Make Tom Wark pay!

Have you heard the news?  We’ve been given a challenge!  Mr Fermentation himself, 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!

So far, over this weekend, we have already raised $280.  That means, really, we’ve raised an additional $560!  But why stop there?  We can still #makeTomPay another $220!  Every buck counts, and every buck counts double.

In fact, I’ve just been told, every buck counts TRIPLE!  If we meet our challenge of raising $500 by July 20th, The Vine Sleuth will up Tom a buck!  That’s right, if we meet our $500 challenge, Amy will donate $501!

This means… drumroll please…that if we meet our challenge, we will have an additional $1500 in the coffers!  Not only does this mean we will have all of our bloggerships fully sponsored, but we will be able to start the 2013 WBC Scholarship in the black.  My goal every year is to one up the scholarship in numbers of people we can assist, so let’s make this happen!

Every $5 counts (err well ok if could be $15 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!

Layer Cake Endowment Year 2!

We are please to announce the Layer Cake Wine Scholarship is now it it’s second year.  This endowment makes it possible for us to sponsor bloggers who would not otherwise be able to attend the WBC and we are so pleased to have the support of Layer Cake Wines.

Winemaker Jayson Woodbridge has endowed a scholarship for the Wine Bloggers Conference.  This $5,000 annual endowment will allow deserving recipients to attend the 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.

The 5th Annual Wine Bloggers Conference will take place in Portland, Oregon from August 17th through the 19th, 2012.  It has previously been held in Sonoma, Napa, and Walla Walla, Washington and Charlottesville, Virginia.  In 2013, it will be held in Penticton, British Columbia.

This event is recognized as the premier gathering for members of new media and representatives of the wine industry at large.  “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 establish the Layer Cake Wine Scholarship and make these scholarship funds available for those aspiring to do justice to the stories of the wine world.”

My absolute gratitude and thrill at this endowment sparked me to tell Laura Kirkham, who represents Layer Cake, that  “the generosity of Layer Cake Wines and Jayson Woodbridge will go a long way towards
fostering the wine writing talents of scholarship winners”.  This is so true, and never more so than now, the official kick off for this annual Layer Cake bonanza.  I further went on to say that 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 here at the WBC Scholarship are grateful for this vision.

I firmly believe that with this additional committmeent by Layer Cake that this Scholarship will grow more diverse and larger every year.

More 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 Barossa Valley, a Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina, an old vine Primitivo, aka Zinfandel, from Puglia, Italy, a California Central Coast Chardonnay, and a California Cabernet Sauvignon.
Visit | @layercakewine | Facebook:  Layer Cake Wines

About the 2011 North American Wine Bloggers Conference
The 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference will be held in Portland, OR August 17-19, 2012.  The Conference is limited to 350 attendees and is currently sold out.  Wine bloggers, wine industry leaders, and numerous wine and social media professionals will gather from throughout North America and beyond to meet, learn, and share. Noted wine writer and authority Jancis Robinson (and now Eric Asimov!) will provide keynote addresses.
For more information visit:

For more information about Layer Cake or Jayson Woodbridge, please contact Laura Kirkham of The Laura Kirkham Agency at 760.341.1410 |





Donor Profile: Debbie Gioquindo, the Hudson Valley Wine Goddess

Debbie Gioquindo is the Hudson Valley Wine Goddess.  What started out as an interest turned into a passion and that was the beginning says Debbie.

Debbie’s background is in marketing, and she has worked for a local TV and radio station, as well as owning a travel agency (one that focuses on sending people to the wine regions of the world).  She has also worked as a wine marketing consultant to the wineries in the Hudson Valley.

Beyond her wine career, Debbie has worked for a regional health insurance company doing community relations and social media marketing, until being downsized in February 2011. While on twitter deciding what she wanted to do with the rest of my life, she saw a tweet by @TheHappyBitch, a collegue, and so became a partnership made in Hudson Valley Wine heaven.

Wine has always been a passion of hers, and in 2006 Debbie began blogging about wine focusing on the wine region she grew up in – The Hudson River Valley region.  In 2010 she became a Certified Specialist of Wine, and in 2012 Debbie earned her Wine Location Specialist designation in Champagne and Port.

Debbie has been supporting the WBC Scholarship for several years, and we truly appreciate her support.  She has met some wonderful people and created great friendships through the wine blogging community and have learned a lot from them as well.  She feels that there is no better way to give back than to give another aspiring wine blogger a chance to network, learn and create new relationships by attend the Wine Bloggers Conference.


Debbie lives in Hudson Valley with her husband Paul, two children and dog. She is still looking for a day job to support her wine habit, but we’re happy she is a proud member of our wine blogging family!  We salute you Debbie, and thank you for your continued appreciation and support our our Scholarshp Fund!

Please visit her blog, and say hello to her on twitter!



That’s a wrap!

I still have to finish all of my individual thank yous for all of the support and great bloggers we’re getting to Virginia.

But, with 14 short days left until the 4th Annual Wine Bloggers Conference commences in Charlottesville, I just wanted to make sure that we shared all the good news!

This year, we have fourteen blogger recipiants.  This is a new record!  The Scholarship is in its third year, and I’m seeing the number 20 for next year!

The bloggers are:

  1. Nannette Eaton – Wine Harlots | @wineharlots
  2. Denise Medrano  – The Wine Sleuth | @winesleauthuk
  3. Jason Phelps – Ancient Fire Wine | @ancientfirewine
  4. Rich Reader – VineBuzz | @vinebuzz
  5. Chandra Savage – Mo Wine
  6. Lorie Perrone – Wining Ways
  7. Kris Chislett – Blog Your Wine@krischislett
  8. Douglass Trapasso – Chicago Pinot | @demilove
  9. Raelinn Doty – Wine Ophelia | @raelinn_wine
  10. Bridget Cheslock  – Glamourous Gourmet Girl
  11. Charlotte Chipperfield – The Wine Key
  12. Kathleen Rake – Between the Vines | @kathleenrake
  13. Jon Thorsen – Reverse Wine Snob |@reversewinesnob
  14. Kay Zink – A to Zinfandel

Our corporate sponsors, who have our undying gratitute and support!
Amy Corron Power – Another Wine Blog | @winewonkette
Melanie Ofenrich – Dallas Wine Chick | @melanie0
Joe Herrig – Suburban Wino | @suburbanwino
Liza Swift – Brix Chicks | @brixchicks_liza
Amanda Maynard – Wineing Woman | @wineingwoman
Megan Kenney – Wannabe Wino | @sonadora
Scott Wadlow – The Vino File | @thevinofile
Debbie Gioquindo – Hudson Valley Wine Goddess | @hvwinegoddess

The Committee
Thea Dwelle – Luscious Lushes (yeah ok that’s me but hey, I need blog love too!) | @luscious_lushes
Amy Corron Power – Another Wine Blog | @winewonkette
Jason Mancebo – $20 Wine Blog | @20dollarwine

Congrats to our bloggers and thank you to our donors, and our committee!
Please take a moment to reach out to everyone and say hey.
If you’re in Virginia, come by and see me – I have cool namebag swag!  Each badge ribbon is $2, 3 for $5, and all proceeds go to support the scholarship next year.
We have:


Who says there are no second chances?

says there are too second chances!  As proof of this, this dynamic wine technology company that offers solutions for wineries wanted to make sure that no one would be left out.  Heck, fundraising is HARD people!  Without the help of people like Vin65 the Scholarship would be hard pressed to send 5 people, let alone 14.

Vin65 has created websites for the likes of Twisted Oak, IBG, Crushpad and more.  Their missing is simple – to make engaging, pleasing, and simple to manage websites for the wine industry.  Customers shouldn’t have to spend hours searching for what they need.  Vin65 makes it easy.

This year, in addition to their generous support of the WBC Scholarship, Vin65 also decided to do something a little bit different.

Andrew Kamphius, the founder and lead tech brain, asked me how he could contribute more.  With help from PR extrodinare Mellissa Dobson, we decided that a second chance Vin65 Second Chance Scholarship would be a great way to help a blogger who for one reason or another, didn’t make the final cut. WOW!  Not only will you give us enough funding to ensure that one blogger can go to WBC, but you’ll help us take someone who is relegated to the waitlist as well?  AWESOME!

I’m pleased to say, that with Vin65’s help, this year we were able to send 14 bloggers to the WBC, which *gulp* starts on Thursday evening in Charlottesville, VA.

Congratulations to Bridget Cheslock, the winner of the Vin65 Second Chance Scholarship! You will be a welcome addition to the blogger crew and we are happy to afford you this opportunity.

Sincere thanks to Vin65 for their ongoing support of the scholarship.  Technology and wine goes hand in hand with wine bloggers, and Vin65’s dedication to the WBC Scholarship is 3 years strong.


Donor Profile: I know it’s SOMEWHERE in the “Vino File”

Spoiler Alert: Scholarship Redux….well, kind of.

Scott Wadlow, the publisher of “The Vino File” brings a wonderful voice of character to the wine blogosphere.

Of course, Scott writes interesting wine reviews on a range of varietals and types of wines. He uses a well defined point scoring system, likes to educate his readers and, of course, be educated by them and also appreciates an interaction on a variety of mediums including on twitter where he answers to @thevinofile.

..and while Scott likes to engage his readers for a variety of reasons the one he’s most excited about is plain old FUN. That’s right. Nothing complicated, no creative adjectives or $10 words. Fun.

There’s great transparency in the simple things. Nothing to get in the way. Nothing to confuse. Read some reviews, drink some wine, engage in a discussion or two, learn a bit, teach a bit. Simple. FUN!  I think what Scott is getting at is, for him, it’s not about the technical geekdom of a wine but rather about the experiences that wine brings to enhancing life.

It’s quite nice to see that enhancing life is a big part of his “Raison d’être“….and now to the REDUX part. Scott was a WBC Scholarship recipient in 2010. I met him in Walla Walla, WA for the first time and really enjoyed his take on blogging. This year, he returns the favor so that someone else may enjoy the experience that he did, may meet new friends and colleagues and might just learn how to have some fun!



Donor Profile: Doug Levy is a (formerly) Marin Foodie!

Doug Levy is a lawyer, a foodie, and a blogger, who currently resides in New York.  A former reporter for USA Today,  Doug’s love of food started when he was in college living in Berkeley, where the local Gourmet Ghetto beckoned.  Travelling around the world, Doug has enjoyed some of the best food and wine there is to offer.

A former WBC Scholarship recipient, Doug looks forward to learning from guest speakers Jancis Robinson, as well as long time bloggers at this years conference.  We thank you for your support of other bloggers!

Give Doug a shout out on Twitter and check out the blog!

Donor Profile:Megan Kenny really wants to be a wino!~

I think she’s already there myself, but Megan is the Wannabe Wino.  She helped me start the WBC Scholarship 3 years ago, and balances a busy full time job for the government with being a new mom.  Oh, and did I mention the most prolific wine blogger out there?

Megan first fell in love with wine, and Sonoma wine in particular, when visiting for her honeymoon several years ago.  A life long wine drinker, this true installed a passion in her.  Arriving home with several cases of wine, she wanted to learn what other people thought of the wines she discovered.  She didn’t find much information on the wines, but she did find a lot of wine blogs.  Hooked immediately, she started writing Wannabe Wino.

Her blog chronicles wine tasting adventures as she and her husband (and new daughter) drink thorough her collection of wine.  Living in the DC metro area, it will an easy hop for Megan to join us in Virgiina.

I can’t wait!

Please give her a shout at @sonadora and check out her blog!  Some of my favorite wine reviews are there!


Donor Profile: A think tank for wine businesses, Vintank

Vintank envisions bringing wine closer to technology.  To do this, they are working hard every day to build a framework where wine and technology collide.  Developing new strategies and ideas, these experienced wineaux and tech geeks analyze, research, and form strategic evaluations to help solve complex problems.

Vintank has been supportive of the WBC Scholarship over our lifetime, and we thank them for their continued belief in bloggers and the Wine Bloggers Conference!  Through their support and promotion of wine bloggers individually and their promotional services given to the finalists in some top blogger contest (such as the Murphy Goode social media guru run a couple of years ago), Vintank gets things done.

GIve them a shout at @vintank and check out what they do.  It’s pretty cool!  Plus they know how to throw a party.

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