This past weekend was the 2010 Drink Local Wine Conference. Media, bloggers, and consumers gathered at the Lansdowne Resort in Loudon County, Virginia to discuss and taste local wines from Virginia and Maryland. After two days of drinking the local wine and sampling the local fare, I am now five pounds heavier and thoroughly impressed with the quality of the wine and winemaking in Virginia. I’m actually quite surprised. I don’t know why I should be, since I’m a big proponent of local wine. But, I guess, even true believers can have preconceptions. Consider me convinced.
In my humble opinion, the Viognier produced by Virginia wineries in general was far and away superior to ANYTHING that California can produce (sorry guys). I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m not a big fan of Viognier. I find it too perfumed, too alcoholic, and too flabby. With so many producers (from California) producing the wine in this style, I guess I figured that it was just the grape itself. Nope! Virginia Viognier is fragrant (but not perfumey), light, and snappy. All in all, it was lovely. Virginia wineries also do Cabernet Franc and Merlot very well. They tend to have that herbal edge that I think these two varieties SHOULD have. Some of the more interesting trials and ones I think have real promise are Albarino and Petit Manseng.
During the conference, there were three panel discussion, one of which I was moderator. My panel was concerning Social Media. What else would it be about? It was a good discussion, with great participation from the audience. I had the discussion videoed and include it here for your pleasure. What are your thoughts?
I have a few other videos and photos that I will post on the Caveman Wines Facebook Fan Page later.
By far, the most beneficial aspect of this conference, for me at least, was meeting a bunch of folks I hadn’t yet met face-to-face and meeting a bunch of new folks. I think we can too often overlook the “social” part of social media. Gatherings like this provide a great opportunity to establish new connections and make new friends.
In addition to my own observations, several other friends and colleagues have posted some good reviews of the conference and their opinions of Virginia/Maryland wine.
David McIntyre (Washington Post) – Wine: Locapours drink and Tweet
Dave Falcheck (Empty Bottles) – Todd Kliman flambés restaurants for shunning local wine
Frank Morgan (Drink What You Like) – Virginia Wine and Social Media – Part I – Breaux Vineyards and Virginia Wine and Social Media – Part II – Doukenie Winery
Terry Sullivan (Wine Trail Traveler) – Drink Local Wine Conference Session Axes Cabernet Sauvignon
Lenn Thompson (New York Cork Report) – Drink Local Wine 2010 Conference: It’s About the People
Brian Kirby (The Other 46) – DrinkLocalWine.com 2010 Conference: Reflections
Dezel Quillen (My Vine Spot) – DrinkLocalWine Conference 2010: Spotlight on Virginia Wine
Cathy Harding (C-Ville) – Social networking and the rise of the regional wine movement
Sean Sullivan (Washington Wine Report) – Don’t know Virginia makes wine? Chances are, some day you will.
And, of course, you should visit the growing list of articles on DrinkLocalWine.com.