I’m here as a representative for the company I work for, Brand Action Team, and as a newbie wine blogger for my blog Petite Terroir. This is the second annual WBC and over 250 people are participating, which represents a commendable 50% increase over last year's conference.
The 2009 WBC conference is partnering with Napa Valley Vintners, who are providing attendees with a full day in Napa Valley on Saturday. There are also three keynote speakers this year and two after-hours parties each night sponsored by the Russian River Valley Winegrowers and ViniPortugal.
The local hosts of the conference are Sonoma Vintners, Sonoma Winegrape Commission, Sonoma Tourism and Napa Valley Vintners. Thanks to all the hosts, sponsors, and organizers for making this conference feasible.
Unfortunately due to a long delay at Bradley Airport in Windsor Locks, CT on Friday morning I arrived an hour late at Washington-Dulles Airport and missed my connecting flight to San Francisco International Airport. My Connecticut flight was scheduled to leave at 6 am, but because of a problem with the airplane’s computers, it did not depart until 7:15 am. Needless to say I and many others missed connecting flights to our respective destinations. The scene at the United Airways customer service desk was not pretty.
United Airways put me on a 9:30 am flight to Los Angeles, which landed at 11:15 am and from there I took a 1:10 pm flight to San Francisco. We got in around 2:30 pm. Once in San Francisco I boarded an Airport Express Shuttle for a two-hour drive to Santa Rosa, which is where I’m writing from now.
In Santa Rosa I have to take a cab from a local Day’s Inn to the Flamingo Hotel and Resort, which is where I am staying and where the conference is being held, because this shuttle bus does not go to the Flamingo. I should check into the hotel by 6: 00 pm or so. Whew!
Since I’m arriving late to the conference I’m missing many of the day’s events, which included a lunch with Sonoma Vintners & Sonoma Winegrape Commission, a Welcome and Bloggers Conference Overview, Live Wine Blogging, the 2009 American Wine Blog Awards, and a grand tasting of Sonoma Wines.
I will however arrive fashionably late for a dinner with Sonoma County Tourism and Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers, which features a keynote address on Blogging: Past, Present, & Future by Chris Alden of Six Apart. I may also be able to catch the end of the grand tasting. Following dinner there is an after-hours party from 9 - 11 pm hosted by Russian River Valley Winegrowers.
So while I am disappointed to miss many of Friday’s events I am grateful to at least make the first night’s dinner and after-hours party, and arrive here safely and well.
I’m looking forward to meeting in person wine bloggers whose blogs I read regularly, like Joe Roberts of 1 Wine Dude and Jeff Lefevre of The Good Grape. This conference should be an educational and fun event, which I’ll be spending with some of the blog world's most noted wine bloggers.Hey, we just drove over the Golden Gate Bridge! Awesome.
See you at the 2009 Wine Bloggers' Conference. More details to come so please check back.