Sunday, December 11, 2011

2011 Wine Blogger Conference - What a trip

This summer was one of my proudest moments in my wine blogging life. I was honored to receive a scholarship to the 2011 Wine Blogger Conference in Charlottesville, VA. One of the most important lessons that I learned from the 2011 Wine Blogger Conference was a quote from Eric Asimov. He said "Never listen to the asshole next to you".

My only problem with this quote was that these people were not assholes. I was among blogger royalty. Amidst all of these people were people that I admired, followed and cherished their opinions like nectar from the vines. I met and took a picture with Jancis Robinson for crying out loud. She wrote my wine textbooks, Hello!

I became intimidated. Trust me, I am one of the most outgoing people that you will ever meet. However, when you are the new kid on the block and you are sitting across the dinner table from Greg Del Piaz you might feel that way.

Then I remembered how I got here. I am no longer sitting in my New York apartment hoping that someone other than my friends were reading my blog. My voice matters. If it didn't I would not be there.

This was not a footloose and fancy free journey creating Mo Wine! - Wine, Mishaps and More. When I think back to the good ole days of Sutter Home White Zinfandel, I have definitely come a long way. Think back to the first sip of whatever wine it was that you were tasting that made you fall in love with wine and start learning about it.Yeah, it has alcohol in it but so does Ripple. Trust me, you will not find any postings about that from me. I love the symmetry that the land and grapes produce. I love learning about terrior and trellises.

Charlottesville has some of the most beautiful vineyards that I have ever visited. From the hanging bunches of grapes along the entryway of Veritas to the passing through the baby vines of Pippin Hill there was no cease in beauty and education about their wines.

On the bus ride down to visit these two vineyards, I sat down next to my roomie Lori from WiningWays and told her that by the time we were finished with out visits to the vineyard was over, I was going to meet everyone on the bus with us. A girl has to get her network on.

By the time it was all said and done, I almost ran out of business cards and a place to put all of the business cards I was given. My point is, grab all of the opportunities you can with both hands. Talk to everyone, try to learn from everyone and most importantly in this business, drink with everyone.

Don't be afraid of open dialog with the winemakers and vineyard owners. Take that time to tell them what you love or like about what you have tasted. Give them your feedback because trust me, they want to know. Wine is a very intimate experience. Your voice as a blogger is as unique and important as every wine you taste.

I ran around during the entire conference trying to find every sponsor so that I could personally introduce myself and give them their Thank You cards. This experience had a huge impact on me. I only hope that I can help with the 2012 Wine Blogger Scholarship so that I can help make an impact on someone else in the future. 

Mo Wine!

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