2012 WINE BLOGGERS CONFERENCE AGENDA
Wednesday, August 15
We will add a variety of two-day pre-conference excursions throughout Oregon. Details to come. $100 extra price includes one night lodging, three meals, local transportation, and winery visits.
Thursday, August 16
7:30 PM Welcome Reception provided by the Oregon Wine Board
Friday, August 17
10:00 AM Registration and Tradeshow (ends 12:10 PM)
10:00 AM Argentine Food & Wine Pairing Brunch with Winebow (ends 12:10 PM)
12:20 PM Conference Opening
12:30 PM Keynote Speech – Randall Grahm
1:20 PM Live Wine Blogging – Whites & Roses
2:30 PM Depart for winery visits including dinner – details to come
8:30 PM Depart wineries for DoubleTree host hotel
9:30 PM Night of Many Bottles
Saturday, August 18
9:25 AM Three Blogger-to-Blogger Discussions
- How Bloggers Influence the Wine World
- Are We Wine Writers or Wine Bloggers?
- Wine Blogging Workshops
10:45 AM Breakout Sessions
- The Winery View of Wine Bloggers
- Research on Wine Bloggers
- Current Trends and the Future of Wine Sales
11:45 AM Lunch on Your Own
1:15 PM Three Breakout Sessions
- Neuroscience of Wine Tasting
- Social Media
- The Art of Oregon Pinot – A Clonal Tasting
2:25 PM Three Breakout Sessions
- Biodynamic, Organic, Natural, and Sustainable Wine
- Off the Beaten Path Varietals
3:45 PM Keynote Speech – Rex Pickett
4:30 PM Live Wine Blogging – Reds
5:20 PM Pre-Dinner Reception with New Wines of Greece
6:30 PM Wine Blog Awards
7:00 PM Dinner with King Estate Winery
8:45 PM International Wines Night
10:15 PM Unofficial Post Parties
Sunday, August 19
9:30 AM Q&A with Wine Blog Awards winners who are present
10:30 AM Ignite Wine!
11:15 AM Preview of 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference
12:00 noon Lunch with the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Languedoc
- Pre-Conference Excursions: We will be working with a number of Oregon regional winery and tourism associations to set up overnight visits to area wineries. Excursions will cost an extra $100 and include one night hotel, three meals, local ground transportation, and winery visits. Details to come.
- Thursday Welcome Reception: On Thursday evening from 7:30 to 9:30 PM we will have an optional pre-conference Welcome Reception courtesy of the Oregon Wine Board. Taste a fantastic selection of Oregon wines to kickstart your weekend, meet your fellow attendees before the conference starts, and have a great time.
- Registration, Wine Tasting and Trade Show: Registration starts at 10:00 AM and runs through 12:30 PM. After you have registered, meet all our fabulous sponsors one-on-one. You will have the opportunity to taste wines from a select group of winery sponsors in addition to meeting and learning more about other sponsors and their products and services. We hope to be able to provide a casual lunch as well.
- Argentine Food & Wine Pairing Brunch with Winebow: Argentina is one of the top wine producing countries in the world with diverse grape growing regions and cultural richness. Indulge your senses in an exquisite food & wine pairing with Malbec and much more. You’ll discover the versatility of the country’s most and lesser known varieties while enjoying live a live tango show!
- Friday Keynote with Randall Grahm: From his well-known Bonny Doon Vineyards, Grahm has made big waves in the wine world. As a writer, Grahm has contributed to numerous wine journals in addition to his well-known blog, Been Doon So Long, which was not only the 2010 Best Winery Blog winner but has also been made into a book, composed of a collection of sometimes-satiric but always thoughtful pieces. Grahm says he is thrilled to be speaking at the conference and the it is “a perfect venue to publicly air all of my profound insecurities about the whole proposition of wine blogging. Wine blogging is a fairly imperfect art.”
- Live Wine Blogging:Bloggers will taste, review, and blog or Tweet about wines, all while hearing directly from the vintners themselves. The conference will be divided into tables of approximately seven participants and each winery will have five minutes to pour, give a short explanation of the wine, and answer questions while bloggers are recording their thoughts (live). Wineries then rotate to the next table. It’s a fast process (although slower than speed dating) but this format allows winemakers and conference participants the opportunity to interact in a small group setting. We will have separate Live Wine Blogging sessions for white and rose wines (Friday) and red wines (Saturday).
- Friday Wine Country Visit: New this year we will move our wine country visits to Friday, allowing you to enjoy the area and meet other conference participants on the first day of the conference and focus on the academic portion on Saturday. Attendees will break into eight groups to visit eight local vineyards and eight local wineries. Groups will then join together to participate in four excellent wine pairing dinners. This is always a highlight of the conference as you can learn about the local area; meet with local winemakers, grape growers, and winery owners; and taste some delicious local wines. The wine country visits will be organized by the Oregon Wine Board.
- Friday Night of Many Bottles: Also new this year we will have an official bring-your-own-wine-to-share night called Night of Many Bottles. Please bring one bottle of wine to share. It can be from your local winery, a bottle you have had cellared for too many years, or simply your favorite wine. Bloggers and conference veterans Christophe Smith and Drew Lazorchak have volunteered to coordinate this party. It should be a highlight!
- Blogger-to-Blogger Discussions: We will have three discussions running simultaneously, similar to Breakout Sessions but with no panels and with the ability to have you enter and exit each discussion as you please. This was a highlight of the conference in 2011 so we have increased the time allotment to 80 minutes and moved the sessions to Saturday, the prime day of the conference. The three sessions are:
- How Bloggers Influence the Wine World: Do bloggers have an effect on wine sales? On winery practices? Should bloggers attempt to influence the wine world by all focusing on one topic at a time, as Eric Asimov suggested in 2011?
- Are We Wine Writers or Wine Bloggers? Join your fellow attendees to discuss the differences and similarities of the two groups, including what impact wine blogging has had on wine writing and why the EWBC is no longer called the European Wine Bloggers Conference.
- Blogging Workshop: Sit at a table with a group of bloggers, including at least one experienced one, who will view, critique, and make suggestions on your blog. If you are looking for hands-on (or eyes-on) advice for your blog, this is the time and place to get it.
- Saturday Breakout Sessions: We will have three one-hour breakout sessions, each consisting of three separate topics. Yes, this means you have to choose your topic and can’t see all three. But it allows us to bring in more content suitable to more attendees. The topics will be invited into three categories: Wine Tasting, Wine & the Wine Industry, and Wine Blogging.
- Saturday Keynote With Rex Pickett: Sideways author Rex Pickett will sit down on stage with blogger Alana Gentry (Girl With a Glass) in a candid Q&A-style conversation that is sure to inspire the author in each of us. Pickett has written a number of books and screenplays, the most well known being the Writers Guild, two Golden Globe and Academy Awards-winning Sideways.
- Saturday Pre-Dinner Reception: Come taste something new with a pre-dinner reception courtesy of New Wines of Greece. Comes taste wines that reflect all the history of Greek wine-making combined with the best aspects of the modern Greek wine industry.
- Saturday Wine Blog Awards and Banquet Dinner: The 2012 Wine Blog Awards winners will be announced live at the conference during dinner. If you would like to participate in a group that will help determine the presentation structure, please let us know. The Saturday Banquet Dinner will be presented by King Estate Winery, a Eugene, Oregon-based producer of fine wines including Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and limited amounts of Chardonnay
- International Wine Night: On Saturday evening we will have a number of sponsors pouring international wines. This is an excellent opportunity to taste wines from around the globe. Please see our Sponsors tab if you are interested to pour wines this evening.
- Unofficial After Parties:We know our winery friends like to throw unofficial parties at the Wine Bloggers Conference. Please respect the conference agenda, our speakers, and our sponsors by scheduling any after parties after the official content. We are purposefully ending the Saturday evening activities at 10:15 PM to make this possible without staying up too late!
- Q&A With Wine Blog Award Winners: Per a suggestion from a 2011 conference attendee, we have added a session where you can hear from and ask questions of 2012 Wine Blog Award winners who are present at the conference. This is your opportunity to learn from several of the best wine bloggers out there.
- Ignite Wine: This is a fast, fun event that will give eight bloggers the opportunity to present on a topic of their choosing. Each presenter has five minutes and must time the talk to coincide with 20 slides, automatically advanced on 15-second intervals. We want to hear what you have to say – but say it fast! See the Ignite Wine! blog post from last year for more info.
- Wrapup: We’ll take a little time to review the conference and discuss plans for the 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference.