default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Wineries pour efforts into targeting younger drinkers

Lodi wineries: Millenials like to experiment with varietals, new blends

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013 12:00 am

Lodi's younger generation has been accused of a lot of things, but sitting around drinking grandma's traditional deep red wine is not one of them. The new generation of wine drinkers is looking for more: chuckle-inducing logos, light and interesting flavors, something adventurous they can be excited to share with friends.

"They are experimenting," said Rodney Schatz, owner of Lodi's Peltier Station. "They don't want to be limited to what their parents are drinking."

The Lodi wine industry is not exempt from the national trend of trying to appeal to a younger market. Local wineries are trying to create funkier, edgier brands and wines that aren't stuffy or overly sophisticated.

Stewart Spencer, program manager of the Lodi Winegrape Commission, says Lodi has a number of programs targeting younger, emerging wine drinkers, including LoCA, the commission's marketing campaign. It was designed to have a youthful edge in an effort to engage young people and encourage them to discover and explore Lodi wines.

Even the demographics for Lodi's wine events, like Wine and Chocolate Weekend and ZinFest, have been changing. Spencer says they now see a lot more people in their 20s and 30s attending area events.

It may not be a surprise, as the youngest generations grew up watching their parents drink wine, while their parents grew up in homes where beer and liquor were once more common, according to Spencer.

"The research shows that the Millennial Generation, the kids of Baby Boomers, are turning to wine faster than any previous generation," he said.

Local wineries like Michael~David have made a name with their fun and irreverent blends, such as 7 Deadly Zins and Freakshow. Many use plays on words, like Jessie's Grove's most-popular seller, Earth Zin & Fire.

Acampo's Peltier Station created their unique label based around the hype of all things hybrid, as well as the current market and economy.

Looking for more adventure in their wine drinking, the new generation is big into experimentation. Peltier Station's Hybrids — available in six varieties — is a style of wine that is varietal-specific, but has a blend that is noted on the back label, along with a percentage.

"It's a way of introducing the blend to the consumer that they may not have heard (of) in the past," said Schatz, of the hybrids that have been popular since they were revealed nearly two years ago.

While all the talk is around unique names, lively labels and uncommon blends, Schatz isn't entirely confident this trend will be long-lasting. Down the road, he predicts people will return to the classic roots of wine drinking.

"They will say, 'OK, I've tried all these dogs and cats and animals and objects. Now, I want the real original, from the family, from the chateau,'" Schatz said. "I think that's what will evolve."

But for now, Schatz says, "The party's on."

Contact Lodi Living Editor Lauren Nelson at laurenn@lodinews.com.

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


Popular Stories


Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 100


Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists