Donor Profile: Larry Schaffer of Tercero Wines

larryschafferLike many winemakers, Larry Schaffer studied viticulture and enology at UC Davis. Those that know Larry, know him in several different ways. He is a father, teacher, foodie, baker, often making us drool at his bread photo postings, garagiste of stellar Rhônes, and Larry is what some might call: Rhône to the bone!”  

Larry’s passion for Rhone varietals is expressed in his Los Olivos winery, Tercero and Rhône Ranger support. He is often seen at small “mom and pop” wine shops and events pouring wine from beakers. Yes, beakers. Like the ones in a science lab, and reason for his nickname as the “mad scientist.”

Anyone that meets Larry, or follows his Facebook postings, will likely tell you he appreciates a good dialog. Larry asks thought provoking questions, truly wants to engage, and hear people’s perspective. If you have not experienced his Mourvedre Rose, “Cuvee Christie” (GSM+), or other great wines, they are well worth seeking.

 Larry Shaffer is a true supporter of the SBC region, and as I compose this little piece on Larry, I consider him one of the good guys, and friend.

Editor’s Note:  Larry recently started the uber cool blog, Wine Verbiage, where he discusses everythign from what’s up in thePicture industry, to how to succeed in business by making really awesome wine, and what it means to be a blogger.  Go check ti out!  Stop by and see Larry on Twitter, and also at WBC where he will be pouring his wine and speaking on a panel.

Go go Vino with our Corporate Donor – Hello Vino

Hello Vino LogoHello Vino, the app that helps you choose wines, is one of our corporate donors and has generously provided the souvenir GoVino glasses which you’ll be holding in your hand at WBC! 

As a product designer, developer, marketer, and web agency business owner from San Francisco since 2002, founder Rick Breslin started Hello Vino in 2009. Hello Vino is an app for “non wine snobs” who want to match foods with wine for any occasion.  User reviews, customer ratings, photos, wine tasting preferences, food and wine pairings, wine label image scanner, and location based recommendations are just a few characteristics of this wine app highly rated by the New York Times, Mashable, and NPR. Rick Breslin


Thank you, Rick and the Hello Vino team for your support!  Please find one of the Scholarship Committee reps to get your souvenir GoVino, courtesy of HelloVino!

Editor’s Note:  Check out Hello Vino on twitter, and their app page here!  Available for both iPhone and Android, Rick and the team are avid blogger fans and have many blogger provided reviews available on HelloVino.  Want to know what  your friends are drinking?  Check it out!

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


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!


Scholarship Applications are now CLOSED!

We’re sorry, but application for the 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship are now closed.

We have had over 15 applications, and now the hard part begins!

The committee will review each application and make a final determination by June 14th (hopefully earlier).

Good luck!

As always, please spread the word.  We can’t give everyone a scholarship, and we can’t give any one a scholarship without your help.

Happy Blogging!

Make Tom pay, AGAIN!

This just in! Amy, The Vine Sleuth wil lalso be matching Tom’s match!  Tha’ts right, Tom’s 500 smackers are worth $1000!  We can do this!  With 15 applications, we NEED you!  Please make your tax deductible donation TODAY!

These two extremely generous supporters will be on hand in Penticton, wearing handy dandy “Donor” badges.  Don’t you want to be cool like them?  Make it happen!



Do you remember last year?  When we were all excited to be meandering on up to Portland for the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference?  Well, at the time, we were pushing hard to get some donations, to support the bloggers who applied for a bloggership to attend the conference.

Luckily, support, wine PR professional, and wine blogger, Fermentation’s Tom Wark, has challenged the wine blogging community once again this year.  Tom, who has supported blogging, and this scholarship for many years, has issued an edict for you – my dear bloggers – to support our scholarship by donating up to $500.  Like a PBS pledge drive, if you meet this goal, we here at the scholarship benefit doubly!

In this matching challenge, Tom will donate an equal amount (up to a cap of $500).  I can’t tell you how far this will go!

To participate in this challenge, please donate today!  Be sure to add “Make Tom Wark pay!” in the memo, so we know that this is a matching challenge.

Every $5 counts (err well ok if could be $10 if you all chip in) so please, dig deep and help make Tom pay!  Donate today via this handy paypal link, and make sure you email us with the subject line “Make Tom Pay up!” so we can keep track of the challenge grant!

Bring it people!





Ready, set, GO!

Well here we are, just 94 days from the first North American Wine Bloggers Confernece to be held outside of U.S.  I’m thrilled to be returning to Penticton, British Columbia, in the heart of the Okinagan Valley wine region to the 6th WBC!  That’s right, I’ve been to every one and intend to maintain my Veteran status.  Are there any other veterans out there?  Let me know, as I have a special gift for you!
We already have nine scholarship applicants, and I expect them to start rolling in fast and furiously as we near the deadline, of April 15th.  yep, for you American’s that’s tax day!  Of course, we will accept your tax deductible donation any time, so please – feel free to donate early & often.
wined upSpeaking of which, my friends over at The Wine’d Up have, once again, craetd a super challenge!  They are giving aaway a room at the WBC to one lucky blogger.  But wait! There’s more!  Like a ginsu knife that keeps on giving, The Wined Up is donating $5 per entry to the Scholarship (maximum of 50 entries)!  That’s a double whammy!  Not only do you get entered to get a free hotel room, saving you a couple WBC13.pnghundred smackers, but you
earn %4 for the Scholarship.  C’mon, go ahead and apply!

Welcome to Penticton!

The 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference will take place June 6-8 in Penticton, British Columbia. Up to 400 citizen wine bloggers, industry bloggers, and other wine and social media professionals will gather from throughout the world to meet, learn, and share at this, the sixth annual conference.

Penticton is beautifully situated on two lakes, with hills on all sides, and vineyards on the lakeshore bluffs. It even has an old railroad bed converted into a trail that starts in town, overlooks the lake, and runs through vineyards. The Okanagan Valley wine-growing region runs from Kelowna in the north down through Penticton, Oliver, and Osoyoos, just above the Washington border. It is a long, beautiful valley with hills on both sides and there are sections where the vineyards around Oliver where vineyards cover the hillsides.

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 June 6-9, 2013 hundreds of wine bloggers, new media leaders, and wine industry members will gather in Penticton, British Columbia, for the sixth 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.

I’m pleased to say that hte applications are now OPEN!

To be considered for a bloggership, please complete the required fields on the form here.  Emailed applications will not be accepted.  WBC Scholarship Application

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 2011, the scholarship fund assisted 14 wine bloggers from the USA and Europe to attend the Wine Bloggers Conference in Charlottesville, VA. With an average personal donation of $100, and corporate sponsorship of $300, the scholarship fund raised over $8500. 100% of the funds supported the scholarships and bloggers received an average of $800 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).

For more information about the scholarship, please see our Press Release here.



Score!  By George we’ve done it!  We’ve reached out goal, and now, Tom Wark must pay!

As you have probably heard by now, Tom Wark has challenged the wine blogging community to come up with $500 in donations between now (well ok last Friday) and July 20th.  For every dollar up to $500 until then, Tom will personally match the donations!

As of today, we have…$565 worth of fresh donations!  Now, it’s time to make Tom pay!

easy fundraisers This means that not only have we met our first challenge, but we’ve exceeded it! So hey, Amy, pay up and show Tom how it’s done!  That’s right. Our secondary challenge from Vine Sleuth is now in the green zone! $501 additional smackers.

$565 + $500 + #501…$1565!

This successfully ensures that every applicant will receive funding for the 2012 Wine Bloggers Scholarship. This also means that we will be well on our way to assisting those that wish to join us in Penticton, British Columbia next year!

Than you everyone for your support, most notably Tom Wark and Amy Anderson Gross, who challenged all of you to make a difference by one upping Tom’s challenge.  I’d also like to thank the following individuals who dug in to their pockets (sometimes twice!) to help make this challenge successful:

Jeff Stai
Leslie Sbrocco
Michaela Rondell
Russ Beebe
Beau Carufel
Denise Medrano
William Allen
Frank Haddad
Caroline Henry
Mary Cressler
Liza Swift
Rachel Voorhees
Jason Graham
Jo Diaz

Please take a moment to thank everyone that made this possible, and spread the word about the WBC Scholarship!

And don’t be shy, if you still want to donate, it’s never too late!  We are in the 2012 tax year after all (as someone pointed out to me)


1 2 3 4 6