LODI Wineries are finding creative ways to engage with consumers during the coronavirus crisis.


Almost all of the wineries in Lodi are offering curbside pickup service and many are offering discounts on shipping.


Peltier Winery in Acampo is offering pickup and shipping services but for the first time is taking the tasting room experience to the tasters.


On Friday, Peltier Winery’s winemaker Susana Rodriguez Vasquez and assistant winemaker Mckensie Smith will lead a virtual tasting on Facebook Live and Instagram Live. The tasting will begin at 5:30 p.m.


The wines in the tasting are the 2018 Peltier Diamond Vermentino, 2017 Peltier Black Diamond Sauvignon Blanc, 2015 Peltier Black Diamond Zinfandel and 2015 Peltier Black Diamond Petite Sirah.


"Since we can’t have our tasting room open, we are going to take the tasting room to our customers," Rodriguez Vasquez said.


Peltier has distributed tasting sheets to participants to follow along. Anyone who would like to participate but doesn’t have a tasting sheet can take their own notes. Peltier Winery has shipped the wines to consumers who caught on the promotion early.


Rodriguez Vasquez will speak about each wine, including facts on how it was made, and ask tasters to share their impressions of the aromas, flavors, acidity and tannins.


If you don’t have the wines, it likely is too late to have them shipped to you in time. But anyone in the Lodi area who would like to taste along with Rodriguez Vasquez and Smith can purchase the wines today through Friday at the winery at 22150 N. Kennefick Road. Just call Peltier Winery at (209) 367-4882 and they’ll pack the wines and have them ready to pick up.


If a trip to the winery doesn’t work, watch and follow along with the virtual tasting, take notes and purchase the wines you’d like to try in the store or visit Peltier Winery at a later time.


Other wineries in the state are conducting similar virtual tastings while their tasting rooms are closed. Businesses are finding creative ways to serve the community and this is one.


Rodriguez Vasquez said the virtual tasting will be much like the tastings she holds with Peltier Winery’s stakeholders, including owners Gayla and Rodney Schatz and Smith, their new assistant winemaker, who is from New Zealand.


"They will use descriptors for the aroma, the mouth feel, the acidity, all of the tasting notes that we do with them," Rodriguez Vasquez said. "They will participate as well, typing in what other fruit they are getting on the wine."


To join the Peltier Winery virtual tasting at 5:30 p.m. on Friday on Facebook Live or Instagram Live, do a search on those platforms for Peltier Winery or click on the links at https://peltierwinery.com/.


Lodi Row x Row Festival canceled


The Lodi Winegrape Commission and the California Wine Education Foundation announced that the Lodi Row x Row Festival, formerly known as Lodi ZinFest, set for May 15-16 at Lodi Lake, has been canceled due to the coronavirus.


"Every question was asked; each scenario was imagined; all probabilities were calculated," said Stuart Spencer, executive director of the Lodi Winegrape Commission in a statement. "In the end, we agreed it would be imprudent both socially and financially to hold (the) Lodi Row x Row Festival against the recent guidelines issued by the White House and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the containment of COVID-19."


Next year’s Lodi Row x Row Festival is planned for May 14-15.


Contact reporter and wine columnist Bob Highfill at (209) 546-8277 or jhighfill@recordnet.com. Follow him on Twitter @bobhighfill. Join the From the Vine group page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/FTV209. For archived FTV columns and podcasts, go to https://www.recordnet.com/FTV.