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Executive Director Mark Chandler to Leave Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission

Mark Chandler created the position he now holds 20 years ago. While serving as executive director of the Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission, Chandler has been extremely successful at promoting the interests of the Lodi wine industry, garnering recognition for it with large wineries seeking to buy fruit and with consumers looking for old vine Zinfandel. Vineyard acreage in the Lodi area has doubled and the number of its wineries increased 10x to nearly 90.

Chandler will leave his position at the end of the year to found a wine marketing and management company. The move was not expected by the Commission and plans to replace him have not been solidified. They are hoping he will continue to promote Lodi. “Mark Chandler’s efforts transformed Lodi. In his new role we will continue to rely on him as the top spokesperson for Lodi wine,” said Bob Lauchland, chair of the Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission. Chandler is open to the idea, but no agreements have been made yet.

Lodi is one of California’s oldest wine and winegrape producing regions. It was granted official AVA status in 1986 and includes seven smaller AVAs within it: Alta Mesa, Borden Ranch, Clemente Hills, Cosumnes River, Jahant, Mokelumne River and Sloughhouse — all granted in 2006. The Lodi AVA produces roughly 20% of California’s winegrapes and more Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier than any other district in the state.

Here’s a video clip about the Lodi wine region, narrated by Mark Chandler:



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