You are invited to join us for this year’s Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento from January 23-25, 2024. Unified is presented by the American Society for Enology & Viticulture (ASEV) and the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG). This annual conference features educational sessions on grapegrowing, winemaking, marketing/public relations and business/operations, as well as an enormous trade show featuring over 650 vendors. You can find the Lodi Winegrape Commission at Booth #611.

Our California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary Karen Ross is the keynote speaker for the luncheon on Tuesday, January 23rd. According to the corresponding press release, her keynote will “focus on exploring climate-smart agriculture, automation, biological solutions and energy challenges in the context of California’s agricultural and winegrape landscape.”

Earlier Tuesday morning, the Lodi Winegrape Commission helped organize an interactive grapegrowing session called “Viticulture X Games: Extreme Weather Winegrowing” from 9:30 – 11:00am in the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center Ballroom B6. Attendees will need to have a registered ticket to attend any educational sessions. Tickets are available here or for purchase in person at Unified in Room 2 of the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center.

Viticulture X Games: Extreme Weather Winegrowing

Grapegrowing Breakout Session

JANUARY 23, 2024
9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
SAFE Credit Union Convention Center Ballroom B6

Moderator:  Stephanie Bolton, PhD, Grower Research & Education Director, Lodi Winegrape Commission
Speakers:  Ben Kolber, Owner, KG Vineyard Management; Mark Krstic, PhD, Managing Director, Australian Wine Research Institute; Misty Oebel, MS, Health & Farm Stress Educator, Michigan State University Extension

Goal:  To foster resiliency and strength in our winegrowing culture so that we can confidently respond to future challenging extreme weather events with composure.

Description:  The wine industry across the globe is experiencing an increasing number and frequency of devastating extreme weather events, including wildfires, floods, hurricanes, heat domes, earthquakes, frosts, spring freezes, windstorms, and droughts. We’ll briefly commiserate over the wildest examples of wine region weather disasters then invite a panel of practitioners to discuss, with audience participation, how we can best prepare for and respond to these chaotic conditions with energy and strength. Nearly all climate talks focus on building resiliency into our vineyards, but we’re adding an important missing piece: how to build resiliency in ourselves, our employees and our wine regions. All are welcome and encouraged to attend


9:30 – 9:35am     Opening introduction with examples of extreme weather events
9:35 – 9:45am     Share at tables: What is the WORST extreme weather agriculture story you have experienced, seen or heard about?
9:45 – 10:05am     Keynote presentation by Dr. Mark Krstic on extreme weather effects
10:05 – 10:15am     Presentation by Misty Oebel on farmer well-being under chaos and stress
10:15 – 10:25am     The grower perspective conversation with Ben Kolber
10:25 – 10:35am     Audience Q&A
10:35 – 10:50am     Table brainstorming facilitated by leaders on how to build resiliency into our wine culture
10:50 – 11:00am     Closing remarks – each table shares one practical thought

Handout:  Available here.

This session offers 1.5 hours of Crop CCA CEU: Climate Effects on Production Agriculture.

Featured photo taken by author after April 2022 frost event in the Lodi AVA.


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For more information on the LODI RULES Sustainable Winegrowing Program, visit or