Scholarship Recipient: Christine Havens

Christine Havens considers herself an emerging writer, and loves to keep a pulse on what the current industry trends are.  This includes digital channels, and specifically wine apps.  With her background in winemaking background, and her globetrotting wine tasting adventures, she is currently waiting her WSET Level 3 exam results (im)patiently.

Her blog, Christine Havens, is both an extension of her Vivino wine reviews, as well as a place to feature some fantastic recipes.  She has been writing for the last two years, and is the #1 Vivino user in followers!  That is not an easy feat with millions of users worldwide.

She is excited to travel tot he Finger Lakes this August for her first Wine Bloggers Conference, and to experience a wine region she is unfamiliar with.  Let’s show her how the Finger Lakes can do more than Riesling, and give her a warm welcome!

You can follow Christine on:
Blog:  Christine Havens,
Twitter:  MsCMHavens
Facebook:  Christine.Havens

Instagram:  ChristineHavens

Scholarship Recipient: Matt McGinnis

Matt McGinnis wants to know What You Are Drinking!  Writing for the last 5 years, he continually strives to improve the quality of his blog and is excited to be joining us in the Finger Lakes for the Wine Blogger’s Conference.  His blog, What Are You Drinking, explores the everyday adventures of life, paired with delicious drinks.  Matt likes to dive in to the people along with the drinks, and spends a great deal of time interviewing brewers, distillers, and wine makers to share with his readers.

Matt is also a Certified Sommelier, and often judges beverage competitions.  Recognized as a Top 10 Food Blogger in 2013 and 2014 by the Austin Chronicle, we are lucky to have Matt join us in the Finger Lakes!  As a self-employed consultant (hrmm sounds familiar), he is excited to be selected as the Rodney Strong Vineyards Wine Blogger Scholarship winner of 2015, which will enabled him to join us for the Wine Bloggers Conference.

A prolific writer & contributor to several online publications, Matt gets around town and has really made a name for himself over the last 280 blog posts (5 years).  I look forward to reading more and meeting him in person in August!

Please stop by and say hi to Matt!

Blog:  What You Are Drinking!

Twitter:  MattMcGinnis

Facebook:  WhatRUDrinking

 

Coming up next:  Meet Rodney Strong Vineyards’ Robert Larsen and Laura Perret, the dynamic duo behind the Rodney Strong Wine Blogger Scholarship!

 

 

 

Blogger Profile: Peter Nowack wants to be YOUR bung cooper!

10013823_10204019393827803_73961657891477687_nPeter Nowack is a man in search for the smaller wine producers. Peter prefers to make his way past the tchotchkes of tasting rooms’ flar, and the grocery store end-caps. His interest is to meet the families behind the label, and learn about their story. Peter is not interested in rating wines, but rather sharing intriguing, and thought provoking wine country stories for those who’s livelihood is based upon wine.

Offering a glimpse at the people behind the scenes, the Bungrcooper digs in to the small production winery scene, where winemakers & owners are the brand.

Read more about this year’s scholarship recipient – Peter Nowack, at Bungrcooper.

 

 

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

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 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?

 

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.

 

Visit www.LayerCakeWine.com

 

CONTACT:

The Laura Kirkham Agency

Laura Kirkham

760.565.2425

Laura@LauraKirkham.com

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.

Recipient Profile: Kovas Palubinskas

NEWBIE! We are pleased to welcome Kovas Palubinkas (fresh meat) to the 2013 WBC in Penticton. Kovas writes 50 States of Wine and has been at it since 2011, however, this will be his very first WBC. 50 States of Wine focuses on attempting to, at a bare minimum, taste a wine from each of the 50 states. Kovas would eventually like to travel to a winery in every state, but will settle for just a taste, if need be.

An interesting goal to say the least! He should be able to knock out several states at the WBC as folks are always bringing unique things from their home states. I’ve had a wine from Indiana and a Dandelion wine from NH while in attendance, so all things are possible. Be sure to check out Kovas’ blog and give him a hearty welcome to the WBC. (I can’t find a photo of him, but will be happy to add one if it is provided!)

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.

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