This is an indispensable tool for those who want to follow, in English, what really goes on in the world of Spanish and Portuguese wines – lively, informative and, most important, first-hand, on-the-scene knowledge!
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European Wine Blogger Conference 2008

Wine Blogger

Last year, we chatted about the idea of having a wine blogger conference in the Wine Blogger Facebook group. Ideas we’re thrown about and plans tentatively put into place. The consensus at the time, as far as I could tell, is that we need to have a conference, and that we can’t wait to participate. But from the looks of it, not much else was decided.

Fast forward to today. Robert McIntosh of the blog The Wine Conversation who also works to promote Rioja wines in the UK, and I have talked on and off for a few months trying to figure out how we can arrange to meet up. Due to the holidays, and many other inconveniences, we haven’t yet shaken hands, but we have brainstormed and come to the conclusion that we should try to put together the first European wine blogger conference here in Spain. We figure that this will not be the first, nor the last, nor will it be the slickest, shiniest one, but it will be a start and a place to begin the conversation among, in this case, European based wine bloggers. I do hope that at least one or two non-European bloggers might be able to join us as well. So without saying too much, we’d like to open the doors to suggestions and ideas. So far, here is a run down of what we hope to do, and what we have to work with:

Dates: Last weekend of August 29-31st – Thoughts are that the vineyards will be beautiful, and most Europeans will still have some holiday left. We think 3 days would be enough and not cause to much of a burden on the pocket books of wine bloggers! I promise that if anyone comes from anywhere that is more than a 2hr plane ride, I will personally help you to fill a week with activities if you are interested. (Maybe a roof top tasting!)

Location: Rioja. Not exactly sure where, but we would probably use Longrono as a central point to move out from. Robert works with Dinastia Vivanco who has offered us the use of their conference center to host talks by wine bloggers and other industry types. Plus, the harvest in Rioja is later than in many other regions in Spain, so we may be able to pry a few wine makers away from their bodegas for a session.

Activities: 3 days, 2 working days. We are thinking of hosting 2 main events. One day a wine tasting of wines from Rioja, and maybe other regions in Spain. Another idea if we can get some participation outside of Europe, it would be fun to taste Iberian varietals from abroad, against their local counterparts. We can either have wineries present their wines, or we can maybe do some theme tastings, blind, or otherwise. The main point is one night/day of drinking, tough I know, but someone has to do it!

On Saturday, we would set up 1 room in order for some leading bloggers, and wine maker, to give talks. We hope to invite a blogger or an online marketer from the UK and possibly the US to speak and share their thoughts on wine blogging. We might do a rotation so that we can have opportunities to listen to various speakers, or one or two guided tastings during this time.

Finally, on Sunday, we can potentially visit a winery or two and/or take off for home. This is a VERY rough sketch of what we hope to do, suggestions and thoughts are welcome.

Costs: We hope to find sponsors for most of the event. Travel and lodging would most likely be your own responsibility, though we may be able to find some group rates so that we can all be in the same hotels. Additional costs might include a fee for a meal that we all share one night. Thoughts?

Sponsorship: If you have a business or company that might want to help make this event a reality, please contact us, and we’ll talk. We are looking for people to help defer the costs of sending over some non-European bloggers, and for general planning and organization. Hotels, restaurants, or transportation costs are all in need of sponsorship

The Objective: Wine bloggers from Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Britain all making the trip to hang out with us, lots of wine tasting, the chance for vineyard visits, and an open and honest dialog about blogging.

Also we’re thinking of creating a website for the conference to host some of the content: write-ups, podcasts and possibly even video. I think we’ll set something up at subdomain of WineBlogger.info, something like: www.EWBC2008.wineblogger.info

In the end, we still have a ways to go. We will do this, even if it is just Gabriella, Robert and I sitting in a Rioja cafe, drinking sample bottles of random wines from Iberia and beyond. Also, as a prelude to this event, I’m proposing a wine bloggers dinner in March . Here in Barcelona Alimentaria, one of the biggest wine and food shows in Europe, will be going on March 10th-14th. Any bloggers who decide to attend, or local BCN wine bloggers, are welcome to email us about attending a wine blogging dinner. I believe we’ll have a winery helping to sponsor the dinner, and if there is anyone out there who needs a place to stay while in town, we have one futon that is open to the first request. The futon comes with some rooftop grilling sessions! So it’s quite the deal! ;) Much more on this at a later date!

Robert I’m sure will chime in and share his thoughts, and I ask all other bloggers out there to join us in the discussion. Here’s a list of Iberian Wine Bloggers who I think need to join us, but please don’t be offended if you’re not on the list. Just send us a link and we’ll fix it.

Adictos a la Lujuria · Copo de 3 · De Vinis Cibisqve · El Baranda · Els Vins de Pilar i Jose · Encantadísimo · Estintobasico · La Casa de Antociano · La Guarda de Navarra · La Otra Botella · Notas de Catarsis · Os Vinhos · Pingas no Copo · Pisto y No Pisto · PoLaKia · QVinho · Roco & Wines · Vadebacus · Vino Perdido · Sobre Vino · Blog · Abaceria del Sug Blog

If you know of others, please list them in the comments. Finally, if you would like to attend, email us at here. English, Spanish or Portuguese is fine. Just know that I only respond fluently in English, and so-so in Spanish! ;) Robert also can handle the Italian and French if anyone wants to chime in from our neighbors to the east!

There you have it, now let us know what you think!

Cheers,
Ryan Opaz

  • Andre Ribeirinho

    Hi Ryan, this a great idea. Wine Bloggers are getting more and more (much deserved) attention and it was time a conference like this would take place. We're are working to help enhance that and let people find and follow more bloggers. We've just launched <a href="Wine ” target=”_blank”>http://blog.adegga.com/wine-blogger-accounts-and-wine-bloggers-list/“>Wine Blogger Accounts in Adegga and it's only the start. We would love to help promote the event. If you're interested let us know. Cheers, André

  • Andre Ribeirinho

    Hi Ryan, this a great idea. Wine Bloggers are getting more and more (much deserved) attention and it was time a conference like this would take place. We're are working to help enhance that and let people find and follow more bloggers. We've just launched <a href="Wine ” target=”_blank”>http://blog.adegga.com/wine-blogger-accounts-and-wine-bloggers-list/“>Wine Blogger Accounts in Adegga and it's only the start. We would love to help promote the event. If you're interested let us know. Cheers, André

  • Andre Ribeirinho

    Hi Ryan, this a great idea. Wine Bloggers are getting more and more (much deserved) attention and it was time a conference like this would take place. We're are working to help enhance that and let people find and follow more bloggers. We've just launched <a href="Wine ” target=”_blank”>http://blog.adegga.com/wine-blogger-accounts-and-wine-bloggers-list/“>Wine Blogger Accounts in Adegga and it's only the start. We would love to help promote the event. If you're interested let us know. Cheers, André

  • Andre Ribeirinho

    Hi Ryan, this a great idea. Wine Bloggers are getting more and more (much deserved) attention and it was time a conference like this would take place. We're are working to help enhance that and let people find and follow more bloggers. We've just launched <a href="Wine ” target=”_blank”>http://blog.adegga.com/wine-blogger-accounts-and-wine-bloggers-list/“>Wine Blogger Accounts in Adegga and it's only the start. We would love to help promote the event. If you're interested let us know. Cheers, André

  • Robert

    Thanks Ryan. My thoughts are duly posted on <a href="” target=”_blank”>http://wineculture.blogspot.com/2008/01/its-really-about-drinking-wine.html“>my blog, and I've also alerted the Wine Bloggers group on facebook. You (as admin of that group) might want to also set up a facebook event so people could be invited and show their ability to attend?! I think this is very exciting and I really look forward to it. I've got a call in to various people in the UK to see what interest we could generate here.

  • Robert

    Thanks Ryan. My thoughts are duly posted on <a href="” target=”_blank”>http://wineculture.blogspot.com/2008/01/its-really-about-drinking-wine.html“>my blog, and I've also alerted the Wine Bloggers group on facebook. You (as admin of that group) might want to also set up a facebook event so people could be invited and show their ability to attend?! I think this is very exciting and I really look forward to it. I've got a call in to various people in the UK to see what interest we could generate here.

  • Robert

    Thanks Ryan. My thoughts are duly posted on <a href="” target=”_blank”>http://wineculture.blogspot.com/2008/01/its-really-about-drinking-wine.html“>my blog, and I've also alerted the Wine Bloggers group on facebook. You (as admin of that group) might want to also set up a facebook event so people could be invited and show their ability to attend?! I think this is very exciting and I really look forward to it. I've got a call in to various people in the UK to see what interest we could generate here.

  • Robert

    Thanks Ryan. My thoughts are duly posted on <a href="” target=”_blank”>http://wineculture.blogspot.com/2008/01/its-really-about-drinking-wine.html“>my blog, and I've also alerted the Wine Bloggers group on facebook. You (as admin of that group) might want to also set up a facebook event so people could be invited and show their ability to attend?! I think this is very exciting and I really look forward to it. I've got a call in to various people in the UK to see what interest we could generate here.

  • Andrew

    sounds most fun! Not sure about the dates but if I can make it, I will!

  • http://blog.adegga.com Andre Ribeirinho

    Hi Ryan,
    this a great idea. Wine Bloggers are getting more and more (much deserved) attention and it was time a conference like this would take place. We’re are working to help enhance that and let people find and follow more bloggers.

    We’ve just launched Wine Blogger Accounts in Adegga and it’s only the start.

    We would love to help promote the event. If you’re interested let us know.

    Cheers,
    André

  • http://wineculture.blogspot.com Robert

    Thanks Ryan.

    My thoughts are duly posted on my blog, and I’ve also alerted the Wine Bloggers group on facebook.

    You (as admin of that group) might want to also set up a facebook event so people could be invited and show their ability to attend?!

    I think this is very exciting and I really look forward to it. I’ve got a call in to various people in the UK to see what interest we could generate here.

  • http://www.spittoon.biz Andrew

    sounds most fun! Not sure about the dates but if I can make it, I will!

  • Alastair Bathgate

    Hey Ryan Sounds like a great idea. I would love to come over and will see if I can secure a slot (and a budget). Cheers

  • Gerry Dawes

    Dear Ryan, Sounds like a great idea, but I would seriously think of changing the dates to sometime later in September or to begin at a day or so after the end of another Spanish wine feria, so that those from outside Spain can use one plane to attend both events. Airfares are going to be the problem in August and, since this is a conference for bloggers, they may not be tied to vacation time to come. Just a thought. Also, La Rioja might be interested in underwriting this event as part of their Los Grandes de la Rioja tastings. My best, Gerry

  • Robert

    seems that the UK contingent are doing well. Ou sont les français? E gli italiani, dove siete? I think Gerry's point is interesting, but we have to pick a date for the moment and if others would like to chip in with alternatives if these don't work, then by all means let's discuss it.

  • http:/www.alastairbathgate.com Alastair Bathgate

    Hey Ryan

    Sounds like a great idea. I would love to come over and will see if I can secure a slot (and a budget).

    Cheers

  • http://gerrydawesspain.blogspot.com Gerry Dawes

    Dear Ryan,

    Sounds like a great idea, but I would seriously think of changing the dates to sometime later in September or to begin at a day or so after the end of another Spanish wine feria, so that those from outside Spain can use one plane to attend both events. Airfares are going to be the problem in August and, since this is a conference for bloggers, they may not be tied to vacation time to come. Just a thought. Also, La Rioja might be interested in underwriting this event as part of their Los Grandes de la Rioja tastings.

    My best, Gerry

  • Franco Ziliani

    Good idea! I'm very interested. I'm Franco Ziliani of Vino al Vino <a href="http://www.vinoalvino.org “>http://www.vinoalvino.org Italian wine blog please, stay in touch! all the best! Franco

  • Franco Ziliani

    Good idea! I'm very interested. I'm Franco Ziliani of Vino al Vino <a href="http://www.vinoalvino.org “>http://www.vinoalvino.org Italian wine blog please, stay in touch! all the best! Franco

  • Franco Ziliani

    Good idea! I'm very interested. I'm Franco Ziliani of Vino al Vino <a href="http://www.vinoalvino.org “>http://www.vinoalvino.org Italian wine blog please, stay in touch! all the best! Franco

  • Franco Ziliani

    Good idea! I'm very interested. I'm Franco Ziliani of Vino al Vino <a href="http://www.vinoalvino.org “>http://www.vinoalvino.org Italian wine blog please, stay in touch! all the best! Franco

  • http://wineculture.blogspot.com/ Robert

    seems that the UK contingent are doing well.

    Ou sont les français? E gli italiani, dove siete?

    I think Gerry’s point is interesting, but we have to pick a date for the moment and if others would like to chip in with alternatives if these don’t work, then by all means let’s discuss it.

  • http://www.vinoalvino.org Franco Ziliani

    Good idea! I’m very interested. I’m Franco Ziliani of Vino al Vino http://www.vinoalvino.org Italian wine blog
    please, stay in touch!
    all the best!
    Franco

  • Sobre Vino

    Dear Ryan, This is a good idea. Gerry's thoughts about the date are worth considering. I would be glad to participate and help in organizing the event if needed, as I live not far from Rioja. Regards, Sobre Vino

  • http://www.sobrevino.com Sobre Vino

    Dear Ryan,

    This is a good idea. Gerry’s thoughts about the date are worth considering. I would be glad to participate and help in organizing the event if needed, as I live not far from Rioja.

    Regards,

    Sobre Vino

  • Dr. Debs

    Great idea, Ryan and Rob. I can't be there, because it will be the first day of classes (hard to miss), but will be eager to hear all the reports.

  • ana

    very nice idea! i do not have a blog but I would like to assist as I have big interest in wine and I come from La Rioja, so I would be there and can help, even I could ask my sister, she is enologist and could take some wine tasting if needed..or translation there.. best regards ana ps: have a look at <a href="http://www.lomejordelvinoderioja.com “>http://www.lomejordelvinoderioja.com

  • ana

    very nice idea! i do not have a blog but I would like to assist as I have big interest in wine and I come from La Rioja, so I would be there and can help, even I could ask my sister, she is enologist and could take some wine tasting if needed..or translation there.. best regards ana ps: have a look at <a href="http://www.lomejordelvinoderioja.com “>http://www.lomejordelvinoderioja.com

  • ana

    very nice idea! i do not have a blog but I would like to assist as I have big interest in wine and I come from La Rioja, so I would be there and can help, even I could ask my sister, she is enologist and could take some wine tasting if needed..or translation there.. best regards ana ps: have a look at <a href="http://www.lomejordelvinoderioja.com “>http://www.lomejordelvinoderioja.com

  • ana

    very nice idea! i do not have a blog but I would like to assist as I have big interest in wine and I come from La Rioja, so I would be there and can help, even I could ask my sister, she is enologist and could take some wine tasting if needed..or translation there.. best regards ana ps: have a look at <a href="http://www.lomejordelvinoderioja.com “>http://www.lomejordelvinoderioja.com

  • http://goodwineunder20.blogspot.com Dr. Debs

    Great idea, Ryan and Rob. I can’t be there, because it will be the first day of classes (hard to miss), but will be eager to hear all the reports.

  • ana

    very nice idea! i do not have a blog but I would like to assist as I have big interest in wine and I come from La Rioja,
    so I would be there and can help, even I could ask my sister, she is enologist and could take some wine tasting if needed..or translation there..

    best regards
    ana

    ps: have a look at http://www.lomejordelvinoderioja.com

  • Eduardo Benito

    A great idea!. I will try to attend it and, of course, I would record the meeting for Vinus Television. Regards, Eduardo.

  • Ryan

    Thanks to all for the support so far! I think this will be a success, all we need now is to nail down some dates. PLEASE send this to everyone you know who may be interested. I'm going to put up a poll and have all of you vote on the best dates for you. We are a bit limited, but I think we can find something that works for the majority of the people. Stay tuned for more info!

  • http://www.vinustv.es Eduardo Benito

    A great idea!.
    I will try to attend it and, of course, I would record the meeting for Vinus Television.

    Regards,
    Eduardo.

  • http://www.obiscoito.com Ryan

    Thanks to all for the support so far! I think this will be a success, all we need now is to nail down some dates. PLEASE send this to everyone you know who may be interested. I’m going to put up a poll and have all of you vote on the best dates for you. We are a bit limited, but I think we can find something that works for the majority of the people.

    Stay tuned for more info!

  • andrea gori

    I am interested too! Count me in, my sommelier's blog (but I thinks catavino knows be 'cause my partecipation in WBW about portugal) is http:vinodaburde.simplicissimus.it I am in your facebook group too

  • andrea gori

    I am interested too! Count me in, my sommelier’s blog (but I thinks catavino knows be ’cause my partecipation in WBW about portugal) is http:vinodaburde.simplicissimus.it
    I am in your facebook group too

  • Genevieve

    Great initiative! It would be nice to meet other wine bloggers, share wines and experiences with them. I will give a good think about Rioja and any contacts that may be useful. If I can be of help in other ways, here in London, let me know. Waiting for a date for the dinner at Alimentaria. Gen

  • http://gareauxgouts.blogspot.com/ Genevieve

    Great initiative! It would be nice to meet other wine bloggers, share wines and experiences with them. I will give a good think about Rioja and any contacts that may be useful. If I can be of help in other ways, here in London, let me know.

    Waiting for a date for the dinner at Alimentaria.

    Gen

  • emilio

    Hi Ryan, I'll do my best to sponsor the Alimentaria Wine Blogging Dinner through Bodegas Tintoralba (tintoralba.com/blog). About the EWBC in Rioja, I could contact some of the wineries I know to see if/how they can collaborate. I suggest we get together for Alimentaria at Tuesday 11-March-2008, the second night of the fair. Any suggestions where? Emilio

  • http://www.winemeetingpoint.com emilio

    Hi Ryan, I’ll do my best to sponsor the Alimentaria Wine Blogging Dinner through Bodegas Tintoralba
    (tintoralba.com/blog). About the EWBC in Rioja, I could contact some of the wineries I know to see if/how they can collaborate.

    I suggest we get together for Alimentaria at Tuesday 11-March-2008, the second night of the fair.

    Any suggestions where?

    Emilio

  • David J

    Ryan, I don't know how I'm going to schedule all i want to do this year. I'm still holding on to the possiblity of putting my name on a barrel of 2008, say, Bonarda, before I quit Mendoza. Even if that doesn't work, I believe I'm developing some relationships for the longer term. I celebrate my 25th graduation anniversary from NYU this year, &amp; I hope to contribute a half-case of Italian wine i couldn't get sent to Puerto Rico towards an informal gathering of NY based wine bloggists– let's see who turns up on short notice! As for Spain, I've had some contact with Laureano Serrés in Terra Alta about making the wines I'd like to vinify as natural as I can bear to risk it– he offered to be 'on call' for support, so I was planning to return the good will trying to make myself useful around crush in Catalunya…but of course, as long as I'm looking at being around 'las Espanyas' as Harvest gears up, i hope i can lend you a hand in whatever logistics &amp; language issues I can be halfway efficient at. Onward &amp; upward– un abrazo, David J

  • David J

    PS, any chance you have tried Laureano´s wine? (nedless to say, I haven't) here's a link to his site, in case not–<a href="<a href="http://www.serres.net/http://www.serres.net/<br />”><a href="http://www.serres.net/http://www.serres.net/<br /> I've also had some contact with Joán Gómez Pallarés, as the man is a veritable encyclopedia on grape varieties &amp; subvarieties, &amp; I must say I'm looking forward to meeting him, as well as Gabriella &amp; you!

  • David J

    PS, any chance you have tried Laureano´s wine? (nedless to say, I haven't) here's a link to his site, in case not–<a href="<a href="http://www.serres.net/http://www.serres.net/<br />”><a href="http://www.serres.net/http://www.serres.net/<br /> I've also had some contact with Joán Gómez Pallarés, as the man is a veritable encyclopedia on grape varieties &amp; subvarieties, &amp; I must say I'm looking forward to meeting him, as well as Gabriella &amp; you!

  • David J

    PS, any chance you have tried Laureano´s wine? (nedless to say, I haven't) here's a link to his site, in case not–<a href="<a href="http://www.serres.net/http://www.serres.net/<br />”><a href="http://www.serres.net/http://www.serres.net/<br /> I've also had some contact with Joán Gómez Pallarés, as the man is a veritable encyclopedia on grape varieties &amp; subvarieties, &amp; I must say I'm looking forward to meeting him, as well as Gabriella &amp; you!

  • David J

    PS, any chance you have tried Laureano´s wine? (nedless to say, I haven't) here's a link to his site, in case not–<a href="<a href="http://www.serres.net/http://www.serres.net/<br />”><a href="http://www.serres.net/http://www.serres.net/<br /> I've also had some contact with Joán Gómez Pallarés, as the man is a veritable encyclopedia on grape varieties &amp; subvarieties, &amp; I must say I'm looking forward to meeting him, as well as Gabriella &amp; you!

  • http://vinomadic.blogspot.com David J

    Ryan,
    I don’t know how I’m going to schedule all i want to do this year. I’m still holding on to the possiblity of putting my name on a barrel of 2008, say, Bonarda, before I quit Mendoza. Even if that doesn’t work, I believe I’m developing some relationships for the longer term.
    I celebrate my 25th graduation anniversary from NYU this year, & I hope to contribute a half-case of Italian wine i couldn’t get sent to Puerto Rico towards an informal gathering of NY based wine bloggists– let’s see who turns up on short notice!
    As for Spain, I’ve had some contact with Laureano Serrés in Terra Alta about making the wines I’d like to vinify as natural as I can bear to risk it– he offered to be ‘on call’ for support, so I was planning to return the good will trying to make myself useful around crush in Catalunya…but of course, as long as I’m looking at being around ‘las Espanyas’ as Harvest gears up, i hope i can lend you a hand in whatever logistics & language issues I can be halfway efficient at. Onward & upward–

    un abrazo, David J

  • http://vinomadic.blogspot.com David J

    PS, any chance you have tried Laureano´s wine? (nedless to say, I haven’t)
    here’s a link to his site, in case not–
    http://www.serres.net/

    I’ve also had some contact with Joán Gómez Pallarés, as the man is a veritable encyclopedia on grape varieties & subvarieties, & I must say I’m looking forward to meeting him, as well as Gabriella & you!

  • Ryan

    David, no I don't know his wines as of yet, though I love Terra Alta…Joan and me have been talking and he is a prolific wine lover and blogger! Much more of a response on everyone's posts soon!

  • http://www.obiscoito.com Ryan

    David, no I don’t know his wines as of yet, though I love Terra Alta…Joan and me have been talking and he is a prolific wine lover and blogger!

    Much more of a response on everyone’s posts soon!

  • Julian

    This is a very good idea – I've put up a brief post about this to appear 24th January. If I can arrange it, of course I'd love to come – but we're busy here and getting busier all the time. You never know, though. PS Ireland's a wine blogging country too – Irish wine blogs increased in number threefold in the last year! (there are three now)

  • emilio

    Hi Julian, it's a small world. I really hope to meet you in Barcelona. Emilio Saez van Eerd export manager Tintoralba DO Almansa

  • http://www.winemeetingpoint.com emilio

    Hi Julian, it’s a small world. I really hope to meet you in Barcelona.

    Emilio Saez van Eerd
    export manager Tintoralba DO Almansa

  • Julian

    This is a very good idea – I’ve put up a brief post about this to appear 24th January. If I can arrange it, of course I’d love to come – but we’re busy here and getting busier all the time. You never know, though. PS Ireland’s a wine blogging country too – Irish wine blogs increased in number threefold in the last year! (there are three now)

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  • Warren Edwardes

    I am afraid that I cannot visit Spain during the last weekend of August as I will be showing my wines at The Wines from Spain sponsored Chatsworth Show. If there is any slippage in dates to September then I would be keen to know.

  • http://blog.wineforspice.com Warren Edwardes

    I am afraid that I cannot visit Spain during the last weekend of August as I will be showing my wines at The Wines from Spain sponsored Chatsworth Show.

    If there is any slippage in dates to September then I would be keen to know.

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