The Lodi Winegrape Commission announced today that Mark Chandler, its Executive Director since its inception in 1991, is leaving to start his own marketing and management firm at the end of this year. His replacement has not been named.
“It has been a great pleasure to serve the Lodi grower community these past 20 years” states Chandler, “and I am proud of my achievements. Despite this change, the continued success of the Lodi wine region is a high priority for me personally and professionally.” Chandler also owns vineyards in the Lodi area.
According to Commission chair Bob Lauchland “under Mark’s leadership the Lodi region has prospered. The number of wineries in Lodi has grown tenfold to over 85, and today the Lodi Appellation is proudly displayed on some 500 premium wines that are found nationally and internationally.”
In the mid-1990’s Lodi’s vineyard acreage doubled from 46,000 to nearly 100,000 acres. Despite the resulting oversupply and price depression, the Commission’s marketing efforts prevented widespread vineyard removals, as was experienced in other parts of California. Other hallmarks of the commission’s success are the establishment of the Lodi Wine and Visitor Center, the nationally acclaimed Lodi Rules Sustainable Viticulture Certification program, and the annual calendar of wine festivals and events that bring tens of thousands of wine enthusiasts to Lodi each year.
Lauchland concludes “Mark Chandler’s efforts transformed Lodi. In his new role we will continue to rely on him as the top spokesperson for Lodi wine.”
The Lodi Wine Region lies between the San Francisco Bay and the Sierra Foothills, and enjoys the perfect climate for premium wine and grape production. For more information about the region and the Lodi Winegrape Commission, log onto www.lodiwine.com or call 209.367.4727.