I was very disappointed in your recent coverage of the new Center for Wine and Viticulture at Cal Poly. This should have been a positive story about a transformative gift to the university aimed at securing the future of the region’s wine industry for many years to come. Instead, the focus of your article was on an unfortunate incident that occurred more than two years ago on Justin Vineyards property.
While I understand the temptation to use sensational headlines and slant coverage toward the negative, in this instance you completely glossed over the entire purpose of this gift and why it’s such important news. The JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture will train future generations of winemakers, while allowing the industry — especially locally — to prosper.
You could have shared with your readers that the center will provide students with hands-on access to vineyards and wineries where they will learn directly from the wine industry’s top leaders and the country’s best winemakers. You also could have noted that the entire industry is behind the effort. While Justin matched my $2.5 million donation, eight other businesses have contributed $1 million each.
All these competitors joining together to support Cal Poly and the region’s wine industry is the real story. It’s unfortunate the focus of your article was elsewhere.
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Jerome J. Lohr, Founder, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines