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Wine Media Conference

The Wine Media Conference, formerly known as The Wine Bloggers Conference, was to be held in person in Eugene, Oregon which is in the renowned Willamette Valley. Due to the pandemic, the wine conference for 2020 was postponed until 2021. In its place there were a series of sessions. Terry and I attended three of the online sessions which took place last week.

Dr. Konstantin Frank Vineyards close to Keuka Lake

The first session we attended was “Wineries, Wine Writers and the Pandemic.” The presenters included Craig Camp from Troon Vineyard, Meaghan Frank from Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery in the Finger Lakes, Leah Derton at William Chris Vineyards in Texas and Joy Sterling from Iron Horse Vineyards. The moderator was Fred Swan, a wine writer.

Vineyards at William Chris Vineyards in Texas

Each winery representative talked about the challenges the pandemic has been for wineries and explained enthusiastically what their specific winery is doing to cope with COVID-19. Tasting experiences have changed a great deal; but everyone was enthusiastic about the positive steps their wineries are taking in order to make visiting welcoming and safe. Safety for visitors and staff was mentioned throughout the session. Some of the wineries are doing virtual wine tastings. William Chris Winery offers picnic packs. At Troon Vineyard one staff member is assigned to visitors throughout their visit. Craig noted that their customers are supporting their efforts to stay open and safe. At Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery, they are focusing on tastings based on themes. Meaghan also mentioned the Cornell Experiment Station when discussing the winery’s new tasting experiences.

The second session we attended was “Reporting Techniques for Better Wine Writing” by W. Blake Gray. There were 242 people who attended this online presentation. 

Gray began by stating that if you are blogger, you are a journalist. During his presentation, he noted the importance of asking questions. He also commented that “facts are interesting.” Gray believes that talking with winemakers and winery owners is important and that a good question to ask is “What is your philosophy of winemaking?” Gray helpfully provided resources for wine writers including California Grape Acreage Report. California Grape Crush report. Wine Institute. COL search online and OIV.int/en.

The final session we attended was “Easy Wine Photography – Tips to Getting Great Wine Shots Every Time by Christina Peters. Much of the presentation by Peters was an emphasis on how to deal with the reflections on bottles of wine. She noted that reflections vary not only by the location of the bottle of wine but whether the wine is red or white.

She also strongly suggested that when photographing a plate of food with wine, pour the wine into a stemless glass.

These were just three of the many sessions offered this year. The wine media conference offered informative sessions to wine media.

Cheers, Kathy and Terry

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