Announcing the Demise of Wine Blogging

For Immediate Release: July 23, 2020

Statement By Organizers on The Cancellation of 13 Annual Wine Bloggers Conference


—Merger With Wine Writers Symposium Announced—

(NAPA, Calif)—The organizing committing of the North American Wine Bloggers Conference released the following statement today on the cancellation of the 13th Annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference.

With an eye toward the evolving nature of wine writing and a bow to reality, the organizing committee of the North American Wine Bloggers Conference has canceled the 2020 conference after twelve successful years of bringing together the nation's wine bloggers. There are no plans for a 2021 event.

The Organizing Committee of the NAWBC is very proud of the work it and bloggers around the country have done over the past twelve years. However, as the line between blogger and "main stream wine media" has been blurred to the point indistinguishable, the need and desire to segregated bloggers through a conference aimed only at their activities and needs has passed. This point is driven home by the very low number of registrants just thirty days before the scheduled conference.

As former blogger Alder Yarrow said before shutting down his groundbreaking blog "Vinography" in 2019 to take over editorship at The Wine Spectator & Enthusiast, 'We never were much different from the mainstream wine writers and it's time to admit it.' We believe this sentiment is undeniable.

Consensus has formed that the  zenith of wine blogging as a seemingly separate entity came in 2014 after 10 of the top 20 wine bloggers combined their efforts to create "Citizen Wine", the group blog that cracked the montetization quandary and quickly outpaced all other wine publications, print or digital, in readership. This of course led to the unfortunate split in the wine blogging community and the formation of the "Real Wine Bloggers Conference" in 2016" on the grounds that the NAWBC had been co-opted by the mainstream media by virtue of Citizen Wine sponsoring the NAWBC-2016 in toto. We remain proud of our decisive action in firing NAWBC Chairman Tom Wark after his incendiary outburst condemning the "Real Wine Bloggers Conference" attendees and his arrest on arson charges.

The steps taken following "The Blogging Fire of 2016" were successful in bring the two groups together, in large part due to NAWBC's new Chairman Robert Parker, Jr's successful efforts to mediate the differences between the two groups. However, we recognize that since 2016 interest in segregating wine bloggers from the mainstream media no longer made sense to many considering the enormous erosion in readership at mainstream wine publications.

Recognizing this reality, the cancellation of the 13th Annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference comes at the same moment that we are able to announce a merger with the Wine Writers Symposium. The two organizations will quickly merge their capabilities and assets in order to produce two annual events for wine writers and their continuing education. We are confident this merger will serve the needs of all wine writers, regardless of the format in which they publish.

Finally, the NAWBC will donate undistributed proceeds from the 2019 Conference to the Marvin Shanken Memorial Home For Retired Wine Writers.

# # #

Hardy Wallace, Chairman, NAWBC

Posted In: Wine Blogs


26 Responses

  1. Samantha - July 23, 2009

    That was awesome

  2. Alfonso Cevola - July 23, 2009

    Chapeau bas, Tom!
    Very entertaining

  3. Elaine - July 23, 2009

    Dreaming and drinking your own Kool-Aid? Or an oracle’s tale? The fun will be to see. Interesting but not sure about the oracle thing, imo.

  4. Sasha - July 23, 2009

    “incendiary outburst…and his arrest on arson charges.” – you are a riot tom, thanks for this creative bit of humor – it is much needed.
    p.s. you aren’t clairvoyant, are you?

  5. Thomas Pellechia - July 23, 2009

    2020? Hedging, are you???

  6. Derrick Schneider - July 23, 2009

    Funny to think of WBC and WWS merging: It’s not like wine bloggers are turned away from attending WWS.

  7. Michael Wangbickler - July 23, 2009

    OMG. So clever! Thanks Tom.

  8. Chicago Pinot - July 23, 2009

    And on a related note, the 2020 Orange Juice Bloggers Conference is sold out yet again, despite moving to a larger facility (the Rose Bowl). This year, thousands of OJ bloggers anxiously anticipate former Secretary of Agriculture Sarah Palin’s address on “The Benefits of the Seventeen Tier System.”

  9. Wink Lorch - July 23, 2009

    Over this coming weekend, please ask Ryan and Gabriella Opaz of for their forecast as to in which year the European Wine Bloggers Conference might merge with the AGM of the UK Circle of Wine Writers or perhaps the European-based FIJEV (Federation Internationale des Journalistes en Vins). If your estimate is 2020 for the above event, then my forecast for the European merger is 2050.
    Seriously, do we have to go through all this angst over the next decade or four?
    Can’t we all agree that wine communication for the greater good of improving both wine quality, diversity etc and its responsible and timely communication to consumers is what it’s all about?
    Well timed post, btw and have a great conference!

  10. Raelinn - July 23, 2009

    hilarious! thanks!!

  11. kelkeagy - July 23, 2009

    Okay, that was funny. Thank you for the afternoon giggle.

  12. Matthew Reid - July 23, 2009

    Thomas: “Funny to think of WBC and WWS merging: It’s not like wine bloggers are turned away from attending WWS.”
    This one was. Although that was because I am also a winemaker, not because I blog. Even though I don’t write about any wine I have anything to do with, ever.

  13. Ron Washam, HMW - July 23, 2009

    Great Post!

  14. Ron Washam, HMW - July 23, 2009

    You’re the best, Tom!

  15. Ron Washam, HMW - July 23, 2009

    Thanks for the laughs, Tom, you’re the only blog I read.

  16. Ron Washam, HMW - July 23, 2009


  17. Tom Wark - July 23, 2009

    I almost made you the final commissioner of the Bloggers Conference, but decided that Hardy’s recent success earned him the post. So, you dodged a bullet. Thanks.

  18. Ron Washam, HMW - July 23, 2009

    You know me, my friend, taking bullets for everybody. But if you need a last minute speaker…I got material.
    I’m just here fishing for blog hits like everybody else.
    Give Hardy my hardy congratulations. Give Alder my alder congratulations. I’m just a congratulating fool.

  19. Samantha - July 23, 2009

    So funny, I was reading this and thought, “Wow kinda sounds like Ron Washam”.

  20. Ron Washam, HMW - July 23, 2009


  21. Dave Ball - July 23, 2009

    Good stuff Tom, and all the better cuz its true. In the broad sense anyway. However I trust that you are implying that Marvin Shanken donated funds to the retirement home to name it after nim, not that we are paying his bills there!
    Dave Ball
    Calicaro Wine

  22. Mark - July 23, 2009

    Good stuff as always! It’s impossible to predict the social media future, but I can’t stop trying either!

  23. Dirty / Hardy - July 23, 2009

    Chairman?! That is great!

  24. David - July 24, 2009

    Woke up this morning to read this! Thought it was a twilight zone moment. Good read Tom, food for thought on which way thos medium will turn?

  25. Ian - July 24, 2009

    I see why they pay you the big bucks for PR; the message and timing are perfect. Reminds me of Randall’s wake for the cork. I suspect folks at #WBC09 already share this vision, hopefully the mainstream writers won’t take 10 years to get there.

  26. Nancy - July 31, 2009

    Nice Post

Leave a Reply