Jul 092014
 

Wine Bloggers Conference

This week, the Wine Bloggers Conference (#WBC14) returns to California for the first time in five years. The 7th annual conference will take place in Santa Barbara County July 10 to July 12.

I’ve been to all but one of the past conferences. I missed the 2011 conference because my sister was getting married. I asked her to move the wedding, but she didn’t go for it for some reason. That year has become legend for the hot weather they saw, so I’m not too terribly disappointed I missed it.

I always look forward to the Wine Bloggers Conference, as it’s an opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. I’ve been involved in the wine blogging community from the very start. There were very few of us at that first conference in Sonoma oh so many years ago. Boy, how things have changed. My list of active wine blog contacts now exceeds 800 individuals, and probably 300-400 of them will be at this year’s WBC. That’s a huge group of like-minded wine enthusiasts who, as individuals, don’t have a lot of influence, but in aggregate, definitely can move the needle for wineries.

The fact that its back in California should have an impact on the attention that many of the sponsors receive. Most of the wine produced in this country is from California. And, in fact, the population of wine bloggers in California is much bigger than other areas, so it’s more convenient for many to attend.

I’ve been through Santa Barbara wine country before, and was impressed by what I saw and experienced. I can’t wait to see what the Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association and Visit Santa Barbara (both Elite Sponsors) have to offer as they pull out all the stops to impress this group of influential bloggers.

I honestly don’t learn much from the sessions at the Wine Bloggers Conference much anymore, so it really is all about the people and the wines. See you in Santa Barbara!

Jun 122013
 
Wine Bloggers Conference reception at See Ya Later Ranch

Wine Bloggers enjoying the opening reception at See Ya Later Ranch during #wbc13.

Today, an earlier article I wrote prior to the Wine Bloggers Conference in Penticton last week was quoted in an article by Steve Woods, Business Editor at Technorati. Wood’s article is about how the field of wine blogging has matured and grown in significance.

“Wine bloggers are far more than individuals who toss one back then bandy about terms like “oaky” or “buttery”, “grassy” or “mellow” for the rest of us to decipher. They truly want to broaden the wine-tasting experiences of their readers, trying out perhaps lesser-known wines from around the globe, in search of unique flavors that vintners have brought forth through a variety of secretive techniques,” writes Woods.

From my personal experience, I couldn’t agree more. There is a true passion among most wine bloggers that is infectious.

My own little piece of the article includes the following from Woods: “Those that share their love of wine through the written word are also asking the same question as others who have labored for years online: Are blogs dead? Wine blogger Michael Wangbickler, who shares secrets and insights about the wine industry as a whole, writes in his blog Through The Bunghole,” writes Woods.

“…from Wangbickler’s thoughtful commentary, many wine bloggers are insightfully aware of far more than just what’s in the glass in front of them. Wine bloggers, like successful bloggers in any area of endeavor, are taking advantage of social’s tools to take the conversations directly to their audience in a far more responsive manner,” concludes woods.

I’m flattered that Mr. Woods found my comments worthy of sharing and look forward to reading everyone else’s articles about the Wine Bloggers Conference and wine blogging over the next several weeks.