A little over two years ago I watched the movie SOMM and decided to start a blog documenting my WSET Diploma wine education adventures. It has been a long, hard journey and I am still in the process of securing my Diploma certification! Only one exam separates me from this (read more HERE)!
Within a week or so of starting my blog I stumbled upon something called the Wine Bloggers Conference online. This conference has been the backbone of my blogging journey. I have met many wine bloggers and learned a lot along the way. I’ve explored regions I had never visited before, such as the Finger Lakes in New York and Lodi in Northern California. It is safe to say that the Wine Bloggers Conference is one of the highlights of my year. It’s the time of year when I’m with “my people”. When you love wine as much as I do, it can be difficult (and a bit lonely) to be around people who do not appreciate the artistry of wine as I do. And I don’t mean that in any sort of snobbish or “better than” way. There is something magical to be with a group of people who have the level of appreciation that you do for something. I also feel an escape when I am at WBC each year. Escape from the real world, work, doctors appointments, Trump(?), cleaning house, obligations, etc. I get to live for a week with a bunch of cool wine geeks like me, taking notes, tweeting, and snapping pics. It is the only time in my life where it is socially acceptable (and encouraged!) to constantly be on your phone, ipad, or laptop. The challenge is to balance all of that with actually meeting and connecting with people. And what better way to do that than through your shared love of wine!
This year the wine bloggers conference will take place in the Santa Rosa/Sonoma area. This is an area I have explored many times on my own, however, I never tire of it. The area was recently devastated by a series of wildfires, which the conference will address head-on. There is a seminar on the topic and I am sure we will meet bloggers, winemakers, and representatives who lived through the tragedy and who will bravely share their stories.
The Wine Bloggers Conference starts TODAY with an optional pre-conference excursion called the “Inner Mendo Odyssey” hosted by Fetzer-Bonterra where we will have conversations about sustainability and biodynamics as it relates to the wine industry. This two-day excursion includes a reception, dinner, blending competition, and multiple seminars.
Tomorrow evening, the conference officially begins with an Expo featuring Wines of the World and an Opening Reception.
Friday we start digging into the content. Sessions include: Professional Wine Writing Tips, What Companies Want from Wine Bloggers, Wine Discovery Session: Carinena, Keynote Speaker Doug Frost, as well as Live Wine Blogging. That evening I’m participating in a Vineyard Dinner at Thomas George Estates.
Saturday brings more content: Advanced Social Media Beyond Hashtags and Likes, Pitch Perfect: A Look at the Blogger-PR Relationship, Wine Discovery Session: An Exploration of Alsace’s Pinot Gris Styles, Wine County Fires, and How Media Can Respond to a Crisis. We’ll also have more Live Wine Blogging as well as our closing dinner (sponsored by NakedWines.com) in which the announcement of the 2018 conference location is made.
In a nutshell, that’s what I’ll be up to in the next 4 days. I will not be blogging during this time, but I will be VERY active on social media. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Direct links are to the right.
Thank you and what’s in your glass this week?