Donor Profile: Melissa Dobson

Melissa Dobson is a social media mentor, and strategist for wineries and small businesses. Social media is a passion of Melissa’s, and she will talk you through the basics or help you keep your fans engaged with creativee ideas to make your posts and pages dynamic.  Melissa loves to focus on small boutique wineries and businesses to help them develop social media strategies and stand out amongst the crowd!  Some of her clients include the Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship sponsors Vin65, and Wark Communications, as well as Haber Family VineyardsFinger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing AssociationFinger Lakes Wine Alliance, and Specialty Wine Retailers Association.

She also writes the blog Family, Love, Wine from her home in the Finger Lakes region of New York, where she enthusiastically writes about local wines and happenings!

Thank you Melissa, for your continuing support – we look forward to seeing you again at the WBC!  You can follow Melissa on twitter at @melissadobson as well.





Blogger profile #3: The Vino File

Scott Wadlow started The Vino File in January of this year, and is breaking in to wine blogging with a bang.  The Vino File is a wine blog from a novice wine lover who is learning to become an expert, and enjoying the path amongst the vines through his creative outlet on the blog.  The Vino File is an educational journey through wine, and really shows the passion of a young wine drinker as he discovers the beauty of the bottle.

Scott is excited to join us at the Wine Bloggers Conference this year, where he, as a new blogger, can learn how to hone his quality and delivery on The Vino File.  He is also excited to be a part of such an important and growing genre.  We’re looking forward to having you in Walla Walla, and sharing information!

Please take a moment to say hello via Twitter and follow his blog!

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!

Blogger Profile – Wineing Woman

Amanda Maynard is the Wineing Woman.  She has been involved in wine since she could legally drink it, and currently writes her blog from the Boston area.  Contrary to most 21 year olds, Amanda spend her legal drinking age studying for the WSET, and learning about wine.

After the first WSET class, Amanda fell in to the wine industry and is loving life and learning a lot.  One of my favorite things about her is that as young wine lover, she is still learning and will never be done learning about wine.  She blogs about what she knows, and as a 24 year old, she is constantly learning more and as a result her blog is full of discoveries and excitement.  As a young professional in the industry, she will offer a unique perspective at the WBC from both a blogging and industry angle.

She is excited about the Wine Bloggers Conference, for the wealth of opportunity it affords bloggers, new and old.  She says that being amongst her fellow wine bloggers will help inspire her as a new blogger.  Being able to learn from more experienced bloggers and sharing ideas with all of the participating will expand her knowledge even more.  And then there is the wine!  Amanda is looking forward to expanding her wine knowledge with new regions, and exploring Washington wine will help her write more about the new wines.

We look forward to seeing you in Walla Walla Amanda!  Please take a moment to check out her blog and follow her on Twitter!

And now, a word about our sponsors…

First of all, we thank all of our generous donors who believe in blogging!  They have come through yet again, and supported our cause for blogging and the Wine Bloggers Conference in style.  Here, we will take a peek at each of our generous supporters and who they are!

Vin65 builds stellar winery websites and e-commerce solutions that work.   They offer solutions for managing winery websites including website design, e-commerce, content management, and customer relationship management, and have clients included Crushpad, Mission Hill (the largest winery in Canada), and stores such as Burgundy and Beyond and Everything Wine. They recently released a smart phone application that allows wineries to take their e-commerce solutions mobile, which makes the buying power of the mobile wineforce that much more powerful.

We sincerely thank Vin65 and the entire team for their continuing support of the WBC Scholarship!

Congratulations to all our winners!

It’s official!  The WBC Scholarship is sending some lucky bloggers to Walla Walla, and the Wine Bloggers Conference is SOLD OUT!  Today, I’m kicking off a series of profiles on our bloggers, as well as our generous supporters, so you can all see who believes in bloggers.

First, I’d like to introduce you to Emma Criswell. Emma’s blog is Dances with Wine, but she also writes for Palate Press, as well as an online wine magazine called The Second Glass.

She is about to graduate with her Masters degree in media and cultural studies, with an emphasis on wine culture, and will be a great addition to our blogging posse as a first time attendee in Walla Walla.  Emma is excited to attend this years conference to augment her thesis research, and to network nad learn from experienced professionals and bloggers.

Emma is looking forward at starting her career in wine here in California!  If you’re at the WBC, please stop by and say hi to her.

Here a wine there a wine

It’s hard to believe that the Wine Bloggers Conference is coming up in 71 short days.  Currently, the WBC is sold out, and there is a waiting list that grows every day.  We here at the WBC Scholarship Fund are clinging tightly to 10 slots for scholarship reciepiants, but we’re struggling to find funding for those 10 kids.  Times are tough, Walla Walla is expensive to get to, etc etc.

Enter Kaz & randy of the really big shoe, Wine Biz radio.  Last week our illustrious hosts shouted from the treetops how important the Wine Bloggers Confernece is becoming; the week before the interpid Tom Wark discussed hwo wine blogging has developed and channged in the past 5 years, and how it is influencing the wine industry.

To stand behind that belief, Kaz of Kaz Winery has offered a pledge gift of wine.  that’s right kids, those cool chatchis that get you to give money to the public TV stations has gone mainstream – to the WBC!  If you, our kind and dear readers and friends, can scrape up $100 or more from your couch cushions, tip jars, stripper money, bras, or the dust garden behidn the couch, kaz will give you some of his really cool wine in exchange.  All you have to do is tweet, email, text, smoke signal or run up to me and scream “KAZ SENT ME!” drop a cool C Note in my hand (or PayPal Account) and there you go.

If you’re curious what the scholarship has meant to people, check out the Wineing Woman’s post here, or last year’s post by recipiant Grace Hoffman.  If THAT doesn’t warm your cockles, then can I just get you drunk and take yo

See how easy that was?  C’mon!  What do you have to lose!


Over 300 wine bloggers, food bloggers, and industry representatives think that the third annual Wine Bloggers Conference is important!  The conference sold out in record time, and there is now a waiting list.
What this means for the scholarship is that we will have to close applications early, in order to allocate the 10 spaces we reserved for scholarship recipients ASAP since they are going to be very much in demand this year.
So, for all of you Wine Bloggers that are applying for a scholarship, the deadline is TOMORROW!  That’s Friday April 9th. I will however give you the weekend to get your apps in, since this is very short notice.  We will be allocating the funds next week, on a merit basis and you will be notified if you are awarded a scholarship.
We still desperately need your help and donations!  We are not currently able to fund every request that came in; there are currently 13 scholarship applications on deck.  The committee will need to make some difficult decisions over the weekend, and without your generous support, we will be unable to fulfill all of their wishes.
Please note that we now have some cool offers of support coming in from the field.  Please tune in to Wine Biz Radio FRIDAY April 9th to find out what the special offers are!
And please, keep those donations coming.

Am I valuable?

Really, that is the question that many wine bloggers, and for that matter, many traditional print media authors are asking themselves these days.

How does one measure their value, or the value of an inanimate object?  Value is subjective, and it is difficult to measure innately.  That said, as bloggers continue to spread the love about wines and stories they publish, if YOU my reader are paying attention, my blog and that post become valuable.

If you read a blog, or blogs, and you find value in what the writer is saying, then you are contributing to the value of that blog.  Most bloggers write for the pure love of wine (or whatever they happen to be writing about) and are not in to make money or sell a particular wine.  We dont’ get paid, we occasional get wine sent to us (which I might add is not ALWAYS good wine), and we have day  jobs.

The key in understanding wine bloggers is to know they are sharing information that they want you to know.  If a blogger reviews your wine or winery, they are effectively evangelizing your brand to their reading public.  That is the very definition of word of mouth marketing, in a new format.  For you, this is free advertising that gets more traffic to your site, and quite possibly more bodies in to your establishment.  The power of instant access tools such as twitter allow wine drinkers to review the experience as it happens, and spread that to their followers in real time.  For group tasting, or for people that follow twitter streams but may not be personally aware of your brand, that could mean an unscheduled trip in to your tasting room to check out what the buzz is about.

What could be better than that?

If you belive in bloggers, twitter, or social media in general, won’t you consider donating to our effort?  There are many bloggers that are unemployed, or simply cannot afford to make a trip to the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla, washington.  OUr Scholarship aims to select bloggers who wish to learn more about blogging, develop their writing style, and network with other bloggers and industry professionals in a  creative fun enbvornemtn for three days.

Hope to see you there!

WBC fills up fast!

Dateline:  Walla Walla

Join wine bloggers, new media innovators, and wine industry leaders on June 25-27 as they converge on Walla Walla, Washington for the 2010 North American Wine Bloggers Conference – the premier conference for new media and the wine industry.  This three day symposium builds on our past successes and brings you a unique opportunity to learn about and discuss the intersection of wine with the world of new media including blogging, social media, and more.

For the first time this year, the WBC is actively pursing Foodies and Food Bloggers to take part in the conference;wouldn’t it be great to have food bloggers at the ready to help us write about pairing the delicious washington treats we are going to have?

But beware!  As of February 3rd, the number of  registered participants has surpassed the total number of participants who attended the conference in the past.  This is amazing news, and it means that the secret is out!  The Wine Bloggers Conference has exploded in its 3rd year, and the buzz is going viral.  There are more people who want to attend than the WBC can accommodate, so if you want to go, please be sure to register early.  Space is going fast, and the host hotel only has 100 rooms for us.  The slow pokes will be stuck down the street and we all know what happens after hours at the WBC hotel.

As we are getting busier and busier, the Scholarship is starting to fall behind demand.  As of today, we have 7 applications, and I fully expect to have a flurry closer to the May 7th deadline.  Many of you have been generous in your donations, both as private citizens and corporate donors.  We thank you for your support!  For the rest of you, if you are a blogger or you value social media, won’t you consider giving up that extra cup of blue Bottle coffee, and donate today?

Thanks for your support!

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