The Wandering Wino Blog

WBC12 Sneak Peak!

Rex Pickett

This years Wine Bloggers Conference or #wbc12, will be held in Portland Oregon this coming August 15-19th. Those you of joining the #wbc12 have most likely already reviewed the agenda, and for me that would amount to a few dozen times. Throughout this past year I have been privileged to participate in a handful of events that all have ties to this years #wbc12 agenda. In a sense, I feel like I've gotten micro portions of wbc. While each of these tiny pieces have been lots of fun, I expect so much more when in Portland. 

I live near where the movie Sideways was filmed and what many consider Pinot-Land of Santa Barbara County. While having a love for many wine regions and varietals, Pinot Noir is on my short list. There is so much more to learn about wine, other regions, and I may not be able to tell you let alone pronounce a great value Vin de Pays, but I can tell clonal distinctions amongst many Pinots in California. My way of simply saying that I know a little bit about one thing. As a Pinot junkie, I can tell you I am seriously pumped about learning more about Oregon Pinot Noir. 

The sarcastically funny Sideways author Rex Pickett did a book signing at Santa Barbara Harvest Festival. Rex will be one of the keynote speakers at #wbc12 and fortunate for him the event is not held in Washington this year, AKA Merlot country. He, like me, loves Pinot Noir, so I'd think he's excited to be in another "Pinot-Land."

Randall Graham

When I thought about last years wbc11 keynote speakers, I thought how can they stay in the same hemisphere for wbc12. Janis Robinson, really? Who are you going to get now? Hearing that the famous vintner hall of fame member Randall Graham would be a keynote speaker, I thought, wow, they "doon" it. Bravo wbc! My interest for attending grew even more. I had the pleasure of attending an event this past May at Clos Pepe in the Sta. Rita Hills where Randall was a winery guest. He poured his Rhone biodynamic wines, then addressed the small group (approx 50 people). He shared some of his vision for his future in the industry and showed himself to be one of the most genuine type of people. He was gracious enough to allow me to pick his brain for a few minutes as he signed autographs and sipped grappa. No doubt this is the guy you want sitting around your camp fire. Whatever he says, I am sure will not disappoint those attending wbc12. 

Pinot Fest Stoller

Earlier in the year I had the opportunity to join a couple Pinot Noir events including Pinot Days in Pasadena and Pinot Fest in Santa Monica, CA (location of this photo). Single varietal wine events are amongst my favorites as I love the opportunity to take a deep dive of learing and taste. I met Cory from Stoller (Oregon) and a couple of the guys from Sokol amongst other Oregon wineries. I loved the wines, especially the Stoller Pinot Gris. While there were a small number of Oregon participants (less than 10) in each event, I was able to gain a greater sense of the regions wines but with increasing interest.

Autograph OR Pinot Noir

I had the pleasure and honor amongst others of recieving some fantastic Oregon Pinot Noir for #winechat. Tamara Belgard of @sipwithme and Frank Morgan of @drinkwhatyoulike shared the evening chatting about Oregon Pinot Noir. Living in California, land of plenty'O Wine, Oregon wine is something that anyone interested in, would need to make a journey to seek out. My experiences are minimal for Orgegon Pinot, and I was super interested and excited to try these fantastic wines. The R. Stuart & Co Autography and Fire I must use an ultra geeky wine term that you must forgive despite this not being a wine review post......they absolutely rock'ed and yet so different than the thousands of California Pinots I've experienced. These are wines I would tell my family to obtain.

Canas Feast OR Pinot Noir

The Canas Feast was structured elegance in a bottle. I loved drinking this as I tweeted in the #winechat throughout the evening. My interest in attending this years #wbc12 was initiated by watching the stream of tweets from last years event in Virginia. I got the play by play of Janis Robinsons speech and loved it. I have made adjustments to my style of writing (mainly on and zero in this post). I simply have had a greater interest in attending since hearing about great keynote speakers, and my serious interest in Pinot Noirs from Oregon. 

All of these little pieces throughout the year all have had me thinking about what the experiences will be like at #wbc12. Many of these events throughout the year I have attended solo. I am humbled, honored, and have extreme gratitude for being one of the wbc scholarship recipients, and have different expectations of this event. At the wbc I will be surrounded by other like minded bloggers (mostly). The opportunity to meet so many other wine bloggers and to learn more about blogging, social media, Pinot Noir, Oregon, and hear some kick butt speakers has me pumped! If you are going to #wbc12, say "hi" I'll be easy to spot.....big ugly guy with a flat top. I am really interested to meet you and hopefully learn from you.


  • Jen Dahlin
    Posted Saturday 14 July 2012 01:19
    Loved this post! I too am a scholarship recipient and am so excited! I hope to meet you in Portland. I will be the one humbly soaking up all the knowledge. Cheers to you! See you there!
  • Frank
    Posted Saturday 14 July 2012 12:03
    Excellent post, Shawn. Look forward to meeting in person in Portland. A great time (and Pinot) will be had by all. Cheers!

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