Announcing the Demise of Wine Blogging
Statement By Organizers on The Cancellation of 13 Annual Wine Bloggers Conference
STATEMENT BY ORGANIZERS ON CANCELLATION
OF 13TH 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.
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Hardy Wallace, Chairman, NAWBC