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Wine Bloggers Conference: Day Two

Day Two of the Wine Bloggers Conference began with a presentation on “Virginia Wine Industry’s History, Geology, and Business Climate.”

Conference attendees then boarded buses leaving for winery visits. We were on bus #1 which headed to Madison County. Our first stop was to DuCard Vineyards. The group was divided into two and our section headed to the vineyards where the owner gave us a brief history of his winery, how he happened to become involved in owning a winery, information about the soil, pruning and pest problems. As we stood in the vineyard, many of us began dripping and shirts were soaked. It hadn’t taken long for the heat to get to us. Not too soon we were back in the tasting room trying several of the DuCard wines. The congeniality was nice while we tasted and asked questions about the wines. While the winery is slightly off the beaten track, it is a nice winery with a large deck and awesome views of Virginia mountains.

Soon we were on our way to Sweely Estate Winery where we had lunch. The buffet luncheon was held in the large event room of the tasting room facility. Four wines were at each place setting to be paired with the various items in the buffet. Lunch was relaxing and the room with two large fireplaces is impressive.

After lunch we had a tour of the gravity-flow Sweely winery building. According to winemaker, Frantz Ventre, there are only two winery facilities like this in the country.

We then headed back to the bus for the trip back to Charlottesville to listen to the second keynote address of the conference by Eric Asimov, a journalist for the New York Times.

Then it was time for the Live Wine Blogging Event that focused on red wines. This was done in the same manner as the event for the white wines the day before. Again it was successful with the exception of good connections to the Internet.

Dinner with wine pairings followed with an appetizer, corn chowder, a steak entrée and concluding with a dessert plate of various cheeses and fruit. Several wine blogger awards were announced.

For those who were adventurous and not too tired, they could participate in the “Vibrant Rioja Crawl.” I was too tired but also curious as to how a crawl works. We were given a map to five nearby restaurants. At each restaurant, we were able to have a glass of wine, appetizers and have our map stamped. By the start, it was dark and difficult to see but eventually we made our way to four of the five restaurants. The fifth restaurant was not near the others and it took some time searching for it. We finally located it after asking a security guard. It was only a few feet from the Omni!

Day 2 was non-stop go. It was filled with diverse activities and literally had something for everyone.

Cheers! Kathy

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