10 Takeaways from the 2016 Wine Bloggers Conference in Livermore Valley & Lodi

Tools of the wine blogging trade

Tools of the wine blogging trade

The Wine Bloggers’ Conferences are always a whirlwind, and this year’s conference was no exception.  It was a packed 5 days in the Livermore Valley and Lodi wine country with other wine nerds who love sharing what they’re eating and drinking just as much as (if not more than) I do. Every year, I come home from the WBC re-energized and chock-full of ideas, which is why this year was my 5th conference. So, to get things started, here are my top 10 takeaways from WBC16:

10.  I’m no longer 23 years old, so 5 hours or less of sleep for 5 days in a row means heading home feeling run down and with a cold; I’m admittedly a little disappointed in myself.

Livermore Valley Windmills

Livermore Valley Windmills

9.  Livermore Valley is not only home to some beautiful vineyards, but some impressive windmill farms; my pictures from the bus don’t do it justice, but I’ve never seen anything like it.

8.  There are over 100,000 acres of wine grapes planted in Lodi, and 7 Deadly Zins are what people know best; because that was my impression of the area, I rarely drink Lodi wine at home, and I assume that is why I have a devil of a time finding it in DC wine stores and restaurants…all of that needs to change.

7.  Michael David Winery survived prohibition by continuing to grow grapes, but instead of making wine from those grapes, they were shipped with instructions on how NOT to ferment them.

Lodi Native Project Zinfandel lineup

Lodi Native Project Zinfandel lineup

6.  The Lodi Native Project Zinfandels were some of my favorite wines during the conference, and the work these winegrowers and winemakers are doing is very impressive; the project is a collaborative project by 6 Lodi winegrowers (although there will be more for the 2015 vintage) that not only highlights the region’s heritage Zinfandel vines, but also requires the wines to be produced through sensible farming and minimalist winemaking practice protocols.

2014 Concannon Vineyard Assemblage Blanc at the vineyard

2014 Concannon Vineyard Assemblage Blanc at the vineyard

5.  People should start looking to Livermore Valley Wine Country for fun, elegant wines; whether it was the large producers like Concannon Vineyards and Wente Vineyards or smaller producers like Vasco Urbano Wine Company and Page Mill Winery, there is a lot of quality wine in all price ranges to be found in the area…so, drink up (or don’t because it means there will be more for me).

4.  The Livermore Valley Wine Country is closer to the San Francisco airport than Napa/Sonoma, and Lodi is only a little further away from San Fran than Napa/Sonoma, so there is no reason why both places can’t become just as popular with wine lovers; both are definitely wine destinations I need to revisit.

3.  There is a reason why Lodi is the self-proclaimed Zinfandel capital of the world (besides producing 32% of California’s premium Zin, what they are producing is delicious), but…

2.  Look to Lodi for some delicious Spanish varietals, like the Tempranillo made by both Amant Winery and McCay Cellars; longtime readers know how I love my Spanish wines.

Pictured top: Becca from The Gourmez, Me, Maria, & Catherine from Pursuing Pinot Picture Bottom: Me and Sarita from Vine me Up; Chris from Forgotten Grapes, Kris from Nebraska Wine Tours, WBC JoJo, Justin from Wizard of Whiskey, and me.

Pictured top: Becca from The Gourmez, Me, Maria, & Catherine from Pursuing Pinot. Pictures on the Bottom: Left: Me and Sarita from Vine me Up; Right: Chris from Forgotten Grapes, Kris from Nebraska Wine Tours, I’m not sure who this is (whoops!), WBC JoJo, Justin from Wizard of Whiskey, and me.

1. The conference is like a big family reunion, except instead of blood relatives, I get a chance to see my wine blogging family, many of whom I haven’t seen in a year or two, and meet new additions…and it’s my favorite part!

Question of the Day: Have you had wines from Livermore Valley or Lodi? What did you think? Do you have a favorite?

Bonus Question if you attended WBC15: What was your #1 takeaway from the conference?

Me with the Lodi Wine sign at the

Me with the Lodi Wine sign at the Hutchins Street Square Center in Lodi

Comments

  1. says

    I am so sad to have missed the conference this year! I do drink some Lodi wines, as there are quite a few Lodi Zins and one Chardonnay available in my area. I look forward to the opportunity to visit and try more of the wines one day.

    • says

      Lodi and Livermore should definitely be on your list of wine areas to visit. I know WBC17 is going to be tough for you, but maybe our wine circle can find a weekend to escape and taste together. This would be the perfect area for us to head!

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