The fifth annual Wine Bloggers Conference took place two weeks ago in Portland. “Wine bloggers unite” was the tribal mantra of the 350+ writers in attendance. For many of these wine bloggers, it was their first time in Oregon and, more importantly, their first in-depth exposure to Oregon wines. They write for various, often altruistic, reasons. Many spend their days working their jobs that pay the bills while burning the midnight oil blogging about wine. Wine bloggers are passionate about wine— often writing blogs without earning a dime.

Now that smartphones are a common accessory, wine shoppers can read up on wine choices while standing in the grocery store aisle. Frequently, searches reveal an opinion written by an unpaid blogger. These bloggers are actively disseminating information about wines with more candor and authenticity than one finds on the winery’s website.

Wine bloggers are becoming an important part of the wine industry. They are a force to be reckoned with, especially when they organize as a group. This weekend’s Wine Bloggers Conference brought nearly 400 wine writers to Portland and the surrounding wine regions. Besides their collective love of wine, these bloggers are a technologically savvy group. iPads, iPhones and laptops were commonplace during the conference.

Over the long weekend, bloggers posted on every social media outlet available to them. In fact, on both Friday and Saturday their collective tweets that included the Wine Blogger Conference hashtag (#WBC12) trended to the top of Twitter for several hours each day. Now that’s a lot of visibility for a very small group.

In the coming weeks and months, the internet will be flooded with blog posts discussing the wines grown and produced in the state of Oregon. This publicity will likely garner interest from both the general wine drinking public as well as wine critics. The Wine Bloggers Conference has effectively aimed a very large spotlight on the Willamette Valley and other AVAs within our state’s borders.

Expect to see our wine industry grow as a result of this year’s Wine Bloggers Conference. As Oregon’s reputation for growing and making fine wines continues to develop, wineries small and large will gain market share. That exposure should help the Oregon wine industry increase the $2.7 billion in net economic contributions it currently makes to the state’s revenue. Bloggers may not be the mainstream media but their impact and importance is too great to be ignored.

Take some time and read for yourself.

Wining Ways Wine Blog
Pull that Cork Wine Blog
Ancient Fire Wine Blog
By The Tun Travel, Food & Wine Blog
Wine Julia Blog
Oregon Winette Wine Blog
Wine 4 A Cause Wine Blog
Wine Without Worry Wine Blog
eau’s Barrel Room Wine Blog

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