What I’ve Learned At the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference

Wbc What I've learned at the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference…So Far

1. The choice of Charlottesville for the location of the conference is an inspired one. Not only is it a town filled with gracious and proud folks, but it oozes history. And for a long-time student of American history, it's actually kind of difficult to explain the thrill to walk amongst that history.

2. Jancis Robinson, the first keynote speaker at the Conference, might be unique among practiced and established wine writers: She seems to understand perfectly that wine bloggers are really members of her species: the wine writer. What sets them apart is merely the platform they use to publish. This acknowledgement has Jancis implications for many.

3. 100 degree heat combined with 50% Humidity is the enemy of enthusiasm.

4. If you are a student at the University of Virginia and if you aren't inspired by its grounds and history to heighten your embrace of education and the arts, then you deserve to be expelled on the spot.

UVA 5. Even the most informed and bright among us can do very little to make the legalities of wine a fascinating topic for the vast majority of even the most enthusiastic wine folks.

6. The government and legislature of Virginia needs to do more to topple the regulatory barriers that stand between its wineries and their fabulous wines and their ability to bring those wines to market. They need to be able to sell directly to stores and restaurants without the burden of jumping through hoops created by a wholesaler dominated, antiquated three-tier system.Monticello

7. It's not just the bloggers in the room here who are excited about blogging, but apparently it is also the folks at potential locations of future bloggers conferences that are excited about blogging. At least one potential future location for the bloggers conference, the Okanagan Valley, has set up a facebook page to lobby for the attention of a future Wine Bloggers Conference.

8. Monticello, where we wine bloggers enjoyed dinner, is not merely an American treasure, but it is a  symbolic American wine treasure that needs to be jealously guarded, celebrated and promoted by any wine blogger who can appreciate the historic aspects of the American wine industry.

9. The wines of Rioja need to be more deeply explored.

10. At 48 years of age, I often feel like the oldest blogger in the room, yet instead of lamenting that fact, I'm finding solace in the idea that I might be some sort of bridge.


13 Responses

  1. Mark Buckley - July 23, 2011

    Thanks for keeping us updated Tom. I wish I could be there. Next year!

  2. Lorie Perrone - July 23, 2011

    You are not the oldest blogger in the room. : (
    Thanks for the recap.

  3. Mark - July 23, 2011

    Thanks for the recap Tom….it’s an event I wish I didn’t miss! Nice to hear about Ms Robinson…..it seems too many in main stream print writing haven’t shown the blogger community much respect, without understanding that is how future wine writers careers are going to start.

  4. Lisa Mattson - July 23, 2011

    Great post. I’ve learned a lot too. Also making some great friends which is the beauty of our business. Thanks again for including me in such a special event. I’d love to return the favor at Jordan.

  5. Russ Kane - July 24, 2011

    Tom,
    I got you beat on age, man. We ARE the bridge between the now and the afterlife 🙂
    Good to see you again.
    Regards,
    Russ

  6. Juliet Johnson - July 25, 2011

    It’s really nice for Jancis Robinson to consider wine bloggers as members of wine writers. Being appreciated is indeed inspiring. Future wine bloggers should read this.

  7. Debbie Gioquindo - Hudson Valley Wine Goddess - July 25, 2011

    Thanks for the recap. If I was able to attend – we would have both been the “oldest bloggers” in the room.

  8. [email protected] - July 25, 2011

    Congratulations for your win Tom, well deserved. We’ve been keeping tabs on #WBC11 all the way from sunny South Africa, although it’s slightly overcast today 😉
    Wish we were there!
    Also was wondering if you could recommend some new wine bloggers you met at the conference or any new Blogs you believe are worth a read?
    Keep well

  9. 1WineDude - July 25, 2011

    “100 degree heat combined with 50% Humidity is the enemy of enthusiasm.”
    AWESOME. But we did manage, didn’t we?
    Cheers!

  10. Dave McIntyre - July 25, 2011

    I’m afraid I beat Tom on this one, too, Russ! As I always say, “I’m older than I act, and younger than I feel.”
    Cheers, and congrats again to Tom on the two Blogger Awards!
    Dave

  11. Michael Kaiser - July 25, 2011

    Tom,
    Thanks for the shout out. We tried to make wine law and wine regulation interesting, but you know better than everyone that it is an uphill battle!
    Congratulations on your two awards.

  12. Gwendolyn - July 25, 2011

    Well said. I particularly agree with #4. Everytime I’m there I realize how much there is to know and how much I wish I could relive those 4 years.

  13. Pia Mara Finkell - July 26, 2011

    Thanks for the Rioja shoutout Tom. I hope to help in your exploration!!
    ¡Salud!
    Pia


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