Lodi Wine Commission has had a BIG year and it’s been a win win partnership to bring the 2016 Wine Bloggers Conference to the area. If you are not convinced Lodi is going to be one of our best WBC’s yet, think again. Not only do we have an excellent agenda, content and speakers for attendees but the team at Lodi Wine has been actively planning some fantastic events for us as well! Check out the post below from the team of at Lodi Wine Commission and start getting excited for WBC16!!
Don’t blink: The 2016 Wine Bloggers Conference is just around the corner and will be here before you know it!
We’re looking forward to seeing familiar faces and greeting new friends. If you’ve never had the opportunity to visit the Lodi Appellation, you’re in for a real treat (and probably a bit of an awakening).
WHAT THE… WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?!?
This seems to be the common reaction to Lodi’s seemingly overnight success by industry folks who are less familiar with the history of our region; and rightly so. Although our growers have been growing fine wine grapes for over 160 years, it has only been within recent years that Lodi has – in a sense – exploded onto the wine scene, garnering titles like “Wine Region of the Year,” “Vineyard of the Year,” “Grower of the Year,” and “Winery of the Year,” by various entities including Wine Enthusiast and the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG), among others.
But those who are “in the know” know that the success of our region hasn’t come out of nowhere. As a matter of fact, Lodi’s evolvement from a supplier of fresh grapes in the late 1800’s to a behind-the-scenes supplier of wine grapes for everyone from home winemakers during Prohibition to premium wine producers through most of the 1900’s has taken over 100 years. Today, with 110,000 acres planted to vines, Lodi plays an integral role as the nation’s largest and most versatile producer of premium wine grapes with more than100 varieties in commercially- and experimentally-grown production. Where there were eight wineries 20 years ago there are now 85, the majority of which are operated by fourth-, fifth-, or sixth-generational farming families.
BUT ENOUGH ABOUT US…
Let’s talk about you: The wine blogger. You’re authentic, relevant, fun-loving and – let’s face it – a bit raw at times. But we dig that about you. In fact, our region prides itself in embodying those same characteristics. And for those of you who have spent any amount of time with our growers and vintners, you know this to be true.
But this isn’t where Lodi’s commonalities with the blogging community end, by any means. While we both play integral roles within our respective industries, we have been underappreciated at times. And yet, we’ve both held strong for years. Why? Because we are integral to the whole.
In our minds, no argument can be made against the value that you – wine bloggers – provide to our region and overall industry. We know that the general wine consumer is most heavily influenced by word-of-mouth recommendations from peers and we’d have to be blind not to know that these recommendations have a huge impact on what consumers across the nation and beyond think about our region and wines, and on what they end up buying.
Yes; Lodi is keenly aware of your importance and places incredible value on your ability to help us share with the world stories of our winegrowing families, our history, and the exciting revolution happening today in our vineyards and cellars.
SO WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT TO GAIN BY ATTENDING #WBC16 IN LODI, CALIFORNIA?
If you’ve never stepped foot on our sandy loam soils or sampled our wines, this is your chance to discover firsthand a wine region that is just now coming into its own. And how exciting is that?
During the conference, you’ll have multiple opportunities to become better acquainted with our winegrowers and vintners as well as our vineyards and wines through afternoon excursions, seminars and tastings.
So if you still haven’t signed up to attend the 2016 Wine Bloggers Conference, you’re in danger of missing out on one heckuva good time. And you can take our word for it. Better yet? Take the words of your peers for it:
Bill Eyer,Cuvee Corner
I’m constantly surprised by the things I believe to be true, about a particular wine region, like Lodi. This is especially true, when it turns out to be completely different than my expectations. This is where perception walks up to meet reality. On this journey into the ‘renewed’ Lodi Wine Scene, my expectations about what I would find there, was turned on its head more than once. Of the five other wine writers who had traveled with me, I was the only one who had been to the area before, and this time around I was happily surprised by what I found.Source.
Jeffrey Kralik,The Drunken Cyclist[JH1]
Every wine region I have ever visited (with perhaps one notable exception) has proclaimed that they, unlike many other regions, have a sense of community and cooperation that really sets them apart from other regions. Seriously. I have heard that in every wine region I have ever visited (with one notable exception). No kidding. In Lodi, though, it seems different. I am not sure if I can put my finger on it, but everyone seems to get along–even recent outsiders are welcomed as insiders and there truly seems to be the belief that each success benefits the whole.Source[JH2] .
While the growers and wine makers certainly take their respective roles in the wine making process very seriously, they do not take themselves all that seriously. Lodi people, for the most part, are fun to be around. They seem to get it: Wine is a beverage. It should be fun.Source[JH3] .
**Note from Lodi Wine: No matter what he says, don’t let Jeff fool you: He had the time of his life traipsing through our vineyards in what he refers to as the “suspect transport vehicle.”
Julia Crowley,The Real Wine Julia
My most memorable moment is actually a combination of similar moments combined: moments that I like to call “tailgate tastings.” Until visiting Lodi, I wasn’t aware that the Lodi region consists heavily of winegrape growers – generations of folks that farm the lands where the fruit is grown and produced into wines that are truly showcasing the terroir of where they once weathered the unpredictable conditions and thrived to survive. There’s such a dramatic sense of place when meeting the winemakers and farmers in the middle of their vineyards, dirt under their nails, bottle of wine in one hand and a shovel in the other. In Lodi, I discovered there’s no better place to taste wine than on the tailgate of a Chevy pickup.Source.
Frank Morgan,Drink What You Like[JH4]
Prior to visiting the region, I pretty much considered Lodi the epicenter of industrial wine production. Each vineyard and winemaker visit chipped away at my misconception of Lodi, revealing a region built by family winegrowers (many multi-generational) — many of them small, boutique operations — deeply passionate about their region, vineyards and wines, deserving of more recognition.Source.
Jon Thorsen,Reverse Wine Snob®
And with that our tour of Lodi was over. We enjoyed the trip immensely but were also left with the distinct impression that the sky’s the limit for this region that is just beginning to hit its stride. It will be fascinating to see how it transforms over the next 5 to 10 years.Source.
Ben Carter,Benito’s Wine Reviews
If I learned anything from Lodi, it’s that they think in the long term. The winemakers and growers are not thinking about next year, instead they’re thinking ahead to the next four or five generations. And even though they are producing a premium, labor-intensive product through this project, the prices per bottle are kept low in order to promote the region and show off the potential. It will be interesting to see how these wines age over the next decade, and I think in the next 10-20 years, people will be bragging about great bottles from Lodi. The talent is there, the soil is there, but most importantly, they have the solid weight of farming behind them, and that, after all, is what drives the great wine regions of the Old World.Source.
**Note from Lodi Wine: We had the pleasure of spending a fun-filled three and a half days with Ben and an equally talented group of wine bloggers in early summer 2014. Trip aside, Ben was a regular participant in our quarterly online tastings and we continue to miss his enthusiasm for our region and wines as well as his overall love of the industry. Ben – we’re also excited to see how our region and wines will evolve over the next 10-20 years. Cheers to you, thank you and you will always be remembered here in Lodi.
Convinced Lodi is the place to be this August? Register for WBC today!