Wine Bloggers Conference 2013 — a.k.a., #WBC13 — was a four-day whirlwind of wine wildness in Penticton, British Columbia. For those who missed it, and those who want to re-live it, here are a few of the key learnings from the conference:
- Penticton is a lovely little lake town, and Penticton Lakeside Resort is a top-notch hotel with fabulous amenities and an attentive, friendly staff. Its setting aside Okanagan Lake is idyllic. Shout out to Grant at the front desk — who bent over backward to accommodate us — and to Rusty, our friend from Hooded Merganser.
- When in Canada, be sure to have a plate of Poutine. For those who’ve never indulged, it’s essentially the Canadian version of disco fries (are we giving away our NJ heritage?). Match it with a crisp white or rose with lively acidity.
- British Columbia is an up-and-coming wine region with enormous potential. Its climate, terrain, and diurnal temperature variation are reminiscent of Chile.
- Wines of Uruguay may be the best-kept secret in South America. Like B.C., the country is an up-and-comer. Among red wines, look for Tannat, and for whites, Albarino is an eye-opener.
- It goes without saying, but wine bloggers remain enthusiastic knowledge-seekers, may be the most educated of all wine consumers, and play a significant role in teaching the world about wine.
- Getting across the Canadian border driving a Riunite RV with 10 cases of wine can be complicated … but, possible!
- Speaking of the Riunite RV, it’s larger than some studio apartments in New York City.
- Hot Tub Time Machine Wine Tasting is most effective after midnight.
Congratulations to our industry friend Lisa Mattson for winning TWO blog awards for Journey of Jordan: Best Winery Blog and Best Original Photography or Video on a Wine Blog. Kudos also to Frederic Koeppel, whose Bigger Than Your Head won Best Wine Reviews on a Wine Blog; to Jeff Siegel, author of The Wine Curmudgeon, which was named Best Industry/Business Wine Blog; and to David White, Rebecca Canan, and the entire Terroirist staff for copping the main award of Best Overall Wine Blog. You can see a list of all of the winners on the WBC13 website.
This year the Banfi Banter Boys were accompanied by our Left Coast colleague McKenna Olson of VinMotion / Pacific Rim Wines and Riunite RV driver Charlie Goodwin, both of whom were immensely vital to time travel, wine tasting, entertainment, and overall enjoyment in the Banfi suite.
Perhaps the best part of the Wine Bloggers Conference is seeing and meeting people who were previously only “virtual” friends. Putting a face to a name (or Twitter handle) and spending quality time with people who love wine as much as we do is truly the best part of our job. Toward that end, shout-outs to old and new friends that we hope to see again in Santa Barbara next year (in no particular order): Michelle Haid, Amy Gross, Alan Kropf, Kovas Palubinskas, Megan Kenney, James Melendez, Joel Vincent, Cindy Rynning, Heather Herrig, Joel Peterson, Michele Francisco, Matt Talbot, Mattie John Bamman, Thea Dwelle, Pamela Pajuelo, Steven and Jane Kosek, Jessica Sass, Rob Frisch, April Yap-Hennig, William Pollard, Jr., Taylor Eason, Lisa Mattson, Julia Crowley, Irene Lau, Dave Nershi, Kelly Conrad, Valerie Stride, Russell Ball, Alina Ferguson, Liza Swift, Andrew Stover, Byron Marlowe, Michael Wangbickler, Jon Staenberg, Kevin Keating, Sheena Chandok,Robert Larsen, Anna Bennett, Tim Lemke, Sheila Whittaker, and Adam Levy.
So, what were YOUR main takeaways from WBC13? Post them below — and let us know if you have any Penticton pictures posted. Here are a few of ours:
You can see more photos on the Banfi Banter Google Plus page.