WBC Scholarship – America Rotating Header Image

Go Go Gadget!

Here we are!  It’s prime WBC Scholarship season, and we couldn’t do it without you.  For those that have supported our Scholarship in the past, we salute you.

After 7 Wine Bloggers Conferences, and six successful Scholarship years, we have learned a lot.  One thing we have learned is that hotels have pretty sad hospitality glasses for big tastings.  While I understand that it’s hard to have 300+ Riedels or other glasses on hand for these large tastings, I also know that as a wine professional and wine lover, I demand a certain level of stemware when I’m tasting wine and evaluating them. The hotel glass is something of a curse at these conferences, and after hearing many comments (and seeing it, as well as my own thoughts) about the lack of appropriate stemware, we have decided to offer a new fundraising feature this year.


For the fisrt time, we have WBC Scholarship logo glasses available for sale for $5, and as a thank you gift (think PBS Pledge Break) for anyone who donates over $50.


So get to it!


185 days until WBC14 in Santa Barbara!

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.

 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 July 11-13, 2014, hundreds of wine bloggers, social media educators and leaders, and wine industry members will gather in Buellton, California for the seventh annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC) the premier conference for new media and the wine industry. For the first time the WBC will cross international lines as it travels to Canada’s newest wine growing region for this three-day symposium that builds on our past successes and brings attendees a unique opportunity to learn about and discuss the intersection of wine with the world of new media including blogging, social media, and more.

Applicants 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 2012, the scholarship fund assisted wine bloggers in attending the Wine Bloggers Conference in Penticton, British Columbia.  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 lifetiem.  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 Sponsors (donations of $1,000+) will receive free advertising on both Enobyes (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.


In 2012, for the first time, we will be hosting a Sponsor 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 Sponsor” 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 sponsors and individual donors for personal introductions.


For more information, please contact info@wbcscholarship.com or visit http://wbcscholarship.com/america.


Layer Cake Wines Endows Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship

Layer Cake Wine Scholarship

Winemaker Jayson Woodbridge endows scholarship

for North American Wine Bloggers Conference

Napa, Calif. – May 30th, 2013 –  Winemaker Jayson Woodbridge has announced funding of the Layer Cake Wine Scholarship. This $5,000 annual endowment allows deserving recipients to attend the North American Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC). The WBC It is a three-day symposium which offers unique opportunities to learn about the intersection of wine with the world of new media including blogging and various types of social media.  The wine world is well represented at the Conference with attendees including noted wine bloggers, new media innovators, and leaders from the wine industry. 2013 marks the 3rd year of the Layer Cake Wine Scholarship.

The 6th Annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference will take place in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada from June 6 – 8 of 2013. It is held each year in a different location.   Previous sites for the Conference include the Napa wine valley, the SonomaCalifornia wine region, Walla Walla, Washington, Charlottesville, Virginia, and Portland, Oregon.  This event is recognized as the premier gathering for members of new media and representatives of the wine industry.

“Telling the story of the vine is the life blood of the wine business,” notes Layer Cake winemaker and owner Jayson Woodbridge.  “We have such history. It needs to be passed to the next generation.  Wine lovers enjoy learning about their favorite labels.  These are incredible stories.  Wine bloggers and new media visionaries understand this.  It’s our pleasure to provide the Layer Cake Wine Scholarship and make these scholarship funds available for those aspiring to do justice to the stories of the wine world.”

“The generosity of Layer Cake Wines and Jayson Woodbridge will go a long way towards fostering the wine writing talents of scholarship winners,” offers Thea Dwelle, chairperson of the WBC Scholarship Committee.  “The Layer Cake Wine Scholarship will enable essential growth of new media within the wine community.  As the wine industry expands and flourishes, so must the outlets for wine writers.  Jayson and Layer Cake have a unique perspective and appreciation for the valuable role that social media, bloggers, and wine focused media play within the wine industry.  We are grateful for this vision.”

 Editor’s Note:  We are extremely fortunate to have a sponsor who believes in the power of digital media, as well as social meida.  Thank you Jayson for continuing to support us in our efforts!

About Jayson Woodbridge and Layer Cake Wine

Jayson Woodbridge is a critically acclaimed wine maker.  Known for his cult hit labels Hundred Acre and Cherry Pie, he began the Layer Cake wine series as a tribute to his grandfather, striving to make affordable wines with a luxurious taste. Jayson’s grandfather told him that wine was like his grandmother’s delicious layer cake: the layers of soils under the vines produce layers of rich flavors, aromatics, and textures in the wine.  Layers of chocolate, mocha, dark berry fruit, and spices found in the Layer Cake wines rival the layers of flavors complimenting his grandmother’s layer cake.  The Layer Cake name evokes the memory of something comforting, rich and delicious.


A unique wine brand with multiple country AVA’s, Layer Cake is handmade in some of Jayson Woodbridge’s favorite wine regions around the world. Woodbridge actually makes wine on 4 continents.  Each Layer Cake wine is crafted implementing the same small winery techniques and quality standards for which Jayson is well known.  Jayson and his winemaking team travel the globe to make all of his wines. They work with small family growers, rigorously selecting only the best fruit. Current Layer Cake wines include a Shiraz from Australia’s BarossaValley, a Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina, an old vine Primitivo, aka Zinfandel, from Puglia, Italy, a California Central Coast Chardonnay, a California Cabernet Sauvignon, a Garnacha from Spain, and a Pinot Noir from California.


Visit www.LayerCakeWine.com



The Laura Kirkham Agency

Laura Kirkham



Donor Profile: Tom Wark

TomSpeak-300x266Who doesn’t know Tom Wark? You don’t? And you’re reading this blog about the WBC Scholarship? Get out from under that rock. Tom Wark has been in wine PR since the early 90s and writes the foremost industry wine blog, Fermentation. He’s also a founding father of wine blogging and one of its biggest supporters and critics. That is not meant to be a fault in the least, we must often spend time evaluating the utility of wine blogging and Tom holds no punches when it comes to that exercise.

However, despite his constant questioning of the purpose and utility of wine blogging, Tom has been a strong and consistent supporter of the wine blogger community and the WBC since its inception. A long time participant and donor to the WBC, for the last two years Tom has offered a special incentive to donate to the WBC scholarship: he matches all donations up to $500 that come in during his challenge.  With every penny counting, the dollar for dollar match means more than you can imagine for our fledging scholarship fund.

We salute Tom for his unwavering commitment to wine blogging and hope to have his support for years to come.

Recipient Profile: Kovas Palubinskas

NEWBIE! We are pleased to welcome Kovas Palubinkas (fresh meat) to the 2013 WBC in Penticton. Kovas writes 50 States of Wine and has been at it since 2011, however, this will be his very first WBC. 50 States of Wine focuses on attempting to, at a bare minimum, taste a wine from each of the 50 states. Kovas would eventually like to travel to a winery in every state, but will settle for just a taste, if need be.

An interesting goal to say the least! He should be able to knock out several states at the WBC as folks are always bringing unique things from their home states. I’ve had a wine from Indiana and a Dandelion wine from NH while in attendance, so all things are possible. Be sure to check out Kovas’ blog and give him a hearty welcome to the WBC. (I can’t find a photo of him, but will be happy to add one if it is provided!)

Recipient Profile: Becca Yeamans

Head-shotBecca Yeamans is the author of the Academic Wino and 2-time WBC scholarship recipient. Becca joined us for the first time in 2012 at the Portland, OR WBC and returns for another go this year in Penticton, BC. (See, clearly we aren’t all the scary if the newbs want to come back for a second go at it.)

This is Becca’s second year as a wine blogger as well. Her blog takes a different twist from many of the wine blogs out there and looks at scientific articles on wine, wine making, etc. She breaks down scholarly articles for the rest of us little people to help us understand the science behind wine making, tasting, drinking and much more. Becca’s background is in biology and environmental science, which seems to lend itself incredibly well to her blog’s pursuit.

We are thrilled to have Becca joining us for her second WBC and look forward to getting to know her even better.

Donor Profile: Megan Kenney

Photo on 2013-05-04 at 12.05 #5This is a little awkward. In that no one tells you that you have toilet paper hanging from your shoe sort of way. I’m writing my own donor profile for the WBC Scholarship page.  In any event, I’m Megan Kenney, aka Sonadora, aka Wannabe Wino.  I’ve been a part of the WBC Scholarship since its inception, as Thea’s partner in crime in brainstorming the original idea and getting it off the ground. I’ve also been a donor every year (I think, right Thea??) and I’ve been on the Scholarship Committee for at least 2 years, maybe more.  So basically I’m a jack of all trades.

I’m also a wine blogger, at it nearly 7 years now. I’ve been an attendee at all but one WBC (I have an excuse, I was pregnant for the one I missed) and hope to continue attending for many years to come. Can I salute myself? That would make this even more awkward, right? Instead, I’ll just say that I’m honored to be a part of this effort and to be able to contribute to helping folks make the WBC a possibility. Oh, and P.S. Please come see me and Thea and Kathleen Rake make fools of ourselves on our panel at WBC this year.

Donor Profile: Craig Camp

craig webIf perchance, you are part of the wine blog world, or wine world in general and have yet to meet Craig Camp, you are most certainly missing out. Besides being a prolific (and among the first) wine blogger, he has been in the world of wine for many many years. He currently wears the hat as CEO and chief bottlewasher at Cornerstone Cellars in Napa Valley.  Under Craig’s direction, Cornerstone has grown tremendously and now encompasses the Cornerstone line, the Cornerstone Oregon line, and the Stepping Stone by Cornerstone line.

Craig has been an ardent supporter of wine bloggers and the wine blogger conference, both as a participant in every WBC to date and a donor to the WBC scholarship fund since its inception. We salute Craig for all he has done for wine blogging and urge you pay him a visit next time you travel through Napa.

Blogger Profile – Jane Kelly Kosek

First time WBC attendee Jane Kelly Kosek, will be joining us this year in Penticton, British Columbia. Jane and her husband Steve have beenJane Kelly Kosek Bio Photo writing their blog, 2 Hollywood Winos, for just over one year.

An independent film producer by trade, Jane’s blog provides a “he said, she said” perspective on wine and wine regions peppered with stunning photography of their local travels.

Congratulations to Jane! I know she’ll walk away with great memories and a plethora of information.

Follow Jane and husband Steve’s blog on Twitter and Facebook.

Donor Profile – Allison Markin

“Will work for wine” those four words were the beginning of a journey for Allison Markin of All She Wrote. Allison uses her media and marketingAllison Markin bio photo skills at All She Wrote to create successful and meaningful social media campaigns. Her clients include those in wine, culinary, hospitality and tourism.

A resident of British Columbia Allison was a huge proponent of bringing the conference to Penticton. In addition to all the hard work she has been putting into the conference her donation to the scholarship allowed bloggers to attend and learn about those great Canadian wines.

A huge thank you to Allison for all her hard work behind the scenes, coordinating transportation for thirsty bloggers and her contribution that allows more bloggers to experience Penticton’s wonderful wine country.

You can follow Allison on Twitter and Facebook.