What a Difference a Decade Makes?

So, here we are. I’m about to head the 10th annual Wine Blogger Conference.  We are back in Sonoma County, where it all started. I find it a little hard to believe that we are still here 10 conferences later.  Certainly, a lot has changed: wine blogs have come and gone, technology has evolved, content creating comes in many additional forms.  Some things haven’t changed at all. I still have the same glasses. (You decide whether it’s because I’m frugal, lazy, or other.) I’m headed back to Sonoma to meet up with many people I’ve only known via the internet. I’m crashing at the house of a blogger I met over 10 years ago, just like in 2008 when I darkened El Jefe’s doorstep.

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Me in Murphys a few days before WBC 08

 

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Me a few days before WBC 17

When I first started blogging back in the dark ages of 2006, there were so few wine bloggers that it felt like everyone knew everyone. Like high school. And the idea for a large meet-up started percolating, spurred and curated by the ever-present Joel Vincent.  I doubt even he would think his creation would be around 10 conferences later. Attending that first conference felt like meeting people I’d known forever. I knew then that I’d found my tribe. Wine people. This will mark my 7th conference attended (the birth of two children (other major difference in my life!) prevented my attendance at the three conferences I missed!).

The first conference, held at the iconic Flamingo, helped coalesce a nascent community. From it was born the idea for the Wine Blogger Conference Scholarship to help an unemployed blogger friend attend the conference, which has grown to sponsor up to a dozen bloggers a year to attend. The conference has doubled in size, but the community it helps create has not changed at all. Immersing yourself in a wine region with 300 of your closest friends certainly lends itself to bonding experiences, renewed enthusiasm for your craft, and hopefully learning something new about wine or wine writing.  If you’ve been on the fence about attending, take a chance and join us. We don’t bite. Much.

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