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Is the Wine Bloggers Conference Coming of Age?

The National Wine Bloggers Conference is coming of age. This year sets the stage to see if this popular conference can garner attendees as well as big name presentations. By moving the conference to Charlottesville, Virginia rather than the West Coast, and selling out the conference has moved to the serious conference level. To top that, the keynote address will be delivered by international wine scholar and writer, Jancis Robinson.

Moving the conference, previously held in Napa, Sonoma and Walla Walla, to the East Coast was a gutsy move. Would the conference draw enough wine bloggers to attend? Well they sold out prior to the conference. Not all the wine bloggers are on the West Coast. Virginia has a pro winery government and the wine industry is flourishing because of that and the discovery that certain varietal grapes produce outstanding wines in the Commonwealth. Presently Virginia and Texas continue duking it out for fifth place in the country based on the number of wineries in the state. Current TTB data compiled by Wine America has Virginia in 6th place with 210 wineries while Texas has a slim hold on 5th place with 219 wineries. Virginia makes a logical choice for the location of the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference. Earlier this year, Virginia held the Wineries Unlimited Trade Show and Conference, the largest trade show and conference for the wine industry east of the West Coast.

Charlottesville is one of America’s gems. It is home to the University of Virginia and many historical sites. Just minutes away one can visit vineyards where Thomas Jefferson attempted to grow grapes centuries ago. It also has a booming wine industry. The Monticello AVA surrounds Charlottesville and is home to more than twenty wineries.

Many writers have a tome or two to use as reference books on wine. On the table close to my computer is the heavy The Oxford Companion to Wine edited by Jancis Robinson. If you need to know something about wine, use this book. Robinson has been a wine writer since 1975 and became a Master of Wine. It will be interesting to note the topics she addresses in her keynote address later this week.

The Wine Bloggers Conference is maturing and it will be interesting to note where it will be held next year.


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