Wild, Crazy and Fast-Paced Time for Texas Wine at The 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference in Virginia

or…”@TinBarnVyds: We came. We poured. We sweated profusely. #wbc11 <- :)”

I imagine yesterday’s action here at the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference in Charlottesville, Virginia, was something like what Raymond Haak from Haak Vineyards and Winery told me about during one of our visits. He said, “There is that flash of excitement that I got with bull riding. You have the feel of the big bull clamped between your legs, the pull of the rope and your holding on for dear life.” Friday was a bit like that for me.

I poured Texas wines at two frenetic WBC11 events:

LIVE Wine Blogging – Llano Estacado Viviana (premium aromatic white blend): In one hour, I presented and poured this wine at 12 tables with seven people at each table. I wanted to get a photo, but it was non-stop action. Luckily, someone took a photo which you can see below…I’m in the mix somewhere.

The Other 46 Wine Tasting (wines NOT from CA, WA, NY or OR) – In this two hour event last night, I pour four Texas wines: Brennan Vineyards Viognier 2010 (@TXViogner), McPhersonCellars Viognier 2010 (@McPhersonCellars), Lone Oak Winery Reserve Tempranillo 2009 (@LoneOakWinery), and Llano Estacado Cellar Select Tempranillo 2009, Newsom Vineyard (@LlanoWine). The crush of people wanting to get a taste of Texas surprised me. At several points in the evening, the crowd was four deep surrounding my pouring station. Again, I wanted to get a photo, had my camera out and on the table, but I never got a shot off; never had time!

So, I decided that the best way to capture the day’s activities was to examine the Twitter Feed and Google search results using the keywords that involved #WBC11, Texas, Vintagetexas and the twitter handles for the four Texas wineries that sent their wines. This blog only contains a quick summary, but it’ll give you some highlights and some interesting insights on how “this whole wine blogging thang” works. On Twitter, it’s sometimes hard to know if the comment is coming from a flesh-and-blood attendee or someone from a world of virtual wine tasting sitting in Timbuktu. There are tweets and retweets and websites around the world that aggregate twitter content and search it. There are Facebook page postings as well as postings from the road warriors of the bloggosphere – the LIVE field bloggers, typos and all. Well, jump on and you’ll see where this takes you. Here goes!

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Mutineermag, Los Angeles, CA, A nationally distributed fine beverage magazine, we cover it all. Beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, water, etc. Have you joined the Mutiny?

mutineermag: Yee-hah, Texas! It’s a four-wine blend called Viviana from Llano Estacado Winery. Sweet-tart. Maybe a spicy pork with some pineapple? #WBC11

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Wild 4 Washington Wine

Facebook: #wbc11 Texas wine…sweet smells like Muscat, floral, orange vlossoms, light, gewetz, viognier, muscat Canelli, Riesling, blend of four. Light and muy crispy. Sharp, with some fizz, would be good with Grilled Sardines.$22.95 I think it would work with lamb and a roast.


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Michael Bottigliero @WCWineGuy Chicago, The Windy City Wine Guy! CMS Certified Sommelier, WSET Advanced Certified. Wine Consultant for Corporate/Private Events, Beverage Programs & Staff Training. “@WCWineGuy Just walked in to the “other 46″ tasting #wbc11 and I see Maryland, Missouri, Indiana, Texas, Ohio, Virginia #wine here. #wbc11”

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WBC Okanagan

RT @wbcokanagan: Texas tempranillo. I kinda feel like I’m at a Miss America pageant for wine. #wbc11

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Mark Broadfoot, @mjfoot San Diego

mjfoot: “@BridgetEileen: Trying some Texas wines, Brennan Vineyards Viognier and LLano Tempranillo #wbc11″… potential!

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RobertLarsen @RobertLarsen Healdsburg, CA, PR dude at Rodney Strong Wine Estates

RobertLarsen: Texas Viogner from Brennan tasting very good. Crisp. Floral. #WBC11

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Carter Bitten @CarterBitten Down the road, VA. Kicking the can down the road. Reformed Congressional adviser who sous chefs (outside Beltway), appreciates world-class wines & people, loves soccer.

CarterBitten: “@SonomaWilliam Brennan viognier from TX at #wbc11 not bad! #wine” <—not exactly a ringing endorsement. I’ve drunk it. I like it! #brennan

— — — — — comment: The following was the most interesting exchange following a visit to the Texas wine pouring station by Jancis Robinson MW. She asked to taste some Texas wine, but when I offers Viognier, she mentioned that she was Viognier-ed out from all the (good) Virginia Viogniers she tasted during her stay and chose the Tempranillos instead. With that, I sent out a quick tweet about the experience. Within a moment, it was picked-up and retweeted by a guy that could have been at the conference (or not):

William Pollard Jr @wild4wawine Richland, WA USA

Writing about wine in the heart of Washington (state) country. Broadening my palate and sharing what I learn.

wild4wawine: “RT @VintageTexas: Get ready for #wbc11 Other 46 Tasting @JancisRobinson stopped by for a spot of Tempranillo; was Viognier out from VA #txwine”

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Then when I thought the comment has passed, I received a Twitter response from Jancis herself who had just returned to her room with the packet of Texas wine information that I gave her during our brief encounter and tasting.

Jancis Robinson, Wine-, food-, words- + family-loving workaholic

@VintageTexas That was quick! Only just got back to my room, quickly writing up what you told me about Tempranillo in TX.”

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The most unusual item that I found while doing a Google search on “Texas wine WBC11” was a posting on a wrestling online magazine and news website:

Vintage Texas 3 days ago “My Wine Blogging Brethren, It’s Time to Taste Some Texas Wine at #WBC11…..In only two days, I’ll be flying away to join my wine blogging brethren at the 2011 North American Wine Blogger Conference (aka #WBC11) being held this year in Charlottesville, Virginia. This is my first time back to this “Blogfest of Wine” since its… Full Article at Vintage Texas

I guess that wrestlers need wine, too!

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I also found that some of the bloggers were well syndicated with comments showing up on wine, food and travel websites all over the country. These are the “hidden reach” of the Internet. About the only way that I’ve found to find these is to do manual searches as Tweeter search do not find them. See below:

Tourism Search – The Tourism Search

Marguerite Barrett Viviana 2009 Region: Texas – yes there is wine in Texas! Four varietals: 30% Gewurtztraminer, 30% Riesling, 10% Viognier and 30% Muscat Canelli – all grown locally in Texas. Nose: lovely nose with lush notes of honeysuckle. Palate: In the mouth the wine is a bit of a surprise.


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Love to taste, talk and tweet about Texas wines and where they are in the global scheme for wines. After all that's the only way they will reach the full potential.