WBC Scholarship announces the EthniFacts Diversity Scholarship Grant!wbcscholarship

ethnifactsWine Blogger’s Conference Scholarship and EthniFacts Announce Multicultural Scholarship

(Dallas, Tx. May 27, 2015) – Today the Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship Foundation and EthniFacts, a multicultural knowledge and insights consultancy, announced the establishment of the “EthniFacts Diversity in Wine Writing Scholarship”, to encourage ethnic, gender, and cultural diversity in the North American Wine Bloggers Conference attendees.

“It is clear that while America is approaching a multicultural majority, particularly in Millennial and younger age groups, the number of diverse bloggers hasn’t kept up with that growth. The diversity of the new mainstream consumer should be reflected in those blogging to and educating this market,” said Mike Lakusta, CEO and Founding Partner of EthniFacts.  “This scholarship is meant to encourage participation and support of diverse candidates who write great blogs while providing expanded knowledge of wine regions throughout America.  ”

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.

  • First Year Attendee
  • Citizen Blogger with no paid wine writing experience
  • Diversity Candidate

“We appreciate the partnership with EthniFacts and look forward to growing this program in the future,” said Thea Dwelle, Co-Founder and Chair of the Wine Bloggers Conference 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 newly established scholarship will help make finances a non-issue.”

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 might be students with a particular focus in wine.

The eighth annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference is scheduled from Aug. 13-15, 2015, and brings together hundreds of wine bloggers, social media educators and leaders, and wine industry members in Corning, NY.

The Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship is partnered with Enobytes, 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

About EthniFacts: EthniFacts is a knowledge and insights consultancy with a comprehensive perspective on evolving consumer culture and civic and social engagement in a new multicultural America. For more information, please contact Mike Lakusta, mlakusta@ethnifacts.com and visit www.ethnifacts.com.

Blogger Profile: L’apprentie Sommeliere

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A social media consultant by day and a future sommelier by night, French-Canadian Marie-Hélène Boisvert has been L’apprentie Sommelière (The Apprentice Sommelier) since 2013. She aims to simplify wine pairings, share regional information and just help people make better choices about wine.

In addition to her blog, Marie-Hélène writes for SAQ (wine Québec monopoly), two TV channel blogs and Le Messager Weekend, a local Montréal paper.  She has been known to party in the Banfi Bathtub, and travels in packs with the other Canadian contingent at WBC this year.  Watch out she’s fun!

This is Marie-Hélène’s first WBC.   You can follow her on Facebook and on Twitter as well!

Donor and Committee Memeber: Cindy Rynning

20111223 IMG_9737-2Cindy has been writing her blog, Grape Experiences, since September 2011.  At some point she decided that tasting copious amounts of wine was great but she wanted to learn more.  After passing the WSET Advanced/Level 3 exam she began to swirl, sip, and savor wine as another step towards sharing this knowledge with her readers from around the world.  Living in Chicago, Cindy loves to attend wine dinners and tasting events as well as meet winemakers and others who enjoy sharing their wine journey with her.

Cindy is thrilled to have been able to contribute to the scholarship fund and help others attend such a fantastic conference this year.  As a full time teacher, she understands how mentoring others in any way is crucial to lifelong learning about wine and the continuation of the art of wine blogging.

 

Editor’s Note:  Thank you Cindy for your participation and help in judging the awesome scholarship kids this year!  We look forward to seeing you in the Finger Lakes!

Blogger Profile: Kayla Koroush of The Barrel Theif

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Photo courtesy of Wilfred Wong, all rights reserved.

Kayla Koroush, the California Barrel Thief, wants to show you how to pair wine with French fries!  Blogging since 2013, Kayla Koroush’s approach is that wine, and the knowledge that comes along with it, should be accessible to everyone. She wishes to “push the industry in front of the people and show them the artistry and passion”. She also aims to take the pompousness out of wine by delivering content that is relatable and relevant in all walks of life.

Her passion for wine came through winery visits. Those visits turned into a deeper curiosity and she left her job as a preschool teacher to work in the wine industry.

This is Kayla’s first WBC. Read more about her at Le Barrel Theif or follow

her on Twitter at @CABarrelThief!

Corporate Donor: Amy Anderson Gross makes Wine4.me!

Wine4.MeAmy Gross has been a friend of the WBC Scholarship for 3 years, and this year – she’s pulling double duty with Wine4.Me, as both an event sponsor and a Scholarship donor!  Amy has been a driving force in the challenge grant program we have – called #MakeThemPay.  We salute you for your enthusiasm and support of bloggers and wine! 

Wine4.Me is a new app that allows wine drinkers to find wines they like easily, by selecting characteristics of your favorite wines and creating your personal taste profile.  From that profile, you will get a list of other wines that you are likely to enjoy.  Pretty cool right?  Co-Founder and CSO Michael Tompkins, our head science guru, heads this part of Wine4.Me and he’s the one who developed the algorithm that makes Wine4.Me possible. Our team worked with sensory scientists, winemakers, and winery owners to develop our patent-pending system of evaluation. Then, we recruited some of the best wine evaluates in the country to evaluate the wines in our database. We called on more winemakers, wine educators, wine writers, sommeliers and more to evaluate the wines, and then we tested them.

The best part about Wine4.Me is that selections featured are widely available nationally, so you know you will be ablet to find something you like based on the recommendations.  While there are many wine recommendation apps out there, this is a great feature of Wine4.Me.

Amy, the co-founder and CEO of Wine4.Me, is also the brain behind Vine Sleuth Uncorked, a popular wine blog that covers everything from local wine events, to tasting notes, and travel experiences.

Thank you Amy & team for your support, and be sure to check out Wine4.Me as well as Amy on Twitter and Facebook!

Wine4.Me twitter facebook
Vine Sleuth twitter facebook

 

 

Josh likes to sherry his wine! Bloggership Recipient – Josh Decolongon

Joshua DecolongonJoshua Decolongon is self described as “clunky” (he failed at hip hop lessons) and “corked” (yes, he loves his wine).  Hailing from British Columbia, Josh had his first bottle of wine, a Burrowing Owl Syrah (from last year’s WBC host location, the Okanagan Valley), on his 19th birthday.  Luckily for Josh, the legal drinking age in Canada is 18 and he didn’t have to wait until he was 21 like we do!

Now, at the ripe old age of 22, he is a student at the University of British Columbia (UBC), leads the university’s Wine Tasting Club, has passed the WSET Advanced Level with Distinction, and is pursuing the WSET Diploma while prepping for the Certified Sommelier exam. Whew! Needless to say, wine and coffee are his two best friends.  Josh’s blog, Josh Likes Wine, is terrific and I love his humorous, engaging writing style.  In fact, I’m looking forward to hanging out with Josh at WBC…as long as he doesn’t call me Sherry

Please stop by and say hi to him on twitter, and check out his blog!  Be sure to spot the Scholarship Recipients at the conference (they will be wearing teal name badge ribbons that say…Scholarship Recipient) and introduce yourself too.

Editor’s Note:  I am super excited to welcome Josh to his first WBC.  The amazing accomplishments he has at his young age really represent what we want to attract, both at the conference, as a Scholarship Applicant, and in to the blogging community as a whole.  I truely enjoy is irreverent, fun, unique writing style, and know he will make Buellton a fabulous conference!  -Thea

Blogger Recipient: Alex Down

 Alex Down is The Riesling Revolutionary!  With a passion for Riesling, the thrilling balance of acidity, complex citrusy flavors and ability to respond to vineyard character really makes Alex’s passion come alive.

He has a particular passion for German Riesling, where he first stumbled upon this magical grape variety.

Alex strives to help wine lovers in the UK understand Riesling, spreading the Riesling gospel, one post at a time.

This will be Alex’s first Wine Bloggers Conference, and as he spends a lot of time evangelizing wine in the UK, he is looking forward to sharing notes about his favorite wines with wine lovers from around the world.  He is also looking forward to trying some delicious Riesling from the US, and expanding his knowledge to include California Riesling from our host region of Santa Barbara County.

We look forward to seeing you in Buellton Alex!

Please stop by and say hello to him at @AlexDownWine on twitter!

Make Them Pay!

With only 63 days left until the 8th annual Wine Bloggers Conference convenes in Buellton, CA, we are still working to make our goal of getting as many wine bloggers there as possible through our Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship Fund.  As always, there are too many applicants and not enough  funds, but through our Third Annual #MakeThemPay campaign, I hope to change that!


Formerly known as #MakeTomPay, this challenge grant was an idea born of a need for last minute donations to get those applicants approved and on their way to the WBC.  Now in it’s third year, the winning team of Tom Wark, of Fermentation, and Amy Anderson Gross, of Wine4.me have one again combined forces to really blow things out of the water!

Veteran of the wine industry, PR pro and blogger Tom Wark challenged us to raise as much money in the last week of applications as possible.  As such, he will match that donation up to $500.  So you know how this works, it’s a PBS Challenge Grant!  You give $50, he gives $50, and you get a groovy pledge gift (see awesome wine glasses).

But, there’s more!  Amy, who has now created a new wine app called Wine4Me, has challenged the challenge.  If we get our $500, and Tom gives his $500, Amy and Wine4Me will give us another $500!  So you see the new math here:  $500 = $1500.

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So now is the time!  If you were at all considering donating to the Scholarship, which by the way is a 501c tax deductible donation through our partner Enobytes, now is the time!  Triple the funding you can provide with #MakeThemPay!

This will be Amy’s third WBC, and the first as Wine4.Me.  This new app takes the guesswork out of buying wine, using objective characterization by industry-tested wine evaluators (including some of our very own wine bloggers), sensory science and a patent-pending personal preference algorithm..  There are literally hundreds of wine apps out there but I think this one might be something special.  I can’t wait to test it out myself!  Make sure you stop by and find Wine4.Me’s posse in Buellton.

Tom is a veteran of all 7 previous WBCs and is always a great conversationalist about the state of the industry.  the small group that has earned his Veteran badge ribbon.  We are down to 6 in this illustrious crew, and Tom is a great memeber of that team.  Make sure you ask him aobut how he feels about wine laws!

Donate today via this handy paypal link, and make sure add the memo “Make Them Pay up!” so we can keep track.  You can keep track of our progress with the handy thermometer on the right hand sidebar of the blog.

Thanks for your support!

Bring it people!

Editor’s Note:  At time of press, we have exceeded our highest exceptions.  We have already raised $720 since last night!  What do you say, can we make it $1000?

 

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!

 

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