2009 European Wine Bloggers Conference Announced

April 1st, 2009 by Robert McIntosh · No Comments

Great news! As promised, this event is going from strength to strength and the 2009 edition of the European Wine Bloggers Conference (EWBC) has just been officially announced as taking place in Lisbon, October 30th through November 1st 2009.

We are also very excited to say that we have further developed our ties with the North American conference, and now BOTH events will happen under the Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC) umbrella brand, and that we will be working together to share resources and information.

For more information on the European Wine Bloggers Conference, or the North American event, please visit our new site at: http://winebloggersconference.org

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A Personal Thank You from Sponsor, Miguel Merino

September 25th, 2008 by Gabriella Opaz · 4 Comments

Miguel Merino

Dear Wine Bloggers.

What a great day I had with you all, and how I have enjoyed seeing the pictures and videos of the event on the internet. This is what I was thinking of when I started my wine-making career! I love to be surrounded by wine lovers, people who travel to wine regions, taste wines, ask questions, write and talk about what they have seen and experienced. To be honest, when I thought of creating Miguel Merino, earning lots of money was the last thing in my mind (Thank God, I would had killed myself…).

The other day my son, Miguel, was working with our distributor in Barcelona, and when they popped into a new wine shop, one of the participants, Juan Manuel Gonzalvo, just so happened to be the wine retailer and buyer! This made me want to say hello to everyone, and to tell you that I would really like to have your emails so we can keep you informed about our new wines and events!

If you are interested, my address is [email protected]

All the best to everyone and thanks again!

Miguel Merino

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EWBC Logo – Contest Open to Everyone!

September 23rd, 2008 by ryan opaz · 6 Comments

Wine Blogger Logo 250px

Image by Ryan Opaz via Flickr

Ok everyone, we need an official logo. We need something that we can carry forward and use for all the future gatherings, as a t-shirt design, and to display on our websites. So far, we have a Wine Blogger logo that most people seem to like. All we need now is to make it a EWBC Logo. This contest is open to everyone, and the winner of the contest will receive a Delong Iberian Wine Map as the prize, donated by Catavino.net. The requirements are as follows:

  • Simple – Easy to reproduce – Clean and direct
  • Must incorporate the Wineblogger logo
  • Submission should be either a vector graphic or the largest .jpg you can send
  • Includes either the tag, EWBC, or the words, “European Wine Bloggers Conference”
  • No more than 2 colors: Orange + 1 other color, in addition to black and white
  • Tags related to the theme are: sharing, blogging, ideas, collaboration and community
  • All entries are due by Oct 15th, 12noon GMT
  • The top three will be selected by Ryan, Gabriella and Robert
  • The the three finalists will be voted upon by you on this site. The final decision will be made on the 31st of October

So what do you think? If you know someone who wants to contribute, pass this on, or take a stab at it yourself.

All entry’s should be mailed to: [email protected] and should include your name, email, and website

If you want a Vector graphic of the Wineblogger logo, please email us at [email protected]

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Recent Interviews from the EWBC 2008 on Vinus TV

September 22nd, 2008 by Gabriella Opaz · 1 Comment

Amy Lillard from La Gramiere in France

David Cray from Wine Blog Research in Canada

Justin Roberts from Jerez-Xerez-Sherry in Jerez, Spain

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The Power of the EWBC Network, Let the Debates Begin! – First up Wine Closures!

September 16th, 2008 by Gabriella Opaz · 14 Comments

corkAs we’ve all posted on many of our participants’ blogs, The European Wine Bloggers’ Conference has created a fountain of energy that is slowly building into something greater than simply an annual gathering – although, more events wouldn’t be dissuaded either.

Working beyond cultural limitations, language differences and varying levels of blog knowledge, we have formed a network of bloggers across the world, passionate to create valuable content.

We would now like to begin a series of debates across our sites in order to learn how producers and consumers in different countries feel about major topics affecting us all. This will not only help us explore cultural perspectives that may not have been formally addressed before, but also increase the level of dialogue by engaging everyone from researchers to producers, and from journalists to retailers.

As a first topic, we are interested to know whether you would share your thoughts on the varying types of wine closures available in the market today? Have you seen a change in the way your country approaches the subject, how wineries in your area are dealing with the changes, and how consumers in your area are reacting to their favorite wines – maybe accepting alternative closures or remaining wedded to the traditional cork closure?

If possible, we kindly ask those that wish to participate to post an article between the 22nd and the 26th of September on your site, and then placing a link to this article. Or, if you do not have a blog, please email us your article, and we will happily post it on this site.

This is our very first EWBC network effort, so let’s try and make it a great one together! We look forward to your posts!

Gabriella, Ryan and Robert

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Roundtable Number 2

September 16th, 2008 by ryan opaz · No Comments

Our second roundtable video! Thanks to VinusTV for getting this up and making it look so good. Please tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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Winners of the EWBC Blind Tasting!

September 13th, 2008 by Gabriella Opaz · 2 Comments

Blind TastingOn the first night of the European Wine Blogger Conference, as participants gathered from around the globe in the HUSA Hotel Salon to showcase their regional wines, we organizers threw in unannounced blind tasting. 40 participants were asked to throw their hat into the ring in order to win one of the following three prizes: Charles Metcalfe’s new book, “The Wine and Food Guide of Portugal“, Steve DeLong’s regional wine map of Spain and Portugal, or D.O. Sherry’s Great Book of the Wines of Jerez.

The reason was simple. It was not a competition to test knowledge, or to assess anyone’s palate. It was a fun event, with wines designed to be virtually impossible to recognize, so as to challenge everyone present to be creative, share a collective challenge and try more delicious wines.

In order to win a prize, participants had to give answers for: producer, varietal(s), region, country, appellation and time in barrel for both the red and white wine. By accident we also managed to add “website” to the mix. This was a flaw in the form’s design as we were looking for participants to include their own blog, but it appeared to demand the website of the ‘secret’ wine. This error on our part actually elicited some of the most entertaining answers of the tasting, as absolutely no one could know the website of these wines. The answers received ranged from “under construction” to “currently out of service”, but my personal favorite was; “winery still using a typewriters”.

The featured wines were:

Château Musar 2000

Producer: Château Musar
Appellation: Wine of Lebanon
Country: Lebanon
Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan
Time in Barrel: 12 months in Nevers French Oak

Absum 2005

Producer: Bodegas Irius
Appellation: D.O. Somontano
Country: Spain
Varietals: 60% Chardonnay, 25% Gewürztraminer, 15% Pinot Noir
Time in Barrel: 3 months in new French oak.

Winners of the EWBC Blind Tasting:

1st Prize: Emilio Saez van Eerd (certainly the most creative, if not most accurate answers)
2nd Prize: Juan Manuel Gonzalvo
3rd Prize: Henrik Heikel

Thank you all for your great entries and congratulations to the big winners! We ask the winners to please email your shipping address to [email protected] to receive your gift.

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Some post EWBC thoughts and pictures from others

September 11th, 2008 by Robert McIntosh · No Comments

Tasting at the EWBCThere continues to be a lot positive feedback on the outcome of the European Wine Bloggers Conference from all those who participated, for which we are very grateful.

Today we’ve had a very positive review from a participant from TodoVino who listened in on our roundtables and considers the potential impact of blogging, and is supportive of the innovations that are emerging in this medium.

Here are just some of the comments from participants, and you’ll notice almost all of them are not in English (so I attempt to translate below each one), demonstrating how this discussion is now moving in a totally new environment:

Lizzy Tosi, a wine journalist who knows about online matters, says:

“Il web wine 2.0 sta rimescolando non poco le carte in tavola, in tutti i settori del vino; qualcuno degli addetti ai lavori (produttori o comunicatori) ancora non se n’è accorto, molti fanno finta di ignorarlo, i più svegli l’hanno capito da un pezzo.”
The Wine Web 2.0 is shuffling the deck in all wine sectors; some of those involved (in production or communication) may not have noticed, many are trying to ignore it, but the most alert have understood this for a while

José Eduardo Jorge Silva from the award winning Portuguese winery Cortes de Cima said,

“3 intensos dias de pessoas, ideias e vinhos (não necessariamente por esta ordem) que vieram esclarecer algumas dúvidas. O wine blogging está agora a definir-se e procura um rumo que o diferencie dos restantes, como tal é um trabalho em progresso e ainda é cedo para o avaliar ou catalogar. A semente foi lançada com a realização do Congresso e começam a surgir algumas linhas indicadoras para que os wine bloggers se tornem “profissionais” e possam viver do seu trabalho.”
3 intense days of people, ideas and wine (not necessarily in that order) that helped to clear up some (of my) doubts. Wine blogging still needs some definition, as this is a work in progress and it is still too early to assess or draw conclusions. However, the seed has been planted with the completion of conference and some evidence that wine bloggers can become “professionals” and can live from their work are already starting to emerge.

Giampiero Nadali, a wine marketing specialist, says:

“… ma parlando della sola discussione sugli score direi che ha sortito un risultato nient’affatto di secondo ordine…”
even talking only of the discussion about (wine) scores, the outcome shows we had a first rate discussion

Thomas Lippert, a most entertaining gentleman, winemaker and also someone who managed to challenge lots of our assumptions, said:

“Es gibt so viel zu erzählen, so viele Pläne und tolle Projekte die darauf warten realisiert zu werden oder einfach bekannt gemacht werden sollten. Die Eindrücke und Ideen die ich von all den Bloggern erhalten habe ist schier unendlich.”
There is so much to tell, so many great plans and projects waiting to be put into place or shared. The impressions and ideas I got from all the bloggers is virtually limitless.

You can visit Vinus TV for their videos of participants and of each of the 3 roundtables, and don’t forget to check out the amazing range of photographs of people, places, wines and events on the EWBC Flickr Group (currently there are 925 photos in there!).

(this photo by Ryan Opaz)

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A brief post event release

September 11th, 2008 by Robert McIntosh · 2 Comments

The first European Wine Bloggers Conference (EWBC), that brought together online wine writers and developers from across Europe, has just ended but the discussions are still ongoing.

Around 40 bloggers representing 11 different countries across Europe but also as far afield as Canada, Australia and the USA got together in the first event of its kind to find a way around the issues that divide and hinder wine bloggers, particularly across European borders.

The major success of the event was that wine lovers; producers, marketers, retailers or simply drinkers from the different countries found a way to overcome the language barriers that normally divide them and exchange ideas on wine writing, consumer education, wine marketing and other innovations. These discussions, and the personal links forged, will result in new kinds of content and new conversations about wine. These will attract more wine producers, retailers and consumers to the online environment. The result of this conference will be to make the online wine experience more relevant, effective and professional, but at that same time keep it personal and entertaining.

The event has been archived with both video and a live-blogging transcripts from each roundtable for anyone to review and comment on, so those who could not attend can relive the experience and read the ongoing conversation on the conference site at:

The EWBC was organised by Robert McIntosh of The Wine Conversation (www.wineconversation.com) and Ryan & Gabriella Opaz of Catavino (www.catavino.net) and sponsored by Bodegas Dinastia Vivanco, Raimat, Amorim, Vinus TV, La Rioja Turismo, Casa de la Ermita and Herdade do Esporão

For more information, please contact us

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1st Roundtable – Points, Who Needs Them?

September 8th, 2008 by Gabriella Opaz · 4 Comments

Our first roundtable video! Thanks to VinusTV for getting this up and making it look so good. Please tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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