It's finally here! The 2010 North American Wine Bloggers Conference will be taking place later this week in Walla Walla, Washington. I recently read an article stating that the state of Washington would love more wine lovers to visit and that they could use a boost for their wine industry. Well, I'm here to say that Walla Walla and the state of Washington had better watch out! They're not going to know what hit them! Talk about a boost! Three hundred wine lovers, writers, winemakers, media consultants etcetera will be descending upon this small town in southeastern Washington. They will be writing, blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, and broadcasting everything wine! After this week, everyone will know where Walla Walla, Washington is and that there are so many excellent wines coming from there and other parts of the state! It's going to be amazing and one of the biggest things to happen for the wine industry there! I am so happy and proud to be a part of this event!
On New Year's Eve, I made a conscious decision to be one of the three hundred. Attending last year's conference was an amazing and priceless experience. The people I met, the friendships I made and the things I got to see...I never could have done this on my own. Now the time is finally here, six months of waiting finally over! And I get to do this again as a newbie. I've never been to Washington and I can't wait to go.
During the interim, I entered a contest called WBCorBust. The contest, sponsored by WineChatr and the Washington Wine Commission (along with a multitude of other great sponsors), began as a way for non-Washington bloggers to showcase the industry there and create excitement. I chose to do it because I wanted to learn more about the area and its wines. I had some great help from Washington winemakers Chris Camarda of Andrew Will, CharlesSmith of Charles Smith Wines and K Vintners, Don Phelps of Hard Row ToHoe and Dave Merfield of Northstar Winery. They made some amazing wines and I am grateful to them for sharing their passion with me! At the beginning of May, I found out I actually won! I was so stoked! This was icing on the cake for what was already going to be an amazing journey! Along with eleven other winners, I get to ride across the state of Washington in style! Below are some of the highlights and events we will be partaking in:
Food and wine pairing and tour at Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville
Woodinville Grand Tasting at Willows Lodge
Lunch at the Barking Frog
Palate Refresher & Brewery tour at Pike Brewing Company
Seattle Winemakers Dinner at Waterfront Seafood Grill
Brunch & Wine Tasting at the Cave B Inn in Quincy
Vineyard visit & farm-sponsored vineyard lunch among the vines at DuBrul Vineyard in Sunnyside
Yakima Valley Grand Tasting at Prosser's Vintners Village
Walla Walla Vintners Pizza Social (wood-fired pizza!!!)
Walla Walla B&B Experience
Wine Tasting and Meet The Sponsors
Taco Truck Tasting Lunch with famed Walla Walla Taco Trucks
Keynote speech by Steve Heimoff of Wine Enthusiast Magazine
Wine Blog Awards Presentation
Breakout Sessions (great stuff--all three days)
Live Wine Blogging (this is so much fun--like speed blogging)
Pre-dinner reception and dinner with Ste. Michelle Estates
After hours Walla Walla walkabout (visiting the Walla Walla tasting rooms!)
Visits and lunch at local wineries and vineyards
More Live Wine Blogging
Pre-dinner reception and dinner with the Washington Wine Commission
Keynote speech with Writer Lettie Teague
After hours reception with Wines Of Spain
Food and Wine Pairing and lunch with Food Network Chef Jeffrey Saad
Post conference excursion to Red Mountain AVA
Visits to Col Solare, Hedges, Ciel Du Cheval Vineyard and Terra Blanca
Red Mountain AVA Grand Tasting
Outdoor dinner at Sunset at Terra Blanca
Phew! This will be some week! And let me tell you, my liver will be hating me and my eyes will be thanking me. But best of all, a piece of my heart will undoubtedly remain in Washington forever. To all my friends (old, new and friends to be), I raise my glass--a toast to what will be one of the best weeks of our lives! I'm ready! Bring it on!
I'm an Italian-born, American-bred walking encyclopedia of wine. Wine is my passion. People who know me find me interesting, funny, and knowledgable. A wine country enthusiast, I moved my life from Iowa to California and am enjoying educating the public about wine at one of the most historical wineries in Napa Valley! I'm here to keep it fun and help you enjoy wine as much as I do! I recently obtained my CSW (Certified Specialist of Wine) certification from the Society of Wine Educators and am diligently working towards my CWE (Certified Wine Educator) certification in the Fall of 2014.
DISCLAIMER: All opinions expressed on this site are my own and in no way are influenced by anyone or anything else.
Please use these blogs and reviews as a guide to help formulate your own opinions.