Oregon Wineries Leverage the Power of Social Media at the 2012 Bloggers Conference in Portland

Phelps Winery in Oregon

Phelps Creek Vineyards in Hood River, Oregon

This was the first time that I visited Oregon. It exceeded my expectations in so many ways.

I love the lush majestic mountains. The waterfalls that were created by the Ice Age Floods were extraordinary. The farmland is cloaked with beautiful vineyards and fruit trees. There are plenty of cultural and historic sites to see.

English: The Oregon Convention Center in Portl...

English: The Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon, USA. Taken at dusk, 4×2 segment stitched image. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The food and wine was incredible with plenty of world-class chefs and award-winning restaurants.  Portland is brimming with food carts and fabulous bridges. This lush oasis reminded me of Italy and ultimately became one of my favorite Vino con Vista wine tourism destinations!

Seal of the City of Portland, Oregon

Seal of the City of Portland, Oregon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Waterfalls in Oregon

Waterfalls in Oregon

Wine Blog Awards 2012

Wine Blog Awards 2012

The Columbia River in Majestic Oregon

I went to a conference with over 370 wine bloggers who registered for the 5th annual Wine Bloggers Conference 2012 in Portland, Oregon. In addition, there was a long waiting list of bloggers hoping for a spot to open up in this cool climate varietal wine-lovers paradise.

King Estate Winery Wine Dinner at the Wine Blog Awards 2012

King Estate Winery Wine Dinner at the Wine Blog Awards 2012

The bloggers that were fortunate enough to participate in the conference were invited to a lavish five-course dinner and wine pairing hosted by Oregon’s King Estate Winery headquartered in Eugene Oregon. King Estate Winery is Oregon’s largest vintner and is located 118 miles south of Portland. I loved the Wild Chinook Salmon with garlic sausage, potato gnocchi and buttered leeks paired with the 2012 King Estate Signature Pinot Noir.

King Estate Winery Wine Dinner at the Wine Blog Awards 2012

King Estate Winery Wine Dinner at the Wine Blog Awards 2012

King Estate Winery

King Estate Winery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ed King, the CEO and Co-Founder of King Estate Winery is a marketing genius! He was instrumental in propelling his brand to new heights by sponsoring an elaborate wine dinner for bloggers. The dinner began with a well-crafted cutomized video. In the video, chef Michael Landsberg described the elements of his five-course dinner; click on the link to view the video: http://wbc.kingestate.com/. There are recipes and video demonstrations for each of the 5 courses.

King Estate Wine Dinner

King Estate Wine DInner

The Confit of Spot Prawns was placed on a bed of cucumber and roasted peach and covered with a sprig of opal basil paired with the 2010 King Estate Signature Pinot Gris. Here’s a description of the incredible five course dinner and the wine pairings: http://wbc.kingestate.com/dinner-courses/

King Estate Winery

King Estate Winery (Photo credit: drburtoni)

During the extravagant wine dinner, many bloggers were encouraged to leverage the power of mobile Social Media communication technology using their smart phones and iPads. Individual bloggers sent out a barrage of collective messages to their respective followers about the details of the King Estate Wine Dinner on Twitter using the keyword King Estate Wine and the hashtag “#wbc12.”

When you add up the number of followers that almost 370 bloggers can immediately communicate with via Twitter, Pinterest and FaceBook it is readily apparent that the number of people who learn about the King Estate wine brand will immediately grew exponentially. After all, this is about the business of wine!

As Oregon wineries leveraged the power of Social Media, the social media activities served as block-buster brand-building marketing strategies for King Estate and the other participating wineries like provacative Naked Winery, Phelps Creek Vineyards, Viento Wines, The Pines Vineyard and Cathedral Ridge Winery. These winemakers have an opportunity to differentiate their brand and hopefully gain market share in this fragmented wine industry.

Naked Winery Tasting Room in Oregon

Naked Winery Tasting Room in Oregon

The King Estate Twitter tsunami generated a Social Media fenzy for the King Estate Winery.  King Estate Winery was trending world-wide on Twitter during the event! The subsequent explosion of tweets demonstrated the impact of social media.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 02:  Apple CEO Steve...

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – MARCH 02: Apple CEO Steve Jobs speaks about the new case protector during an Apple Special event to unveil the new iPad 2 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on March 2, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Apple unveiled the iPad 2 as the successor to its popular tablet, the iPad. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

This is exactly why the Oregon Wine Board and vitners like King Estate, The Pines, Viento, Phelps Creek, Naked Winery and other Oregon vitners got involved in the 2012 Wine Blogging Conference. Many wineries are located in the Pinot Noir Triangle of McMinnville, Dundee and Carlton. The Oregon wine estates extend far beyond this region. I loved the fabulous wineries in Hood River Oregon. The Oregon vitners hoped to enhance their brand recognition by personally connecting with wine bloggers. This strategy was very effective!

Pinot noir grapes have a much darker hue than ...

Pinot noir grapes have a much darker hue than the bluish-gray coloring of Pinot gris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By sponsoring or participating in the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference, Oregon’s wineries and wine-makers hope to ride the wave of today’s social media phenomenon using blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.

Anne Amie Pinot Noir Wine from the Oregon's Willamette Valley

Anne Amie Pinot Noir Wine from the Oregon’s Willamette Valley

The WillaKenzie Estate in Yamhill Oregon hosted a group of bloggers for dinner before the conference began. In addition, there were a series of affordable overnight pre-conference excursions to Washington County, Eugene, Salem and Hood River.

Vineyards in the Oregon wine region of Willame...

Vineyards in the Oregon wine region of Willamette Valley owned by the winery Willamette Valley Vineyards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At the Thursday night reception, more than 50 Oregon wineries gladly poured Oregon’s finest selections of Pinot Noir and other delightful regional wines.

Planet Oregon Wine

Planet Oregon Wine

Wine Dinner at The Phelps Winery in Oregon

Braised Beef Shortrib with fresh pocha beans at the Phelps Creek Vineyards

Oregon Wine

Oregon Wine

On Friday evening, tour buses filled with eager bloggers departed for lavish wine dinners at seven local wineries.

I felt like I won the Lottery when my bus went in the direction of Mount Hood toward the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (CRGNSA)http://www.fs.usda.gov/crgnsa

This slice of heaven is approximately “85 miles long and approximately 4,000 feet deep. It encompasses 292,500 acres, the entire length of the Columbia River Gorge. It spans two states, extreme southern Washington and northern Oregon and runs from the mouths of Sandy River to the Deschutes River. The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is unique in both its natural and cultural history.”

Our tour bus brought us to the Phelps Creek Vineyards for a wine dinner hosted by the Oregon Wine Board. We took a hayride to the crushpad where we dine in the magical glow of Mount Hood. This unique AVA is less than 60 miles east of Portland with terroir that generates an amazing diversity of grapes.

Mount Hood

Mount Hood

Phelps Creek Vineyards in the Columbia Gorge

Phelps Creek Vineyards in the Columbia Gorge

I loved the gorgeous Phelps Creek Vineyards. I also loved the Bob Morus story. Learn about how he came from Chicago and fell in love with Hood River by watching this video: http://www.vinestories.com/video.php?video=1537447585001. By the way, when Bob isn’t in his vineyard, he’s a commercial pilot.

Phelps Creek, Viento, Naked Winery and The Pines were pouring their magical concoctions for the wine-loving bloggers. For dessert we were able to drink some “2009 The Pines Sweet Sierra” which I believe Lonnie Wright (the owner of The Pines) named after his daughter Sierra; maybe it was the winemaker Peter Rosback that came up with the appropriate name.

The Pines Tasting Room in Oregon

The Pines Tasting Room in Oregon

Lonnie and Sierra; Father and Daughter Team from The Pines Winery in Oregon

Lonnie and Sierra; Father and Daughter Team from The Pines Winery in Oregon

Viento Winery in Oregon

Viento Winery in Oregon

Sierra and Lonnie Wright (the Godfather of grapes in Hood River and the Columbia Gorge wine industry) told us tales of an Indiana Boy who saw this mystical region and never returned to Indiana. “Lonnie Wright, owner of The Pines, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Oregon Wine Board at the Oregon Wine Industry Symposium on Feb.22 in Eugene, Oregon.” Lonnie’s Tasting Room and art gallery is in Hood River at 202 State Street. www.thepinesvineyard.com

Between Lonnie leaving Indiana, and Bob leaving Chicago,  I even thought about staying in this magical place called “The Fruit Loop.” The area is  cloaked with fruit trees and wineries with Mount Hood in the background. But if I stay, who will teach my college students? Maybe I can retire here and open my own winery some day.

English: Panorama of Portland, Oregon, United ...

English: Panorama of Portland, Oregon, United States in 1890. Mount Hood in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Winery Map

Winery Map

Lonnie from The Pines Winery is the Godfather of Wine

Lonnie from The Pines Winery is the Godfather of Wine

Then they wined and dined us at this heavenly spot as we gazed longingly at snow-capped majestic Mount Hood. We had appetizers and wine in the vineyard and then  we took a hay ride to the crush pad. I completely understood why Lonnie never wanted to go back to Indiana!

I loved the braised beef shortrib with fresh poch beans and hierloom pepper carrot sauce. This was paired with the 2010 Pines Old Vine Zinfandel, the 2011 Viento Barbera and the 2012 Naked Winery Tempranillo. We were also served a Reister Farms lamb loin with Vans Cherry chutney. It was paired with a 2008 Phelps Creek Cuvee Alexandrine and a 2009 Cathedral Ridge Pinot Noir.

Reister Farms lamb loin, Vans Cherry Chutney and potato gougere

Reister Farms lamb loin, Vans Cherry Chutney and potato gougere

Snow-capped Mount Hood in Oregon

Snow-capped Mount Hood in Oregon

Beet Appetizers at Phelps Creek Winery

Beet Appetizers at Phelps Creek Winery

Wineries poured interesting wines from regional wineries including: The Pines, Phelps Creek, Viento and Naked Winery. The food was incredible!

The Happy Faces of Naked Winery in Oregon

The Happy Faces of Naked Winery in Oregon

Viento Winery

Viento Winery

Phelps Creek Winery

Phelps Creek Winery

Sierra from The Pines Winery at the Wine Bloggers Conference 2012

Sierra from The Pines Winery at the Wine Bloggers Conference 2012

The Pines Winery at the Wine Bloggers Conference 2012

The Pines Winery at the Wine Bloggers Conference 2012

Phelps Winery at the Wine Bloggers Conference 2012

Phelps Winery at the Wine Bloggers Conference 2012

Phelps Winery at the Wine Bloggers Conference 2012

Father-Daughter team at Phelps Creek Winery in Oregon

Phelps Winery at the Wine Bloggers Conference 2012

Phelps Creek Winery at the Wine Bloggers Conference 2012

Phelps Winery at the Wine Bloggers Conference 2012

Phelps Winery at the Wine Bloggers Conference 2012

Pinot cluster in the Oregon Willamette Valley ...

Pinot cluster in the Oregon Willamette Valley wine region of the Eola-Amity Hills going through early color change. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All weekend, there were late night parties in private suites hosted by members of the wine industry. By getting social with bloggers, bloggers have an opoortunity to engage their social media fans and followers with news about Oregon’s cool-climate varietals like Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay and other interesting Oregon wines being produced in Oregon like Barbera.

This type of Social Media Stategy is highly cherished by the $2.7 billion Oregon wine industry with  “849 vineyards and 419 wineries.” (National Agricultural Statistics Service). Many wineries gladly uncorked some of their best vintages for bloggers to taste. Many other wineries took advantage of the social media possibilities that bloggers offer with personal invitations to their wineries and tasting rooms.

Jamie Goode and eight other wine bloggers were given special recogniton in nine categories ranging from “Best New Wine Blog and Best Writing to Best Winery Blog and Best Wine Reviews.”

Here’s a list of the Wine Blogging Award Winners:

Jamie Goode’s Wine Blog was named Best Overall Wine Blog  http://www.wineanorak.com/

Best Overall Wine Blog by Jamie Goode

Best Overall Wine Blog by Jamie Goode

English: Umpqua River © 2004 Matthew Trump

English: Umpqua River © 2004 Matthew Trump (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vineyard in the Oregon wine region of Willamet...

Vineyard in the Oregon wine region of Willamette Valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fruits and vegetables, rich in vitamins, potas...

Fruits and vegetables, rich in vitamins, potassium and fiber, represent an important feature of hunter-gatherer diets. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wine Blog Awards 2012 in Portland Oregon

Wine Blog Awards 2012 in Portland Oregon

The 2012 Wine Blog Award Winners are:

Best Overall Wine Blog: Jamie Goode’s Wine Blog

http://www.wineanorak.com/wineblog/. Goode is an author and journalist with a highly regarded website.

Best Wine Reviews on a Blog: Ken’s Wine Guide http://kenswineguide.com/blog/

Best Industry/Business Wine Blog: The Gray Report http://blog.wblakegray.com/

Best Single Subject Wine Blog: On the Wine Trail in Italy http://acevola.blogspot.com/

Best Winery Blog: The Journey of Jordan http://blog.jordanwinery.com/

Best Original Video or Photography on a Wine Blog: Wineoh.tv

Best Writing on a Wine Blog: Vinography http://www.vinography.com/

Best New Wine Blog: Wine Julia

Best New WIne Blog is WIne Julia

Best New WIne Blog is WIne Julia

Best Blog Post of the Year: “Why Do I Write about Wine”, Evan Dawson, New York Cork Report http://newyorkcorkreport.com/why-do-i-write-about-wine/

Best Blog Post of the Year

Best Blog Post of the Year

Good Year for the Wine
Good Year for the Wine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Next year the Wine Bloggers Conference will be held in another fabulous Vino con Vista Venue; Penticton, BC. I plan to meet some of my new wine-blogging buddies there!

Nighttime panorama of the Oregon Convention center

Nighttime panorama of the Oregon Convention center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a business school professor and former Dean who teaches Strategic Management and International Business. I encourage my students to use Social Media to enhance their “Digital Reputations” @ www.eveannlovero.com.

I also blog and write Italy Travel Guides and Travel Apps @ www.vino-con-vista.com.

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Filed under Italy Travel Guides, Oregon Wineries Leverage the Power of Social Media, Oregon Wineries Leverage the Power of Social Media at the 2012 Bloggers Conference in Portland, the Power of Social Media at the 2012 Bloggers Conference in Portland, Wine Tourism, Wineries Leverage the Power of Social Media at the 2012 Bloggers Conference in Portland

2 responses to “Oregon Wineries Leverage the Power of Social Media at the 2012 Bloggers Conference in Portland

  1. Pingback: Portland has been invaded! North American Wine Bloggers’ Conference 2012 « Sacred Drop,LLC

  2. Pingback: My Glorious Vino con Vista Weekend in Portland Oregon | Vino Con Vista Italy Travel Guides and Events

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