Posts Tagged With: wine bloggers conference

From the Wine Bloggers Conference – My thoughts on crediblity

From Dictionary.com 1. capable of being believed; believable

                                       2. worthy of belief or confidence

 

When I started my blog a few years ago, I never really thought about credibility. I figured I was just writing, putting my thoughts and opinions out there for the world to look at and take for whatever they’re worth.  Isn’t that enough? After attending the Wine Bloggers Conference on credibility headlined by Steve Heimoff and Tracy Rickman I am not so sure anymore. Michael Wangbickler of Cavemanwines.com taped the whole session and can be seen here.

 

I would say that “most” wine bloggers get their start in the blogosphere out of pure hobby, as an outlet for an obvious passion about some topic, in my case wine. Writing daily musings about tastings, local happenings and tasting notes about the bottle of wine they had last night with dinner. At this stage do you need to think about credibility if you are just writing your opinion, in a glorified version of a digital diary? I never thought so!

 

But what about when you start to receive emails from wineries and wine clubs and public relations departments, wanting you to review their wine on your blog. Is this the tipping point? At this moment should you start to consider yourself credible in the wine world? 

 

I don’t really know, as I said I never really thought about the issue. I figured that if a winery wanted to send me wine, they obviously read my blog and think I know or at least I sound like I know what I am talking about. A good portion of the banter in the credibility seminar circled around responsible wine blogging and what defines credibility in the wine world. 

 

If you receive wine for a sample and you review that wine on your blog without a disclaimer that you received it for free, is that irresponsible and dare I say unethical? For myself I always post when I get a bottle of wine as a media sample, and others just explain so in the “about” section of their blog. But what if they do none of the above, is that wrong, or does that take away their credibility?

 

Defining credibility in the emerging wine blogosphere seemed to be a touchy subject as well.  In my day job, credibility is defined by how many letters you have behind your name on your business card. (MS, PhD, etc.)  A few things were thrown out as possible ways to judge credibility for a wine blog, such as readership, number of posts, or logarithms calculating the effect of a post on wine sales.  But no one could really settle on what if any of the above really defined the whole story of blog credibility.

 

The best part and the scary part about a blog, wine or other topic, is that anybody can start one. It is up to the reader, whether it be my mom or a winery owner, to decide if I am the right outlet to talk about their product in the public domain.

 

Just my rambling 2 cents!

Cheers!

Categories: wine bloggers conference, wine industry issues | Tags: , , | 17 Comments

Wine Bloggers Conference Day 3 Pictorial

The 3rd and final day of the conference started by me waking to the sound of a text message from Lenn asking if I was ready to go get breakfast. Thankfully he sent the text because I was out for the count and may have missed the last part of the conference. 🙂 I met up with Lenn at Hanks Creekside, right across the street from the Flamingo Resort. A very nice, small diner that served a mean veggie omlet and hashbrowns. I will also admit that, even though I am a vegetarian, Lenn’s applewood chicken smoked sausage smelled and looked pretty good.

First on the agenda was the unconference – which is a conference session in which the participants set the topics for discussion and form small groups to discuss each one. It was quite interesting and I think it turned out very well. The first two discussions I participated in were how Twitter is affecting comment traffic on blogs and the idea of negative reviews. Keep an eye for future posts looking at these two items. The 3rd session I attended was the “Organic Flow” topic chosen by Nick from Winescholarship.com, where having no topic at all stemmed a variety of discussions. Plus, Lenn started popping the New York wine open so we were tasting by 10am. Go figure!

This is what organic flow looks like

This is what organic flow looks like

Organic Flowing

Organic Flowing

After the Unconference we had our final conference organized tasting and with some great Sonoma producers. Again the picture gnomes must have taken the shots that I took of that part of the tasting. After the tasting, we had our last lunch and the organizers each gave a nice little speech and big thank you to all that participated and setup the event.

Joel's conference farewell

Joel

After the conference was over, a few of us were invited up to C. Donatiello winery outside of Healdsburg for a private tasting with the the proprietor Chris Donatiello.  I will do a sepearate review on the wines in a separate post, but here are some of the beautiful pictures from the afternoon.
Ready, Set, Taste

Ready, Set, Taste

Look at all those glasses

Look at all those glasses

The View

The View

Chris (the winemaker) explaining the Aroma Garden

Chris (the proprietor) explaining the Aroma Garden

View Two

View Two

Kick A$$ Basket Press

Kick A$$ Basket Press

After the tasting we headed to an early dinner and some beers with Patrick, Joe (and dudette and baby dude), Lenn, Becky, and Nick at Bear Republic Brewing. Then it was farwell to my conference friends and off to the airport.
Cheers
Categories: wine bloggers conference | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

Wine Bloggers Conference Day 2 Pictorial

Saturday was day 2 of the Wine Bloggers Conference and started off with a beautiful hike in the Northern Alexander Valley. The hike started with a easy stroll through Rodney Strong vineyards where we tasted Muscat off the vine and was followed buy a beautiful but steep hike up their Rockaway vineyard. At the top we were treated with a delicious box lunch from Jimtown and wines from Rodney Strong included their famous Rockaway Cabernet.

Getting of an overview of our hike

Getting of an overview of our hike

Erika Strum and Nick Gorevic tasting Muscat

Erika Strum and Nick Gorevic tasting Muscat

Pruned Muscat vines

Pruned Muscat vines

start of the steep hike up Rockaway

start of the steep hike up Rockaway

me

me

Rockaway back label

Rockaway back label

Rockaway and surrounding mountains

Rockaway and surrounding mountains

 After our trip to Alexander Valley we headed back for the breakout sessions of the conference. I didn’t take any pictures during the sessions but make sure to look for my post on wine blogger credibility. After the breakout sessions we were treated to a Grand Tasting of Sonoma wines.

Plethora of Sonoma wines

Plethora of Sonoma wines

me, Becky and Lenn enjoying Sonoma wines

me, Becky and Lenn enjoying Sonoma wines

After tasting through Sonoma, my palate was sufficently fried and I was getting hungry for our dinner at Sebastiani winery.  At dinner we were treated to Alice Fiering giving a keynote address. Unfortunately my pictures of her didn’t turn out, sad because I did want graphical evidence that she came to California. haha
A little cheese and wine before dinner

A little cheese and wine before dinner

The usual suspects

The usual suspects

The Bloggers

The Bloggers

look at all those vegetarian options!!

look at all those vegetarian options!!

After dinner we poured ourselves onto the buses to head back to the Flamingo for another “after party” where Doug from Able Grape brought an amazing selection of his wines to share as well as El Jefe from Twisted Oak who brought the Skulls.
Attentively awaiting the next selection

Attentively awaiting the next selection

The Wines

The Wines

I think it is safe to assume that another stellar day was had by all.
Cheers!
Categories: wine bloggers conference | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

Wine Bloggers Conference Day 1 Pictorial

Since I don’t know where to start with the multitude of wine notes, information and stories I came home with from the first annual Wine Bloggers conference I figured I would start with a few pictures.

Here are some from day 1 of the conference –

The day started with a tasting of wineries that source grapes from Kick Ranch Vineyard

Kick Ranch Vineyard

Kick Ranch VineyardTasting at Kick Ranch

After some delcious food and wine at Kick Ranch we headed back to the Flamingo Resort for the first ever speed blogging challenge.

Speed Blogging Table 12

Speed Blogging Table 12

Brave winemaker pouring at the SBC

Brave winemaker pouring at the SBC

El Jefe pouring at the SBC

El Jefe pouring at the SBC

Next up for the day was the blind tasting challenge where I got a good smack to the ego and was knocked out in round 2. 😦
blind tasting score sheet

blind tasting score sheet

After the blind tasting challenge and a nice little “private” event the Dry Creek growers association had (which for some reason I don’t have any pictures of) we heading to the New Zealand Wine Growers tasting. For some reason the only pic I have is my Gary Vaynerchuk groupee shot that Lenn Thompson of Lenndevours snuck into. haha I think I have a few on my iPhone so I’ll upload them soon.
John, Gary Vee and Lenn

John, Gary Vee and Lenn

After the New Zealand tasting we headed to dinner and got pumped by Gary’s keynote. The basic message was you gotta crush it and kill it and make 100K, oh yeah and do what you love!

Megan and Thea

Megan and Thea

Dinner listening to Gary's keynote

Dinner listening to Gary

After dinner we were treated to a New York wine tasting courtesy of Lenn Thompson and Melissa Dobson at PinotBloggers house. A good 40 or so bloggers from the conference showed up, because we had not had enough wine already that day.
Tasting New York on the Deck

Tasting New York on the Deck

Dr XeNo, El Jefe, Taster B

Dr XeNo, El Jefe, Taster B

Russ waxing philosphical
Russ waxing philosphical

Day 1 kicked some A$$ and only setup the rest of a great WBC weekend. Check back in for pictorials of Day 2 and Day 3 as well as my writeups of the event. Congrats to Joel and Allan for putting on a great first WBC.

Categories: wine tasting | Tags: | 4 Comments