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 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.


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?


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.





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.

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.

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.

Donor Profile – Mia Malm

Wine industry veteran Mia Malm heads up Malm Communications a boutique public relations and social media firm specializing in wine, food andMia Malm Bio Photo luxury lifestyle.

After a stint in dancing, singing and acting she traded in her Big Apple lifestyle to live among the grape vines in Napa Valley. There Mia’s passion for fine wine and food shines through.

Mia is well established in the wine community and is one of the very few in the US to hold a Diploma in Wine & Spirits (DWS).  Upon arriving in Napa she spent several years working with Constellation Brands, Robert Mondavi, Kim Crawford and many other powerhouse wineries. Mia truly has an innovative vision and a pulse on today’s wine consumers.

Please send a big shout out to Mia and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Donor Profile: Alina Ferguson

Alina Ferguson

Alina Ferguson

Alina joined us for the first time last year in Portland, Oregon. She has been writing her blog, One Girl, One Glass, One World since 2010.  She loves spending her free time exploring Oregon and Washington wine country. A little factoid about Alina is that when she is not out exploring Oregon and Washington wine country, she can be found at the nearest race track. She is a resident of Washington state and also loves spending time in the kitchen cooking up culinary delights.

Alina is a repeat donor to the WBC scholarship fund. We appreciate her continued support of the fund. Support from donors such as herself help give bloggers an opportunity to attend the conference who might not otherwise be able to attend. Please be sure to visit her blog and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook. We look forward to seeing you in Penticton Alina!

Donor Profile: Jason Phelps – Ancient Fire Wine

Jason Phelps

Jason Phelps

Jason Phelps writes the blog, Ancient Fire Beverage Blog. He joined us for the first time in 2011 in Virginia as a WBC Scholarship recipient and was also with us last year in Portland. In addition to writing his blog, Jason is also a winemaker, home brewer, and cider and mead maker. He loves traveling and exploring the world of food and wine. A resident of New Hampshire, Jason’s writing has been published in various magazines, newspapers, and blogs.

Jason is a repeat donor. His continued support ensures that we continue to help our newer bloggers have the opportunity to attend the WBC and benefit the way he has. Thank you for your continued support Jason! Please be sure to check out his blog and connect with him on Twitter and on Facebook.





Pay it forward!

Good morning kids!  There are only 43 days left until we jet off to Penticton!  But did you know, today is Pay it Forward Day?
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, pay it forward is simple.  Pay for someone’s coffee.  Pay for someone’s toll.  Or better yet, help send a writer to the 6th Annual Wine Bloggers Conference!

We are still trying to meet our challenge, to Make Tom Pay, which will give us a double bonus.  Remember, we have $130 more to go before Tom Wark matches our $500 challenge!  After that, Amy Anderson Gross will match Tom’s donation, by a dollar more!
So won’t you pay it forward today?

The WBC Scholarship is proud to be associated with Enobytes, a 501c education institution.  That means your donations are tax deductible for US tax payers!


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