A Heady Experience – The 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla #WBC10

Where has Simple Hedonisms been?  Not writing this last week for sure!  While I have been very active on Twitter, and a bit (much less than normal) on Facebook, reporting my events this last week, blog writing had been put aside in a dizzying pace of tasting and networking. (er and a few late nights socializing.)

It’s actually been a double whammy few weeks. It’s end of the quarter – and as the head of North American Sales for a software startup just ranked #1 as the Fastest Growing Private Company by the Portland Business Journal, I criss cross the country in a sometimes dizzying pattern, for those brave enough to follow on Facebook. It was also the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla, WA.

This was my first time attending the event; although many are under the impression I have lived in Sonoma for years, its only been 13 months, and the blog is a baby of 9 months. ( Heck, only been on Twitter and really used Facebook for the last year. )

300 Wine Bloggers attended this sold out event. Walla Walla isn’t as easy to get to as Napa or Sonoma, and there was concern if people would come, but they did; demonstrating  the passion that exists in the special community, I am privileged to be a part of. Are there some hacks, free sample whores, and not so knowledgeable people  – yes, but frankly far far few than I expected. I felt myself humbled by the dedication, work, focus, and intensity of these writers, and will be renewing my efforts after such inspiration.

There were many great lessons learned, and articles are already flooding the blogosphere, some of which I’ll share. Unfortunately I landed at  1pm today, and leave for D.C. at 6 a.m. tomorrow for a 3 day work conference, so the thoughts and energy must stay contained. For right now, here are a few teasers:

I am blessed with a bigger readership than I may deserve, given the sporadic nature of my posts. Most of the original intent of my writing has somewhat denigrated into pro bono work for the Wine Industry, events, instead of the Wine Education, and Artisan focus I envisioned. Those will be re-engaged over time, but with an 80 hour a week startup at my back, and a Inbox that gets 100+ emails a week with requests to help, it will take time.

Simple Hedonisms will morph a bit in the short term,  though. How?

  • To obtain a more regular, even flow of articles, I will be announcing a Contributing editor, who writes well, and shares many similar passions. (Interested in being a contributing editor? Contact me. Its easier than you think, I’ll happily share the brand. )
  • I will be doing more wine reviews, and even some scoring. I originally resisted this idea, until I realized how much time I spend taking tasting notes, how many hits my CellarTracker notes were getting. I have a passion for wine ( a near fanatical passion for the 22 Rhone varietals (grapes)), taste and purchase a wide array of bottles, and there seems to be interest in the reviews. Time permitting, I usually try and add some details about the winery and/or the wine itself. I’d love comments back from readers on your thoughts, interest, topics. I taste and judge all wines, and I am thinking of several themes, and educational tracks, but its always great to hear whats of interest.
  • I intend to write more educational articles; sometimes technical and wine geeky, sometimes written for the normal American wine consumer, who has just enough of the bug they wish to learn more. ( I have on one wine manipulation near done. )

I’d like to thank the many wonderful, warm, people who shared their thoughts, and themselves with me. You are inspirations, and I look forward to reading more of your writings, as well as adding you to my blog roll.

A big Cheers as well to the many wonderful people of Walla Walla!

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5 Responses to “A Heady Experience – The 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla #WBC10”

  • Thanks for the awesome shout-outs. It will be exciting to see the changes you have in store for your readers, WBC was equally inspiring for me. I look forward to continuing to enjoy your blog and learning about your sublime region. It was fantastic getting to know you at the Conference and I hope to see you around this way again real soon.

  • Joe:

    Great meeting you, William. I wish you the best of luck with the evolution of the website, and especially keeping your sanity with the day job (though growing companies beat the alternative, right?)

  • Dyann Espinosa:

    A friend in Portland–Carri Bugbee (Twitter Queen and PR maven)–re-posted Tamara’s “Top 10” and singled out your quote:
    Top 10 Things I Learned @ Wine Camp: #7 bad day in wine country is better than a good day in the office – @diaz_comm http://bit.ly/cS5vCj

  • William:

    thanks Joe – you were definitely one of the bloggers that inspired me, and I plan to read a lot more of. Cheers!

  • I am so happy to hear that you felt the WBC10 was a success. It couldn’t have been one without all of the 300+ wild and crazy wine bloggers believing in Walla Walla. Many thanks!

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