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Iberian Links Around the Web: EWBC, Port, Wine Toursim and Someone’s WineFuture!

socialmedia-1It’s been awhile since we published links to share what’s been occurring around the Interwebs as related to Iberian wine. Currently, we’re in a whirlwind of activity trying to put the finishing touches on the 2009 EWBC, which if your head has been in the sand for the last few months, happens to be in Lisbon, Portugal. Gabriella has forgone writing as frequently, removed herself from public life and has locked herself to the keyboard to ensure that the EWBC is a big step up from last year. For Ryan’s part, he’s been running around Portugal teaching wineries about social media, while at the same time, confirming restaurants for all the bloggers to enjoy dinner both before and after the conference. So in short, there is much electricity and excitement pumping through our offices right now!

Want to own your own Port wine vineyard? Well now is your chance! Following a series of links, I stumbled across a Linkedin post advertising at least one property on the auction block. A sign of the “crisis” or simply someone cashing out? From the sounds of tanks filling up at record speeds and exports stagnating or going down, it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that this was a consequence of the current financial mess. Truth be told, wine is a tough business, and an industry like Port, where much of your stock isn’t available for market for 4+ yrs, it’s hard to hang on during rocky times. But if you pocket is burnign with some extra cash, here’s your chance!

That said, if you happen to be in Porto this weekend, stop by the Palacio Bolsa and try out the 2007 ports. For us, quality has been all over the place, with occasional moments of brilliance, but find out for yourself! Check out the events facebook page and taste the 2007 vintage ports! (by the way, while in Porto last week, had a bottle of the 1985 Dow’s, nice fruit, though very light. I would guess this does not need much more time. Very enjoyable, and thanks Oscar for the chance to try it. My last time tasting it was in 2003 when I first visited Portugal!)

In the HOLY CRAP IS THIS FOR REAL news basket, this just in: Wine regions and wineries are starting to get it! What do I mean. I mean websites that are useful, easy to navigate and not full of crappy flash intros. This week, I’m headed to Somontano to the town of Barbastro to visit the CITE conference on wine tourism. As a result, a friend sent me a link to the new  Somontano Wine Route website. Recently redone, it is a bit bloated on information, but it appears to be full of good tips presented in a simple and well laid out format – something other regions need to pay attention to! Created by the USA branch of Ribera del Duero the new DrinkRiberaWine.com appears to still be in its growth period, but shows promise. This same innovation can also be seen with Viniportugal.co.uk‘s new site – an AMAZING step for any generic wine body! Bravo.

1985 Dow's Vintage PortWhat else? Well, as you may know, I am scheduled to speak at the Wine Future Conference in Rioja. You probably also know that it is under a lot of scrutiny with Pancho Campo’s recent troubles. The question being, why have we been silent on this issue? The answer is complicated. Mainly, we don’t really care. Pancho is one of the most polarizing figure in Spanish wine, and we have no plans to comment on his problems. In the end, no matter what this means for Pancho, the Wine Academy or future wine conferences here in Spain, the Wine Future Conference in November is still full steam ahead and it will be interesting. I mean how can it not be with people such as Robert Parker, Gary Vaynerchuck, Jancis Robinson, and many more? Personally, I would love to have seem a younger group of wine professionals discuss the future of wine, but there are lessons to be learned from all generations. I only hope that no matter what happens, at some point people move to talking about the event. Yes the tastings will be controversial, and the scandal will hang like a thick cloud over many heads, but for my part, I’m looking to the real wine future.

For my part, I have the honor of speaking alongside Gary Vaynerchuck, a daunting task knowing his personalty, and I hope my contribution to the discussion about the future of wine online is both relevant and helpful. Things are changing fast around these wine parts and this conference I hope will give us a chance to really dig in and see what others think. I hope that the attendees, the majority of which are wineries, take away from my talk a new interest in the internet. If last weeks talks in Portugal are any indicator, the topic is being thought about by many. Little by little the Iberian wineries we speak with are waking up and realizing the world has changed.

Catavino and our crew be doing a full on Social Media attack on this conference with videos, blogging, live video (we hope!), interviews, and live questions! The dates are the 12-13th of November and you can be sure we’ll remind you.

So for now, pardon our light posting schedule while we get through the next few weeks, but we’ll be collecting lots of content and plenty of information to share with you all.

Till soon,

Ryan Opaz

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