Charlottesville/Albemarle chosen as site for Wine Bloggers Conference
Albemarle County and City of Charlottesville anticipate tourism impact
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 Media Contact: Lisa Stites, 434-984-7529
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.—The Virginia wine industry is in the national spotlight thanks to an effective marketing effort supported by the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau (CACVB) to bring more than 300 wine bloggers to Charlottesville this July.
The Charlottesville/Albemarle region beat out competitors Santa Barbara and Paso Robles, California as well as Finger Lakes, New York to become the host of the fourth annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference.
The three-day conference focused on the Virginia wine industry and tourism will be held July 22-24.
“We are thrilled to host this year’s Wine Bloggers Conference,” said CACVB Executive Director, Kurt Burkhart. “This is the perfect opportunity to showcase our community to tourism influencers. We are providing our local businesses with signs and information to welcome the wine bloggers to town.”
City and county tourism officials anticipate the conference will bring wide exposure and an economic boon to the community.
The North American Wine Bloggers Conference held in Walla Walla, Washington last year made a significant impact on that region’s local community.
“The Wine Bloggers Conference provided Walla Walla the opportunity to showcase our wines and our destination,” said Michael Davidson, president/CEO of tourism in Walla Walla. “The buzz created was tremendous within the wine blogger community and their followers. It was estimated that we received well over $1,000,000 in exposure for our destination.”
Virginia’s burgeoning wine industry, Albemarle County’s rich history, scenic vistas and strong sense of community helped in the selection of Charlottesville as the location for the fourth annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference.
The Commonwealth has seen astonishing growth in wine grape production in the past 30 years - from six wineries in 1979 to more than 160 in 2011, and making Virginia 5th in U.S. wine grape production.
The conference will offer academic and technical information about blogging, wine tasting, touring, and regional wine information, as well as social networking events. Keynote speakers include expert wine critic and correspondent of the Financial Times Jancis Robinson, and chief wine critic for The New York Times, Eric Asimov.
Wine bloggers will have the opportunity to tour the surrounding wine country, participate in wine tastings and explore the history of wine growing in the area. As part of this three-day symposium, bloggers will attend the Virginia Wine Reception at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.
“We are delighted to welcome the wine bloggers to Monticello,” said Thomas Jefferson Foundation President and CEO Leslie Greene Bowman. “Jefferson always envisioned a wine industry in the state of Virginia. His influence on wine production in our area and the history behind our wine industry sets Virginia wine apart from the rest.”
In preparation for the North American Wine Bloggers Conference Charlottesville/Albemarle tourism leaders created a welcome video for the bloggers, featuring local “hot spots” and messages from community members.
“Our area was chosen for this conference because of what it has to offer visitors. We think this is one of the best places to visit in the world and want to welcome the wine bloggers with open arms,” said Community Relations Director for Albemarle County Lee Catlin.
Charlottesville and Albemarle businesses will be supplied with store-front welcome signs and website information, with web-badges for website use. Welcome banners will be visible at major destination points like the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport.