DrinkLocalWine, the website-turned-movement that Jeff Siegel and I started four years ago, will hold its fifth annual Regional Wine Week from Nov. 12-16. The idea is to encourage bloggers and other wine writers to focus on their local wines from “The Other 47,” – ie., states not California, Oregon or Washington.
Jeff and I cooked up this idea in 2008 out of a sense of frustration that the “winestream media” was ignoring the boom in local wines. (We each had a pile of rejected article proposals as proof.) Local wine wasn’t being totally ignored though; we saw bloggers doing some fine reporting and chronicling their own winery visits. Our idea was to create a website that would link to various articles and blog posts and encourage a special focus on local wine one week each year.
Since we started, DLW has held annual bloggers conferences in Texas, Virginia, Missouri and Colorado. A year after we visited Virginia, the (much bigger) Wine Bloggers Conference even ventured from the comfort of the West Coast to hold its annual gathering in Charlottesville. Wine Spectator now offers some regional wine coverage on its website, and more regional wines are receiving good ratings in Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. The New York Times no longer treats wines from the Finger Lakes or Long Island as novelties relegated to its local editions. Places like Virginia and Colorado are singled out by travel publications as some of the best wine regions to visit. “Twitter tastings” are all the rage now, but we may have been the first to do one, with our inaugural Twitter Taste-Off at our Dallas conference three years ago.
Speaking directly to bloggers: I know many of you write about your local wines all the time. So why would Regional Wine Week be worth participating in? I encourage you to step back and write about what local wines mean to you, perhaps what you’ve learned by visiting the wineries and meeting the people who are crazy and dedicated enough to make this stuff where they do. Email a link to your articles to drinklocalwine AT gmail and we will post them for all to read.
For those of you who aren’t bloggers, I hope you will check drinklocalwine.com during those days and enjoy the articles. Maybe you will discover a wine to look for during your next business trip or vacation. We will also have some new original content exclusive to the site, as well as some oldies but goodies such as my piece on Why Regional Wine Matters.
During Regional Wine Week we will also be announcing the location and dates for our 2013 conference – and we’ll give away two pairs of tickets. So please check the website every day for details!