Calling all wine bloggers

The 2010 Wine Blogger’s Conference is a little more than a month away. The third annual conference, which takes place in Walla Walla June 25th to 27th, brings three hundred wine bloggers and industry professionals together. The conference focuses on academic information related to blogging as well as a series of wine tasting events (see the agenda here).

For those attending the conference, there are a couple of items I want to point out. The first is a lecture by Dr. Kevin Pogue titled “The Terroirs of the Walla Walla Valley.” Pogue is chair of the Department of Geology at Walla Walla’s Whitman College. The talk is scheduled at an unfriendly 8am Saturday morning and is listed as ‘optional.’ However, for those with any interest in Washington wine or the forces that have shaped the state’s terroir, this lecture is mandatory.

Later on Saturday I will be participating in a breakout session on "The Washington Wine Industry" with writer Paul Gregutt and Coman Dinn, Director of Winemaking at Hogue Cellars. The session offers the opportunity for attendees to “Learn about the history and current status of the Washington wine industry, including weather, terroir, appellations, varietals, and more” – all in forty-five minutes. While any one of these topics could obviously fill an entire day, I would like to know what attendees would be most interested in hearing about the Washington wine industry. Leave a comment below with your questions or send an e-mail to me at, and we will take the topics up during the session.

Finally, winners of the WBC-or-Bust contest were announced yesterday. Twelve wine bloggers who wrote posts over the last several months on various aspects of Washington wine will be taking a bus trip from Seattle to Walla Walla in advance of the conference. The bus will make stops in Woodinville, Yakima Valley, and Red Mountain along the way to educate the group about Washington State and its wines. Congratulations to all.

See you in Walla Walla!

Sean P. Sullivan


  1. Thanks, Sean, for your "heads up" on the Wine Blogger's Conference. I will definitely sign up for Dr. Pogue's lecture and your session on "The Washington Wine Industry."

    I think a historical perspective on "The Washington Wine Industry" would be informative. The industry has come a long, long way since 1969 when I started Esquin. Two pivotal events would be Nawico's decision in the late '60's to expand planting vinifera varietals in the state, and the reduction of the tax on wine from 26% (which would have severely hobbled the wine industry) to a flat gallonage tax in 1973. The Washington Wine industry would not be where it is today if these two things had not happened.

  2. Rand, excellent suggestions! Look forward to seeing you in June.

  3. I'd love to see a little bit on the future of Washington wines, what "new" varietals are being planted and their impact on the more established grapes that the state is known for. If possible, a discussion of the wine market's acceptance (or lacktherof) to these new offerings would be interesting to hear.

  4. Beau Carufel, many thanks for your thoughts. We'll try to touch on these.


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