Thanks to the WBC scholarship fund, I’m off to Virginia for the 2011 WBC
In 2008 I stumbled onto this obscure conference about wineblogging while surfing the net and decided to check it out. Back then, I had been blogging for a few months and even though I wasn’t doing it professionally, the whole blogging thing intrigued me. I thought, “What the hell, it’s in Rioja, costs 50 euros to register and if anything, I’ll get to drink lots of Spanish wine.”
I went to the EWBC’08 and had a blast! The first one was small affair, only about 40 of us but what great, enthusiastic people I met and everyone so passionate about wine. I left Rioja on fire. While I was there, I heard about the first American Winebloggers conference which was going to be held a few months later in Napa. I briefly considered going but looking at my finances, realised it was just a pipe dream. That is until I got back to London where a nice big fat tax rebate cheque was waiting for me. You can guess where the majority of that rebate went. I went to CA (my post here) and never looked back, at least from a wine blogging perspective.
I’ve been to all the EWBC’s since then but hadn’t returned to the States, the issue of money always being in the background, especially as a professional freelance wineblogger, money is shall we say, not very forthcoming, rather like pulling teeth with a pair of tweezers.
So when I heard about the WBC scholarship, which is an independently administered entity founded and run by bloggers themselves, I decided to give it a shot. And I’m certainly glad I did as I was awarded a full scholarship which enabled me to fly to Virginia and participate in this year’s conference. Thanks to the many generous sponsors (full list below) not only me but 13 other worthy bloggers are being given a helping hand to meet up, learn and interact with each other. The scholarship is now in it’s 3rd year and it’s getting bigger every year.
And, oh yeah, there will be something about social media and the web but really, it’s about wine blogging and the people who do it. Check out the agenda (here) to see what’s on tap for us.
Working on the web can be a solitary existence (when I’m not at winemakers lunches, dinners or on a press trip) so I’m excited to be spending 4 days (I’m going a bit early) with fellow wine geeks whose eyes won’t glaze over if I start talking about oak barrels or terroir.
I’m also really looking forward to visiting Charlottesville, VA and learning all about the Virginia wine culture. I’ve had the pleasure of trying VA wines at the London International Wine Fair already so I know they make very good wine. I’m very curious to learn more about the terroir of the region as well as any other new and exciting things they may be doing there.
I feel very fortunate and, as the only international blogger awarded a scholarship, very grateful indeed. A big thumbs up to:
The Committee members: