David Lucas says wine production is a unique part of agriculture. He enjoys the fact that wine grapes are mentioned in many books in society.
"You never see a book with quotes about something like radishes," he said. "There's nothing like wine grapes."
For his contributions to agriculture, David Lucas was inducted into the Lodi Community Hall of Fame.
After purchasing a vineyard in the 1970s, Lucas began making wine and trading it for other agricultural items such as asparagus. He decided to make it official, and in 1978 founded Lucas Winery.
In the early 2000s, Lucas was instrumental in the formation of the original Lodi Vintners group. The group organized weekend passport events and collaborated on some of the original marketing that began to put Lodi on the map. The organization became an important group effort of people communicating with each other about winemaking and sharing ideas, he said.
Brad Alderson, a friend and former colleague, said Lucas' interest in the group was the pursuit of quality. He believes this has become a unique characteristic in the development of Lodi's wine industry.
"Lodi has something neat the way growers work together. I think he was a very strong voice in showing how it can be done," he said. "I don't think Lodi would be Lodi without doing that."
From the beginning, Lucas has put "Lodi Appellation" on his wine labels. Many advised him to use California rather than Lodi, but he believed putting Lodi on the labels was necessary in gaining outside interest in his wines. Wine people are interested in experiencing different wines, he said.
Mark Chandler, a colleague who nominated him, said Lucas has always believed in the local growers and local product.
"He was visionary in knowing that only by stating a local wine's origins proudly would Lodi ever be recognized as a quality growing location," he said in the nomination papers.
Lucas also established one of the first small winery tasting rooms in Lodi and mentored those who followed. Among Lucas' recent accomplishments are making his winery 100-percent solar powered and practicing organic viticulture.
While traveling in many parts of the world, Lucas saw polluted oceans — and witnessed what other countries are doing to decrease the amount of pollution. He also realized how cost-effective solar energy was.
"If you can do solar and organic, why not?" he said. Lucas graduated from California State University, Chico in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science in agricultural business. He then graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 1972 with a Master of Science in international administrative design and development.
Lucas moved to Lodi 40 years ago. He said that as he was carrying packages up some stairs, a woman opened the door for him and he knew Lodi was where he belonged.
"That is the great thing about Lodi. It's a community that works together well," he said.
Currently, Lucas serves as a district representative for the Lodi and Foothills districts of the Wine Institute, which is a lobbying organization for wine and viticulture. Today, his goal is to figure out where San Joaquin County should be in the next five years and beyond.
"What do we want to become now? That is the important discussion now," he said.
Other inductees this year include Dr. Jack Leary, the first orthopedic surgeon in Lodi who pioneered total hip and knee replacements, who was chosen posthumously for his contributions to health care; Jack Fiori, who helped save the Grape Bowl and a founding member of the Booster of Boys/Girls Sports, for his contributions to government; Daryl Geweke, who established many automotive franchises and supported many local non profits, for his contributions to business; and Angelo and Barbara Brovelli, who both provided many years of service to the Lodi Boys and Girls Club, for their contributions to community service.
The Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Lodi Boys and Girls Club. Inductees will be honored at a dinner and program scheduled for Oct. 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club headquarters, 275 Poplar St., near the corner of Stockton Street. Tickets are $45 each. To make a reservation or for other inquiries, call Eddie Cotton at 209-334-2697.