Their success; their ability to effectively communicate about spanish and portuguese wine; their energy to grow and create dynamic, authentic and extraordinary services have attracted hundreds of thousands of iberian wine lovers from around the world.
Joan Gómez Pallarès http://www.devinis.org/

Wine Blogging in 2007, How Far have We Come?

In 2005, I honestly didn’t think this blog would ever have the staying power and reach that it’s shown today. In the past year, we’ve seen a huge leap in both traffic and attention paid to Catavino. What began with only a few hundred visitors a month has now grown to almost 10,000! Along the way, we’ve also created a strong community, found ingenious ways to make a little money, and have started conversations with many people who are also starting to “break out” in the blogosphere.

2007 can also lay claim to start of two new projects: one that needs to grow and develop, and another that is becoming a nice catalog of who we are. Wineblogger.info is dedicated to all of us who are blogging our hearts out about wine, hosting approximately 90 wine blogs to date and still growing! If your not listed, please let us know. We’d love to have 100 wine blogs on there before the New Year. Here’s the list so far:

CatavinoWinecastLENNDEVOURSVinographyDrVinoThe Cork BoardGrape ThinkingWannabe WinoThe Calwineries BlogWilf’s Wine PressGood Wine Under $20Tinto y BlancoGrape JuiceGollywinedropsJamie Goode’s Wine BlogThe Cork DorkDe Long Wine MomentFermentationProfessor Bainbridge On WinePassionate FoodieSokol BlosserPinotbloggerSpittonTwisted Oak WineryVivi’s Wine JournalDomaine 547The Cru SAThe Wine Collecter Gare aux GoûtsWine CultureTales of a SommelierWest Hills Wine BlogREthink Wine BlogBasic JuiceBubble BrothersDomaine de la Gramiere BlogWine Blog AtlasWine Enthusiast’s UnreservedWine-GirlTinto RecordsSteep CreekDrucketCelebrate WineOne Wine Per WeekIsraeli Wine DirectConfessions of a WinoVino PigroWine and Stories from the VineyardSnooth’s BlogWinefly SelectionSobre VinoBerry Bros. & RuddWine in SwedenWine Traveller ViniliciousWine Library TVVine ViewsGrape MattersThrough The Walla Walla Grape VineWinery_TimesGrande PassioneThe Wino ClubThe Good GrapeWine FarmerNotes from the PondWinehiker WiticultureWest Hills Wine BlogFood and Wine BlogVinoVerve.blogspot.comWine-ScampBetter with VinoAbadia Retuerta WineryWine CanineRoad to PortAristideRoda do VinhoWine Without BordersBordoverviewChateau PetrogasmWest Coast Wine Country AdventuresInterwinedThe Best of WinesIrish WineUK Wines OnlineJuno MaidensWine SedimentsSharon WineWine Rendezvous

The Wine Blog Atlas, on the other hand, is evolving a bit slower. In the New Year, we’ll be launching a new piece of software that we’ve designed to allow bloggers to actually interact with the map. The objective being that it will allow bloggers to promote themselves in new, more interesting ways. (Anyone with design skills and free time, please contact me if you’re interested in helping us out. We need all the support we can get!).

But for now, as the New Year encroaches upon us, I’d like to throw out a few questions:

  • How far have we as wine bloggers come over the past year, and what are your predictions for the New Year?
  • Also what things do you think that bloggers should be trying harder to do in 2008?</li
  • I asked the question about what makes a wine blogger a professional and had some very interesting responses. Do you think we’ll see more “pros” in 2008? Is there anything that we should be working on as a group to further push our influence? I honestly think that Tom Wark’s bloggerviews have really helped to elevate us all, as a group, by putting a face with the blogs we write.

I do have to say that I’m honored to be a part of what I see as the most exciting and soon to be influential sector in the wine world today. Personally, my predictions to the questions above are the following:

  • Bloggers, outside of those that are tied to a magazines or newspapers, will see an increase in samples and solicitations from wineries for articles and coverage.
  • At least 2 bloggers will be approached or hired by a mainstream wine journal to be contributors or to blog for them directly.
  • We’ll see at least one more video wine blog receive attention at a level similar to WineLibraryTv
  • At least one winery will jump into the main stream media spotlight because of their blog.

As for what I think needs to happen in 2008! I think a few more bloggers need to take themselves more seriously and try to “go pro”. I would love to see enough support from big name wine accessory companies and lifestyle advertisers so that more bloggers can find a way to make blogging a full time job, working to reach a larger audience. I hope that 2008 sees a shift in advertising from the high priced wine mags to small independent content producers who are putting up high quality stories, daily. (Yes, we are hoping to finally make a buck!)

Please write a post and send us a trackback, or leave us a comment with your thoughts. I want to hear what fellow blogggers think, but more importantly, I want to hear from wine retailers and consumers who are the ones we are hoping to influence most!

Cheers,

Ryan Opaz

  • winehiker

    Thought-provoking commentary, Ryan. It's been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. We've all come quite far as a community, for a community is what we are, and we may not have gotten here without each other's support. You've come far, too, and my hat's off to you for the community-gathering efforts you have tasked yourself with. We should all be proud! (And we are.) One of the things I've always felt online social communities should try to do is to be a conduit for actually getting people together face-to-face. In short, to "use computers to get people away from them". I'd dearly love to see us make arrangements for Wine Blogger Summits in 2008; perhaps earmark a day on the calendar when that can occur in various spots around the globe. And then everybody blogs about it, and we plan to do it again.

  • Mark V Marino

    Gabriella, I kidding you Ryan! I think the most important thing for me, and I am a newbie, is reading everyone writing out there. Wow, we have some great authors and incredible information to be gathered. As a group it is a source of huge knowledge and most informative. I also have found there is much to be shared, by the group and with the group, as one knowledge complements another we can teach each other a great deal. The Internet has made information transfer and distance a problem of the past, it's timely communication has increased the speed at which communication can happen, instant response compared to years past. In our case it would be cost prohibitive to speak on phones. So this platform has made it affordable in reference to costs as well as speed and distance!

  • RichardA

    I think that the wine blogging community should continue to grow more united. There has been much progress but there is still much more that can be done. From simple matters, like placing links to each other on our blogs, to more complex matters, such as working together on larger projects such as WBW. It certainly would be good to meet more bloggers in person. I have had the pleasure to meet Ryan and Gabriella this year. I also met a couple local bloggers. Practically, for larger meetings to work they would need to be small-scale at first, and localized. Then, over time, they could grow larger. Such as separate meetings in the NY/New England area, California, maybe Chicago, England, Spain, etc. where travel costs would be minimal. That would help to maximize participation. I do believe bloggers will continue to receive more and more credibility. They will be treated more and more like any journalist. I may have more to add later.

  • http://www.californiawinehikes.com/winehiker winehiker

    Thought-provoking commentary, Ryan. It’s been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. We’ve all come quite far as a community, for a community is what we are, and we may not have gotten here without each other’s support. You’ve come far, too, and my hat’s off to you for the community-gathering efforts you have tasked yourself with. We should all be proud! (And we are.)

    One of the things I’ve always felt online social communities should try to do is to be a conduit for actually getting people together face-to-face. In short, to “use computers to get people away from them”. I’d dearly love to see us make arrangements for Wine Blogger Summits in 2008; perhaps earmark a day on the calendar when that can occur in various spots around the globe. And then everybody blogs about it, and we plan to do it again.

  • http://winelimo.typepad.com Mark V Marino

    Gabriella,

    I kidding you Ryan!

    I think the most important thing for me, and I am a newbie, is reading everyone writing out there. Wow, we have some great authors and incredible information to be gathered. As a group it is a source of huge knowledge and most informative. I also have found there is much to be shared, by the group and with the group, as one knowledge complements another we can teach each other a great deal. The Internet has made information transfer and distance a problem of the past, it’s timely communication has increased the speed at which communication can happen, instant response compared to years past. In our case it would be cost prohibitive to speak on phones. So this platform has made it affordable in reference to costs as well as speed and distance!

  • http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com RichardA

    I think that the wine blogging community should continue to grow more united. There has been much progress but there is still much more that can be done. From simple matters, like placing links to each other on our blogs, to more complex matters, such as working together on larger projects such as WBW.

    It certainly would be good to meet more bloggers in person. I have had the pleasure to meet Ryan and Gabriella this year. I also met a couple local bloggers. Practically, for larger meetings to work they would need to be small-scale at first, and localized. Then, over time, they could grow larger. Such as separate meetings in the NY/New England area, California, maybe Chicago, England, Spain, etc. where travel costs would be minimal. That would help to maximize participation.

    I do believe bloggers will continue to receive more and more credibility. They will be treated more and more like any journalist.

    I may have more to add later.

  • Joel

    Great post Ryan. And I agree with Russ (WineHiker). Like I predicted earlier, my fourth quarter of 2007 has been pretty hell-ishly busy but I will be working in the new year for those Wine Blogger Summits to be a reality. I think that the importance of bloggers, and social media in general, will surpass the traditional wine media in importance (ok, maybe not in 2008) and it would serve the greater good to help wineries of all sizes get together and learn from publishers of all sizes about this new online community. <a href="Wine ” target=”_blank”>http://www.winelifetoday.com“>Wine Life Today has grown by leaps and bounds even in the face of skeptics that a Digg-style site won't work for wine and I'm in the process of working to leveraging that experience into a broader tool to benefit the entire community. 2008 will be a great, exciting year. Cheers!

  • Joel

    Great post Ryan. And I agree with Russ (WineHiker). Like I predicted earlier, my fourth quarter of 2007 has been pretty hell-ishly busy but I will be working in the new year for those Wine Blogger Summits to be a reality. I think that the importance of bloggers, and social media in general, will surpass the traditional wine media in importance (ok, maybe not in 2008) and it would serve the greater good to help wineries of all sizes get together and learn from publishers of all sizes about this new online community. <a href="Wine ” target=”_blank”>http://www.winelifetoday.com“>Wine Life Today has grown by leaps and bounds even in the face of skeptics that a Digg-style site won't work for wine and I'm in the process of working to leveraging that experience into a broader tool to benefit the entire community. 2008 will be a great, exciting year. Cheers!

  • Joel

    Great post Ryan. And I agree with Russ (WineHiker). Like I predicted earlier, my fourth quarter of 2007 has been pretty hell-ishly busy but I will be working in the new year for those Wine Blogger Summits to be a reality. I think that the importance of bloggers, and social media in general, will surpass the traditional wine media in importance (ok, maybe not in 2008) and it would serve the greater good to help wineries of all sizes get together and learn from publishers of all sizes about this new online community. <a href="Wine ” target=”_blank”>http://www.winelifetoday.com“>Wine Life Today has grown by leaps and bounds even in the face of skeptics that a Digg-style site won't work for wine and I'm in the process of working to leveraging that experience into a broader tool to benefit the entire community. 2008 will be a great, exciting year. Cheers!

  • http://www.winelifetoday.com Joel

    Great post Ryan. And I agree with Russ (WineHiker). Like I predicted earlier, my fourth quarter of 2007 has been pretty hell-ishly busy but I will be working in the new year for those Wine Blogger Summits to be a reality. I think that the importance of bloggers, and social media in general, will surpass the traditional wine media in importance (ok, maybe not in 2008) and it would serve the greater good to help wineries of all sizes get together and learn from publishers of all sizes about this new online community.

    Wine Life Today has grown by leaps and bounds even in the face of skeptics that a Digg-style site won’t work for wine and I’m in the process of working to leveraging that experience into a broader tool to benefit the entire community. 2008 will be a great, exciting year.

    Cheers!

  • Joe

    Great reading – especially for someone who is taking their first leap into the wine blogosphere this year. You can feel free to add my Blog to the list in the quest to reach 100 before the New Year – 1WineDude (<a href="http://www.1WineDude.com “>http://www.1WineDude.com or 1winedude.blogspot.com). Cheers!

  • Joe

    Great reading – especially for someone who is taking their first leap into the wine blogosphere this year. You can feel free to add my Blog to the list in the quest to reach 100 before the New Year – 1WineDude (<a href="http://www.1WineDude.com “>http://www.1WineDude.com or 1winedude.blogspot.com). Cheers!

  • Joe

    Great reading – especially for someone who is taking their first leap into the wine blogosphere this year. You can feel free to add my Blog to the list in the quest to reach 100 before the New Year – 1WineDude (<a href="http://www.1WineDude.com “>http://www.1WineDude.com or 1winedude.blogspot.com). Cheers!

  • http://1winedude.blogspot.com Joe

    Great reading – especially for someone who is taking their first leap into the wine blogosphere this year.

    You can feel free to add my Blog to the list in the quest to reach 100 before the New Year – 1WineDude (www.1WineDude.com or 1winedude.blogspot.com).

    Cheers!

  • Ryan

    @Joel we should still have that chat by skype or phone sometime soon. I would love to collaborate on some ideas that might help us both. Kudos to the new design, I love the new layout on WLT and I hope it works to draw more attention to our cause. Cheers,

  • http://www.obiscoito.com Ryan

    @Joel we should still have that chat by skype or phone sometime soon. I would love to collaborate on some ideas that might help us both. Kudos to the new design, I love the new layout on WLT and I hope it works to draw more attention to our cause.

    Cheers,

  • Penelope

    Not knowing what a blog was not that long ago, I think it is really catching on and has room to grow. I now am not only asked for my website, but for my blog site. I agree that sharing links is important to help validate ones own writing. Blog communities helps bring me into a world that I often feel closed off from- what do real people eat and drink – not just those that work with it day in and day out like myself. Ryan- I like the direction that you see blogs going in-and credibility for wine criticisms that are real time- not by paid critics. I look forward to more WBW's! Could I be added to the list- help that list get to 100! The list also has more sites for me to explore- Yippeee!

  • http://www.coralmustang.com Penelope

    Not knowing what a blog was not that long ago, I think it is really catching on and has room to grow. I now am not only asked for my website, but for my blog site. I agree that sharing links is important to help validate ones own writing. Blog communities helps bring me into a world that I often feel closed off from- what do real people eat and drink – not just those that work with it day in and day out like myself.

    Ryan- I like the direction that you see blogs going in-and credibility for wine criticisms that are real time- not by paid critics. I look forward to more WBW’s!

    Could I be added to the list- help that list get to 100! The list also has more sites for me to explore- Yippeee!

  • Steve B

    Hi Ryan, Thanks for doing all that you do. If you would like to add <a href="http://www.smellslikegrape.blogspot.com “>http://www.smellslikegrape.blogspot.com to your list, we would be delighted to be included. Best regards, Steve

  • Steve B

    Hi Ryan, Thanks for doing all that you do. If you would like to add <a href="http://www.smellslikegrape.blogspot.com “>http://www.smellslikegrape.blogspot.com to your list, we would be delighted to be included. Best regards, Steve

  • Steve B

    Hi Ryan, Thanks for doing all that you do. If you would like to add <a href="http://www.smellslikegrape.blogspot.com “>http://www.smellslikegrape.blogspot.com to your list, we would be delighted to be included. Best regards, Steve

  • http://www.smellslikegrape.blogspot.com/ Steve B

    Hi Ryan,
    Thanks for doing all that you do. If you would like to add http://www.smellslikegrape.blogspot.com to your list, we would be delighted to be included.
    Best regards,
    Steve

  • Gabriella

    Steve, We'll be happy to add you to the list. I'll forward you an email as to what we need so that you can be listed on the map as well.

  • http://www.catavino.net Gabriella

    Steve,

    We’ll be happy to add you to the list. I’ll forward you an email as to what we need so that you can be listed on the map as well.