The Lodi Winegrape Commission, representing more than 750 winegrape growers farming 110,000 acres which includes 85 wineries in the Lodi American Viticulture Area (AVA), has announced the appointment of Stuart Spencer as Executive Director, effective immediately.
Spencer was promoted from Program Manager for the Lodi Winegrape Commission, a position he has held since June 1, 1999. During his nineteen years of service to the Commission, Spencer has led many of the marketing, promotional and educational efforts for the Lodi winegrape industry. He has played a key role developing the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center, the LODI RULES for Sustainable Winegrowing™, and the LoCA advertising campaign. Spencer is actively involved in the Commission’s consumer and trade marketing events including ZinFest and Lodi Wine & Chocolate. He has developed many of the Commission’s promotional materials including websites and ad campaigns. He is well-versed in the history of the region, the vineyards and the wines, and has worked diligently to increase quality awareness for Lodi wines and winegrapes.
In his new position at the Lodi Winegrape Commission, Spencer will oversee the Commission’s marketing, public relations, strategic planning, and regional branding efforts, as well as grower and vintner relations. He will lead the Winegrape Commission team of 12, under the direction of the board of directors, and will be the primary spokesperson for the Lodi wine industry. The Lodi AVA is the second largest in California and crushes about 20% of California’s premium winegrapes. The region’s annual yield of over 743,000 tons of winegrapes was valued at over $450 million in 2017.
To the Lodi Winegrape Commission, Spencer brings experience, proficiency and deep wine industry knowledge.
“The past 19 years have been an incredible journey, and we’ve accomplished many great things working together as a staff, board, growers and vintners,” Spencer said. “It has been this collaborative culture, that puts personal interests aside, and works for the common good of our community that inspired me to pursue this position. I truly believe that we have made a difference, and that Lodi’s best days are ahead. The opportunities in Lodi are tremendous, and I’m very excited to help guide this great community to new heights.”
Leading one of California’s most historic winegrowing regions, Spencer will oversee the Commission’s annual budget to market the Lodi region, facilitate grower education, viticultural research, and expand awareness of the sustainable farming practices of the LODI RULES™ – a third-party-certified sustainable winegrowing program started by the Lodi Winegrape Commission in 2005.
“We are thrilled to have Stuart step into the Executive Director role. He has been a huge advocate to the region and we are certain he will continue to lift the perceptions and awareness of Lodi wines” said Kendra Altnow, the Vice Chairman of the Lodi Winegrape Commission Board of Directors.
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