Tag Archive - ewbc

Divide and Conquer

Demoiselle Vranken
Image by thirstforwine via Flickr

Apologies for another in a line of short hiatus on this blog. Once again work and family take priority over my online musings, and the good news is that there are lots of interesting projects underway – I just can’t find the time (except just before midnight) to share much about them.

Other than the 2010 EWBC (have you signed up yet?), my priority at the moment is to do something a little contrary. I am considering splitting off some of my content from this site to a separate ‘home’ on Posterous, so that I can then re-integrate it here, but as a separate area. As someone who (tries to) blog about marketing and wine in the UK, I also get invited out to wine tastings, dinner and trips and I want to find a way to allow readers to select those parts of most interest to them. I also want to find the easiest ways to make sure I get you the fun stuff faster and more effectively, hence using posterous (if you have not checked it out, do!).

After that, I will try to properly integrate other content streams so that this site, or something like it, can bring more of my ramblings together in one place.

So, this place may seem a little quiet for a bit, but if you really miss me, you can check me out at any of the following places:

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European Wine Bloggers Conference review

EWBC Petrol Art

EWBC Petrol Art

It is too early to really be able to take it all in, but I am back from Lisbon and the European Wine Bloggers Conference (EWBC) 2009.

The conference this year was about 3 times the size of last year’s event, with around 120 bloggers and a great number of producers and other wine businesses there to support the event and promote their wines. That is a big change in a year, and makes me wonder about next year.

I have so many things in my head that writing one post seemed incredibly hard, so I thought I’d kick it off with a brief summary and a few notes of thanks to get the flow going, then over time I can post my thoughts on the sessions, the people, the location, the sponsors, the food, the practicalities of running a large conference and more. Wow, so many things to think about.

European Wine Bloggers ConferenceFirst, I need to restate my thanks to Ryan and Gabriella Opaz of Catavino. Although all three of us are listed as ‘organisers’ the load of all parts of the conference was not exactly evenly distributed and Gabriella in particular really does deserve an extra reward for making things happen as well as they did – just don’t hand her an open bottle of wine! (photo by eatlikeagirl)

Secondly, as with all conferences of this type, we struggled to keep everyone online so they could email, tweet, blog and generally record their impressions. The hotel network did not, unfortunately, seem up to the task as promised, but the boys from Adegga who are already experts in their own areas (check out their brilliant wine social site) also became our de-facto IT support setting up, monitoring and moving the network for 120 people. Thanks Andre, Andre and Emidio!

I must also mention all those who were at their second EWBC event. They too took on informal roles to support the team, welcoming new friends and encouraging the discussion, and I still think we managed to keep the tone very friendly despite growing the event so considerably. This is down entirely to the community-mindedness of all those involved. Thanks everyone!

So, briefly, what did I learn?

  • I really enjoyed Portuguese wine and must buy more of it to learn the key regional differences
  • Portuguese food is amazing and deserves a more relaxed enjoyment of it than I was able to devote
  • The people of Portugal are very warm and generous. We were always well treated despite being so unusual and being so poor at speaking their language
  • That cork is making great efforts and inroads, via people like Amorim, to gain our trust in it again as the best closure for quality wine (more on this very soon)
  • That bloggers themselves are still a strong community with an inclination to help others and share, so we need to build on this while we can
  • That differences between bloggers on certain issues that might seem important, such as monetisation, are vastly outweighed by what we have in common and we need more opportunities to meet face to face to remember this
  • That one of the main barriers to more international cooperation is language differences, something that can be easily, if expensively, overcome, and that otherwise we would benefit a great deal from working together. So, how do we fix this? Certainly not by sticking to our local cliques
  • That we still have not yet truly captured the essence of what the consumer is looking for regarding wine in social media, but we are getting closer
  • That I have a weakness for 70′s & 80′s dancefloor classics and revivals

All of these deserve a post of their own, so hopefully I’ll be able to raise some of these issues in more detail soon

In summary, if you like writing about wine and you didn’t make it to Lisbon this year, pay close attention to this site and to the event site to grab a place for next year!

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Off to Lisbon for #EWBC

Yes, you will see that ‘code’ a lot over the next few days.

#EWBC is the twitter tag for all content related to the European Wine Bloggers Conference which takes place this weekend in Lisbon. If you need to know more about it at this stage, head over to the European Wine Bloggers site.

I will be up at 4am, in a tax before 5am and flying at around 7am, so I doubt I’ll be fully functioning tomorrow, but hope to be better rested for the event kicking off on Friday. However, you can still reach me on twitter (@thirstforwine) and via email (thirstforwine AT Google’s Mail Service)

I am really looking forward to catching up with the wonderful friends I made during the first event last year, and meeting a whole range of new people this year. Our ultimate goal is to create a strong network of friends around Europe, and the rest of the world, so we can do even better, more useful and creative things to do with wine. If you want to help, then join in!

There are almost 120 people coming to the European edition, and some 250 made it to the US version. The enthusiasm for meeting face-to-face is increased and facilitated by social media, despite our critics. Let’s show them some of what they are missing out on by not joining in enthusiastically!

See you in Lisbon!

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Wine, Oil & Vinegar

Is there something intrinsically “Italian” about a website built in Italy like there is something uniquely Italian about the country’s wines (beyond the obvious language issue of course)?

I don’t think so. However, there might be something uniquely Italian about how a problem is addressed and solved. For example, I’m attending a “wine” conference in Genoa, and amongst the 20 or so speakers at yesterday’s “unconference” were two olive oil producers and a producer of wonderful balsamic vinegar – all talking about the same issues of building their brand, sharing their personality and delivering expert content using the web. Who knows, maybe this cross-fertilisation of ideas might bring new insights or opportunities?

This is the sort of “outside the box” thinking and discussion we hope will emerge from bringing together bloggers who have an interest in wine, including food, travel and maybe other bloggers, at the European Wine Bloggers’ Conference (EWBC). Maybe it will be the Italian balsamic vinegar, or the Spanish wine tourism or maybe the Portuguese designer that will spark the discussion that will lead to a new approach to sharing wine online. Who knows!?

In the meantime, I must say I’ve been reminded of, and impressed by, the range of wines made in Italy, but which are so hard to find outside of it. It is a shame it is so hard to find wines such as the indigenous Pigato, Ciliegiolo, Cesanese and Cannonau – instead of the ubiquitous Pinot Grigio (does anyone know of a great resource on Italian grapes to link to?). I urge you to explore these further.

And on that note, I’m off to taste more wines from 125 producers at TerroirVino. A presto!

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TerroirVino and Vinix Unplugged

This weekend I will be heading off to Genoa (or Genova as our hosts call it) to attend TerroirVino.

TerroirVino is the creation of my friend Filippo Ronco, who has also established one of Italy’s premier wine resources, TigullioVino. I met Filippo when he attended last year’s European Wine Bloggers’ Conference and I was very impressed by his determination to create a whole series of tools for wine lovers and publishers. His business also covers an advertising network for bloggers and the Vinix wine social network.

TerroirVino is a conference and tasting. On Sunday I will be taking part in Vinix Unplugged, an unconference to discuss wine, food and marketing online. I will be on at 15:00 (I think) to present the 2009 EWBC (European Wine Bloggers Conference) and some of this may be streamed live here. Monday promises a wonderful array of top Italian wines as there are 125 exhibitors pouring their wines in the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa. Expect a few tweets and twitpics from me to make you all jealous.

I hope to let you know what exciting things are happening in Italy that might have an impact beyond that country, and hopefully also meet some of the marvellous range of Italian wine bloggers attending the event. Most of all, I look forward to sharing information about the 2009 EWBC with everyone.

If you are coming to the conference or tasting, please say hello – or even Ciao!

A presto amici!

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