Scholarship Recipient: Amanda Barnes – Around the World in 80 Harvests

Meet Amanda Barnes, creator and editor of Around the World in 80 Harvests, a wine blog chronicling her travels visiting 80 wine regions around the world. The name of her blog is a nod to the adventure novel by Jules Verne, Around the World in 80 Days.

This year, Amanda is the recipient of the Rodney Strong Wine Blogger Scholarship, specifically awarded to a digital writer who exhibits quality, quantity, consistency, and a community spirit.   This is the 2nd Annual Rodney Strong award, and we are excited to have this strong relationship!  The first recipient was Matt Mcginnis (2015) from Texas, and we look forward to our continued relationship.  Stay tuned for more in the Rodney Strong Scholarship!

An award winning freelance writer, Amanda moved to South America in 2009 to follow her curiosity and passion for wine. “What I love about wine is that its origin and impact has so much reach: nature, science, art, culture, history, and travel,” says Amanda. “The list of potential subjects is almost endless, which gives you a lot to write about – much more than just the bottle in your hand!”

In 2012 and 2013, Amanda was the runner up for UK Young Wine Writer of the Year Award, and runner up for the Great Wine Capitals Blogger of the Year award. She is also a member of the UK-based Circle of Wine Writers.

Today Amanda focuses on sharing the stories of the wines, winemakers and wineries of Chile and Argentina. This includes providing content for Oz Clarke’s Pocket Wine Guide and Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book among other publications.

“It’s my first time attending a Wine Bloggers Conference and I can’t wait to meet other bloggers and learn about what is exciting in their wine markets right now. Wine blogging is a niche and it is inspiring to meet other like-minded bloggers in this growing community.”

Connect with Amanda online at her BLOG and on TWITTER.

 

Editor’s Note:
We are so excited to welcome our international bloggers this year, Julien and Amanda!  We can’t wait to meet you and show you all about WBC!

Scholarship Recipiant: Mykhael Wilson is the PUrveyor of Happiness

10660252_10154676417435537_3760445843687845241_nIt was a fateful day in May of 2003 when Mykha’el had his first sip of wine.  He was soon to be 21 (what a rebel!) and a friend opened a Chianti Classico for a pasta dinner.  It was love at first sip.

“I have always had an appreciation for the relational and celebratory  aspects of wine and quickly became obsessed with how there is always something more to learn about wine.  I love that is it living and continues to evolve.”

Mykha’el worked in the wine industry doing back office phone and e-mail sales and had the opportunity to take place in blending trials for various wineries he worked with.  His blog, www.purveyorofhappiness.me  is so named because he felt he was selling clients happiness in a bottle.

“I am thrilled to be able to attend this year’s Wine Blogger’s Conference as I just moved to upstate New York and am excited to explore the Finger Lakes with fellow bloggers.  I am also grateful for the generosity of those that are allowing me to go”.  This will be Mykha’el’s first WBC and he is very excited to be attending the conference in his backyard.

Please stop by and say hi at:

Blog:  Purveyor of Happiness
Twitter:  @mykhael

Facebook:  mykhael.wilson.9

 

 

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: Kayla Koroush of The Barrel Theif

10523747_337237343094241_4046530349634509671_o

Photo courtesy of Wilfred Wong, all rights reserved.

Kayla Koroush, the California Barrel Thief, wants to show you how to pair wine with French fries!  Blogging since 2013, Kayla Koroush’s approach is that wine, and the knowledge that comes along with it, should be accessible to everyone. She wishes to “push the industry in front of the people and show them the artistry and passion”. She also aims to take the pompousness out of wine by delivering content that is relatable and relevant in all walks of life.

Her passion for wine came through winery visits. Those visits turned into a deeper curiosity and she left her job as a preschool teacher to work in the wine industry.

This is Kayla’s first WBC. Read more about her at Le Barrel Theif or follow

her on Twitter at @CABarrelThief!

Blogger Profile: Stay-At-Home-Mom (SAHM) with a passion for wine!

Blogging for the last 2.5 years, Alissa is the one and only SAHMmelier!  This former teacher-come-stay-at-
home-mom (and award-winning poet!), Alissa has a passion for wine, food, and education. Through  her blog, SAHMmelier, Alissa aims to make wine approachable. As a foodie, she enjoys experimenting with food and wine pairings and provides recipes to her readers.  As a mom, she likes to add in a little heart-felt humor or sentimental struggles, as any parent would understand.

After being involved with a strong and active community of Women Wine Writers online, Alissa is looking forward to the opportunity to meet and interact in person with many of those she calls her inspirations and mentors.

Finally, Alissa is based in the Texas Hill Country, so attending the WBC will give her the opportunity to introduce and promote Texas wine.

Let’s give Alissa a warm welcome to the WBC family! Follow her on Facebook: and Twitter and give her a shout out at the conference!

 

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