We're a couple from the UK who are coming to California for 2 weeks in September. Starting in San Fran and driving over to Lake Tahoe, we thought it would be fun to stop in a wine region for a couple of nights. Having looked at Napa, it seems like it might not fit with us too well - expensive, pretentious (?) and must have bookings well in advance for most wineries. We're much more casual, would like to rent bikes to cycle around and then stop when we feel like it to visit a winery or cafe. Having done a bit of research, Lodi seems to fit the bill a bit better (we are not at all bothered about Napa as a "brand", just as happy tasting an 80% wine from Lodi at half the price of a 90% wine from Napa for example).
I have a few questions which I can't find good answers to -
1) We will be there mid week, Tues 6/Weds 7 Sept - will there be a good number of wineries open? Do we have to make reservations?
2) What is the average price of a tour / tasting?
3) Where is the best place to rent bikes?
4) Is it really a good alternative to Napa for 2 people who are happy to try something a little different?