Below is the outline of an agenda for the 2014 Wine Bloggers Conference. This is very rough and designed to give you an idea of the general structure of the conference. As always, we will proceed with filling the agenda by putting out a call for suggested content and speakers in the coming months and will then have a vote on your suggestions. All events will be at the host Marriott Hotel in Buellton, Santa Barbara County, California unless otherwise noted.


Wednesday, July 9

12:30 PM Pickup at San Jose International Airport for Pre-Conference Excursion with the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance.  Additional Cost. See Excursion page for details.

Thursday, July 10

4:00 PM Pre-Conference Excursion finishes at the hotel
7:00 – 10:00 PM  Registration, Expo, Gift Suite, and Opening Wine Reception
10:00 PM After-hours event with the Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country Association

Friday, July 11

10:00 – 11:45 AM Registration & Gift Suite
10:00 – 11:45 AM Food & Wine Pairing Brunch – Hosted by Wines of Portugal
12:00 – 12:15 PM Conference Opening
12:15 – 1:00 PM Keynote Speech – Corbett Barr of Fizzle
1:00 – 2:00 PM Panel of Santa Barbara County Winemakers
2:15 – 3:15 PM Wine Discovery Breakout Sessions

  • Wine Discovery hosted by Rutherford Hill – #MerlotMe – details below
  • Wine Discovery Hosted by Winebow – more details soon
  • Wine Discovery Hosted by Jackson Family Wines – more details soon

3:30 – 4:30 PM Live Wine Blogging – Whites & Rosés
4:30 – 5:00 PM BREAK
5:00 – 8:30 PM Excursions into Santa Barbara County Wine Country
9:00 – 11:00 PM Reception: Wine Tourism Throughout North America Hosted by Touring & Tasting Marketing and Media
11:00 PM  After-hours Reception with Jordan 

Saturday, July 12

9:30 – 10:30 AM Breakout Sessions

  • Terroir of Santa Barbara County
  • Panel of Veteran Wine Bloggers
  • The Business of Wine

10:45 – 11:45 AM Breakout Sessions

  • To Be Decided
  • Writing Wine Tasting Notes
  • Search Engine Optimization

11:45 AM – 1:15 PM Lunch with Santa Barbara County Vintners Association

1:15 – 2:15 PM Wine Discovery Breakout Sessions

  • Wine Discovery Hosted by Sanford Winery – more details soon
  • Wine Discovery hosted by Ballard Canyon Grower Producer Wineries – more details soon
  • Wine Discovery hosted by New Wines of Greece – more details soon

2:30 – 3:30 PM Panel of Professional Print Wine Writers
3:30 – 4:30 PM Live Wine Blogging – Reds
4:30 – 6:15 PM Wines of the World
6:30 – 7:00 PM Wine Blog Awards
7:00 – 9:00 PM Dinner with Santa Barbara County Vintners Association
9:00 – 9:15 PM Announcement of 2015 and Official Conference Close
9:15- 10:30 PM 2014 Location Expo:  Learn About the Region, Wines, Hotel, etc

Sunday, July 13

9:30 AM – 11:30 PM Block Sessions

  • Photography & Videography for Wine Bloggers
  • Wine Writer’s Workshop
  • Technology and Blogging with

12:00 PM Depart for post-conference lunch at Bridlewood Estate Winery. Additional $15 cost. See Excursion page for details.

3:30 PM Return to host hotel in Buellton from post-conference lunch


Corbett Barr - Fizzle

Corbett BarrRead our announcement of Corbett Barr as Keynote here.

Corbett Barr is a leader within the blogging world – teaching and mentoring others as they navigate new media and the challenges of standing out online. He runs, a training portal and online community where entrepreneurs and bloggers come together to learn how to launch and run successful online businesses and projects.


We will provide detailed information on each session as details become available.

Wine Discovery hosted by Rutherford Hill – #MerlotMe

The noble Merlot varietal has been derided by some and dismissed by others, all the while maintaining its legacy of rich character.  Does this varietal belong in the company of its more powerful cousin Cabernet Sauvignon? Can Merlot make a come-back with the cool kids in school?  Join winemakers who have bet their careers on this misunderstood grape and explore Merlot’s  viticultural history, specific winemaking techniques and unique flavor profiles.

Panel of Santa Barbara County Wine Makers

The region’s rich history will come alive as told by Santa Barbara County wine industry pioneers, Bob Lindquist of Qupé, Richard Sanford of Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, Ken Brown of Ken Brown Wines, and Richard Longoria of Longoria Wines.  The panel will be moderated by Larry Schaffer of Tercero Wines.

Terroir of Santa Barbara County

What is it about the soil and climate that makes wines from Santa Barbara County taste delicious?  Michael Larner of Larner Winery will provide an overview on the Terroir of Santa Barbara County.  He holds a bachelor degree in Geology from Colorado University in Boulder, and a Masters degree in Viticulture and Enology.  He makes wine for his family estate winery and for Coquelicot Estate Vineyard.

The Business of Wine

Tim Hanni, Master of Wine, Certified Wine Educator and Wine Industry Faculty at Sonoma State University, along with Paul Mabray, Chief Strategy Officer of VinTank will discuss current trends in the business of wine production, sales and marketing.

Panel of Professional Print Wine Writers

Christopher Watkins of 4488: A ridge Blog will moderate a panel discussion of professional print wine writers who will share stories of their professional wine writing experiences, how best to work with industry representatives, along with their thoughts on what makes for good wine writing.  Panelists to date include, Nose author James Conaway, and Mike Dunne, whose blog Dunne on Wineappears online at the Sacramento Bee.

Photography and Videography for Wine Bloggers

Lisa Mattson, a thought leader in video storytelling, social media and digital brand strategy for luxury wines, will guide you through best practices.  As Communications Director for Jordan Vineyard and Winery, and as an early adopter of social media and video storytelling, Mattson developed the The Journey of Jordan blog, which was named Best Winery Blog (2013, 2012) and Best Photo/Video Blog (2013) by the Wine Blog Awards.

Search Engine Optimization

Tim Resnick from Moz will teach you how to maximize your visibility on search engines.

  • allanwright

    Leslie, we have a Sunday lunch excursion at Bridlewood followed by an evening excursion involving wineries and food trucks and gourmet pizza in Santa Barbara. Check out the Excursions page!