This evening we set off to Italy for the European Wine Bloggers Conference IV. We are very excited because the agenda of conference sessions and wine country excursions are “molto fantastico.” We can only wonder how we will be able to manage the consumption of so much fine wine and food that the Italian wine consortiums have in store for the 216 wine bloggers that will attend this amazing wine soiree. The conference headquarters are in Brescia, Italy, which is situated in the heart of the Franciacorta wine territory, notably known for its fabulous sparkling wine.
The conference unofficially begins on Thursday night with a BYOB dinner. Each participant attending the dinner will bring to the table something from their homeland that is unique. Sorry to say, we are not bringing a Napa Valley wine as our BYOB wine. We believe that most participants at this conference have already tried Napa Valley wines. We wanted something a little different for the worldwide wine bloggers (34 countries represented) to experience. In our suitcases, packed inside a “Wine Skin,” is a bottle of Cedarville 2007 Syrah from the Fair Play AVA in El Dorado County and a Montemaggiore 2006 Syrah from the Dry Creek Valley. Both are scrumptious wines from small wineries owned and operated by a husband and wife team.
The theme for this year’s conference is Storytelling. Whether it be through a blog, a video, or a set of photos, the wine bloggers will be learning how to become master storytellers. I personally cannot wait to hear keynote Speaker George Taber. I just finished reading his book “Judgment of Paris.” George Taber was the only representative of the media (London office of Time Magazine) to attend the famous Paris blind tasting in 1976. His book is a vivid historic account of individuals like Mike Grgich and Warren Winiarski that put the Napa Valley on the map at the historic Paris tasting.
On Monday morning, October 17, this Italian wine adventure continues with post conference trips. We are among 35 lucky wine bloggers to head to Chianti Classico. The Chianti Classico Consortium sponsors this trip. An unbelievable agenda of activities is planned for us including tours and tasting at four wineries and culminating with a dinner at Solo Cicca in Panzano, prepared by butcher Dario Cecchini. Dario is an 8th generation butcher and world famous for his innovative meals with meat.
After Chianti Classico the wine bloggers conference ends, but Janelle and I will forge ahead. We have two days planned in Soave and then five days in Piedmonte. We love California Wine Country, and I am sure that we will learn to love the Italian wine country just as much. Salute!