This Thursday, June 28th, 2018, Wine Business Monthly will host the Lodi Vineyard & Wine Economics Symposium at the Wine & Roses Conference Center. In just the last week, they’ve added numerous top-notch speakers from all over California. Not only is this an excellent networking opportunity but you’re sure to learn something as well!
To register, please click HERE. Here is a sneak peek at the educational sessions, which are improved from 2017:
THE ECONOMIC TRENDS DRIVING CHANGE IN THE LODI AG REGION
Brad Alderson, Wine and Winery Consultant
The third annual Lodi Vineyard and Wine Economics Symposium will open with a presentation of the results of the 2018 Survey of Vineyard Economics Issues and Trends in Lodi and surrounding regions, presented by wine industry veteran and advisor Brad Alderson. Brad Alderson has spent the last 35 years promoting a vision for wines of style, personality and quality that would stand with great wines of the world, and has been to accomplish this first as the founding winemaker of Robert Mondavi’s Woodbridge Winery and then as a vice president and general manager for Robert Mondavi. After leaving Woodbridge at the end of harvest in 2007 he is now working as an advisor on wines, winemaking and winery operations for wineries both in Lodi and in other wine regions. Alderson also authored the petition for establishing the Lodi appellation, and in 1986, Lodi was recognized as one of the first American Viticultural Areas (AVA) in California.
HOW WINES FROM LODI AND SURROUNDING REGIONS THRIVE IN THE BROAD MARKET
Brian Lechner, Nielsen Research
In the U.S., wine sales continue to grow, but the landscape is increasingly diverse in terms of consumers, segments and performance of wines from various regions. This session will uncover key regional and consumer trends to show what’s winning with consumers so you can keep abreast and stay ahead of the market. Brian Lechner is the vice president, group client director for Nielsen’s West Premier/Beverage Alcohol team. Lechner has nearly 20 years of progressive experience in analytics, custom research and beverage alcohol marketing. He has managed research teams at Central Garden & Pet and Clorox, served numerous and varied clients during his Nielsen tenure and was previously in brand marketing, trade marketing and sales for Beringer Wine Estates (now Treasury Wine Estates). Lechner has an MBA from the Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine, and a BA from Arizona State University.
IMPORTANCE OF LODI WINES IN THE RETAIL CHANNEL AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH
Curtis Mann, Director of Alcohol and Beverages, Raley’s Family of Fines Stores
Wine retail visionary Curtis Mann worked in multiple levels of the wine business, learning to understand the consumer before joining Raley’s grocery stores. Mann converted the wine departments of dozens of stores from basic grocery-store aisle experiences to an intimate wine shop feel. Find out what makes a lesser-known region, or rare varietal, attractive to the retailer and wine consumer. For Lodi, the Delta and surrounding regions, there may be interesting opportunities for retail expansion and growth. Under Mann’s direction Raley’s was awarded a coveted Wine Star award for “Retailer of the Year” from Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
PREMIUMIZATION PROS: TIPS ON BUILDING HIGH-END, LOCAL BRANDS
Stacie Jacob, Solterra Strategies – MODERATOR
Lexi Boeger, Boeger Winery, El Dorado Hills Winery Association
Joan Kautz, Kautz Family Vineyards
Morgan Twain Peterson, Bedrock Wine Co.
Sue Tipton, Acquiesce Winery
Lodi, the Delta and the Sierra Foothills have become wine regions on a fast rise. The challenge and opportunity for this trio of related regions is based on past perceptions, as well as increasing possibilities for the future. This discussion will include the tactics that worked to build brands in other rising regions, such as Paso Robles, as well as stories from wineries using locally-grown grapes that have made the leap to the ultra-premium level.
THE BACKBONE OF CALIFORNIA WINE: LODI-DELTA GRAPE AND BULK WINE
The Lodi-Delta region is referred to as the backbone of “California Appellation Wine.” Turrentine Brokerage will describe how the Lodi-Delta region fits in to the California wine business and describe, in detail, the current grape market compared to other regions within California, while further describing what “it” is that draws buyers to the Lodi-Delta region. “Hot,” and not-so-hot (for now), grape varieties will also be examined. Finally, how does Turrentine Brokerage use the Lodi and Delta brand, and how is the brand for grapes and bulk wine perceived in the market place?
HOW WINEGRAPE GROWERS CAN THRIVE RATHER THAN SIMPLY SURVIVE, THROUGH EFFECTIVE GRAPE MARKETING
Jeff Bitter, incoming President, Allied Grape Growers – MODERATOR
Stephanie Bolton, PhD, Lodi Winegrape Commission
Rodney Schatz, Peltier Winery
Marshall Miller, Thornhill Companies (Bien Nacido Vineyards & more)
Tegan Passalacqua, Turley Wine Cellars
How do grape growers not only survive, but thrive? It could be argued that winegrapes from the Lodi region are the highest-quality grapes grown in the entire San Joaquin Valley—but though the quality is high, as evidenced by the North Coast wineries eager for this fruit, the price points for Lodi and surrounding regions fall short of other AVAs throughout the state. As costs associated with farming rise, what can growers do to market their vineyards and position grapes at a higher value, to command a premium price?