Tomorrow (Thursday) at the crack of dawn The Academic Wino is off on a journey to the Wine Bloggers Conference (#WBC13) in Penticton, British Columbia! That being said, there most likely wonâ€™t be a post highlighting any major research articles until I get back next week. I will be taking advantage of my many flights (4 planes total!) by catching up on reading the many books I have piled up waiting to be read and reviewed! Yes, I actually read the entirety of the books that I review, thus why it sometimes takes me so long to crank one out!….but I digressâ€¦.
First of all, another huge THANK YOU to the Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship Fund, the judges who selected me as a recipient, and most importantly to all the donors who made this opportunity possible for me. Without the Wine Bloggers Scholarship, I would not have been able to attend the Wine Bloggers Conference in Penticton and for that I am eternally thankful. Iâ€™m also very grateful to my friend and blogging budding Luke Whittall from Wine Country BC, who offered to let me stay with him and his wife and children so I wouldnâ€™t have to pay for a hotel room. Iâ€™m looking forward to seeing a real live Canadian family unit and how our friends to the north raise their young. Thanks, bro! I expect no less than 5 star service and a giant banana pillow waiting for me when I get there
Yes, British Columbia is certainly â€śinconvenientâ€ť for me being in Virginia, and I would have not been able to go had I not received a scholarship. However, even though it is a bit of a stretch to get here, and is a relatively expensive trip for many attendees this year, I donâ€™t regret the decision to choose BC as this yearsâ€™ host. Sure, the area is still relatively young as a wine region, and BC alcohol laws may not be ideal, but to me this area may very well be an important part of the wine industry of the future. With climate change likely changing the boundaries of grape growing (in addition to everything else that lives and breathes), visiting, learning about, and investing time and resources into a region that may see their wine industry flourish as a result of climate change is a very important first step. Iâ€™m looking forward to learning about this relatively â€śnewâ€ť wine region and how they are using more sustainable approaches to viticulture and winemaking to 1) grow a developing wine region and 2) practice techniques that wonâ€™t cause as much harm to the environment as techniques used in the past. For an in-depth read on climate change and how it relates to the wine industry, please read the post I published on Monday by clicking here.
In terms of the different educational sessions that will be offered at the Wine Bloggers Conference this year, there are so many great selections to choose from! For me, it was relatively easy to select which sessions I plan on attending, as my blog is pretty focused/niche and there is only so much that makes sense. Â During the Friday breakout sessions, I plan on attending the Google+ workshop. I have Google+ accounts for both me personally and for the blog, however other than sharing my own blog posts (and often my fianceâ€™s blog posts on my personal account), Iâ€™m really awful at it. It hasnâ€™t really picked up steam for me, partially because I have put in zero time trying to learn it and understand it, so the Google+ session is going to be critical for me to really utilize the service.
My number 1 choice for the excursions on Friday afternoon is definitely the Vineyard and Geology tour because, well, Iâ€™m a nerd and nerds like geology I am looking forward to what makes The Okanagan terroir so unique and how the geology has developed over time. Iâ€™m hoping to write an entire blog post just on this subject, so I hope the information is plentiful!
For the Saturday morning block sessions, I plan on attending the â€śWine Country Videography, Photography, & Podcasting Workshop. To be honest, Iâ€™m only really interested in the photography portion of the session, but I am looking forward to listening to the other ways one can utilize technology to grow their blog, even if I donâ€™t end up using them. Who knows, maybe this session will inspire me to introduce a new segment on The Academic Wino!
Saturday night will be the night they announce the winners of the Wine Blog Awards. Many of you know The Academic Wino is a finalist in the Best Industry Blog category for the first time, and Saturday night will be the night we learn if weâ€™ve won or not. To be completely honest, it doesnâ€™t matter to me if I win or come in last—the fact that I have been named a finalist after only two years of blogging, and to be listed among some amazing wine blogs (of which are some of my favorite blogs to visit, actually) is quite the honor and I will be forever proud of that. Thank you to each and every one of you that voted for me, and best of luck to all the finalist in the category. Whoever wins certainly deserves it! What a great line-up!
As a side note: Saturday (June 8th) also marks the 2 year anniversary (or what I lovingly call â€śblogiversaryâ€ť) of The Academic Wino, so this Wine Bloggers Conference is that much more special and important to me as a wine blogger.
Iâ€™ll wrap things up now by saying how excited I am to be travelling to Penticton, BC on Thursday for the Wine Bloggers Conference, and how thankful I am to have been given the opportunity to go and also for being recognized as a quality blog by my peers! Iâ€™m looking forward to seeing my blogging friends and making new connections, as well as learning all about this potentially important wine region of the future.
Words cannot express how happy and how thankful I am! Iâ€™m looking forward to sending you the recap of the event in the weeks after the conference!