The Wine Bloggers’ Conference 2011 convenes this weekend in Charlottesville. What’s that, you say — there aren’t enough wine bloggers to hold a convention?
Shows what you know! The conference is sold out, with more than 300 participants eager to learn about and taste wines from Virginia and elsewhere along the East Coast.
In fact, this is the fourth WBC, and the first one away from the West Coast. (The first two were in Sonoma County, and last year’s was held in Walla Walla, Wash.) That the bloggers are coming to the Old Dominion is a coup for Virginia’s rapidly growing wine industry as it seeks a national reputation for growing quality grapes. Participants will taste Virginia wines at a Friday evening reception at Monticello, as well as during winery visits on Saturday. Several “live blogging” tastings (think speed-dating with wines) will also be held.
Adding luster to the gathering are Jancis Robinson, a master of wine and one of the world’s top wine writers, and Eric Asimov, wine writer for The New York Times, who will be giving keynote speeches on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
Most of the participants who’ve signed up (PDF) appear to hail from Virginia and elsewhere along the East Coast, so the local wine message may be diluted, but this is still a great chance for people who have rarely, if ever, tasted a Virginia wine to learn about what the Old Dominion has to offer.
Here’s a piece by California wine blogger Fred Swan expressing his eagerness to try some Virginia wine. I will be participating in a panel discussion Friday on drinking local, with some other bloggers who specialize in writing about regional wines.
I will be writing about the Wine Bloggers Conference in my column, but in the meantime, you can follow the event on Twitter under the hashtag #wbc11.