town of Lockeford. The vision began five years ago, when Karyn and Don Litchfield bought the concrete ruins of the old Lockeford Winery for a bargain price at a county auction. They dug up underground tanks, painted the concrete buildings in colorful hues and added a deli, courtyards, fountains and arbors. Over the last couple of years, they have leased out all their available space to 14 boutique wineries, each with its own uniquely designed tasting room. Discussions with several winemakers indicated that they have a commitment to quality, and the samples of zinfandel, carignan, cabernet, syrah and chardonnay reveal exceptional elegance for the Lodi-Woodbridge appellation. The Litchfields have succeeded in their vision to convert a vandalized eyesore, located off the beaten path, into a must-visit wine destination. 12470 Locke Road, Lockeford; (800) 939-2566;