San Joaquin County Considers Ending Lodi Winery Events
LODI (CBS13) – Some wineries in Lodi will not be allowed to host weddings and other big events, and Lodi winemakers are calling it poor planning.
“Organic certified syrah, grown here, made here,” said Ryan Sherman.
Sherman is a winemaker for Fields Family Wine.
“It doesn’t make sense in the economic times that were in right now,” said Sherman.
San Joaquin County Planning Commission is considering putting a cork on all winery events in the Lodi region.
“This talk of a moratorium had put a chill on investment in our industry,” said Mark Chandler, former executive director of the Lodi Wine Grape Commission.
Proposed wineries couldn’t have any wine events. Existing wineries couldn’t add any to what they already offer.
“I want to have the ability to maybe have a wedding there, food, family, friends, wine,” said Sherman. “What’s a better way to introduce people to my wine?”
The local farm bureau supports the idea.
“What we’re seeing is a great deal of people here for the party, not for the wine,” said Bruce Blodgett, San Joaquin Farm Bureau executive director.
Blodgett says the counties current winemaking ordinance is being abused.
“We keep talking about the rights of the winery owners but were not talking about the rights of the neighbors,” said Blodgett. “The neighbors have property rights too.”
From picking grapes to picking a battle, Lodi winemakers are seeing red.