2013 Agenda


Wednesday, June 5

We have set up two overnight, optional pre-conference excursions, one beginning at 11:15 AM in the Seattle airport and one beginning at 4:00 PM in the Kelowna airport. Please see the Excursions tab for details.

Thursday, June 6

4:30 – 7:00 PM  Registration (Upper Foyer) and Tradeshow (Salon B)
7:00 – 11:00 PM  Opening Reception with Great Estates of the Okanagan  (departures from the front lobby at 7:00pm; limited secondary departure for later arrivals at 8:00pm)

Friday, June 7

9:00 – 10:00 AM  Registration (Upper Foyer)
10:00 – 10:15 AM Conference Opening (Salon C/D)
10:15 – 11:15 AM Keynote speaker – James Conaway (Salon C/D)
11:15 – 12:00 PM  Current State of Wine Blogging – Survey Results (Salon C/D)
12:00 – 1:30 PM  Lunch with Wine Country Ontario  (Salon C/D)
1:45 – 2:45 PM  Breakout Sessions
- Session 1: Google Plus Workshop (Salon D)
- Session 2: Creating Compelling Content (Salon C)
- Session 3: The Secrets of Chenin Blanc from South Africa (Salon A)
3:00 – 4:00 PM  British Columbia Live Wine Blogging – White, Sparkling & Ice (Salon C/D)
4:15 – 8:00 PM  Excursions to Penticton-area wineries (departures from the front lobby)
9:00 – 11:00 PM  Evening Reception with the Oliver-Osoyoos Wineries Association  (You will be transferred directly from the Excursion to the Reception)

Saturday, June 8

7:30 – 9:15 AM  Breakfast in the Park with Downtown Penticton Association
9:30 – 12:00 PM  Block Sessions
- Session 1: Wine Country Videography, Photography, & Podcasting Workshop (Salon C)
- Session 2: Learn to be a Wine Judge via an In-Depth Look at BC Wine (Salon D)
12:00 – 1:30 PM  Lunch with Wines of Uruguay (Salon C/D)
1:45 – 2:45 PM  Breakout Sessions
- Session 1: Positioning Your Blog (Salon C)
- Session 2: Search Engine Optimization (Salon D)
- Session 3: Drink Them Before They’re Famous (Salon A)
3:00 – 4:00 PM Liquid Gold: Inniskillin Icewine Tasting (Salon C/D)
4:00 – 5:00 PM British Columbia Live Wine Blogging – Red Wines (Salon C/D)
5:15 – 6:45 PM  Pre-Dinner Reception with New Wines of Greece (Upper Foyer/Merlot/West Lawn)
6:45 – 7:15 PM Wine Blog Awards Presented by Mutineer Magazine (Salon C/D)
7:15 – 8:45 PM  Banquet Dinner with Destination British Columbia  (Salon C/D)
8:45 – 9:00 PM Announcement of 2014 Conference Date and Location (Salon C/D)
9:00 – 11:00 PM  World of Wines Reception (Salon A)


Current State of Wine Blogging – Survey Results
Zephyr Adventures compiles The Complete List of Wine Blogs and conducted the Current State of Wine Blogging survey in March and will share data during this session. We will also be able to compare wine bloggers with food, beer, and fitness bloggers.

Google Plus Workshop
A social network with over 100 million active users, Google Plus can help you in your SEO efforts, build exposure, and drive traffic to your blog. Learn from G+ experts Martin Shervington, Larry Fournillier, George Sepich (who combined have over 1,000,000 followers) how best to use and engage on Plus! In this multi-media session, find out what things you should be doing to effectively use Google Plus and how things like Google “Authorship” and “Hangouts” are transforming the online landscape.

Creating Compelling Content
Wine is about romance and aspiration. A lot of today’s wine writing, however, is about how a wine is made, what’s the varietal makeup, and detailed tasting notes. But is that really what people want to read? Wine is about stories and the people behind the wines. Let us show you how to craft the content that readers will find compelling and come back for time and again. Our presenters are Michael Wangbickler from Through the Bunghole, Jeannette Montgomery from The Third Glass and Okanagan Writing, Marcy Gordon from Come for the Wine.

The Secrets of Chenin Blanc from South Africa

Did you know South African wineries produce Chenin Blanc wines that rival the best wines of that grape from throughout the world? The Chenin Blanc grape is not only the workhorse of the South African wine industry but also thrives in South African soils resulting in some of the most sophisticated wines coming from that country. The variety of Chenin Blanc wines from South Africa include old bush vine wines, wines aged in French oak barrels, and unoaked examples. Join Courtney Luick from Cape Classics for this excellent opportunity to taste some of the best Chenin Blanc wines coming from South Africa.

Positioning Your Blog
How can you position yourself and your blog to stand out in the crowd of wine bloggers and to achieve your goals, be they connecting better with the industry, making a name for yourself, or trying to generate profit. Learn both tips for beginners (selecting subjects for your blog posts) and experts (how to gain press access to wine events) from our experienced bloggers Thea Dwelle from Lucious Lushes, Kathleen Rake from Between the Vines, and Megan Kenney from Wannabe Wino.

Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization is important if you want to have an audience for your blog. Yes, you can build an audience through establishing a community but it helps to rank high on search engines. You can learn from one of the best, Tim Resnik from SEOmoz, who will provide us with all the fundamentals and more advanced techniques involved in SEO.

Drink Them Before They’re Famous
Join Master Sommelier George Miliotes and third-generation winemaker Emeric Gaucher for a conversation on under-the-radar wines and rediscovering old world varietals. As Master Sommelier for Seasons 52 and The Capital Grille, Miliotes develops wine lists for almost 100 restaurants nationwide and is an expert in wine and food pairing.  Gaucher is the winemaker for Les Vins Georges Duboeuf.

Wine Country Videography, Photography, & Podcasting Workshop
The words you write on your blog are important. The images, video, and podcasts you attach to those words often tell the story in more complete detail and with greater satisfaction for your readers. In this special 2.5-hour session, we’ll take you from beginning (creating the product) through middle (editing) to end (publishing) for photos, video, and podcasts. Our panel includes Lisa Mattson from Jordan Winery as moderator, Monique Soltani from Wine Oh TV instructing on video, Luke Whittal teaching us about podcasting, and Melissa Voth from Voth Photography providing the expertise in photos. Please make sure to bring your smart phone, tablets, and/or lap tops so you can participate in this hands-on session.

Learn to be a Wine Judge via an In-Depth Look at the BC Wine Industry
Learn the requirements and take the initial step to add wine judging to your list of qualifications, all while hearing from an eminent panel of British Columbia Wine Industry experts. This unique 2.5-hour session will use the concept of terroir and the importance of place, all focused on British Columbia, to guide us through how wine judges actually score wines. See the blog post on this session for more information including the panelists.


James Conaway 
James (Jim) Conaway is the former editor of Preservation magazine and the author of many books, including the best-selling Napa: The Story of an American Eden, and its sequel, The Far Side of Eden. His new novel – Nose - was released in March from St. Martin’s Press.

Jim Lehrer calls Nose “the novel for all seasons—and readers… a love(s) story, an under-all-the-soil good and evil saga plus a marvelous tour through and about the world of winemaking. And Jim Conaway’s prose is as gorgeous as some of the Northern California scenes he describes.”

A former Wallace Stegner writing fellow at Stanford and an Alicia Patterson journalism fellow, he’s the author of two previous novels, The Big Easy and World’s End. He won first place in a North American Travel Writers Association competition for his series, “Walk into America,” that appeared in National Geographic Traveler, and he contributes regularly to National Geographic’s Intelligent Travel blog.

Jim has written for Smithsonian, Harper’s, The Atlantic, Saveur, Gourmet, and the New York Times Magazine, among others. Formerly the wine writer for the Washington Post, he covers wine, travel, and culture in his blog, cjonwine.blogspot.com and divides his time between Washington, D.C. and the Blue Ridge, with frequent trips to northern California.