Going to Virginia Wine Country

Fourth Annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference.

Last year I attended the third annual Wine Blogger’s Conference (WBC10) in Walla Walla, Washington. For me it was an inspiring and educational weekend. These Conferences are unique opportunities to learn about and discuss the intersection of wine with the world of new media, including blogging, social media, video and more.

WBC10 is responsible for motivating me to engage better with my audience and to leverage the social media tools I already had, but under-utilized (there’s an article in there). Revitalized by WBC10, I began taking my wine blog writing more seriously. I now write more than ever, use twitter daily and continue to make new wine friends.

This year, the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC11) is on July 22-24, 2011 in Charlottesville, Virginia. This will be the fourth annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference.

Going to WBC11 in Virginia was certainly on my todo list this year; with my wife’s support it was assured.

I’m registered for WBC11, airline tickets are paid for and the hotel reservation is in place. I’m ready for Virginia… almost.

Except I have never tasted wine from Virginia, I’m unfamiliar with the Virginia appellations, and which varietals they cultivate. Can you name a Virginia winery? Okay, time to educate myself about the Virginia wine industry before I go there.

Wine in Virginia

Thomas Jefferson and George Washington had no success growing wine grapes in Virginia. Believe me they tried, Thomas Jefferson tried for three decades. However, today a now flourishing Virginia wine industry is bringing a lot of attention to this state.

Just what is going on in Virginia?

Only a handful of wineries existed in Virginia in 1980. By 1995 the number had grown to 46. Since 1995, however, the trend has spiked, tracking increased wine consumption throughout the nation. The number of state wineries jumped to 107 in 2005, by 2008 there were 140, today 192 wineries. Map of Virginia wineries.

Virginia Wine Resources

For a good impression of Virginia and its wine regions, Quentin Sadler's Wine Page has an excellent article,Virginia – a land of history and wine, "...Virginia is a beautiful wine producing region that makes wines that will really appeal to those who like classic wines with good fruit, but a very European twist..."

Quentin's is a comprehensive post which covers the history of Virginia and it's wine. He includes a most usefull Virginia wine map and engages the reader with his impressions of his visit to Virginia Wine Country with tasting notes. If you follow me on twitter @wild4wawine, you may have seen me tweet the link to his post. Definitely a recommended wine blog to read.

The Wild Vine: A Forgotten Grape and the Untold Story of American Wine Still prepping for my visit to Virginia Wine Country, I’ve been reading “The Wild VineA Forgotten Grape and the Untold Story of American Wine, by Todd Kliman. The book is an admirable read. It is a labor of love, well-researched and with a substantial bibliography. It is about Americas "native" wine grape, the Virginia Norton. Should you be inclined to delve further into the history of wine in America and the cultivation of "Norton's Virginia Seedling" you’ll enjoy this book. Recommended. The Wild Vine: A Forgotten Grape and the Untold Story of American Wine


If you are unable to attend WBC11, you can still follow the action on twitter.

Sampling of Virginia Wine Tweeters to follow: @VAWine, @DrinkWhatULike, @VaWineTime, @SwirlSipSnark, @VCUSpoon, @Alleigh, @DMWine, @CellarBlog, @SuzieLin

Hashtags: #wbc11, #vawine

My Virginia wine research has me eager to sample the local wines and ready to make new friends. I’ve received a preliminary list of WBC11 attendees – it’s going to be a great time in Virginia. Stay tuned.


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