Where can wine take YOU?

I’m sitting here in the lobby of the Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa, at the 2nd annual Wine Tourism Conference, in Santa Rosa, with fond memories of the Wine Bloggers Conferences of 2008 and 2009. The buzz is certainly different, with industry reps. tour operators, writers, and print media outlets, but the buss is here.

Spending a brief morning at the trade show, I saw many faces I knew, but I also saw many faces I didn’t.  Up and coming wine regions that you would not think of were represented, and I was looking forward to learning more about them.

All sorts of industry professionals were represented, including tour operators, wineries, tourism associations, PR firms, and of course – those pesky bloggers!  I was looking forward to both getting to know these great group of people ,but also learning what the challenges in the industry are, and how we, as new media representatives can help.

Of particular interest to me were the challenges that individual regions have attracting visitors to their wine destinations.  Both on a personal and semi professional level, the topic fascinates me.  Additionally, the age old question of how ot engage with social media and how to utilize new media.  I am a social media freak, and if you have known me since the first Wine Bloggers Conference, you know that I am also a twitterholic.  While some of this has waned in recent years due to professional and personal obligations, it is still a fiery passion.

In addition to my social meida addiction, I am passionate about finding out how I can help bring the wine business in to the 21st century uses the tgools of the trade.  These tools include CRM but also include business practices and methodologies that are universal across businesses.

So, where can wine take you?  Stay tuned this week and I give you some of my insights, ideas, eye opening moments, and observations from the Wine Tourism Conference.

Cheers!

 

Vinify THIS!

It’s that time of year again!  Vinify, a collective custom crush facility and tasting room in Santa Rosa, is throwing open thier doors to the public.

Vinify Wine Services is a state of the art custom crush facility located in Santa Rosa that houses some of the best boutique winemakers in Sonoma County. Our member wineries produce wines from highly acclaimed vineyards all over the North Coast representing over 12 varietals.  Join us on Saturday, June 11th and preview 40+ wines presented in a Burgundy Riedel stemware (yours to keep, or throw on the floor as I have done with mine).

Winemakers and owners will be showcasing their wines and are available to answer all of your questions, as well as sell you wine!  This will also be the launch of the collective tasting room at Vinfiy, Vinoteca.

Limited tickets are available online for $25 each, no processing fees.

Some of the participating wineries include:

  • Baker Lane
  • Bjornstad Cellars
  • Lattanzio Winery
  • Sojourn Cellars
  • Westerhold Family Vineyards
  • Calluna Vineyard
  • Jemrose Vineyard
  • Barbed Oak Vineyards
  • Argot Wines
  • Desmond Wines
  • Frostwatch Vineyard and Winery
  • Olsen Ogden Wines
  • Gracianna Winery
  • Vaughn Duffy Wines
  • Audelssa Estate Winery
  • Wren Hop Vineyards & Winery

Happy drinking!  Some of my favorites will be on hand with tasty juice, so don’t miss out!

Happenings!

Spring has sprung, and summer is starting to show glimpses.  A side effect of this season, is that there is a plethora of wine events going on in May and June.  A few of the highlights in the next few weeks are:

Tuesday May 11th, the Rose Avengers and Producers (RAP) hosts thier annual Pink Out celebration in San Francisco.  From 6:30 – 8:30pm, the celebration of all wines pink features an extensive walk around tasting of 40 wines, still & sparkling, as well as some tasty appetizers.  This event does sell out (sorry for the late notice!) and tickets can be purchased online for $35 or if any are left, for $45 at the door.  For those of you who can’t make it in person, TasteLive is hosting an online tasting forum with the Mutineer Magazine crew.

Have you ever been to a tasting room with 20 wineries?  Well, ok there are more and more coop tasting rooms out there, but how about one housed in a custom crush facility?  For those of who are less familiar with the winemaking minutia, a custom crush facility is a place where many wineries / labels can use the same equipment, share costs, and share space.  Vinify Wine Services is one of these meccas for up and coming cult wines, in Santa Rosa.  It’s housed some of the best botique wines in Sonoma County over the past few years, and many more to come.  As the nature of the beast goes, you use a place like this for as long as you need, but then you might outgrow it and use your own facilities for various reasons.

On May 23rd, VINIFY IS HOSTING their annual Open House.  This is a rare opportunity for the public to enjoy some 20 labels of delicious juice, for the bargain price of $20 (including a fancy glass).  There will be over 40 wines, and you will have the chance to meet the winemakers, bottlewashers, and salespeople – being the same person – in an intimate setting.  I hope to see you there to taste some of the following:

  • Baker Lane
  • Bevan Cellars
  • Bjornstad Cellars
  • Lattanzio Winery
  • Pfendler Vineyards
  • Sojourn Cellars
  • Westerhold Family Vineyards
  • Calluna Vineyard
  • Jemrose Vineyard
  • Barbed Oak Vineyards
  • Claypool Cellars
  • Desmond Wines
  • Frostwatch Vineyard and Winery
  • Olsen Ogden Wines – a personal favorite of mine
  • Gracianna Winery
  • Cinque Insieme Wines
  • Suacci Carciere Wines

Vinfiy Wine Services is located at 3358 Coffey Lane, Suite D in Santa Rosa.  Tickets should be purchased in advance at Local Wine Events and you can reach them at 707-495-4959

On June 5th & 6th Sunset Magazine Celebration Weekend will have several expanded wine seminars and sessions.

  • With the Glam Camping Compound at the heart of the festivities, Sara Schneider could suggest her favorite bottles for the ultimate “glamping” trip (more details here: http://www.sunset.com/marketplace/camp-glam-00400000066902/)
  • Expanded wine seminars, including tours through the wines of Washington, Southern Oregon and California’s Central Coast (these always sell out!)
  • A sneak peek at Savor the Central Coast, Sunset’s new food & wine event that will be held Sept. 30-Oct. 3 in San Luis Obispo County

The Celebration runs all weekend from 10am to 5pm, and admission is $16.  Wine Seminars are $10 each, and you can sign up at the event.  Susnet is located at 80 Willow Road Menlo Park, CA 94025, schedules and info can be found HERE


Also on June 5th, the Tempranillo Advocates Prodcuers and Amigos Society (TAPAS) is hosting their annual tasting at Ft Mason.  TAPAS is the most extensive annual tasting of domestically produced Spanish and Portuguese varietal wines in North America, and the annual tasting is a great time to taste wines produced by TAPAS members from grape varieties indigenous to Spain and Portugal that are now cultivated in America, in a delightful walk-around setting where they may chat with the TAPAS growers and producers. These new and delightful domestic wines originate in Arizona, California, Oregon, Texas, and Washington, and range from crisp, refreshing whites, through big full-bodied reds, to elegant port style wines. This is a unique opportunity to sample wines made from varieties like Tempranillo, Albariño, Garnacha, Graciano, Mourvedre, Touriga, Verdelho, Bastardo and more. Many of our members are limited-production, boutique wineries whose wines are not generally available in stores.

The consumer tasting will run from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Consumer tickets are available at tapas2010.eventbrite.com for $35, or $200 for a pack of 10.  Bring your friends!  There will be many hard to find wines at this event.

**SPECIAL BULLITAN** WBC has been announced!

 

We interrupt the blog to announce that the 2nd Annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference will be held in Sonoma and Napa, July 24th – July 26th.  I don’t envy the event planners because I know they made every effort not to conflict with other events.  I will miss some of my friends, but hopefully we can find that sweet spot where everyone can come!

This year, we are back at The Flamingo in Santa Rosa, which is a Grande Dame out of the Rat Pack Days.  Yes, while the outside seems a bit, well, WORN, the rooms are newly done and it’s got good space and a great pool.

Don’t forget to register early, as there are only 250 slots left!

Details can be found HERE

Agenda details:

Friday, July 24
12:00 noon Registration and Sponsor Lunch
2:00 PM Welcome and Conference Overview
2:30 PM Live Wine Blogging
4:00 PM Breakout Sessions
5:00 PM Breakout Sessions
6:30 PM Grand Tasting of Sonoma Wines
8:00 PM Pool Party Barbecue

Saturday, July 25
7:00 AM Breakfast on your own
9:00 AM Depart for Napa Valley
10:00 AM Breakout Sessions
11:00 AM Breakout Sessions
12:00 noon Depart for Napa Rocks at participating wineries
7:00 PM Dinner in the Vineyards at participating Napa wineries
8:45 PM Buses return to the Flamingo
9:45 PM Informal tasting of participants’ wines

Sunday, July 26
7:00 AM Breakfast on your own
9:30 AM Breakout Sessions and Industry Discussions
11:30 AM Luxe Sonoma Tasting
12:30 PM Casual lunch
1:00 PM Conference Ends

1:oopm on – if you are still around, I’m sure there will be blogger tasting, parties, and other fun stuff!

If you want to see what I thought of last year, check out these posts:

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