Agenda & Speakers

Keeping it in the Family with J. Lohr’s “Vintage” Approach to Loyalty

The wine industry is in an era of consolidation and change. Wineries are diversifying their vineyard footprints by planting and entering into new appellations and many are being acquired by larger players in an effort to build bigger, more varied brand portfolios.
J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, however, is taking a different approach – choosing instead to maintain focus on only one brand name and the three chosen appellations where they have decades-long experiences in growing grapes.  This strategy is opening the door to true brand loyalty for consumers who have ‘grown up’ with J. Lohr over the past four decades, as well as new wine enthusiasts. This loyalty is then driven home thanks in large part to the company’s sustainability efforts, as well as its family-owned and operated business model. The laser-focused  approach to customer loyalty with an emphasis on Family, Place, and Craft has allowed J. Lohr to navigate a rather traditional industry that is full of a unique set of opportunities, challenges and pitfalls.
Rhonda Motil, VP Marketing of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, will walk Customer Expo attendees through the brand’s journey as a true family business over the past four decades, while navigating the increasingly complex landscape of the wine industry.
Key Takeaways:
- Establishing brand pillars that are authentic and resonate with consumers, inclusive of usage of social and digital, in a rapidly changing and consolidating industry

- The advantages of remaining true to a single brand, as opposed to potentially diluting loyalty across multiple products

- Driving engagement through cause marketing, including sustainability efforts, as a method of building foundational loyalty


Rhonda Motil, Vice President Marketing, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines

As vice president of marketing, Rhonda Motil leverages nearly 25 years of experience in the wine and technology industries to direct J. Lohr’s globally respected marketing program. Overseeing J. Lohr’s dedicated marketing team, as well as key communications and digital media partners, Rhonda guides J. Lohr’s marketing, public relations and branding initiatives, and direct-to-consumer strategy. Building on her extensive background in technology, she has also played a key role in establishing J. Lohr at the forefront of wine industry digital marketing and new media strategy.
Raised in Pennsylvania, Rhonda earned bachelor degrees in management and marketing from Gannon University, before receiving a masters in business administration from the University of Dayton. Rhonda began her career in the Outstanding Scholars Program for the Department of Defense, before going on to work as a product marketing and market analysis manager for Sterling Commerce. In 1998, she moved to California to become vice president, product marketing for Advanced Data Exchange, and later vice president, corporate marketing for iPIN, where she managed product launch activities in the U.S., France, England and Hong Kong.
During her early years in Silicon Valley, Rhonda developed a passion for wine, often spending weekends exploring wineries and tasting rooms throughout California. In 2002, this love of wine inspired Rhonda to take a position as the executive director of the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association (MCVGA), where she spent more than a decade managing all aspects of operations, and increased membership programs by over 85%. In this role, Rhonda also oversaw the association’s regional branding efforts, hosting national media and trade tours, and acting as an advocate and spokesperson for the Monterey grape industry. After launching numerous successful programs, such as the highly acclaimed “Wines of The Blue Grand Canyon™” initiative, Rhonda’s tenure as executive director culminated with Wine Enthusiast naming Monterey County one of the world’s “10 Best Wine Travel Destinations” in 2013.
In January of that same year, Rhonda joined J. Lohr as senior marketing director, where she worked alongside then VP Marketing Cynthia Lohr. “Rhonda’s leadership at the MCVGA played a pivotal role in building the world-class reputation of Monterey County,” says Cynthia. “As our senior marketing director, Rhonda was equally impactful. Her knowledge and experience have been an incredible asset to J. Lohr, and the regions we champion.”
In 2016, Rhonda was named Cynthia’s Lohr’s handpicked successor as VP of Marketing. In this position, she works closely with President, COO and Director of Winemaking Jeff Meier and the entire Lohr family to establish and execute the long-term marketing vision for J. Lohr. A skilled leader and brand strategist, with a long track record of success, Rhonda also advocates on behalf of several industry associations, as a board member for the Arroyo Seco Winegrowers Associations, and as a member of the Wine Institute Marketing Committee, and the Paso Robles CAB Collective Marketing Committee.  Rhonda actively speaks on a variety of topics, including sustainability initiatives, digital and social media evolution, and customer engagement and loyalty. 

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