We had a wonderful time at the 41st Annual Conference of the Society of Wine Educators, held August 10-12, 2016 at the lovely Red Lion Hotel on the River, located on the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon. Below you will find some pictures, presentations, and handouts provided by our wonderful speakers – the next best thing to being there!
100 Varieties of Lodi and Growing—presented by Stuart Spencer: This session began with an overview of Lodi grape growers, which today include over 85 wineries and 750 growers farming over 100 varieties of vinifera grapes on more than 110,000 acres of vineyards. The reasons that Lodi is able to grow so many difference grape varieties successfully include its Mediterranean Climate, its diverse soils, support for polyculture (diversity of agriculture), and the innovative spirit of the growers. The session next turned to a study and tasting of some of the more unique grapes of Lodi, including Vermentino, Picpoul Blanc, Kerner, Albariño, Cinsaut, Graciano, and Toreldego (among others). For more information, see Stuart’s presentation here: 100 Varieties of Lodi and Counting-presented by Stuart Spencer and the Lodi Winegrape Commission
Lodi Native—presented by Stuart Spencer: The Lodi Native project is a collaborative project of six winegrowers of like mind, living and working in the Lodi AVA—particularly Lodi’s historic Mokelumne River sub-AVA. Their mission is to turn the spotlight on the region’s heritage plantings—many of them dating back to the late 1800s—through sensible viticulture and minimalist winemaking practices. The focus is on Zinfandel, but on the taste of vineyards rather than varietal character or brand.
The detailed list of winemaking protocols is intended to keep the focus on sensible viticulture and minimalist winemaking practices, and include the following: native yeast fermentation, no acidification or de-acidification, no use of oak amendments (such as dust, chips, or staves), no new oak, no use of Mega-purple, and no tannin additions (among many others). For more information, see Stuart’s presentation here: Lodi Native-presented by Stuart Spencer and the Lodi Winegrape Commission
We will be posting many more conference recaps in the days to come, and will create a permanent record of them here.