Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Five things I learned at the Wine Bloggers Conference

By Jessica Yadegaran
Monday, July 27th, 2009 at 5:28 pm in Corkheads.

What a wonderful and energizing weekend I spent with my colleagues from the wine blogosphere. It was truly a mix. The second annual Wine Bloggers Conference united winemakers, writers, journalists, marketers and Web 2.0 geeks. We converged on Snoop’s town (Sonoma) to answer that age-old (2004) question: Why do I blog about fermented grape juice?

The answers, for me, will no doubt reveal themselves in the form of blog posts, Tweets, and stories in the coming months. But here are the things I learned that you absolutely need to know:

1. Able Grape, Doug Cook’s wine information search engine, now pulls from 41,000 Web sites. That’s 20 million pages of wine 411. Google who? Cook swears that 9 times out of 10, Able Grape will do a better job.

2. Thea of Luscious Lushes is just as fun and sassy as her blog.  If you don’t read her, you should. She is knowledgable, passionate, super friendly and best of all, doesn’t take this wine biz too seriously.

3. Gargiulo Vineyards in Oakville is making serious wines, mostly small production Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The property’s beauty blows Tuscany out of the water and the crew running the winery is beyond hospitable. Make an appointment and visit. You won’t be sorry.

4. Everything I needed to learn about Twitter I learned in junior high. It is totally not important how many Twitter followers you have. Rather, what matters is how meaningful those interactions are. But, follow me on Twitter anyway.

5. Chateau Ste. Michelle in Washington state is the single largest producer of Riesling in the world. Yes, bigger than any German or New York wineries. I think in its past life my palate lived in Walla Walla Valley because these wines speak to me. Good thing the 2010 conference will be there so I can bring you all the news on the state’s truly sophisticated and natural approach to winemaking. Get ready for austere Rieslings, silky Merlots, and seductive Syrahs.

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  • jason

    The one thing I learned not being there it to make sure no important family events get scheduled on the weekend of the 2010 conference!

  • Jessica

    Haha. We missed ya! What was the family event?

  • winebratsf

    Thanks you Naughty Wine Minx!

    I seriously love wine, but I try not to be so serious because it is after all, a passion that I want to share with others.

    We are still wine geeks though ;-)but fun is indeed the name of the game.

    Can’t wait for next year!


  • Jessica

    Woohoo! Agreed. We shall strike a balance between geekdom and fundom. Seriously can’t wait for Walla Walla. Those wines rock my fur-eekin’ world.

  • Doug Wilder

    I learned that

    1. I’m not into 15:05 minutes of fame at the cost of being owned forever. I already knew this but said a quiet little “thank you, jesus” several times during the weekend.
    2. Plenty of wineries are very curious about engaging bloggers (lets hope it works for everybody!)
    3. I won’t ever ever rely on Flamingo’s WIFI connection again (realize it was probably overloaded, but didn’t anybody tell them they were going to have close to 300 people vying for bandwidth?)
    4. Gabriella Opaz of Catavino got me very interested in the Spanish wine scene.
    5. Wanting to sleep in my own bed was the only reason I didn’t make it to the Portugal tasting

  • Jessica

    I hear ya on 5. I got back, bought toothpaste from Long’s, took a bath, and conked out. As for #3, not sure why we didn’t have the same issue last year. There were less people but – still?