Wine Bloggers Conference Santa Barbara July 9-13 2014

WBC14-Participation-BadgeI’m here in Santa Barbara at this year’s Wine Blogger’s Conference. On Saturday night,  we’ll find out where we will go next year! Before the conference officially started,  on Wednesday I spent time with Larry Shaffer at Tercero, learned about the various AVAs in the Santa Barbara region with Fred Swan of the San Francisco Wine School and toured Star Lane winery in Happy Canyon, then checked into the Santa Ynez Marriott in Buelllton for the conference proper.

More to come but here’s the official agenda of events:

Thursday, July 10

5:00 PM Pre-Conference Excursion finishes at the hotel
7:00 – 10:00 PM  Registration (Ballroom Foyer), Gift Suite (Grandstand Room), Expo and Opening Wine Reception (Turf Club Ballroom)
* though we will have a few sponsors serving small bites, we do recommend eating dinner in advance, on your own)
10:00 PM After-Hours Dessert Party, Live Music, and Wine! with the Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country Association (Departures from Front Entrance – continuous bus service beginning at 10:00 PM; last pour is at 11:45 PM)
* Standing Sun Winery, 92 Second Street, Buellton, 93427

Friday, July 11

9:45 – 11:45 AM Registration Continues (Ballroom Foyer); Gift Suite Open (Grandstand Room)
10:00 – 11:45 AM Discover Portugal: Influences Around the World – A Food & Wine Pairing Brunch Hosted by Wines of Portugal (Grandstand Tent)
12:00 – 12:15 PM Conference Opening (Turf Club Ballroom)
12:15 – 1:00 PM Keynote Speech – Corbett Barr of Fizzle (Turf Club Ballroom)
1:00 – 2:00 PM Panel of Santa Barbara County Winemakers (Turf Club Ballroom)
2:00 – 3:15 PM Live Wine Blogging – Whites & Rosés (Turf Club Ballroom)
3:30 – 4:30 PM Wine Discovery Breakout Sessions

  • Wine Discovery hosted by Rutherford Hill  and Duckhorn Wineries – #MerlotMe (Jockey Club)
  • Wine Discovery Hosted by Winebow – When the Sum is Greater than its Parts: Wine Blends from Around the World (Pavilion Tent- Lobby Level)
  • Wine Discovery Hosted by Jackson Family Wines – How the Pros Taste (Hotel Lobby)

4:30 – 5:00 PM BREAK
5:00 – 8:30 PM Excursions into Santa Barbara County Wine Country (departures from Front Entrance)
* Please dress comfortably for the excursions – including shoes appropriate for walking and a sweater/jacket for the evening.
8:30 – 10:30 PM Reception: Wine Tourism Throughout North America Hosted by Touring & Tasting Marketing and Media (Outdoor Garden Pavilion Patio)

10:30 – 12:30 PM Jordan and J Wineries Official After Party: You must pre-register to attend and space is limited.

Saturday, July 12

9:30 – 10:30 AM Breakout Sessions

  • Terroir of Santa Barbara County (Pavilion Tent)
  • The Business of Wine (Turf Club Ballroom, Salon A)
  • The Business of Blogging (Turf Club Ballroom, Salon B)

10:45 – 11:45 AM Breakout Sessions

  • The U.S. Wine Consumer: Who, What & Where (Turf Club Ballroom, Salon A)
  • Wine Certifications: Which is Right for You? (Pavilion Tent)
  • Search Engine Optimization (Turf Club Ballroom, Salon B)

11:45 AM – 1:15 PM Lunch with Santa Barbara County Vintners Association (Grandstand Tent)

1:15 – 2:15 PM Wine Discovery Breakout Sessions

  • Wine Discovery Hosted by Sanford Winery – Dig In: Sta Rita Hills (Jockey Club)
  • Wine Discovery hosted by Ballard Canyon Grower Producer Wineries – Syrah Territory: Ballard Canyon (Turf Club Ballroom)
  • Wine Discovery hosted by New Wines of Greece – Ancient Vines… Modern Wines (Pavilion Tent)

2:30 – 3:30 PM Panel of Professional Print Wine Writers (Turf Club Ballroom)
3:30 – 4:30 PM Live Wine Blogging – Reds (Turf Club Ballroom)
4:30 – 6:15 PM Wines of the World – Portugal, France, Greece & Chile (Outdoor Garden Pavilion Patio)
6:30 – 7:00 PM Wine Blog Awards Presentation (Turf Club Ballroom)
7:00 – 9:00 PM Dinner with Santa Barbara County Vintners Association (Turf Club Ballroom)
9:00 – 9:15 PM Announcement of 2015 and Official Conference Close (Turf Club Ballroom)

Sunday, July 13

9:30 AM – 11:30 PM Block Sessions

  • Photography & Videography for Wine Bloggers (Turf Club Ballroom, Salon B)
  • Wine Writer’s Workshop (Jockey Club) – Requires pre-registration (now closed)
  • Supercharging Your Blogging With WordPress.com (Turf Club Ballroom, Salon A)

12:00 PM Depart from front entrance for post-conference lunch at Bridlewood Estate Winery. Additional $15 cost. See Excursions page for details.  UPDATE:  This excursion is FULL. See Excursion page for details on the open, post-conference excursion option to Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone.

3:30 PM Return to host hotel in Buellton from post-conference lunch

3:45 PM Continue to Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone for optional winery and food truck tour followed by dinner at Santa Barbara Winery. Excursion ends in the evening and you can stay the night in Santa Barbara or continue on from here. Additional $15 cost. See Excursions page for details.

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