The 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference will be held in …
But first, we would like to wrap up Day 3 of the conference. Many participants woke up early to have a more intimate conversation with last night’s keynote speaker, Lettie Teague. Lettie talked about wine writing and Tom Wark joined her at the podium to answer questions more related to blogging. It was nice having a keynote speaker with a busy schedule take the time to connect on a more personal level in a smaller group with those folks committed enough to attend the 8:00 session!
We then moved right into two sets of two Breakout sessions: Increasing the Conversion Rate on Your Blog with Craig Sutton of Ikon Marketing Group; More Effective Writing in Your Blog with Meg Houston Maker of Palate Press, Andy Perdue of Wine Press NW and Hardy Wallace of Dirty South Wine; Top Gun Blogging with Andrew Lazorchak of Vineyard Vlog, Ben Simons of Vinotology and Joe Herrig of Suburban Wino; and Bloggers, Wineries, & PR Firms with Beth Cotenoff of Cornerstone Communications and her blog Flavorful Feasts, Grace Doyle of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Michael Wangbickler of Balzac and Caveman Wines.
The final conference session came courtesy of Winebow, an importer and distributor of over 3000 different wines. Winebow brought its executive chef, Jeffrey Saad, The Next Food Network Star runner up and 25-year food industry veteran, to give a talk on wine and food pairing. Jeffrey was amazing – an absolutely enthralling speaker. He then invited us to taste 10 Winebow wines paired with 10 tasty bites prepared by the Chef Bear from the Marcus Whitman, which we heard referred to as “the best meal of the weekend”.
And on to the announcement. When we select a WBC location, we look at a number of factors: geographic diversity, strong wine community, eager local partners willing to help us, transportation logistics, and an excellent host hotel. We have a good-sized list of potential locations and would like to visit most of them in future years. So if you were pulling for a certain location, don’t give up hope!
The 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference will be in Charlottesville, Virginia from July 22-24. The Virginia wine industry has 15 separate regions and six identified AVAs. The state has 150 wineries and produces a large number of varietals. Equally importantly, Charlottesville is a very cool city with a major university and a fantastic downtown walking mall. We also have a super hotel, the Omni, right downtown. And very important for us, which means for our conference participants too, is that the Virginia Wine Board, Virginia Tourism, and the Charlottesville community are fully supporting the conference.
We found moving the conference to Walla Walla this year to be extremely rewarding and are confident Virginia will be the same. This website will be updated for 2011 soon but registration is already open. So reserve your spot early, join us in 2011, and continue to expand your wine and blogging horizons!