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September 26, 2013 | 9:36 AM

Matthew Hoffman and the Lodi Winegrape Commission have taken the concept of the local coffee shop to a whole new level with their launch in August of "The Coffee Shop."

On any given morning in the parking lot of small town coffee shops across the Country a handful of dusty pickup trucks are parked. Coffee shops have long been a place where farmers gather to catch up on just about everything, especially on things related to agriculture. Conversation is likely to revolve around the weather, crop prices, new technologies, local events, and of course to hear how the year’s crop is coming along. Farmers seem to like knowing what other farmers do and think, so learning from others is an important means for accessing the knowledge we need to be successful. The thinking is that “if it works for my neighbor, it might work for me.” The “Coffee Shop” has been designed as a virtual gathering place where Lodi winegrowers can access a variety of practical information and can glean the observations and opinions of other growers, Pest Control Advisers, and scientists.

Interested in contributing to the Coffee Shop?
We are on the lookout for growers, PCAs, scientists, and vintners who enjoy putting pen to paper. The Coffee Shop is a platform for sharing the practical wisdom of anyone who spends their day thinking critically and analytically about viticulture. I am available to work with contributors to edit and sharpen their writing. Contact me, Matthew Hoffman, at matthew [AT] lodiwine [DOT] com. Our team of contributors is still growing, and over the course of the next few months I will introduce them one by one.

Check it out here.

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