The 2014 Wine Bloggers Conference will take place July 11-13 in Buellton, Santa Barbara County, California. Up to 400 citizen wine bloggers, industry bloggers, and other wine and social media professionals will gather from throughout the world to meet, learn, and share at this, the seventh annual conference and the first one to return to California since the initial conferences in 2008 and 2009.

About Santa Barbara County

“No viticultural region in America has demonstrated as much progress in quality and potential for greatness … as the Santa Barbara region.” Robert Parker Jr.

Santa Barbara County’s wine region is an area of expansive vistas, rolling hills, and a climate directly affected by the Pacific Ocean. You are as likely to see horses running along pasture fences as you are stretches of grapes ripening in the California sun.

Because the Pacific Ocean shoreline and thus the Santa Ynez and San Rafael coast mountains run east and west for 50 miles in the Santa Barbara area, the cool ocean breezes and occasional fog makes this one of the coolest grape growing regions in the state. The result are complex wines full of acids, tannins, and flavors that will impress you at WBC14.

The Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Associations boasts 101 member wineries planting a total of 55 grape varietals.  The area has four official appellations (Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and Sta. Rita Hills) and several other micro-regions (Los Alamos Valley, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District, and the Santa Maria Bench). Buellton in the Santa Ynez Valley is a small town of 5,000 people located 45 minutes northwest of Santa Barbara.

Who Should Attend

“The Penticton Wine Bloggers Conference was my first rodeo and I can honestly say it was one of the most fun, beautiful and interesting trips I have taken in years.  And while I am from Santa Barbara, I look forward to the same at the next conference, scheduled to take place in Santa Barbara’s wine country next July.” Matt Talbot,, June 2013

  • Citizen Bloggers or writers who write about wine or the wine industry and who wish to network with other new media; learn from experts in writing, technology, and social media; and enjoy a fantastic weekend of meals and wines from Santa Barbara County and around the world.
  • Industry Bloggers who maintain a blog to support their winery or other wine-related business.
  • New Media Innovators who work in the world of blogging and social media.
  • Wine Industry members who would like to learn about new media or interact with bloggers.

Cost, Payment, Cancellation, and What is Included

The cost of the conference is $95 for citizen wine bloggers (those unaffiliated with a business or organization), $295 for industry bloggers (those whose blog is affiliated with a winery, retail store, or other business or organization), and $395 for non-blogger participants (industry, media relations professionals, friends and family, etc). To sign up as a Citizen Blogger, you must have an active (i.e. at least three current posts) blog that does not promote a business. Friends and spouses you wish to bring with you who are not clearly identified on your blog as part of the team need to sign up as a non-blogger. We are able to offer a lower price to citizen bloggers and wine-industry bloggers because it is for these folks our sponsors underwrite the conference.

Payment is required in advance by credit card. If you must cancel your registration, your payment is 50% refundable through June 11, 2014 and not refundable after that. Please note you can insure against losing your conference registration fee (and your airplane tickets) by purchasing trip insurance. This is only good for those of you traveling from outside of the conference area and staying overnight.

The conference includes multiple wine tastings, two dinners and usually several other meals, an afternoon of winery visits, and outstanding content. Not included in the conference price are your hotel, transportation to and from the area, and the pre-conference and post-conference excursions.

Arrival and Departure

The conference begins at 7:00 PM on Thursday evening, July 10 with Registration, Expo, Gift Suite, and Opening Wine & Food Reception. If you are unable to arrive on Thursday, you can also register on Friday morning. Content begins at noon on Friday.

You will need to find transportation to Buellton yourself. The town is located 40 minutes from the airport in Santa Barbara, two hours from Los Angeles International Airport, and five hours from San Francisco. If you are flying, you might also check prices into the Burbank or John Wayne Orange County airports. The easiest way to reach Buellton is either to rent a car or take the Central Coast Shuttle or Roadrunner Shuttle. As we get closer, we’ll put attendees in touch with each other for ride sharing.

Attendees who sign up for the pre-conference excursion will fly into San Jose Airport or meet directly in Paso Robles and will be dropped off at the hotel in Buellton. Attendees who participate in the post-conference excursion to Santa Barbara will be provided with transportation to that city and will need to make their own arrangements after that.

Host Hotel and Other Overnight Accommodations

The host hotel, which is the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton, Santa Barbara County, California, is now sold out.  However, we have made special arrangements for conference pricing with backup hotels within short walking distance of the Marriott. When considering your overnight accommodations please review the following information regarding other backup hotels.

Weather & Dress Code

The average high temperature in the Buellton area in July is 73 degrees. Nighttime temperatures drop a pleasant 20 degrees and there is almost no chance of rain. One of the great benefits of holding the WBC in Santa Barbara County is the beautiful weather.

Dress is “wine country casual”. What does that mean? Really, you should dress as you feel comfortable. For daytime sessions, jeans or shorts and a polo shirt are fine. For the Saturday evening banquet, many people will dress up a bit.

  • Regina

    Thank you and you will see me there.

  • allanwright

    Agreed with Enobytes. This is definitely a conference any aspiring wine writer / wine blogger should join. There will be content over your head but the overall ideas you get will be very helpful.

  • enobytes

    Regina, this conference would be perfect for aspiring writers as well as those who have been at it for a while. Hope to see you there!

  • Regina

    Is this a conference for someone aspiring to start a wine blog or is it too advanced?

  • Courtyard Virginia Beach Hotel

    nice article…………………..

  • allanwright

    Correct. We need to finalize the contract and get a booking page. We’ll add that info here and email all registered attendees when that happens.

  • Bill Eyer

    It does not appear you can book the reservations for the hotel yet?? Via their online reso-system.

  • ToledoWinesandVines

    Will be arriving in Kelowna at 7:43 PM Thursday from Calgary on WestJet #399. Would be interested in sharing a ride to Penticton if others are on the same flight. Cheers! Dave

  • marikane

    Having crossed the border into the US probably 20 times in the past 8 years, by plane, bus and automobile, I can’t remember once being asked how much alcohol I’m toting. Being focused on drugs and guns, they really don’t care how much Canadian wine you bring. So bloggers, don’t be afraid to pack more than two bottles in your suitcase. You won’t get this stuff at home. Cheers!

  • Lake Villa

    If you want something less expensive, try the Lakeside Villa Motel. They have a continental breakfast and free shuttle available for guests. Rates from $89/night, across from Skaha Lake beaches check out

  • HandofGod Wines

    I am wondering if anyone is driving back early sunday morning to Seattle and would want to carpool. I am taking the bus up w the conference and will either fly/drive back. Thanks! Jon

  • The WIne’dUp

    Hello fellow Wine-Os! We’ve just posted our annual “Free Hotel Room Giveaway” for #WBC13 !! We have 2 nights reserved in a “Lakeside View w/ 2 Queens” room during the conference for one lucky wine blogger. Why pay when you could stay for free :) Plus, we are donating $5 per entry to the WBC Scholarship Fund. Cheers and see you soon at WBC13!! -The Wine’dUp Crew.

  • Kathleen Rake

    Cheers, all! Just booked my WBC13 lake-view room at the Penticton Lakeside Resort! Online booking form not yet available, but you can call: (250) 493-8221 or toll-free 1-800-663-9400. :)

  • Jeffrey Shaw

    If you have already registered for WBC12 but can no longer attend, Jeffrey Shaw from is looking to purchase your ticket! Please contact him at


    Hey fellow WBC attendees! The Wine’dUp Blog decided to play good hosts and we are giving away a FREE room for 2 nights at the Double Tree. To enter visit:

  • Kayzink

    Would anyone like to share a room and therefore split the cost?  I am a citizen blogger, female, attended last year’s conference and would love to be at this year’s.  You can respond at kayzink ato  Thanks!

  • Allan Wright

     Helene, the room block was full on Thursday night. The hotel has added more rooms for us.

  • Anonymous

    We’ll check into this! – Allan

  • Helene Kremer

    FYI — I just booked my room (using the link above) and the site stated the group rate is no longer available.  When I called the hotel to make the reservation, I was notified that the Friday/Saturday nights will be charged at the group rate, but that the Thursday/Sunday rate is $159.95 for the standard room….

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  • Kokoushotelli Kokoustila

    Thank for this wonderful blog.pretty awesome you know.

  • Israelwinetaster

    I invite your comments about my blog entitled

    Especially since I just posted a soul searching self evaluation, entitled “Blog Philosophy.” For private comments and criticism, send an email to

  • Anonymous

    Awesome to have found this site.  I’ve been looking to restart my blogging and it’s awesome to know there’s a place to share & learn more about it :-)

  • Tomasr

    brace yourselves heat index over 110 tomorrow in cville. hydration and quick, darting movements are the best strategies for survival. and lots of Txakolina, of course.

  • Kathy Kildea

    Hey, hey, wine bloggers – you wouldn’t want to miss the best thing about being in Charlottesville on a Saturday morning, wouldja??  Just a block away from the Omni, every Saturday morning from 7 am to noon, is our beloved City Market – the best producer’s market in the state! Over 100 vendors, and it is THE place to be on Saturday morning.  Coffee, all kinds of breakfast goodies, produce galore, jewelry, pottery — you name it: we got it!   Stop by the manager’s tent and say hi!

  • Ashton Brellenthin

    I live in Charlottesville, Va and I wanted to give you all a heads up – that “mid to upper 80s” is a bit off.  We’ve been well into the 90s every day for the last month or so, hitting 100 more than once.  I’m sure you are all wise enough to check the weather forecast, but it’s going to be hot!

  • Tomasr

    we’re not part of the conference but check out our website for the Rioja and Spanish selections at Charlottesville’s only Spanish restaurant and wine bar. we’re also open till 2 am well beyond the conference selected venues. hasta MAS!

  • CorkChronicler

    I have a reservation at the Omni and would be happy to share my room.  If anyone is interested, shoot me an email:

  • Kay Zink

    Hi Melissa, did you bunk up with ilona or are still looking for a roommate?  Do you have a room reserved at the OMNI?

  • Kay Zink

    I would definitely love to share a room – a fun first timer of a WBC – so excited I can hardly wait – I have a reservation somewhere else, but I think that the OMNI is the place to be.  Please text or call, 469-569-0345.  Thanks.

  • suniheflin

    Are you ladies still looking for a roomate?  I am looking to split some costs too!  Find me @suniheflin:twitter 

  • Mellissa

    Are you still looking for a roommate? I would love to share a room. 

  • ilona

    I’ve got a reservation, but I’m looking for a roommate to share the cost of the Omni. Anybody need one?

  • ilona

    I’m looking for a roommate to share the cost of the Omni. Anybody need one?

  • marikane

    After visiting Northern Virginia in April, I have started a short series called Tasting Virginia on my blog, something other WBC attendees might find interesting.Please check out Part One: Paradise Springs:!Mari

  • Liza

    Is anyone else going home on Monday the 25th out of Dulles and want to rideshare to be at the airport by 10 am ish?  I was just fixing to book train tickets, but a car of four would be way more fun!