WBC-or-Bust, Here I Come!

After a brief hiatus from this blog, I’m back!

Where did I go and why? We went on a road trip to Flagstaff, Utah, and Colorado where we tasted one awesome rhone style wine from grapes grown in the Sedona area (more on this later!), we camped and explored red rock Utah, and finished our trip in Colorado where we stopped at Guy Drew Vineyards tasting room (pictured)  for some surprising and delightful wines.

I’ve also been developing a new blog and business, The Write Alley Coaching and Writing Strategies.

But now I’m getting ready for the 2010 vintage of the North American Wine Bloggers Conference which starts this Friday in Walla Walla Washington thanks to a WBC scholarship. I leave Wednesday morning for a dawn flight from LAX to Seattle where my friend Fred Betz will pick me up for a quick visit and an even quicker lesson in how he can blog and use social media to help promote his business as a painter.

Fred will drive me to Woodinville where I will join the WBC-or-Bust crew of winning bloggers at Chateau Ste Michelle for a lesson in food and wine pairing (complete with food and wine of course), followed by a tasting, a lunch and more wine, a visit to Pike for a guided beer tasting and brewery tour, a few minutes to our selves then dinner at the Waterfront Grill with more wine! I’ll post as much about it and as often as I can!

After all that, I’m meeting with friends Danika Dinsmore and Tod McCoy of En Theos Press. Tod just published and released a book Danika wrote and which I edited so we will be celebrating that too and talking about other writing and publishing projects. Tod has asked me to be on his editorial board as well so we may discuss that too.

I know it sounds like a grueling day, doesn’t it? I can’t wait–I just hope I can sleep tonight!

Pop the cork! I won a Wine Blogger’s Scholarship to Washington State!

Over the weekend, I heard good news and bad: the bad news was that I was on the waiting list for a scholarship to this year’s Wine Blogging Conference in Walla Walla Washington.

The good news was that I was on the waiting list for the Wine Blogger’s Conference Scholarship–and if enough money came into the Scholarship Fund, I’d be on my way to Washington in mid-June!!

You can imagine I was already on pins and needles waiting this past week to find out if I’d won a scholarship, and now, I’d have to wait longer! My mind raced, wondering ho I could help drum up more cash for the conference–and how far down I was on the waiting list.

I am sure you can also imagine my relief and my excitement when I checked my email during a break in my  Monday night Women’s Economic Ventures class to discover I’d won!! As soon as I got home, I told my spouse and we popped the cork on the bottle of Domaine Ste. Michelle Sparkling wine I had waiting for this moment! Continue reading

2010 Wine Bloggers Conference Sells Out! So Join the Wait List Now!

No, I don’t mean the Wine Bloggers Conference has sold out ethically–it’s sold out sold out! That means maybe if you’re lucky, and you join the waiting list TODAY, you’ll get a spot.

Why would you want to go? As someone who has attended the past two years in Santa Rosa as well as the European Wine Bloggers conference in Lisbon, I can tell you attending is an amazing experience. You can read about my experiences via the many posts I put up each year on the pages above.

The first year the conference focused on Sonoma country wines and those from New Zealand. In 2009, we traveled all over Napa to taste that region’s wines and there was a tasting of wines from Portugal also. The Portugal conference highlighted Portuguese wines in a way impossible without traveling all over Portugal. 2010’s conference will emphasize the wines of the host state, Washington with tours and tastings and talks.

These conferences bring to the wine blogger an astounding array of incredible wines. Often the winemaker is in attendance to share more about what makes his or her wines special. If you’re one of the 1,000 wine bloggers out there, you’d have the opportunity to up your game by tasting 100s of wines in the company of wine bloggers and wine professionals.

The conferences are a great value as well. The meals are absolutely fabulous and match marvelously with the wines! So what else could you ask for? Wine, food, friends, plus guest speakers and sessions designed to improve your knowledge of wine and wine blogging. Learn more at the Wine Bloggers Conference website.

If this sounds too good to be true, it almost is. Here are a few more details form the website about who should attend and how much it costs.

Who Should Attend

  • Citizen Bloggers who write about wine or the wine industry on their own. In 2010, we are also focusing on wine & food pairing and so invite all food bloggers as well!
  • Winery Bloggers who have a winery-related blog. We will have special content tailored to winery bloggers.
  • New Media Innovators who work in the world of blogging and social media.
  • Wine Industry members who would like to learn about new media or interact with bloggers.

Cost, Payment, Cancellation, and What is Included

The cost of the conference is $95 for citizen wine bloggers (those unaffiliated with a business or organization), $195 for industry wine bloggers (those whose blog is affiliated with a winery, retail store, or other business or organization), and $295 for non-blogger participants (industry, media relations professionals, friends and family, etc). We are able to offer a lower price to citizen bloggers and wine-industry bloggers because it is for these folks our sponsors underwrite the conference. If you are a member of OpenWine Consortium, you will receive a discount of $10 (just indicate your membership on the registration along with your member name and we’ll discount it automatically). Payment is required in advance by credit card.

Such a deal! There’s even a scholarship to help needy wine bloggers attend! If you can, please support this worthy cause with a small or large donation!

WBC-or-Bust: Wine Predator Throws Hat Into Ring for Trip to WA Wine Country!

I’m signed up.

Signed up to what?

Compete in the WBC-or-BUST contest.

The what?

The WBC-or-Bust Contest!

Yeah, right!

No –Write! Write about Washington wines! Live it up! Be driven around to various top-notch wineries from Seattle to Walla Walla! Be wined AND dined! Stay in a way cool B&B along the way!

See the badge there on the sidebar? That means I’m official!

Well, can I go?

Only if you sign up and follow these “Rules & Guidelines”!

TO ENTER If you don’t already have one, create a free WineCHATr.com blogger account. Choose a “WBC-or-BUST” badge/banner from your WineCHATr.com account manager. Add the badge source code to your blog website, so that it is visible from any page.

Warning: This is a pain in the neck. But if I can do it, you can do it. They have a few badges to choose from. I like this one the best.

TO QUALIFY Once the WBC-or-BUST badge has been properly added to your blog website, simply blog about Washington wine throughout the span of the contest. No less than one Washington wine post must be published to remain eligible.

I don’t think this one will count, do you?

TO WIN 12 winning bloggers will be named at the conclusion of the campaign. Four (4) winners will be selected at random out of all qualifying participants. Two (2) winners will be chosen for posting the most Washington wine related blog entries (minimum of 150 words required for each post). Six (6) additional winners will be chosen for the best category based posting:

  • Top 2 Best Washington winery posts
  • Top 2 Best Washington wine or tasting note posts
  • Best Washington growing region post
  • Best Washington vineyard post

The huh? The final four winners will be selected at random out of all qualifying participants? Random? Can you see me scratching my head? Maybe 2 random and 2 because the writing overall was good or the person showed lots of potential or had proven her worth by blogging like a mad dog at other conferences?

Oh and FYI This post has 700 words if we count the title, well over the required number of 150 words per post. Since I tend to write posts of 750-1000 words, do you think I should break them into parts in order to be more competitive? Or add lots of extra words to my sentences?

A few more words in the fine print:

* Your blog has to have been started before the end of October 2009 (no problem there–I started this blog August 2008 and started psoting regularly October 2008; my main blog, Art Predator, I started November 2007).
* Washington bloggers/residents can’t compete (I’m definitely a Californian!)
* You have to have a ticket to WBC 10 (and those are selling out fast! I’m applying for a scholarship, but if that doesn’t come through, Reno is saving me a spot.)
* You have to make a 1 minute video and post it to you-tube and leave a link in your blog Just kidding! But here’s mine anyway! Just insert Washington Wine whenever I say M-G. I’m an equal opportunity blogger (within reason!)

Below are more details about this amazing opportunity. Check it out and you’ll see why I want to be on that bus or bust!

ROAD TO WALLA WALLA: June 23rd – 25th

DAY 1: Seattle & Woodinville Wine Country
WBC-or-BUST Preview - Day 1 Experience some of the best Washington has to offer from one of the premier food & wine destinations in the Northwest. {view itinerary}

DAY 2: Yakima Valley & Walla Walla
WBC-or-BUST Preview - Day 1 Travel across the Cascade Mountain Range to visit Washington’s premier growing regions and taste through a selection of premium wines. {view itinerary}

DAY 3: Start of the Wine Bloggers Conference
Arrive to Walla Walla in style just in time for the WBC with a deeper understanding of Washington and its thriving wine industry.

So here goes! Until this contest ends at the end of April, there will definitely be a Washington Wine slant to this blog. It’s gonna be a blast! And maybe I’ll get to blast off in June to my next wine adventure–in Washington!

Now to find my notes from the WA wines I tasted at WBC…they’re here somewhere!