Live from the Wine Writers’ Symposium
Theme: The Changing Landscape of Wine Media
Today I am live as an attendee of the Wine Writers’ Symposium, WWS 2022. This is my 9th WWS symposium since I began to write about wine, spirits, and travel in 2009, including receiving fellowships in 2017 and 2019 to attend. This is only the second WWS symposium held virtually. My first Symposium was in 2010. At that time, I had just graduated from the Wine Immersion program of the CIA--Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley. Wine writing then was at the point of transitioning from mostly print media into the digital world. Now we are experiencing the newer newsletter and podcast-based topical writing such as found in Wine Wanderings. Today, following the receipt of my WSET® Diploma of Wine Certification in 2018, I find myself curious to see what WWS 2022 brings to the theme, “The Changing Landscape of Wine Media.”
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In the past the WWS met at Meadowood Resort and the Culinary Institute of America, Napa Valley. However, the fires of 2020 caused major fire damage to Meadowood Resort which is currently being rebuilt. Covid restrictions moved WWS to a virtual status the last two years.
I particularly remember a personal coaching session in 2017 I received from Ray Isle, Executive Wine Editor, Food & Wine Magazine, where he recommended I focus on wine and “something else.” He recommended “wine plus another facet of wine and its environment.” Since traveling was part of my normal wine and software business workdays, I chose travel as that “facet.” Thus, “Wine, Spirits, and Travel” is the focus of Wine Wanderings. Ray Isle is one of today’s speakers, and I am grateful for his past guidance.
Wine Writers’ Symposium Theme and Topics
As a consumer of wine and travel articles, you also may wonder what else can be changing in wine media. The Wine Writer’s Symposium (WWS 2022) this year features a variety of world-wide writers and speakers.
· Oset Babur-Winter, Sr. Drinks Editor, Food & Wine
· Jane Anson, author, Inside Bordeaux
· Talia Baiocchi, Editor-in-Chief, PUNCH
· John Brecher, Sr. Editor, Grape Collective, former Page One Editor, The Wall Street Journal
· Stacy Briscoe, Sr. Editor, Wine Enthusiast
· Elaine Chukan Brown, Exec. Editor US, JancisRobinson.com
· Dorothy J Gaiter, Sr. Editor, Grape Collective, former wine columnist, The Wall Street Journal
· Evan Goldstein, MS, President, Full Circle Wine solutions
· Jamie Goode, Wine Columnist, WineAnorak
· Elin McCoy, Wine & Spirits writer, Bloomberg News
· Ray Isle, Executive Wine Editor, Food & Wine Magazine
· Esther Mobley, Sr. Wine critic, San Francisco Chronicle
· MJ Towler, Host and Producer (Podcast), The Black Wine Guy Experience
· Elli A. White, Director of Education, The Wine Center at Meadowood Estate
· Brenda Quigley, geologist, Host (podcast), Roadside Terroir
· Lee Oglesby, Sr. Editor, Flatiron Books
· Julia van der Vink, Vineyard Manager, Harlan Estate
· And many others
Day 1: Beneath the Surface
Today lays a solid foundation for the WWS 2022. We hear the publisher’s POV – Point of View- from editors of Food & Wine, PUNCH, and Flatiron Books. They chronicle broader business structures and strategies of the business. Wine writers Brown, Goode, and Quigley discussed the correlation of soil types, and the way wine tastes. Previous Wine Writer Symposium events (prior to the Covid Pandemic) included getting “Down and Dirty” with Napa Valley winemakers in their vineyards and wineries. I was fortunate to do this at Alpha Omega Winery, Raymond Vineyards, and Rombauer Vineyards in the past.
Day 2: Cultivation
Today’s programming represents the act of cultivation and the hard work of the wine writing profession. Members at our first roundtable, moderated by Ray Isle, Food & Wine, discuss the ethics of getting paid as a journalist, even to the point of receiving wine samples and hospitality. The second roundtable explores monetizing your talents and connections, including exploring monetization, advertisers, ghost writing, and influencing. John Brecher, Grape Collective, discussed how to pitch a unique point of view.
Day 3: Harvest
This day wraps up with WWS 2022 roundtable panelists discussing the new playing field, defining boundaries, and recommendations for sharpening all our skills to reap career benefits. Sustainability in winemaking and grape-growing is an important topic in today’s wine writing with moderators driving a discussion between wine writers and Julia van der Vink, Vineyard Manager, Harlan Estate. The WWS 2022 closes with specific challenges facing both established and emerging writers.
Thank you to the Wine Writer’s Symposium for my acceptance as a professional attendee. I look forward to next year, and the anticipation of meeting in person once again.
Wine Wanderings Editorial Calendar
Portugal: Fine White Wines
Great Value White Wines for Summer
Discover Bordeaux: The City of Lumières
Wine Tours in Bordeaux
Grand Cru Classé vs. Cru Bourgeois vs. Pomerol
North Texas Premier Wine Destinations
Meet Eden Hill, Lone Star, and Blue Ostrich
Barcelona, Spain: An Architecture and Shopping Mecca
Gaudi Influences, the Sagrada Familia Basilica, Hotels, Luxury Shopping
1881 Museum Napa Valley: A Transformation of the Oakville Grocery
The Restaurants of Calistoga, Napa Valley
America’s Exceptional Wine Country Adventures: States to Consider
Housekeeping: I am taking a PTO break from Wine Wanderings on August 27 and Sept 27 to attend family events. On those Tuesdays you will see instead two of the “Greatest Hits” newsletters that garnered some of the most comments and publicity. TC