FEBRUARY 4, 2019. BY JENNY HEITMAN.
Now in it’s 22nd year, the highly-anticipated Lodi Wine & Chocolate Weekend drives nearly 6,000 people from across the United States to our region annually.
Marked by a festive and energetic atmosphere due to its proximity to Valentine’s Day, the event’s passport format allows new and returning audiences to explore the diverse range of wines within our region as they travel from winery to winery.
Promotion and execution of Lodi Wine & Chocolate Weekend is overseen by the Lodi Winegrape Commission’s Lodi Wine Country Committee (Steve Felten, Lani Holdener, Jorja Lerner, Dan Panella, David Phillips, Susan Tipton, Jeremy Trettevik, Jon Bjork). On an annual basis, Lodi Wine & Chocolate Weekend generates approximately $300,000 in revenue which is re-invested in advertising initiatives for our region.
This year, the committee desired to further elevate the perception of the event by employing a creative agency to develop a new brand mark (“brand” meaning “Lodi Wine & Chocolate” and “mark” meaning “logo and accompanying graphic”). This mark will continue to be utilized over the coming years, creating consistency in messaging and tone.
Development of the new brand mark fell to Sacramento creative agency, Honey Agency.
How did they do it?
To begin, Honey Agency spent time talking about the event with our winegrowers and winery proprietors. In talking with them, Honey Agency discovered that there were five words or themes which resurfaced again and again whenever one of these individuals were asked to describe the current and desired future tone of Lodi Wine & Chocolate Weekend.
These five words helped Honey Agency set the tone of the new Lodi Wine & Chocolate brand:
Speaks to the proud, down-to-earth quality of our region, event, winegrowers, and vintners.
The event has developed significant recognition over the course of 22 years. The goal is no longer about simply driving people to Lodi but is about connecting the right people to the event, region, winegrowers, and wines.
Speaks to the fun and exciting nature of the event weekend – it’s an adventure. The event encourages audiences to explore all that Lodi offers.
Through the work of the committee and participating wineries, the event continues to be developed into a more thoughtful wine experience.
The event highlights our region’s sense of community while providing a warm welcome to attendees.
These words also served as framework for the next stage of the process – the creation of the brand mark.
If you take a good look at the brand mark, you will notice that the word “Lodi” is the highest in the mark hierarchy. This is to illustrate the significance of our region. You may also notice that the font used for the word “Lodi” looks a little “squiggly.” This is because the word “Lodi” was hand drawn to emphasize the handcrafted quality of Lodi’s wines.
The line pattern which underlies this mark is symbolic both of an aerial view of the Lodi winegrowing region – it’s diverse and plentiful rows of vines – as well as the fingerprints of our winegrowers which touch and care for every winegrape – bringing our wines from field to glass.
The overall layout of the mark and underlying graphic pattern is based on chocolate packaging while the vibrant, contemporary color palette is meant to communicate a fun and exciting atmosphere, while remaining timeless.
When you see this mark in advertisements and around town, we hope that you will make the connection between this weekend’s festive wine tasting event and your vineyards.
We also hope that you will be able to connect with Lodi wine fans this weekend, February 9 and 10, by attending the event and/or by joining the conversation on Instagram or Facebook using hashtag #LodiWineandChocolate!
For tickets, please visit lodiwineandchocolate.com.
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For more information on the wines of Lodi, visit the Lodi Winegrape Commission’s consumer website, lodiwine.com.