Home Industry News Releases Lodi Winegrape Commission Extends Partnership with SommFoundation

Lodi Winegrape Commission Extends Partnership with SommFoundation


Virtual Masterclass on sustainable winegrowing held on May 17 will be led by Elaine Chukan Brown

LODI, Calif. – April 15, 2021 – The Lodi Winegrape Commission is pleased to announce its continued partnership with SommFoundation, one of the industry’s most progressive nonprofit organizations dedicated to the enrichment of wine and spirits professionals through travel, scholarships, and education. In partnership, the Lodi Winegrape Commission will provide a virtual masterclass on sustainable viticulture and LODI RULES – the first comprehensive and, arguably, most rigorous sustainability standard in the country. Participants of the virtual masterclass will have the opportunity to earn scholarships toward furthering wine education and certifications through an online timed test. 

Led by award-winning author and speaker, Elaine Chukan Brown, “Boots On the Ground: A Masterclass in Sustainable Viticulture & LODI RULES,” will take place virtually on Monday, May 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PDT. This seminar will dig into the unique perspective that goes into farming for both quality and longevity in one of California’s most important and dynamic growing regions. Throughout the masterclass, Brown will be joined by various Lodi growers who are leading the way in sustainability, quality winemaking, habitat restoration, water reclamation, and more. Among others, guest speakers will include winegrowers Madelyn Kolber (KG Vineyard Management) and Phil Abba (Abba Vineyards), and Aaron Lange (LangeTwins Family Winery & Vineyard).

“We’re thrilled to continue our partnerships with the SommFoundation and Elaine, and especially excited to highlight our sustainable winegrowing program, LODI RULES,” says Stuart Spencer, Executive Director for the Lodi Winegrape Commission. “Sustainability is not a buzzword in Lodi; it is a way of life and is crucial to the longevity of the region.”

Registration is open to all wine industry trade members. Following the completion of the masterclass, registered attendees will be granted a one-time access to an online timed test. The test will cover information from the masterclass and it will be scored by the most correct answers given in the shortest amount of time. The top three scorers will receive the following scholarships, to be applied toward wine education as well as access to SommFoundation’s Global Diagram of Wine: 

  • First place: $1,000
  • Second place: $750
  • Third place: $500

Winners will be announced by SommFoundation following the close of the online test. 

To register for the masterclass on sustainable viticulture and LODI RULES, click here.

About the Lodi Winegrape Commission

Established in 1991, the Lodi Winegrape Commission represents the common interests of Lodi winegrowers with programs in marketing, education, research, and sustainable viticulture.  The Commission collectively and effectively promotes Lodi’s vibrant, multi-generational farming community and California’s most dynamic wine region. Comprised of nine commissioners and nine alternates, the board of directors provides direction and input on behalf of the region’s 750 winegrowers. For more information about the Lodi Winegrape Commission, visit lodigrowers.com

About the Lodi American Viticultural Area (AVA) and LODI RULES

A historic winegrowing region since the 1850s, Lodi is perfectly situated 40 miles south of Sacramento and 90 miles east of San Francisco. Lodi’s Mediterranean climate and distinct soils allow its growers to cultivate 125 winegrape varieties, making Lodi the most diverse winegrowing region in the United States. The region also serves as home to 85 boutique wineries specializing in small-lot, handmade wines that have garnered major awards at domestic and international wine competitions.

Lodi is naturally a leader in sustainable viticulture. Created by California farmers and accredited by world-renowned scientists, LODI RULES is America’s original sustainable winegrowing program. Held to a high standard of scientific rigor and excellence, the program emphasizes environmentally and socially responsible practices, while keeping economic feasibility in mind for long-term business success. LODI RULES is accredited, certified, and audited by an independent third party, Protected Harvest. Vineyards are certified on an annual basis, and wineries may use one of three LODI RULES seals on a wine label if at least 85% of the grapes are from LODI RULES certified vineyards. Today, there are more than 55,000 acres certified across 16 California crush districts (Lodi included), Washington, and Israel. For more information about the Lodi AVA or LODI RULES, visit lodiwine.com and lodirules.org.

About SommFoundation

SommFoundation (The Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation) is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, committed to assisting aspiring beverage professionals to achieve their full potential. To learn more, visit sommfoundation.com

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