Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wine Blogger Conference Sold Out

The 2009 Wine Bloggers Conference has sold out with more than 250 participants registered! If you're still interested, get on their waiting list.

The July 24-26 The 2009 Wine Bloggers Conference for North America will take place in Sonoma and Napa Counties. This three day symposium is a unique forum leveraging the power of social networking. It allows for your average blogger like me, to meet with industry insiders to discuss the combination of wine with the world of new media including blogging, social media, Twitter, you name it.

Here's a look at the event flow:

On Friday, July 24th registration starts at noon and runs through 2:00 PM. After you have registered, meet all the fabulous sponsors one-on-one in the Sponsor Room. Here you will have the opportunity to taste wines from a select group of Wine Sponsors in addition to meeting and learning more about other Sponsors and their products and services.
Lunch will be the Flamingo courtesy of Sonoma Vintners and the Sonoma Winegrape Commission.

Live Wine Blogging: Bloggers will taste, review, and blog or Tweet about wines, all while hearing directly from the vintners themselves. The conference will be divided into small groups of 10-12 participants and each winery will have five minutes to pour, give a short explanation of the wine, and answer questions. Bloggers will then have one minute to record their thoughts (live) while the wineries rotate to the next table. It’s a fast process (although slower than speed dating) but this format allows winemakers and conference participants the opportunity to interact in a small group setting. The format will be similar to but much improved upon last year!

2009 Wine Blog Awards: We will hold an awards presentation of the 2009 Wine Blog Awards, followed by a Q&A with these industry leaders. Learn from the best!
Grand Tasting of Sonoma Wines: We will have a Grand Tasting of a variety of Sonoma wines set up in the main ballroom, allowing participants to roam, taste, and review as they wish.
Dinner at the Flamingo with Keynote Speaker Chris Alden: Dinner is sponsored by Sonoma County Tourism and the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers, with wine provided by wineries in the Sonoma Valley AVA. Our keynote speaker is Chris Alden, who has a rich history founding companies in the online media space. Before joining Six Apart in September 2006, he was Co-founder and CEO of Rojo Networks, Inc., an Internet company dedicated to helping information consumers effectively manage dynamic content. Before founding Rojo, he was Co-founder and a former CEO of Red Herring Communications, Inc., which was launched in 1993. Today, Six Apart has enabled millions of individuals, media companies and enterprises to create blogs and form rich, interactive communities.
After Hours Parties: We will have after-hours parties on both Friday and Saturday nights at the Flamingo this year. Friday will be hosted by Russian River Valley Winegrowers with excellent wines supplied by the vintners from that region of Sonoma County. Saturday will be your opportunity to sample Portuguese wines provided by ViniPortugal and meet the folks at our partner conference, the European Wine Bloggers Conference.
Saturday Keynote Speaker: Barry Schuler: Barry’s multimedia firm Medior created interactive technologies for AOL; after Medior was acquired by AOL, Barry worked his way up to be Chairman and CEO of that company. Today, as managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, he’s funding next-thing projects in the tech world. Barry also serves on the board of Synthetic Geonomics and is CEO of Raydiance, which is developing laser technology for healthcare use. He and wife Tracy co-own Meteor Vineyard, located in the Coombsville region of the Napa Valley, with winemakers Bill and Darnine Dyer.
Saturday Keynote Speaker: Jim Gordon: We will have not one but two Keynote Speakers on Saturday morning. Jim Gordon will talk about The Future of Wine Writing and Blogging. Jim has been covering the wine industry as a reporter and editor for more than 25 years. He credits his stint with the St. Helena Star in the 1980s for introducing him to the wine business and many of its emerging stars. He then went on to be managing editor of Wine Spectator for 12 years and is currently editor of Wines & Vines.
Napa Saturday: We will spend an entire day in Napa Valley, treated to some amazing events by our partners, Napa Valley Vintners. The day includes transportation from and back to the Flamingo Resort, lunch, dinner, a Napa Grand Tasting, panel sessions with Napa Vintners, and a discussion of the environmental issues of winemaking. This is a great day to gather material for your blog and to meet many of the key winemakers of Napa Valley. More info on panel discussions to come soon.
Discussion About 2010 Conference: We will wrap up this year’s conference by asking you what you think about next year’s format, activities, tastings, etc.
Vineyard Walks: On Sunday afternoon conference co-organizer Zephyr Wine Adventures will offer Vineyard Walks in Dry Creek Valley. These walks were the highest-rated activity from last year’s conference, so don’t plan to miss this if you are still in the area. The walks will run from 2:00 to 4:30 PM and include a winemaker-led walk and lunch. Walks will take place at Quivira, Michel-Schlumberger, and Montemaggiore wineries. We will coordinate rides with participants and provide transportation if necessary. See for details.
Breakout Sessions
The Sunday breakout sessions will be presentations by industry professionals who are experts on blogging and social media. We have specifically include content geared towards both bloggers and those in the wine industry who wish to begin learning about how to use blogging and social media. There will be two 40-minute sessions running simultaneously (you need to choose which to attend) for three periods in a row. These sessions are subject to change.
9:00 AM: Legalities of Blogging
9:00 AM: Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media for Wine Businesses
9:45 AM: Monetization of Your Blog
9:45 AM: Creating a Social Network for Your Winery or Wine Business
10:30 AM: Beyond Words: How Video Content is Changing the Wine World
10:30 AM: Search Engine Optimization, Traffic Building, and Blogs

The agenda information has been taken directly from the Conference Web site and may change.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Foodie Networking

To Connect Seattle's Vibrant Food Community

Seattle, June 8, 2009: The inaugural “Foodportunity,” a networking event for Seattle food professionals, will take place July 22, 2009, from 6-9 pm at Palace Ballroom in downtown Seattle.

Tom Douglas, awarded National Restaurant of theYear by Bon Appetit magazine & James Beard-award nominee, will provide his Palace Ballroom facilities to host the event, organized by Seattle food blogger Keren Brown. It will feature appetizers from Seattle's most talked about restaurants, the chance to network with food company representatives, a panel discussion on the topic of new media, as well as a “speed networking” event for the first 40 people to sign up.

The Q&A session on new media will be lead by editor Mina Williams (Northwest Stir) and will feature several of Seattle's best-known writers and bloggers: Nancy Leson (Seattle Times), Rebekeh Denn (formerly of the Seattle PI), Matthew Amster-Burton (Hungry Monkey) and Ronald Holden (Cornichon).

Appetizers will come from several sources, including Tom Douglas' restaurants along with a line up of Seattle gems such as Rovers, Andaluca, Olivar, Art of the Table, Dinette, Maximus Minimus and Serafina. Columbia Crest and Vin Du Lac wineries will pour their wines and other beverages will be available for purchase. A range of food products will be on display.

Foodportunity is open to food journalists, bloggers, public relations professionals, restaurateurs, farmers and all food-passionate people. Admission is $25 which includes bites and two glasses of wine (plus tax and fees). Tickets are available at Space is limited. Palace Ballroom is located at 2100 5th Avenue in downtown Seattle. More information at

About Keren Brown, aka Frantic Foodie.
Keren has been organizing the Seattle Food Blogger events for the last two years. Every month she helps bloggers create lasting contacts and connections. Keren's food events information can be found at Frantic Foodie at, and at

Foodportunity Schedule

6:00-6:30 pm: Meet and greet, snacks provided by a selection of food companies

6:30-7:30 pm: Reaching Consumers Through New Media
Learn how to communicate your Message effectively Through Blogs, Twitter and Facebook
Q&A session
Moderator: Mina Williams, editor of Northwest Stir, Industry news of the Northwest for culinary professionals

- Nancy Leson, Seattle Times Food Writer and KPLU food commentator
- Rebekah Denn, James Beard Award winning food writer, formerly from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
- Matthew Amster-Burton, food writer, author of Hungry Monkey and contributor for Gourmet magazine.
- Ronald Holden, food writer and creator of, named among the Top 10 food blogs according to GourmetFood

7:30 – 9:00 pm: Networking time, raffle prizes and bites from Seattle restaurants. Food companies will provide booths and snacks as well.

8:30- 9:00 pm: An optional "speed networking" session for the first 40 to sign up led by Rachel Belle, food writer and former KIRO radio restaurant reporter.

Media Contact: Keren Brown
Keren Brown Media
(425) 614-8399