WBC13/Penticton Final Thoughts

Where to begin ………..WBC13 was inspiring, humbling, exhausting, fun, informative towpid-IMG_20130607_211137_225.jpg name only a few adjectives that I could put down. To be around so many enthusiastic and talented people with like interests was both inspiring and humbling. While motivating to put more energy and time into the product it can be demoralizing to know there are so many other people out there writing about the same thing but with much more knowledge and real artistic talent. The wpid-IMG_20130607_171142_989.jpgcontent of the conference was tailored to a tee, our only complaint was feeling like we were going non-stop the entire day with no room to explore the region on our own but it’s hard to complain when you are learning about and drinking incredible wine all day and being educated on how to improve something you are passionate about. From speed tasting (see prior posts) to learning how to judge wine, workshops on CEO (didn’t even know the acronym before the conf) and a trip to the Similkameen valley, WBC13 had it all. WBC14 will be in Santa Barbara and we are already making our reservations.
A few final thoughts about Pinticton, the BC wine region and Canada in general. Take all of this with a grain of salt as it is being written by an american hack with no business or psychology training. The people of Canada are some of the most friendly, warm people we have encountered in our travels. They are also very humble. They all seemed very well informed and stay abreast on the wpid-IMG_20130607_181050_405.jpghappenings in the lower 48. In a way it’s almost like a younger brother, one with more going for them then they realize, who still admires their older brother whose best days are behind them. The BC wine region has everything you need in an appellation to produce great wine including sun, many different micro wpid-IMG_20130607_171345_606.jpgclimates and good soil. Pictures do not do the scenery justice, somewhere you truly have to go to fully appreciate. The wine makers of this area are as hard working, talented and creative as any you will find anywhere. We found some really really good wine here and within 5 years or so and a little fine tuning I am willing to bet they will stand up to just about any area around the world. Unfortunately what I think will hold them back from the recognition they deserve is that they are not arrogant or greedy enough (an unfortunate requirement in the global vino industry) to stand up and say to the world “hey, look at us, we make some dam good wine”. Until they do they will remain a “secret spot” and a destination for those of us in the know.
Find(s) of the weekend:
Gone Crackers- based in Surrey, BC, some of the best flavored and textured crackers wpid-IMG_20130607_181050_405.jpganywhere
Painted Rock Winery- our favorite BC winery
Artesana Winery- A Uruguay winery with an incredible Tannat and Tannat/Merlot blend, and available in the US

WBC13 Day 2 and 3, Penticton BC

wpid-IMG_20130607_133542_372.jpgNo post yesterday, the last two days have been a whirl-wind. Non-stop yesterday with discussions on the state of wine blogging, workshops on using google + and wine tasting from south Africa, lunch hosted by the wine association of Ontario, speed tasting of BC white wines, an excursion to the Similkameen region with tours, tasting and then dinner in a wine cave, then an evening party at a resort rooftop overlooking a lake at sunset. Early morning today, breakfast in association with the local farmers market, then right into learning how to be a wine judge. Then another lunch, this time with wines of Uruguay, more to come on that, follow by workshops on SEO, content and “drink them before they are famous”. Another session of speed tasting (see the previous posts), then an open house with wines from Greece. Liver is into the pelvic area but otherwise we are doing well. This is really the first time we have been able to spend in the room relaxing, watching another beautiful sunset over the lake while listening to a bar band right beneath our window. It has been an incredible two days, we are on information and networking overload, but invaluable. Just wish we had a little more time to enjoy eachother and where we are. Final thoughts on the WBC13 and Penticton to come.

WBC13 Arrival

First day at the WBC was intimidating. We arrived in BC and met a group of friendly guys who we rode with to the hotel. (Lakeside Resort) Clean, friendly staff nothing to write home about except for the area. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! The lake is amazing and the room I booked has a lake view so we get to admire it all weekend.
The reception was nice with a good amount of vendors. First stop were wines from Uruguay. Tannat is what they are known for and boy was it tasty. There was also a Tannat Merlot blend that was delish.
Next we tried a few Verdelho by Rueda. The pourer was obviously Spanish…..heavy accent. He was friendly. Was not head over heels for the wine we did taste but there was a lot more that I will explore.
We then stopped at a cracker booth; that was the highlight of the reception. It was called “Gone Crackers” currently they only sell in Canada and are based out of Vancouver. We chatted with two reps for a while about the US market. I encouraged them to get selling because the crackers were so delicious!
By this time it was time to hop on a bus to “Seeyalaterrach” the bus ride was about 20 min. We met a friendly reporter on the bus for the local newspaper who was a great conversationalist and gave us some local info. Again the views spectacular

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There I won a champagne bottle turning contest! I got a magnum bottle of champagne. We visited various tables with small bites and tastes of wine. The best wine, which shocked me was a local rosé. Refreshing with a hint of sweetness. It had a touch of muscat blended in. At the end I tried Ice Wine for the first time. Not impressed. Not sure if it was the maker or its just not my cup of tea so I will continue to investigate.
We ended the night with a group who we met on the bus ride from the airport one of which is associated with Paso. We met a native Canadian who was great to talk with we became fast friends.
So back to my first sentence regarding feeling intimidated. It was crazy listening to these people talk about Facebook me, tweet me, tweet that, blog this blog that and for me I barley created a Facebook page the other day and the blogging world is all new to me. I guess we all need to start somewhere and that’s part of the reason why we are here…..to learn!
So a great start with fun new friends! Lots to learn! Can’t wait for the rest of the weekend!!!