Mark Aselstine
 
September 24, 2014 | Mark Aselstine

Welcome to #WBC14

Today marks the first day of the Wine Bloggers Conference for 2014. The 7th annual Wine Bloggers Conference comes back to California for the first time in five years, bringing over 300 wine bloggers and plenty of industry types, to Santa Barbara County, specifically the Buellton Marriott.

We've talked a ton about the necessity to bring Uncorked Ventures offline at times, typically in terms of meeting wineries face to face, but meeting bloggers and other industry folks can be quite valuable as well.

A couple of highlights from my first day at #WBC14:

Riding the shuttle and then getting a chance to taste with Wilford Wong.  Wong's recently moved from Beverages and More (where he made his name) to wine.com but he's just as approachable and entertaining as he's ever been.  It was fun to taste with one of the five most important wine reviewers in the country and compare notes about the offerings from Sanding Sun Winery.  It's an interesting winery because everything is 100% single vineyard.  We're all familiar with single vineyard offerings from a single varietal (they have plenty of those, of course) but they also have a number of blends which come from single vineyards as well.  Extra points from me for offering a range of wines from Tierra Alta, my favorite vineyard in the area.

I had an enjoyable conversation in the Marriott lobby with Cheryl McMillan from Ferrari Carano winery and Fred Swan of Norcal Wine.  Cheryl works in the PR and marketing department of Ferrari Carano and opening a 2011 Cabernet from the winery, which was showing quite well despite it's young age and less than perfect vintage.  Fred runs one of the oldest wine blogs around and without a doubt, is a professional wine writer.

I met and had a chance to talk with Alan Goldfarb who is a journalist, as well as working with wineries on public relations.  When I first decided to attend the conference, I knew that there would be opportunities to meet plenty of bloggers, but meeting people like Goldfarb is going to be a valuable aspect of this conference as well.

One of the most common conversations I've had with people is how online personas and in person personas don't always match up.  One blogger who does is Joe Roberts, who writes the incredibly successful 1 Wine Dude wine blog

It's nice of course to say hello to old friends and Bill Eyers from Cuvee Corner is in attendance with his wife

 

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