As one of the organizers of the Wine Bloggers Conference, I frequently ask participants how things are going. Yesterday I didn’t have to do that. Many people came up to me to offer their thoughts.
I heard a number of people tell me the morning talk by geologist Kevin Pogue was the most amazing preparation for visiting a wine area they have ever encountered. We were not sure the 8:00 AM session would have many people but it was full.
Many others told me the morning sessions and lunches, arranged by the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and held at 30 different area wineries, were the best part of the conference (so far). One participant told me his vintner panel was the most interesting conversation he had ever had with a winemaker. Another told me he was impressed by how upfront and open the vintners were to share their views, their successes, and their difficulties. A third participant told me the lunch she enjoyed at a local Walla Walla winery was the best meal she had had – all year!
Everyone then reconvened at the Marcus Whitman Hotel for the afternoon sessions. We started out with two excellent breakout sessions. I attended a talk on “Growing Your Audience from Other Bloggers to Consumers” and was impressed with the three speakers: Seattle Wine Gal, Andrea Robinson, and David Honig from Palette Press. For the second session, I listed to Steve Heimoff, Tom Wark, and Ken Payton discuss “The Future of Wine Writing”. Weighty topics both and well worth the time to listen to all these experts!
We then proceeded on to Live Wine Blogging for red wines before being treated to dinner by the Washington Wine Commission. The number of outstanding wines being poured by Washington state wineries was amazing and I heard over and over how impressed people were with the high quality of so many different varietals all coming out of one state. The after dinner entertainment was provided by local band Snap, Crackle, and Pop, courtesy of Rias Baixas Albarino. The white wines from northern Spain were delicious and relatively unknown to even our experienced wine drinkers!