Wine Bloggers Conference 2011: Location, Location

I’ll tell you about the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference in Charlottesville, Virginia by starting at the very end. It was noon on Sunday, July 24th, the moment we British Columbians had been waiting for. Not only was it my birthday, it was the point when next year’s conference location would be announced, and this year, BC was in the running.

Allen Wright, co-organizer of WBC, prefaced the announcement by saying he was taking an unprecedented step by jumping ahead two years to announce the location of the 2013 conference.

He said that if Okanagan Valley organizers can work out certain issues with our liquor authorities, the WBC 2013 will take place in  – Penticton!

At that, Kathleen Rake of Mission, BC, literally jumped from her chair. She was so excited I told her to have a drink. I don’t know where Allison Markin was but as the person who put in the proposal, she should have been there to take a bow.

So, if the Penticton Lakeside Resort can handle what Wright called, “our drinking problem,” and if the BC Liquor Board will waive import taxes, it looks like Penticton will be hosting 300 sipping, swirling, slogging bloggers for a long weekend of wine “research.” I can’t wait.

Then came the announcement of next year’s location: either Portland, Oregon or Buellton, in Santa Barbara County.

The winner was – drum roll, please – Portland, August 17-19, 2012!

It’s a great choice that means trips to the Willamette Valley from our hub at the Portland Doubletree. Finally, hubby and I can spend some time in a city we drive through every summer on our way to Sonoma County. It seems a little late in the season, but it’s going to be very cool. I can almost feel the valley fog rising.

In my next post – which will have a shorter delay than the last one – I’ll tell you what else happened at WBC 2011. Spoiler: it includes meeting the queen of wine, Jancis Robinson.

Apparently, WBC11 created quite a buzz on Twitter. The organizers estimate we made as many as 20,000,000 impressions over four days!

My thanks to the Zephyr Adventures guys, Allen Wright and Reno Walsh, as well as Joel Vincent, the Virginia Wine Board and Virginia Tourism, the city of Charlottesville and the Omni Hotel for such a great time in Virginia. So long and thanks for all the wine!

Mari Kane

Mari is a writer, blogger and WordPress consultant, living in Vancouver, BC, the most wine-soaked town north of the 49th Parallel. She also blogs about WordPress web design at Blogsite Studio.com. Follow her on Twitter or Google Plus.