White created Terroirist last November as a site to point fellow wine lovers to the most interesting stories about the fruit of the vine. The blog is updated daily except weekends, and its audience has grown to about 6,000 unique readers a month, White said after the awards ceremony. He has added a team of seven bloggers to help with the workload, though he still writes most of the posts himself.
Each Friday, Terroirist publishes an interview with a winemaker, which White started as “a way to get to know the people who make the wines I love to drink.” Each winemaker answers the same 16 questions, starting with, “What’s open in your kitchen right now?”
“It’s fun to find the Napa cab producer who loves drinking pinot and chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast or the pinot producer who’s passionate about German Riesling,” White said.
Despite the success of Terroirist, White isn’t contemplating quitting his day job. He’s co-owner and chief operating officer of Keybridge Communications, which he describes as “a boutique public relations firm” in Georgetown.
“My hobby and passion is wine and I love writing, and the blog allows me to combine the two,” White said. “I certainly think it’s the next career for me, but I don’t think that career is for at least a decade.”
Virginia was, of course, in the spotlight at the conference, the first held on the East Coast since wine bloggers began gathering in 2008. Swirl, Sip, Snark, a Virginia-based blog by the husband-and-wife team of Grape Envy Guy and Virginia Wine Diva (they don’t use their real names), was nominated for best single-subject blog. That award went to New York Cork Report, which also won the category last year.