At the end of this week is the biggest yearly event in wine bloggingdom (Yes, I did just make that word up!); The Wine Blogger Conference 2015. By the end of the week, Wine Bloggers from around the world will have descended on Corning, NY located in the Southern Tier of the state! It is hosted by the Finger Lakes which are to the north about 45 minutes to an hour. I have only previously attended this event once, back in 2011 in Charlottesville, VA. At that point, I was still in CA, had only been blogging a year or so, and came as a representative of a wine brand I was making at the time called Emma Pearl, complete with PR rep.
This year, I am going as a blogger only. I am not representing a brand and while I am and will always be a winemaker, this is the first event where I’m not attending solely for that purpose. I’m looking forward to the conference content. I will definitely be attending the opening night reception on Thursday and the Key note speech by Karen MacNeil. After lunch it will be a toss up between the Banfi sponsored Fizziology 101 or the Ribera del Duero and Rueda session. Spain is the front runner at this point! The break out sessions on Saturday morning are going to be a game day decision but many look good. Particularly the photo and video on smart phone session, since I do all of my website photography on my iPhone and need to do a video for China (I’ll get to that a bit later).
For the wine discovery sessions that afternoon, the dry wines of Alsace tasting looks exciting. I don’t remember the conference before having such a great representation of international wines to taste! It’s very exciting. The live wine blogging should be interesting since I’ve only ever been on the presentation side of the table. It’s a bit like speed dating with wine tasting. When I presented the Emma Pearl wines back in 2011, I found myself talked extremely fast and hoping that I was making some sense to the tables to which I was presenting. This year I’m going to be one of the ones sitting at the tables trying to listen to the winemakers and winery representatives telling their stories. We then will all be wandering over to the Corning museum of glass for a live glass demonstration and the awards banquet for the best bloggers of the year! Congrats to all who have won awards. This is a tough media we are in and it is challenging to come up with quality posts frequently. Those who have won awards represent the best of the best for the previous year. After the presentations, we will head off to the various after parties of course! We’ll see how late I stay up!
The last morning there are two slightly ambiguous sessions; The secret to blogging success and the secret to writing success. After 5 years of blogging, I’m not really sure what I would call blogging success. I’m just enjoying having a weekly medium of interaction with those who are interested in interacting with me! I’d love more on post comments though! Feel free to share your thoughts. Anyway, I’ll see everyone later this week!!!
Finally, on a completely different topic, I found out this week that I have been selected to be a part of the Ningxia Winemaker Challenge in Ningxia, China. Sixty Winemakers from around the globe have been selected to participate. At this point, I am one of five from the US (All 60 have yet to be announced publicly). Starting in September of this year, I will be in China working on a single red wine which will be judged in 2017. The great thing about this challenge is that I don’t have to relocate to China to accomplish it but will be traveling there several times a year to oversee the wine making and blending. I’ve always wanted to work an international harvest and this gives me the opportunity to do that as well as learn more about the Chinese culture. I also get to work on my language skills while I’m there. I’m so grateful that my family and Constellation are allowing me to take this opportunity. We’ll see what I can come up with! Wish me luck!