Score Success for the Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla

More than 200 writers and media influencers gathered in Walla Walla this month to attend the annual Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC).

We are so proud of the Washington state wine community for hosting this successful major event, and introducing the latest wines to wine enthusiasts from all over the country and different parts of the world.

To our delight, we experienced four days of wine tasting, winery tours, live blogging, mystery dinners, and a delicious banquet.

One of the trickiest and fun events was live wine blogging, where we each tasted 10 wines in one hour.
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WBC is Returning to Walla Walla

The 11th annual Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC) is coming to Walla Walla, where more than 300 wine writers and social media influencers will gather to share their passion for wine, and experience Washington wine country.

This is the second time WBC is being held in Walla Walla – we attended the 2010 conference, which also marked the first time this major event was held outside of California wine country. Now, eight years later, it’s back on Oct. 4-7 — four days of wine tasting, winery tours, discovery sessions, educational sessions, live blogging, a dinner banquet, and pre- and post-conference excursions. It’s also so much fun to see old friends and make new ones who share a common interest – fine wine!
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WBC Here I Come!

This weekend is the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference in Portland, where I’ll be live tweeting. You can follow my tweets  @writeforwine Thursday night through Monday night, and you can follow the conference’s twitter stream #WBC12, highlighting the opinions of about 350 wine writers in attendance.

I’ll also be posting on the Write for Wine Facebook page, and hope you’ll stop by to “like” it!

This will be my second time at WBC – my inaugural attendance was at #WBC10 in Walla Walla, where I met fellow wine bloggers, writers and tweeters, many of whom became my good friends. One of the craziest and best events was “Live Wine Blogging,” described by conference organizers as “sort of like speed dating, matching wineries to bloggers in five-minute segments.”

At WBC10, the Live Wine Blogging hour did indeed speed by, as wine makers and winery marketing folks handed out tasting notes, poured and quickly described their wines, as we tweeted, spit and spilled our way through a number of offerings, ranging from boxes to $185 bottles, sometimes side-by-side.

This year, an action-packed weekend awaits us in the Portland area, which is extra special for me because it’s where I began writing about wine in 1997, when I managed content after launching KOIN-TV’s website.

In addition to Live Wine Blogging, activities include mystery bus trips to wine country — a visit to a vineyard and a winery, followed by dinner at a local restaurant or another winery. You don’t know where the buses are going until you get on one, hence the mystery.

And new this year at WBC is the “Night of Many Bottles” — an evening where everyone brings a bottle of their favorite wine to share with others. In past years, this has been done informally by friends who got together when the formal activities were done. This year, the conference organizers decided to make it part of the official weekend fun.

And no, the weekend is not only about drinking wine! There are plenty of opportunities to learn about grapes, terroir, wine making, writing and blogging, with keynote speeches, breakout sessions, blogger-to-blogger discussions, Ignite! wine groups and wine blog awards.

While the focus of the weekend will be on the fine wines of Oregon – and I can’t wait – there are also some other events dear to my heart:

  • A Washington wine event called One Night Stand, featuring magnums from top Washington producers (on Twitter, #WAOneNight)
  • An opportunity to taste new wines of Greece, just a month before I’ll be heading that way to another conference

I’m also really looking forward to a post-WBC tour to wine country in Carlton, Oregon, where a group of some of my favorite blogger friends will attend Carlton’s Walk in the Park, and stop by several wineries, including Ken Wright Cellars, which I’ve always wanted to visit.

Next year’s Wine Bloggers Conference is in Penticton, in my home province of British Columbia. So you can imagine how much I’m also looking forward to WBC13! But first, Portland – stay tuned!

Cheers!