I am so delighted that I won the 2009 Wine Blogger Scholarship from the Pinot Blogger of Capozzi Winery. Josh Hermsmeyer, aka Pinot Blogger, had an innovative idea for a bloggers scholarship. He wanted to encourage bloggers to enter a discussion about the relationship between bloggers and wineries, particularly in terms of bloggers advising wineries. In addition, he wanted to support the further education of bloggers so at least half of the money awarded would go to the blogger’s wine education. Competition can stifle communication but Josh had the idea to increase the scholarship award according to the number of entries received, up to $1,000 for a single post!!!
With an opportunity like that, how could I not apply? Well it was harder than you might think. I must admit that I was intimidated by the requirement to answer the question should bloggers advise wine makers. Well, I am a geek teacher that was also the business/tech manager for an organic farm in my past. If the wine maker had a question about social media or a database to track their inventory and wine notes, sure I could advise about that. But, there is no way in heck that I have the knowledge, expertise nor experience to tell a wine maker how much sulfur dioxide to add when or whether or not they need to add bentonite. It seemed presumptious and inappropriate to me. I struggled with the question but I got my post on why this wine blogger blogs in, just 30 minutes before the deadline.
Unfortunately, I may not have been the only one that struggled. Pinot Blogger was disappointed with the relatively few submissions received. I think the comments on that post show that there is a desire for bloggers to communicate with each other and with wineries. I applaud Josh’s willingness to bring this discussion to the table. Social media and the wine industry is new. It is by experimentation that we learn what works for different situations. It is by honest and vulnerable discussions like in his post, that we learn from each other about creative methods to promote wineries.
So maybe, my blog post about my passion for Washington wines wasn’t selected from thousands or even hundreds of blog posts. The goofy grin of me with the check in hand at the Wine Blogger’s Conference goes a long way to show how excited I am to win money towards my wine education AND to have a part in promoting the wine industry.
PS My favorite Viognier for 2008 so far is Alexandria Nicole Cellars , followed by a close second is William Church. The Covington Cellars Tuscan Red continues to grace my dinner table with its character and great food pairing style.