Highlights and Final Thoughts from the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference

By Kori ~ October 3rd, 2012.

Recently, Dad (John), Colby, and I spent three jam-packed days in Portland, Oregon, for the fifth annual Wine Bloggers Conference. Over 350 fellow wine bloggers, wine industry participants, and media members participated in tastings, keynote addresses, breakout sessions, and visits to local vineyards and wineries. [See the bottom of this post for a recap of the wines we tasted during #WBC12.]

The day before the conference, Colby and I had the pleasure to attend a culinary bus tour hosted by Wines of Chile. We had a fabulous afternoon enjoying Portland’s diverse food options paired with some wonderful Chilean wines. That evening we attended a Welcome Reception hosted by the Oregon Wine Board where we had the opportunity to try a number of Oregon wines.

Things really kicked into high gear on Friday with the official start of the conference and a keynote address by Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard. In a departure from previous conferences, the winery visits were held on Friday afternoon and evening rather than on Saturday. These wine country visits are always a highlight of the conference. When we boarded the bus, we did not know where it was going as each bus had a different destination throughout Oregon wine country. Our bus enjoyed a lovely visit to Sokol Blosser Winery in Dundee where we tasted, ate dinner, listened to live music, and took a vineyard tour with representatives from seven Dundee Hills wineries.

This year, we had two Live Wine Blogging segments (Whites & Rosés on Friday and Reds on Saturday) which featured wines poured for us by winery representatives in a fast and furious “speed dating”-like format.

Saturday morning and early afternoon was devoted to breakout sessions on a variety of topics. I won’t bore you with the details, but we found most of the sessions very interesting and informative. We hope to incorporate some of the suggestions and ideas we formulated during these sessions to make Wine Peeps even better. And once again, there was an emphasis on social networking and interacting with our readers. (So if you aren’t already, please follow/like us on Twitter and Facebook.) Rex Pickett, author of Sideways, gave the keynote address on Saturday afternoon. Later that evening, Alan Kropf of Mutineer Magazine presented the 2012 Wine Blog Awards. Congratulations to all of the winners!

King Estate Winery hosted dinner on Saturday evening. In my opinion, it was the best dinner we’ve had at any of the Wine Bloggers Conferences. They brought their own culinary staff to prepare a delicious five-course meal paired with their wines. For more details about the dinner, including recipes, check out the website they created just for the event.

While I enjoyed all of the keynotes, sessions, events, and tastings, the best part of the conference was getting to meet so many of our fellow wine bloggers in person and see some friends we had made at previous conferences.

Many thanks to Allan Wright of Zephyr Adventures and Joel Vincent of Joel Vincent Productions for organizing this wonderful conference and to all of the sponsors for your support in making it a reality.

We are already looking forward to the 2013 conference in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada!

Here’s a breakdown of the wines that we tasted during #WBC12. Under each Quality heading, the wine name and region are listed along with price and QPR rating. Wines in bold type received a QPR rating of 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5).

Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
2007 Santa Rita Triple C, Maipo Valley, Chile, $40, QPR: 5
2009 Brittan Vineyards Basalt Block Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $45, QPR: 5
2009 Rodney Strong Alexander’s Crown Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, California, $75, QPR: 5

Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
2009 Decibel Sauvignon Blanc, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, $13, QPR: 5
2011 MontGras Quatro, Colchagua Valley, Chile, $14-15, QPR: 5
2010 King Estate Riesling Vin Glacé, Oregon, $15, QPR: 5
2010 Odfjell Orzada Old Vine Carignan, Maule Valley, Chile, $18, QPR: 5
2010 Loma Larga Lomas de Valle Syrah, Casablanca Valley, Chile, $18, QPR: 5
2010 Argyle Eola-Amity Hills Riesling, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $18, QPR: 5
NV Gloria Ferrer Va de Vi, Sonoma County, California, $22, QPR: 5
2011 Miguel Torres Estelado Sparkling Rosé, Maule Valley, Chile, $25, QPR: 5
2009 Cono Sur 20 Barrels Pinot Noir, Casablanca Valley, Chile, $25-30, QPR: 5
2008 Argyle Brut Sparkling Wine, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $27, QPR: 5
2010 Van Duzer Estate Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $30, QPR: 5
2007 Argyle Knudsen Vineyard Brut, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $50, QPR: 5
2011 Milbrandt Vineyards Ancient Lakes Riesling, Columbia Valley, Washington, $20, QPR: 4
2010 Milbrandt Vineyards Northridge Vineyard Malbec, Wahluke Slope, Washington, $25, QPR: 4
2010 Stoller Reserve Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $28, QPR: 4
2010 Winderlea Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $38, QPR: 4
2007 Amity Vineyards Winemaker’s Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $40, QPR: 4
2010 Brittan Vineyards Basalt Block Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $45, QPR: 4
2010 Archery Summit Premier Cuvée Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $48, QPR: 4
2008 Domaine Drouhin Laurène Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $65, QPR: 3
2010 Winderlea Legacy Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $75, QPR: 2

Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
2011 PEPI Sauvignon Blanc, California, $9, QPR: 5
2011 NxNW Horse Heaven Hills Riesling, Washington, $12, QPR: 5
2010 Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Claret, California, $17, QPR: 5
2008 Santa Rita Medalla Real Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley, Chile, $18-20, QPR: 5
2010 Los Boldos Vielles Vignes Merlot, Cachapoal Valley, Chile, $20, QPR: 5
2009 Amity Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, Oregon, $22, QPR: 5
2009 NxNW Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington, $25, QPR: 5
2007 August Cellars Portus Augustus Dessert Wine, Oregon, $25 (375ml), QPR: 5
2011 Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc, Casablanca Valley, Chile, $12-14, QPR: 4
2009 Argyle Brut Rosé, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $30, QPR: 4
2010 Longhand (Bev Mo Vnyd Partner) Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, California, $30, QPR: 4
2010 Lange Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $32, QPR: 4
NV Sokol Blosser Evolution White Wine, America, $15, QPR: 3
2011 King Estate Signature Pinot Gris, Oregon, $16, QPR: 3
2009 Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $38, QPR: 3
2010 Argyle Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $40, QPR: 3
NV Domaine Chandon Etoile Sparkling Rose, Carneros, California, $50, QPR: 3
2011 Stoller Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $20, QPR: 2
2008 Styring Reckless Petit Verdot/Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, Oregon, $35, QPR: 2
2010 Winderlea Willamette Valley Chardonnay, Oregon, $36, QPR: 2

Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
NV Riunite Lambrusco, Emilia IGT, Italy, $6, QPR: 5
2011 Domaine du Tariquet Classic Cotes du Gascogne, France, $9, QPR: 4
NV Hope Family Wines Troublemaker Blend 3, Paso Robles, California, $20, QPR: 4
2009 Amity Vineyards Eco-Wine Organic Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $22, QPR: 4
2011 Esporao Duas Castas Semillon Viosinho, Portugal, $13, QPR: 3
2010 King Estate Signature Pinot Noir, Oregon, $27, QPR: 3
NV R.Stuart & Co. Brut Rosé d’Or Sparkling Wine, $38, QPR: 3
2011 Recuerdo Wines Torrontes, Argentina, $15, QPR: 2
2010 Cornerstone Cellars Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $30, QPR: 1
2009 Brittan Vineyards Syrah, Oregon, $40, QPR: 1

Filed under: American Wine, Argentine Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, California Wine, Chardonnay, Chilean Wine, Dessert Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, French Wine, Italian Wine, Lesser Known Varietals, Malbec, Merlot, New Zealand Wine, Oregon Wine, Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Portuguese Wine, Red Wine, Riesling, Rose Wine, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz/Syrah, Sparkling Wine, Torrontes, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wine Activities/Events

Reader's Comments

  1. Alana Gentry (@girlwithaglass) | October 4th, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I’m very impressed by all of your ratings. Totally great since I wasn’t able to taste lot of these wines. I’ll be sharing this post. Nice.

  2. Kori | October 4th, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Thanks so much. Cheers!

  3. Pilar Peñafiel | December 4th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Hi Kori, I work at MontGras Winery and I wanted to thank you for liking our wine MontGras Quatro 2011.
    It’s for posts like this that we work so hard.
    Thank you again, I hope you had a great time here (in Chile).


  4. Kori | December 4th, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    You are most welcome. Keep up the good work! I had a wonderful time in Chile and look forward to visiting again someday. Cheers!

  5. MIke | May 14th, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Those Santa Rita wines and Central Coast players are killing it lately. I was sampling some Garnet Carneros Pinot (http://www.garnetvineyards.com/) the other day and Alison reminded me of the wine bloggers conference, so I’ll have to try to attend in 2013.

  6. Kori | May 14th, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Agreed. WBC13 is coming up next month in Penticton, BC, Canada. Unfortunately, we won’t be going this year. Excited to hear the venue for WBC14 which will be announced at this year’s conference. Cheers!