July 21, 2011
More than 300 national wine bloggers are arriving in Charlottesville Thursday for the fourth annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference.
The three-day symposium, which begins Friday, brings top wine bloggers from across the country to taste local wines, visit wineries and discuss the intersection of wine and new media.
Last year's conference was in Walla Walla, Washington where they received more than $1 million in exposure. Charlottesville leaders hope the conference will duplicate, if not exceed, those figures while showcasing the city, Albemarle County and Central Virginia as a top destination for wine lovers.
Virginia, home to almost 200 wineries across the state, is the fifth largest wine producing state in the nation. The Virginia Wine Board, the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau are working in partnership to host the event, which they hope will put Virginia wine on the map.
“We’re proud to be the host city for the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference,” said Kurt Burkhart, Executive Director of the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We see this conference as the perfect complement to Vintage: The Winemaker’s Year, which clearly shows that Virginia wines have arrived.”
Virginia’s theme for the conference is “A Commonwealth of Wine,” highlighting the fact that Virginia has wineries in nearly every region of the state. It all starts Thursday night at Siips Wine and Champagne Bar with a welcome video and introduction to Virginia wine.
Wine Bloggers Conference Welcome Video
Speaking about this weekend’s conference, Governor McDonnell remarked, “The conference locating in the Commonwealth this year is yet another indication of the Virginia wine industry's growing reputation in domestic and global marketplaces, and it also furthers my goal of making Virginia the East Coast Capital of wine and wine tourism.”
During the event the wine bloggers will attend seminars, taste wines from nearly 60 Virginia wineries from across the state, tour more than 20 area wineries and visit area attractions including Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and downtown Charlottesville.
Eric Asimov, chief wine critic for the New York Times, and Jancis Robinson, world-renowned Master of Wine, will be special guest speakers.
Attendees will use social media sites including Facebook and Twitter to share impressions and discoveries about Virginia’s wines and travel experiences as well as blogging from the event.
Visit the Wine Bloggers Conference website for more information or keep up with the conference action on Twitter @Winebloggerscon #WBC11.