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:


Donor Profile – Hahn Family Wines

Celebrating their 30th vintage, Hahn Family Wines and Nicky and Gaby Hahn now harvest more than 1000 acres of vines in the Monterey County of CaliforniaHahn Family Winery - Hahn Estate Gate Entrance with nearly 50% in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA.

Comprising 9 brands including the famous Cycles Gladiator and the premium, estate bottled Lucienne Vineyards, Hahn Family Wines produces and distributes a wide range of wines for every palate and price point.

We’re extremely grateful for the Hahn Family’s continued support of the blogger scholarship fund as well as their commitment and support to bloggers across the wine community. They actively appreciate and support the work bloggers do with access to events such as their “Spring Fling” and other unique visit opportunities to their estate. Hahn sets an excellent example of how to engage with bloggers! Many Thanks!

Wines from the Hahn Family Wine labels are available at better restaurants, retailers and online at

Donor Profile: Cartograph Wines

Cartograph Wines was started in 2008 by Alan Baker (some of you may know him as the Cellar Rat) and Serena Lourie.  For Alan & Serena, wine is about the journey.  Once you open the wine, you are transported to a different place, and a different time.  For this dynamic wine making duo, Cartograph is a destination in to itself.  The story of their lives that brought them to the wine is represented on the five points of the map on the label you see to the left:  France, Minnesota, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and finally – Healdsburg.  Since cartography is the study of map making, and a cartographer is a mapmaker, these two are mapping out and adventure in wine.

Alan was an award winning radio personality on public radio when, in 2005 he decided that was that, and moved from Minnesota to California to follow his vision of wine.  Once he landed here in California, he worked at Unti Vineyards and Peterson Winery, while using his radio genius to createRatcasts From the Cellar Rat” a National Public Radio sponsored podcast.  This is where I first got to know Alan, through the voice on the internet; the voice that inspired, cajoled, and pushed me to learn more about wine.  These podcasts, writings and interviews with members of the industry quickly developed a loyal following (or, if you must, Rat Pack) which would eventually lead to the production of Alan’s first wine – Cellar Rat Cellars.  Cellar Rat was a community supported wine, where listeners, friends, and passers by could purchase and participate in the process of create wine inspired by Alan’s vision.

Enter Serena, who shared an equal interest in living the wnie life.  Serena Lourie was raised in both France and the US, and is firmly entrenched in the wine culture, inspired by her grandfather, a wine merchant.  In college, she focused on helping others and became an RN, earning her masters degree in nursing as well as an MBA along the way, specializing in child and adolescent mental health.  Clearly an underachiever, Serena was eager to explore the business practices of other industries, and joined a Japanese tech company in Silicon Valley.  Thriving on the energy of startup culture, she then joined the founding team of a venture capital firm whose mantra echoed her own trajectory: “we enable start ups, fuel the ambitions of their entrepreneurs, help them grow as people, and marvel at their audacity of their insistence upon changing the world”.  When she wasn’t working in the dot com world, Serena explored wine regions with curiosity and determination.  This exploration brought her to Crushpad, and Alan, who guided her in her first winemaking venture.

By 2009, they founded Cartograph, and today Alan’s primary focus is making the wine and Serena manages the daily operations.  So here we are, in 2011.  With two vintages of pinot noir, as well as a great little gewürztraminer for variety,Cartograph is becomign a rather infamous little microwinery.  A new tasting room will be opening later this summer just off the square in Healdsburg.  Stop by and give them some love!

I am fortunate enough to call them friends.  Please give them a shout out on Twitter or Facebook!

Thank you for your support and your belief in bloggers.  We salute you!



Piece of Cake!

It’s pie!  It’s cake!  It’s…


We are please to announce the Layer Cake Wine Scholarship!  Winemaker Jayson Woodbridge has endowed a scholarship for the North American Wine Bloggers Conference.  This $5,000 annual endowment will allow 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.

The 4th Annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference will take place in Charlottesville, Virginia on July 22-24, 2011.  It has previously been held in Sonoma, Napa, and Walla Walla, Washington; other locations under consideration for future conferences are the Finger Lakes region in New York, Paso Robles, and Willamette Valley, Oregon.

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.

We currently have nine applications, and are accepting citizen blogger applications until June 1, 2010. Please read the full rules here.

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 2011 North American Wine Bloggers Conference will be held in Charlottesville, VA July 22 – 24. The Conference is limited to 325 attendees. 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: Mounts Family Winery

Mounts Family Winery has been growing premium wine grapes for over 50 years, tucked away in a quiet corner of Dry Creek Valley.  From the vineyard to the bottle, quality through sacrifice is thier mission in creating delicious zinfandel, syrah, viognier, petite sirah and grenache!  There are many more wines worthy of discovery here on thier hillstop estate waiting to be tasted.

They have been welcoming to those of us in the blogging community and are active in social media and see how these new tools can help spread the word about thier wines.  I’ve been going to the winery since before I became a blogger, and fellow writers like Sonadora have been touting the merits of this hidden gem as well.  Mounts is known for their great events, including Passport to Dry Creek, and the wonderful themes they create.  Be careful, you might be asked to belly dance!

We appreciate your support and look forward to enjoying more of your juice!  If you’re in Dry Creek, please take a moment to stop by and say hi to Lana & Dave on Vine Creek Road.  You won’t be sorry!  Check them out on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with the latest news too.

Donor Profile 2: Hahn Family Wines

Hahn Family Wines has been one of the movers and shakers in social media when it comes to winery involvement.  with Lisa de Bruin (@winedivergirl)  and Philip Woodrow (@hahnwines & @philular) heading the charge, they have becoming a leader in social media interaction.  As Bill Legion, President of Hahn Family Estates said last year,

The blogging community is a vital part of the future of the industry. We are using our vineyards (and the wine) because that’s who we are. I believe that the more the blogging community learns about wine, the better it is for all of us. The internet and Social Media allow you to establish a relationship and an emotional connection to someone that I have never met face to face. It allows me to create connections with multiple people in multiple countries simultaneously and in a very personal way.

Hahn Family Wines is located in the Santa Lucia Highlands, in California’s central coast.  They are inspired to elevate Monterey wines to the highest levels of quality, and make wines that are special and distinct.  One of the things that makes Hahn special is that they create wines at every level, from “Banned in ‘Bama Cycles Gladiator – which has been the subject of quite some controversy due to its rather racy label (well racy if you’re from the Bible Belt and no sense of humor) which is budget friendly and conservative Alabama riot inciting, to the Lucienne single vineyard Pinot Noirs – Hahn wines are there for everyone.

Thank you Hahn for your continuing support for the WBC Scholarship and your contributions to social media, not to mention your love of bloggers!  I am looking forward to my 1 year old Pinot noir vine’s birthday this weekend!

Editor’s Note: Last year, several California bloggers were invited to participate in a unique opportunity to plant our own vines in a special Bloggers Block at the winery in the Santa Lucia Highlands.  This experience allowed the attendees to learn detailed information about the vineyard from the vineyard manager and staff, but also see and taste the local terroir from grape to glass with winemaker Paul Clifton.  Stay tuned for the update soon!

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