Exciting news! WBC Scholarship Wine Club has arrived!

It is with great pleasure that I announce the start of the WBC Scholarship Wine Club, another awesome wine club brought to you by World’s Best Wine Clubs.


The Wine Bloggers’ Conference Scholarship Fund and WorldsBestWineClubs.com have partnered to create The Wine Bloggers’ Conference Scholarship Fund Wine Club. Now all attendees and alumni of the Wine Bloggers’ Conference and their friends and family can enjoy some of the finest boutique wines from California delivered to their door every quarter while helping to raise money so that deserving citizen bloggers can attend the upcoming Wine Bloggers’ Conference.

Four times per year (in February, May, August, and November) for just $99 per shipment, you’ll receive three handcrafted, highly rated wines from three of the finest boutique wineries in California. These wines come from some of the finest established wineries in California and have been expertly curated and hand-selected for you by America’s Uncommon Wine Expert, WorldsBestWineClubs.com founder, and WBC alumnus Chris Kern.

Best of all, 50% of the profits from every club shipment are donated directly back to the WBC Scholarship Fund to assist with their mission to provide well established “citizen bloggers” with a stipend so they can attend the wine bloggers conference, further their knowledge, their network, the wine blogging community and the wine industry as a whole.

Sign up now and receive three unique, highly rated wines delivered to your door every quarter for just $99 per shipment, and help make a difference in someone’s life today.

Become a member of the Wine Bloggers’ Conference Scholarship Fund Wine Club today!

The first shipment will contain some fabulous small production wines, so get yours while you can!


Donor Profile: Rodney Strong Vineyards

rodney-strong-logo-white-background-hi-res (1)For the ninth straight year, Rodney Strong Vineyards continues its support of the wine blogging community via the Wine Bloggers Scholarship Fund.  Specifically, Rodney Strong sponsors the Rodney Strong Wine Blogger Scholarship, which assists up-and-coming bloggers that display quality, quantity, consistency, and a community spirit in their work.

This year, Rodney Strong has gone above and beyond, in supporting the Rodney Strong Scholarship but also by supporting #winelovers against cancer and providing a supplemental scholarship grant via their sponsorship of 100% natural recycled cotton canvas swag bags.  Cancer is close to Chris’ heart, and we are thrilled to have his support this year.

Be sure to stop by the Scholarship booth at Friday’s Expo Lunch and pick up bag, complete with Rodney Strong swag!  If you want to augment your experience, a donation to the scholarship will also provide you with a loaded bag full of fun WBC goodies you are sure to enjoy for years to come.  Stay tuned for more fun from Rodney Strong at #wbc16!13709760_10153849632148434_6689562739989999957_n

Amanda Barnes, of Around the World in 80 Harvests, is the recipient of the 2016 Rodney Strong Wine Blogger Scholarship.  Last year, Matt McGinnis was the inaugural recipient of this very special grant.

Founded over 50 years ago, Rodney Strong Vineyards is a family owned winery that grows and produces wines exclusively from Sonoma County grapes. The winery was the 13th bonded winery in the country, and it aspires to conserve and protect the environment through sustainable practices, solar power, and fish friendly farming.

This year, Chris O’Gorman, newly appointment Director of Communications for Rodney Strong, will be representing the winery in Lodi. Be sure to say hello to Chris and the Rodney Strong team!

“I’m super excited to attend my first WBC, meet new and established digital influencers, and attend the fun excursions and seminars,” says Gorman.  “I’m sure this will be the first of many!”

We are excited to have your continued support, and look forward to seeing you in Lodi!

Connect with Rodney Strong Vineyards:




Scholarship Recipient: Amanda Barnes – Around the World in 80 Harvests

Meet Amanda Barnes, creator and editor of Around the World in 80 Harvests, a wine blog chronicling her travels visiting 80 wine regions around the world. The name of her blog is a nod to the adventure novel by Jules Verne, Around the World in 80 Days.

This year, Amanda is the recipient of the Rodney Strong Wine Blogger Scholarship, specifically awarded to a digital writer who exhibits quality, quantity, consistency, and a community spirit.   This is the 2nd Annual Rodney Strong award, and we are excited to have this strong relationship!  The first recipient was Matt Mcginnis (2015) from Texas, and we look forward to our continued relationship.  Stay tuned for more in the Rodney Strong Scholarship!

An award winning freelance writer, Amanda moved to South America in 2009 to follow her curiosity and passion for wine. “What I love about wine is that its origin and impact has so much reach: nature, science, art, culture, history, and travel,” says Amanda. “The list of potential subjects is almost endless, which gives you a lot to write about – much more than just the bottle in your hand!”

In 2012 and 2013, Amanda was the runner up for UK Young Wine Writer of the Year Award, and runner up for the Great Wine Capitals Blogger of the Year award. She is also a member of the UK-based Circle of Wine Writers.

Today Amanda focuses on sharing the stories of the wines, winemakers and wineries of Chile and Argentina. This includes providing content for Oz Clarke’s Pocket Wine Guide and Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book among other publications.

“It’s my first time attending a Wine Bloggers Conference and I can’t wait to meet other bloggers and learn about what is exciting in their wine markets right now. Wine blogging is a niche and it is inspiring to meet other like-minded bloggers in this growing community.”

Connect with Amanda online at her BLOG and on TWITTER.


Editor’s Note:
We are so excited to welcome our international bloggers this year, Julien and Amanda!  We can’t wait to meet you and show you all about WBC!

Donor Profile: Dallas Wine Chick, Melanie Ofenloch

Melanie_Times_Ten_400x400Melanie Ofenloch, The Dallas Wine Chick, has a philosophy – no wine snobs allowed.  While her profession is marketing, and she recently laucnhed her own consulting business, her passion is drinking wine.  She doesn’t consider herself a wine expert – just an everyday person with a love for the grape, a few annual Pilgrimages to wine regions and at the end of each year, an ugly Visa summary to prove it (her words not mine)!

It took Melanie a long time to realize an everyday person (especially her) could write a wine blog.  She admits that she’s not a sommelier, winery owner, wine marketer or wine expert. But, how many of us are experts? Wine is a product that should be discovered, shared and enjoyed.

Her wine roots are humble.  Growing up, Melanie was given a glass of Uncle Louie’s homemade wine, which was quite an experience – and not a good one.  In college, she shared Gallo pink blush jugs with college roommate for weekend parties.  When she was newly married, Melanie and her husband discovered inexpensive Italian wines together.  She took her first trip to Napa, to realize what a great wine could be and found that wine would become a journey of discovery.  Learning about wine has been wonderful, but Melanie believes that experiencing wine is the fun part.

Editor’s Note:

Melanie is an important part of our Scholarship Committee, and we appreciate her contributions on the committee and her donation!  Even after taking the plunge in to self-employement (gee, wonder what that’s like heehee) she has been instrumental in working with the Ethnifacts team to get the Diversity Grant funded, and has helped with PR activities that are essential to the scholarship.  Thank you Melanie for being an enthusiastic part of our team!

Please reach out to Melanie at @dallaswinechick and check out her awesome blog!


Demand diversity: Ethnifacts Diversity Grant Announced

Meet Julian Miquel, founder of Social Vignerons, winemaker, blogger and overall passionate wine lover is the recipient of this year’s EthniFacts Diversity Scholarship.

“Sometimes you just have to create a community that you want to be part of,” he says.  He founded the blog to build a worldwide community of passionate wine lovers and professionals to share a passion, knowledge, ethnifactstime and a good laugh.”

Last year, Julian was named the Wine Blogger’s Conference 2015 Best New Blog award. Unfortunately, due to his geographic location and lack of resources, he was not able to attend the conference to celebrate this milestone. This is the year he is dedicated to sharing his vision of making wines fun, interesting and approachable at this year’s conference.

He is a former winemaker, strategic developer of Wine-Searcher.com and overall Renaissance man dedicated to putting his passion, talent and effort into every piece of coverage about wine, its industry and the people who make what we drink on a daily basis.

Announcing the Second Annual EthniFacts Diversity Scholarship

Wine Blogger’s Conference Scholarship and EthniFacts Announce Second Annual Multicultural Scholarship


San Francisco, CA – Today, the Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship Foundation and EthniFacts, announced the second annual “EthniFacts Diversity in Wine Writing Scholarship”, to encourage ethnic, gender, and cultural diversity in the North American Wine Bloggers Conference attendees.

“More than half of Americans under the age of 50 are now living in households that are either multicultural or blended in race and ethnicity. Our business is built around diversity and we passionately believe in encouraging diverse voices,” said Mike Lakusta, CEO and Founding Partner of EthniFacts. “This scholarship is meant to encourage participation and support of diverse candidates who have influential voices by providing them access to some of the best wine regions throughout America.”
Regine Rousseau from Shall We Wine was last year’s inaugural recipient. “The conference truly exceeded my expectations and direct contact with winemakers and winery representatives broadened my understanding of the region and how climate impacts wine making overall,” she said. “This scholarship is about diversity and blogging is about diversity of voices. I am so appreciative of the opportunity afforded to me by EthniFacts.”

Candidate requirements include having a blog that maintains an active status and has been in existence for at least one year, demonstrate a clear financial need, and meet the multicultural guidelines set forth by EthniFacts and the WBC Scholarship Fund.

  • Citizen Blogger with no paid wine writing experience
  • Diversity Candidate

“We appreciate the partnership with EthniFacts and are so excited that we are extending this partnership into the future,” said Thea Dwelle, chairman of the scholarship committee. “Many bloggers do not have the ability to fund a trip that may cost $1000 by the time hotel, flight and conference registration are totaled, and this scholarship provides diverse candidates with a reason and opportunity to join us.”

The Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship was founded in 2009 to provide well established “citizen bloggers” with a stipend so they can attend the wine bloggers conference, further their knowledge, their network, the wine blogging community and the wine industry as a whole.  The recipients are bloggers who are not affiliated with a winery or other company in the wine industry with a demonstrated financial need. Specific attention is paid to bloggers who post regularly, have never attended the conference before and who are students with a particular focus in wine.

The ninth annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference is scheduled from Aug. 11-14, 2016, and brings together hundreds of wine bloggers, social media educators and leaders, and wine industry members in Lodi, CA.

The Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship is partnered with Enobytes, an organization dedicated to sharing passion and knowledge of wine and food.   This non-profit organization serves a global audience of wine lovers, and takes innovation to the next level with interactive maps, in depth wine reviews, and wine business analysis.

For more information please contact info@wbcscholarship.com and visit wbcscholarship.com/America.

Andrea Robinson to Keynote Wine Bloggers Conference

It is with great delight that we are pleased to welcome Andrea Robinson, Master Sommelier, as our keynote speaker this summer in Lodi!

Andrea was raised in southern Indiana, and attended college at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. It was at SMU that her love of wine was fostered.  She graduated with a degree in economics, and began working as an investment banker; after a fateful Charles Krug tasting, she quit banking and started traveling, with an eye on learning more about wine.

After returning from Europe, she started working at the illustrious Windows on the World in New York, ,where she made history as being the restaurants first female cellar master.

One of only  26 women in the world to hold the title Master Sommelier, Andrea has achieved a long list of wine related accolades including 3  James Beard awards, Best Sommelier in the US (the first woman!), and the Dean of Wine Studies for the French Culinary Institute. In addition to these numerous awards, she has written four top selling wine books, hosting several tv shows, and has created a series of wine glasses for everyday use.  These accomplishments serve as an inspiration for women in the wine world globally.

As with all who achieve greatness, and inspiration status, there is the possibility of the next brightest star. They could easily be waiting in the wings, but are unable to attend the conference due to lack of funding. Be part of the solution! Donate to the Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship fund today so the next generation of empowered, smart, savvy women in the wine world can further their education, wine knowledge, and network.

Editor’s Note:

We are so excited to welcome Andrew Robinson back to the Wine Bloggers Conference!  In 2010, she joined us in Walla Walla, and has been a proud supporter of wine writing throughout the years.  She joins a long list of powerful women who have seen the value in the Wine Bloggers Conference, including Jancis Robinson and Karen MacNail (former keynote speakers).  We are proud to support diversity in digital wine writing.  With our partnership with EthniFacts, we strive to support rising women wine writers.  Lodi boasts many world class female winemakers as well as strong female family leaders that are 3rd, 4th and 5th generation Lodi wine families.  We hope you will consider supporting an emerging Woman Wine Writer today by donating to the WBC Scholarship fund!  If you would like to earmark your donations for the diversity grant, please include a note in your donation form.

Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship 2016: Applications are open!

11953202_1020350674672352_8890161867509675900_nThe Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship was founded in 2009 to provide well established “citizen bloggers” with a stipend so they can attend the wine bloggers conference, further their knowledge, their network, the wine blogging community and the wine industry as a whole.  

As, unfortunately, not all who wish to attend can afford the costs associated with the conference, the scholarship was established to assist in this effort.  The citizen blogger scholarship recipients are bloggers who are not affiliated with a winery or other company in the wine industry with a demonstrated financial need. Specific attention is paid to bloggers who post regularly, have never attended the conference before and who might be students with a particular focus in wine.

The weekend of August 13-15, 2016, hundreds of wine bloggers, social media educators and leaders, and wine industry members will gather in Lodi, California, for the ninth annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC) the premier conference for new media and the wine industry.

Lodi has been engaged with wine bloggers for several years, and frequently hosts both media trips as well as virtual tastings for wine writers around the world to experience the breadth of wines available in this region.  With the large number of wineries and variety of wines being produced, Lodi is the perfect location for wine bloggers to converge for a deep dive into wine, and the wine business.  

Situated just over 100 miles from the San Francisco Bay Area, and a short drive from the Sacramento metro area, Lodi is ideally located in California’s Central Valley.

An historical winegrowing region since the 1850s, the AVA was established in 1986.  Lodi’s rich farming history has helped maintain diversity in winegrowing, with a focus on Zinfandel, Iberian / French varietals, and more.

Applicants to the Wine Bloggers Conference are asked to describe their blog, their financial need pertaining to the conference, and why they are deserving of sponsorship. Stipends are awarded through a committee selection process based on the above mentioned focus criteria.

Funds are generated by donations from participating wineries and other industry entities as well as generous individuals. In 2015, the scholarship fund assisted 11 wine bloggers in attending the Wine Bloggers Conference in Corning, New York – the heart of the Finger Lakes, – from all over the world.  We supported 3 Canadians, a Brit, and several North American bloggers.  This international event brought wine writers from all over the world, bringing new light to the wine industry in the region, and creating wine tourism memories to last a lifetime.  One hundred percent of the funds supported the scholarships and bloggers received an average of $1000 to attend the conference including registration, travel costs and accommodations.


Thanks to a partnership with Enobytes, the Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship Fund is accepting donations as a US based 501(c) non profit organization. This means, that you can donate to the scholarship fund TAX FREE (subject to your tax professional’s advice of course). Donations are accepted via our donor page personal or corporate check (please let us know if you prefer this option as there are some specific rules for the 501c).


What we need:

We are looking for donations, of any size, that will go in to a fund to be awarded to bloggers based on need, length of blogging history, and written statements of why they qualify for assistance and wish to attend.


We give preference to established citizen bloggers, students in wine (MBA, BA, enology, viticulture, business administration), and bloggers who have never attended a Wine Bloggers Conference before.


We ask that corporate sponsors donate a minimum of $95, which covers the registration fee for a citizen blogger (though we gratefully accept ANY donation, large or small!).


What you get in return:

Premier Donors (donations of $1,000+) will receive free advertising on both Enobytes (banner ads) and my personal blog, as well as the WBC Scholarship site. These are to be formatted and scheduled dates will be chosen at the agreement of both parties.

You will also receive a write up on the WBC Scholarship Fund blog outlining your business and why you believe in bloggers and the conference.


In addition, we ask each winner to write a post stating what the WBC meant to them, what they learned, and personally thanking each donor.  Each Premier Donor is also entitled to participate in the Scholarship Donor party, where you can meet & greet the Scholarship Committee and all recipiants.


We are also looking for glass sponsors, to assist in creating keepsake glasses with your logo, as well as ours, on them to take to the parties and take home.  This was a huge success last year and we wish to keep it going for many years to come.  For $1,000, you will assist us in designing a stemless keepsake glass that will be sold at the Scholarship table, as well as given to donors of $50 or more.   This donation will sponsor 100 glasses.  Leftover glasses can be reused for your events or kept for the next Wine Bloggers Conference.


Gold Donors ($500) are entitled to particpate in the Donor Party and will have a bio featured on the website.


Silver Donors ($250) will have a bio featured on the website.


In 2016, we will be hosting a Donor table, where the WBC Scholarship Committee and former recipients will be available to answer questions, pour your wine or share your business information, and interact with the attendees.  This is a fantastic opportunity for you to present your company to over 300 industry & blogger attendees during the “Meet the Sponsors” event.

If you attend the WBC, you will also get a flashy new “Corporate Donor” ribbon for your badge that identifies you to our attendees as someone who supports bloggers.  Each recipient will also have a badge identifying them, and they will be seeking out corporate donors and individual donors for personal introductions.
For more information please contact info@wbcscholarship.com and visit wbcscholarship.com/america

Pizza Farm

Scholarship Recipiant: Matthew Wieland has his Wagon of Wine loaded!

Matthew Wieland begin his adventures in wine in Minnesota, not exactly a mecca for high quality wine discovery.  Fortunately, his mother had a penchant for Washington and California wine, and planted a seed in Matthew’s vinous core.

Building an appreciation for more complex wines over the years, he lived in Washington, and now lives in Portland – a prefect place to hone in on the idiosyncrasies of Pinot Noir.

In less than a year, he has created a blog and a following that is well respected by the local wine community in Portland and beyond.  He is excited to attend WBC as he seeks to expand his network, and find inspiration for future work.

As a 10th grade English teacher, he is one of our everyday heros.  We look forward to having him in Corning!  This will be Matthew’s first WBC, so let’s seek him out and show him how it’s done!  Stop by and say hello:

Blog:  Wagon Wine

Facebook:  Wagon Wine page

Twitter:  @wagonwineblog


Corporate Donor: Cornerstone Cellars

I have been fortunate enough to know Craig Camp of Cornerstone Cellars since the first Wine Bloggers Conference in 2008.  Cornerstone has now branched out in to Oregon, and with Craig’s direction has created wines that are distinctly terroir driven, and represent the best of class for the vineyard selection.  Along with Cornerstone Rocks!  A fun quirky label that plays with blends, Cornerstone Napa and Oregon have something for everyone!

Craig Camp is a veteran fine wine professional with more than three decades of experience in every facet of the industry including importing, exporting, distribution, marketing, sales and production.  Joining Cornerstone in 2009, he has been a stalwart blogging supporter and still maintains his own blog about wine, the industry and Napa Valley, The Wine Camp Blog.One of the most influential social butterflies in the wine indsutry, we look forward to tasting, tweeting, and enjoying the Finger Lakes with Craig!  One of the few “Veterans” of each and every Wine Bloggers Conference, his unwavering dedication and support is appreciated beyond words.Thank you for your continuing support!

Stop by and say hi to Craig at:

Twitter:  CraigCamp

Facebook:  CraigCamp

And Cornerstone Cellars, Napa Valley at:

Twitter:  CornerstoneNapa 

Facebook:  CornerstoneNapa

Vineyard, Vintage and Variety




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