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!




Donor Profile: Melissa Dobson

Melissa Dobson is a solopreneur based in the Finger Lakes region of New York.  You know, that place that didn’t get to host WBC this year?  She specializes in community management for small businesses in the wine industry.

Melisa began her business without knowing a single person in the wine business but rapidly immersed herself in reading about the industry and its influencers.  Today, she is a vital component of the Vin65 family (more about them later because we have mad love for Vin65 here) where she helped them developed a vibrant online community.  Melissa works tirelessly with Andrew Kamphuis, President of Vin65, and has elevated him to one of the most recognized though leaders in the wine technology sector.

That’s pretty impressive stuff for a formerly self-proclaimed technophobe, Melissa has dived head first in to new media platforms including Twitter, Facebook and blogs. She found that these tools helped her to engage and build relationships with the dynamic personalities within the wine industry community.

Prior to founding her own business, Melissa worked at Deutsch, Inc. in Manhattan on the PR team whose clients included Samuel Adams Beer, 7UP PLUS and Snapple.  While in New York City, she discovered her love of following trends and personalities in the wine and culinary industries.   SHe is active in the new media community and founded the Finger Lakes chapter of the Academy of Wine Communications. She has conducted interactive workshops to help small business owners understand and engage their customer communities via social media.

Thank you Melissa for being an awesome supporter of the WBC Scholarship for three years running!  We couldn’t do it without you!  Give Melissa a shout out on TWITTER and check out her own wine blog!

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.