I just got home from the Wine Bloggers’ Conference in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. Having been there a year ago, I knew what to expect, but I think many bloggers in attendance were impressed by the rugged beauty of the region, with its stunning vistas of mountain, lake, and vineyard at every turn.
After trying a number of Okanagan wines during last year’s whirlwind tour, I came home somewhat puzzled, trying to figure out which grapes and wines were the best representations of the region (something I wrote about for Palate Press). This time, however, I was simply impressed by the sheer diversity of styles that are being made and made well. Looking through my notes, my favourite wines from the week include Riesling, Chardonnay, a variety of sparkling wines (including a sparkling Gewürztraminer as well as a 1996 vintage sparkler), Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and even a Gewürztraminer ice wine.
I’ll be posting more about my discoveries in the weeks to come. In the meantime, for those who are interested in such things, I think it’s worth pointing you to the 2013 State of Wine Blogging Report put together by the organizers of the Wine Bloggers’ Conference, Zephyr Adventures.
The report is based on a survey that got 256 responses. While I am reluctant to draw any conclusions based on this small sample (of wine bloggers who are at least aware of the conference even if they’ve never attended), I found it particularly interesting to see the responses for why people write a wine blog and how they measure the blog’s success. The report also confirms that few wine bloggers are able to generate income directly from their blog, but that some find it opens doors to other opportunities for freelance writing or consulting. In general, though, I don’t think there were any big surprises.