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Napa agog over bloggers

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Last year Napa Valley was a no-show at the first-ever American Wine Bloggers Conference, in Santa Rosa. Instead, Sonoma County wineries were falling all over themselves to capture the eyes, ears and palates of bloggers, who they were smart enough to appreciate might be important players in the review game.

This year Napa is playing catch-up. Better late than never seems to be their tune. (Well, in many respects Napa is more conservative than Sonoma.) No less an august body than the Napa Valley Vintners is taking the entire bloggling group (which could number scores) “over the hill” into Napa Valley, where they will have a Grand Tasting at Quintessa, followed by some fancy winery dinners. The Hall Winery will also be hosting them for a lunch.

Nobody, but nobody pours on the charm better than Napa does when it comes to impressing writers. When they want to dazzle you, they do it with regal pomp and circumstance. I’m sure the bloggers will be suitably impressed, and they should be. Wine blogging has arrived. The fact that Napa cares enough to curry favor is proof. I, myself, am not going to the Conference this year (I did last year), but will look forward eagerly to the blogging that will follow the July 24-26 event.

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If found, please return. No reward, but mention in this space

  1. ROTFL indeed!

    Good ones there, Steve!

    As for Napa – I’ve always viewed them as the affluent and slightly more aloof neighbors to Sonoma’s “Beverly Hillbillies” persona. Not sure if that’s right, but it works for me, though it does seem that Napa is starting to take off the tailored jacket and roll up the designer shirt sleeves more and more these days.

  2. When restaurants and wine shops stop buying your $150 Cabernets even though you have a bunch of 92′s for them,what the hell, turn to that merchandising of last resort, bloggers. For one thing, they’re much cheaper to buy.

    Oh, Steve, I thought that was your mind I found! I’ll get it back to you ASAP. Never fear, it’s perfectly safe in the thimble I’m keeping it in.

  3. Ron, please keep that thimble warm.

  4. I’ve seen Napa wineries popping up more regularly to move inventory at certain discount-oriented web retailers. Engaging bloggers in an organized fashion seems to be a logical step further towards connecting with the online world.

    This should be an interesting social experiment. It seems that a fair proportion of bloggers are less interested in wine for the lifestyle and image it conveys and lean towards the direction of “cork dork.” Will Napa go in a nerdier direction to engage bloggers, or will it still take the lifestyle product route and win bloggers over by wining and dining them?

  5. What would Robert Parker do about being wined, dined and toured by a bunch of wineries …? The Bloggers Canon of Ethics only requires disclosure…

  6. I think those 64 points went toward this post. Great commentary, Steve.

  7. Steve, do you remember the admonitions you (and I) offered to the participants of the “Credibility” break out session last year?

  8. Arthur, refresh my memory. Did we tell them to never accept free food?

  9. LOL, Steve.

    I think we talked about the fact that there is a fine line a critic or writer walks in the face of being hosted or wined and dined or receiving other favors.

    As you said, blogging has arrived, now we’ll see how bloggers respond to the attention.

  10. Arthur: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from
    pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” –George
    Orwell, Animal Farm (1945)

  11. Ain’t that the truth.

  12. Lisa Mattson says:

    Brilliant, as always.

  13. Just got an email this morning announcing that the second annual Wine Bloggers Conference is SOLD OUT, at 250 registrants, six weeks ahead of time. By contrast, the Professional Wine Writers Symposium, in its fifth year, drew about 40 writers this past Feb. And as I reported in covering it for Wine Business Monthly (June issue), many of those were actually bloggers. If that’s not a sign of the times, I don’t know what is. Napa Valley Vintners are indeed smart to get a hand in the action…

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