Friday, 21 October 2011

EUROPEAN WINE BLOGGERS’ CONFERENCE 2011, DIARY OF AN ATTENDEE




3 days of workshops, round tables and presentations, 216 participants from 34 different countries, and – last but not least - hundreds of wines to taste: these are the figures of the 4th edition of the European Wine Bloggers’ Conference (EWBC), which took place in Brescia (heart of the Franciacorta region), Italy, 14th-16th October. I attended the conference both as the editor of Gourmet Liguria and the “reporter” of Liguvinario (http://liguvinario.blogpsot.com/ is Ligucibario’s Italian blog about wine). The numbers I quoted confirm the significance of the wine & web phenomenon, definitely a lively and innovative liaison in which the conviviality of enogastronomy meets the potential of the Internet in terms of cross-cultural communication and sharing.
Wine lovers of the digital age, in fact, do live the EWBC as an opportunity of getting together and exchanging experiences – i.e., to live the “social” dimension in a not virtual mode, too. Yes, blogging is beautiful. But tasting, visiting wineries, commenting on wine&food pairings together with someone who shares your passion and presents you with a “new” perspective (because he/she comes from a different professional field, or belongs to another culture, or is older/younger than you, or doesn’t like the wines you like…) is even more beautiful, and fosters our desire to tell stories.
Most appropriately, storytelling was EWBC 2011’s main theme. Guided by the organizers – Ryan Opaz, Gabriella Opaz and Robert McIntosh, the volcanic trio from Vrazon.com – and by the speakers (George Taber, Evan Dawson, Jeremy Parzen, Emily Troutman, Paolo Casalis, Elisabetta Tosi, Catherine Liao, Damien Wilson) we discussed the different contexts of storytelling (oral, written, photo, video) and the wine stories yet to be told. Works progressed outside the conference hall: the wines we tasted, the producers we met, the surprise dinner in the wineries of Franciacorta, the chats in the cloisters of Santa Giulia, the participants’ Tweets shown live on the maxi screen during the gala dinner at Palazzo della Loggia – all these things meant (and mean) professional and personal development.
And this is no small feat – on the contrary, it is a major achievement, because the future should reflect the memory of the past, as well as heath means nature, an evergreen lesson also for winegrowers and enologists.
Ryan, Gabriella, Robert: this is my story about the EWBC, hope you'll like the beginning, the middle, the end and the details (this one is for George Taber). Thank you all, salute!
Luisa Puppo
Gourmet Liguria & Liguvinario & Ligucibario

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