If an award was given for the most shit done in 48 hours, I might win! Well, me and the 200 other bloggers who descended on the Finger Lakes wine region of New York this past weekend for the Annual Wine Bloggers Conference. I was only able to attend two full days of the event, due to another pre-planned trip that cut this trip short, but of the 48 hours I spent in the Finger Lakes, approximately 30 of those hours were spent tasting, engaging in wine education, enjoying food & wine pairings, and networking. I am flippin' exhausted as I sit on this flight from DTW (Detroit) to LAX (this is a bit delayed, as I flew home on Saturday night). I'm actually a bit WINEd out, dare I say. And consequently, I'm having a margarita in defiance!!
First things first, there was no hazing or getting jumped into the group as I predicted in my earlier post! I was "forced" to brand my body with a winery tattoo at an UNofficial after party, but that ain't no thang! KIDDING.....it was a temporary tattoo from Solena Estates. They were tasting some LOVELY wines in a private suite along with Hyland Estates. All kidding aside, I was welcomed with open arms by every single person I met. What a great group of people! It's ironic that as bloggers and social media mavens, we can all sit with our faces in our phones, iPads, and laptops MUCH of the time getting work done, taking notes, generating content, or engaging with our audiences, yet we are all able to look up and connect with the person sitting next to us and actually have some fun and engaging conversations. This is a STELLAR group of people, and I am honored to be in their company.
We were in the Finger Lakes wine region, but Ground Zero for the conference was the Radisson in Corning, NY. Can I tell you something? Corning is one of the most adorable and quaint towns I have ever visited in the U.S. It is a modest town of 11,000 residents and they all welcomed us with open arms. The "main drag" in Corning is Market Street, which is about 5-6 blocks long. Pretty much anything one needs could be found on this street! I grabbed early morning coffee and breakfast at Soul Full Cup Coffee House, took home some local wines from the Bottles & Corks wine shop, and brought back an amazing coconut balsamic vinegar from the Crystal City Olive Oil. That stuff is going to be KILLER drizzled over grilled prawns and basmati rice! We also had a reception at the Rockwell Museum that showcased American art, while we simultaneously enjoyed a local folk band and sampled many different wines from New York State. It was a very well curated event. Shoutout to Emily at the museum, who I met and shared a bit with me about the Rockwell! I missed the two trips to the Corning Museum of Glass, which apparently is the highlight of the town! Did you know that most of the glass used for TVs and smart phones in the U.S. is from Corning?? Who knew!?!
I wanted to share with my readers this little taste of what my last couple of days have been about. Over the next week or so, I will organize my thoughts (and catch up on my sleep) in order to prepare a couple posts for the blog. I want to thoughtfully share with you my overall thoughts on the Finger Lakes as a wine region, and also share with you about our excursion to the wineries themselves and our visit to the actual lakes.
Before I go, let's acknowledge and thank rest of the sponsors of WBC15. In THIS pre-conference post I thanked the Elite and Grand sponsors. Below are the remaining sponsors. With their support, Citizen Bloggers like myself can afford to attend this conference.
Premier Sponsors-Jordan Winery, Keuka Lake Wine Trail, Villa Trasqua, Beverage Trade Network, Crunchmaster, Montefalco Consortium, Salton Winery, Wines of South Africa, The Tasting Panel, Coravin, Lodi Wine, I Love New York