Each year we solicit bids from a handful of prominent wine regions to see if they would be interested to host the North American Wine Bloggers Conference the following year. One of our goals is to rotate the conference to new wine areas to give our attendees a chance to visit other regions and to give those regions a chance to highlight their attributes.
We are currently working with three excellent wine areas who have submitted bids to host the 2012 North American Wine Bloggers Conference. The next step is to gather public opinion. We ask past and current blogger attendees for their ratings in a private poll but are also eager to hear from anyone who has opinions about where we should hold the 2012 conference. This input will be factored into the location bid itself and the 2012 location will be announced live at this year’s conference in Charlottesville.
Please feel free to comment on this blog post with your opinions about why you think the 2012 North American Wine Bloggers Conference should be held in Penticton, British Columbia; Oregon; or Santa Barbara, California.
Penticton, British Columbia: Penticton is in eastern British Columbia and is the heart of the province’s wine region, with more than 120 wineries in the area. The conference would be based at the Penticton Lakeside Resort in this town of about 40,000. Local wine organizers are extremely eager to host our conference (they already have a Twitter account and Facebook page to promote it) and have the support of local and provincial groups as well as wine associations across Canada. Penticton has its own regional airport, with daily flights from Vancouver and Calgary, and the Kelowna International Airport, an hour away, has flights to Seattle.
Oregon: The conference hotel would be in Portland, with easy airport access and more facilities, but we would spend Saturday in wine country in the Willamette Valley. Oregon now has 419 wineries and 849 vineyard owners producing some of the top wines in the country. The state’s bid comes from the Oregon Wine Board with help from Travel Oregon and the Oregon Winegrowers Association. In addition, we have support from the famous International Pinot Noir Celebration, which although it will be on a different weekend is eager to work with us.
Santa Barbara County, California: This is one of the premier wine regions of Southern California, with over 100 wineries and 21,000 acres of vineyards. We would likely be based in the small town of Buellton, surrounded by wine towns including Solvang, Los Olivos, and Santa Maria. Buellton is 40 minutes from the airport in Santa Barbara and two hours from Los Angeles. We have strong support from the Santa Barbara County Vintner’s Association, local CVBs, and the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.
Santa Barbara hands down. Excellent location and actually really good wine for wine tasting. I always seem to end up traveling there for a numerous amount of things and its always a great time. Favorite place to stay would be the South Coast Inn (www. goleta-hotel.com). Close to the vineyards and incredibly elegant.
Ben Villanueva says
Santa Barbara of course! Beautiful area around Solvang and great wines in the region! What happened to Napa or Sonoma? If this is an international conference, are you inviting bloggers from France?
Definitely Santa Barbara County.
Brit Zotovich says
SANTA BARBARA! Beautiful weather and a continuously blossoming wine region. Heard of the Lompoc Wine Ghetto? A sault of stealthy Sta. Rita Hills Pinot & Chardonnay producers! Such a quaint place. Ugly metal buildings house 13+ pleasantly decorated tasting rooms. Here you’ll get the chance to pick the winemakers brains in several small – err – cozy settings. A meek 20 minute drive from Buelton. lompocghetto.com
Santa Barbara County! Immeasurable quality, variety and beauty!
No! 2012 WBC is not sold out. The confirm form was just not updated yet. If you registered, we will take care of it tomorrow and you are in.
Seriously, 2012 is sold out already? That’s insane. I just registered and it said – we will let you know if space is available. CRAZY. True?
Lulu Belle says
All 3 are phenomenal wine regions – I would go to any of these locales… (Seriously tough choice!)
Jazz blues wine voip says
Santa Barbara County is perfect for this conference. Travel by air? We are two hours from LA and have our own airport if you are a pilot. Do you need lodging? There are beautiful hotels across from the beach, Bed and Breakfast throughout Santa Barbara and Los Olivos, and a Radisson in Santa Maria just 25 minutes away fron Bullton. Do you want something to do besides wine? We are in Cumash Casino Country. A beautiful casino and hotel with an outstanding restaurant. Beaches, beaches, and more beaches. Pismo Dunes are just one hour north of Bullton; the only beach in California you are allowed to drive on! Will you be hungry? If so, then from Santa Barbara to Santa Maria restaurants offer incredible cuisine: Santa Maria BBQ, Spencer steaks, fresh sea food, and sushi. There are so many things to do on Californias Central Coast, it’s a no brainer.
Santa Barbara – no question.
Sometimes the Central Coast is portrayed as a single wine region but the fact is that it’s home to numerous individual appellations. Each of these separate regions boasts its own strengths and personalities but they all share one common trait. Whether you taste wines on the Ventura County Wine Trail, visit the vineyar.o the tasting rooms along River Road in Monterey County, you’ll find relaxed and friendly people eager to help you enjoy and learn. Because even as the Central Coast continues to produce better and better wines that rival the world’s best, the region has never lost its unpretentious ways…
Maria Centrella says
Santa Barbara would be an ideal location. You have the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley wine region and the Santa Maria Valley/Lompoc area as well all with easy access to the city and beaches of Santa Barbara. It’s “Sideways” country!
Santa Barbara, north or south
Santa Barbara with it’s mild weather, beautiful beaches and most importantly, fabulous wines!!
Ben Hagood says
Kari Ziegler says
SB All the way!
CITYPEEK Patti says
hmmm santa babs-been there-lovely and oregon pinot yummmmm! Either way, I will be happy. Cheers @citypeekpatti on FB Fan and twitter
Bethany Harpur says
Penticton! Time to have a conference in Canuck territory. BC (along with Ontario, Nova Scotia, Quebec …) have *great* wines to discover and the area is beautiful!
Santa Barbara! Not only is the weather perfect, but the Santa Ynez Valley has tons of stories just waiting to be told.
Beyond the beauty of this region, the Santa Ynez Valley (Santa Barbara’s wine country), absolutely beckons the novice taster and oenophile. As writers, I’m sure you would appreciate the opportunity for a good comparison to the California Sonoma and Napa regions up north, previous locations for the WBC. Not all CA wine regions are created equal. Come for the wine, take on the challenge! We would love to have you!
Just so everyone is clear, there is this public comment section and also a private vote of those who have attended past (and current) WBCs. We weigh both. Clearly the private vote is important, since those are the people who have voted with their wallets and schedules by attending past conferences. However, this public vote is also important as it shows us whether the local community is supportive of the region’s bid. If you look through these comments, you’ll see Penticton had most of the comments at first, then Oregon swept in, and then Santa Barbara started to dominate. That shows us all three regions are in support of the bid but that they just got organized on different schedules in telling their local communities. We’ll tell you more about the process when we announce the 2012 location. – Allan, WBC Organizer
Last year Pass Robles appeared to get the Lions Share of the public
comments. I don’t really think the public vote does much more than generate
interest or perhaps get the contenders to up the ante.
Jean Wilson says
Wow – Santa Barbara seems to be running away with it. All 3 options sounds phenominal and since I have never been to any of them, I would be thrilled no matter where it is. But for now, I will go with Santa Barbara!
Santa Barbara: Four AVAs. Three transverse valleys. Two Pacific coastlines. One diverse growing region…one choice.
There are hundreds of untold stories here in Santa Barbara County wine country waiting to be discovered and shared with the world.
I love Oregon but Santa Barbara in late July is a no-brainer. SB!
My vote is with Santa Barbara County. Wine, food and great people.
My vote is for Santa Barbara County! Sunny skies, great wineries and the Pacific Ocean as our backdrop. And by the way, getting to Penticton can be a challenge.
Wow! Three great locations for next year’s conference. I’d be happy with any and all. Penticton is geographically stunning, with great accomodations as well. But my top choice would be Santa Barbara County, made famous by the movie “Sideways.” And as I sit here in my office on a drizzly, cool July day in Seattle, I yearn for sunny California. This would be a terrific place to hold the conference next year. Thanks, Gene
Penticton! Amazing wine producing region in BC and gaining momentum!
Cindy Holland says
Penticton! Shine a light on a great wine growing & producing region!
Jim Fiolek says
I’ve been in the wine business in Santa Barbara County since 1971. From selling crushers, presses, barrels and even yeast, to being VP/GM of three of our “founding” wineries. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the Willamette Valley and a bit in BC. Yet, as executive director of the Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association, I’d love to show you why I’ve spent forty years in one business, in one place – Santa Barbara County – with people like Frank Ostini, Bob Lindquist, Andrew Murray, Larry Schaffer, Greg Brewer, and the full list of our winemakers who have commented here, plus over a hundred others.
You won’t go wrong in any of these great regions. You will feel very right here.
Kristen Kirk says
What’s that about leaving preconceptions at the departing gate? TSA let you through with yours?
It would be great for Penticton and the whole Okanagan valley!!!
Santa Barbara county would be great! The vintner’s association would be a FANTASTIC host!
Santa Ynez Valley would be a real winner.