The original intention I had when Ryan left for the States a few weeks ago was relatively simple. Once my cast was removed from my hand two days after his plane took off, I would run out to our local sport shop and purchase a funky bike. ItÃ‚Â wouldn’t be anything fancy mind you, just something durable enough to allow me to zoom across the beautiful sandy beaches with my little front basket filled with a bottle of Mestres Cava and a freshly baked baguette with a block of sheeps cheese from Navarra. When I found the perfect spot where I could lay my checkered green blanket down on the silky sand, I would jump off my bike, prepare my lunch and enjoy a refreshing swim in Mediterranean followed by a siesta. Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it? However, life got the best of me and the “fantastic” Spanish medical system gave me an additional five more weeks in a cast, making it a total of seven weeks, with no guarantee that I would be able to see a doctor before the next millennium.
Was I a bit depressed? You bet I was! I stormed home, sat at my computer with the intention of pouring my pathetic woes out to Ryan by email when the phone rang from a Portuguese winery interested in knowing more about the European Wine Blogger Conference. Then another phone call, followed by email after email after phone call, all related to the event. Let’s not forget the ongoing requests from our clients, the creation of aÃ‚Â wine blog writing workshop on the OWC, or the maintenance of Catavino, which conveniently crashed during my watch. Suddenly, I was an airtraffic controller, and my plans to careen through the Pyrenees for two weeks seemed like a pleasant but distant memory.
However, there’s been something euphoric about the EWBC’s creation, knowing that we are literally trying to shove a square peg in a circular opening. The hours upon hours it’s taken for us to explain what we’re tryingÃ‚Â to accomplish to producers, retailers, bloggers, wine magazines, government agencies and potential sponsors has been challenging enough, but add to this fact that its vacation time in Spain and that no one wants to work, not to mention listening to my shpeel. Yet, miraculously, things are pulling together beautifully. The wines for the Grand Keynote Tasting span across Iberia, ranging in everything from Cava to Port and from Sherry to 100% Xarel.lo. Our 35 participants are now including countries such as Australia, Canada and the USA, in addition to Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and England. And let’s not forget an evening of tapas along Logroño’s famousÃ‚Â Calle Laurel, orÃ‚Â our winery tours at Miguel Merino or Marques de Riscal.
The entire reason why we came to Spain was to not only explore new cultures, but also, to push ourselves to new heights. A bunch of international folks hanging out at winery for 3 days chatting about wine blogging may not seem like much, but to have read each of their biographies and heard their stories puts a huge grin on my face.
After all, the Pyrenees aren’t going anywhere, but it sure feels like we are!