Over the past few years we were in touch with the organizers of the International Wine Bloggers’ Conference and the North America Wine Bloggers’ Conference, trying to persuade them to bring the latter to Oregon for the first time. When they announced that Portland had been selected as the host city for the 2012 conference, we were ecstatic. We knew that it would likely be quite some time before the conference returned to Oregon, so we made a decision to go all out, take a major contingent from our team up North to Portland and show those bloggers what we do. On the day of the event, we loaded up the vans with lots of people, wine, and all of the ingredients for a 5 course epicurean experience King Estate style. The evening was a runaway success; the hashtag #WBC12 even turned out to be the #1 trending topic worldwide on twitter for the entire duration of the dinner!
The meal we produced was the results of months of planning. We realized that it would be a challenge for many of the bloggers to make it the 2+ hours down to our estate (though some did), so we wanted to do our best to bring the estate experience to Portland. We produced a really cool video presentation to play before dinner that introduced the bloggers to the estate, to our chef, and to the proprietors of the local sustainable farms and ranches that provided many of the ingredients for the evening. We also produced video demonstrations of each and every course, and provided all the video and written recipes the microsite wbc.kingestate.com. The project was virtually a winery wide effort with creativity and work contributed from all corners.
Here’s the video we played to great response:
The meal was 5 courses each with an exquisitely matched wine pairing compliments of Executive Chef Michael Landsberg, Sous Chef Benjamin Nadolny, and the King Estate culinary team. Here are shots of the dishes we served:
As the influence of blogs and social media grow, wine bloggers play an increasingly important role in the wine industry. King Estate was not the only Oregon winery to take advantage of the chance to get to know bloggers and show off our Oregon wines. It would be safe to say that the visiting bloggers are now much more familiar with Oregon Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris across the board. There were so many great wines from so many great Oregon wineries and beyond included at the conference.
The Wine Blog awards awarded 9 bloggers for elite content. Eugene based blog Wine Julia won the award for the Best New Blog, and the award for Best Blog Post of the Year was awarded to “Why Do I Write about Wine”, by Evan Dawson of the New York Cork Report. Read more about the awards here.
Preparing a 5 course meal for almost 400 people is no easy task. In addition to Chef Michael Landsberg, Sous Chef Benjamin Nadolny, and Visitor Center Manager Austim Kumm, we brought up line cooks, wine educators, and servers from the King Estate Restaurant. We have to give The DoubleTree Hotel our deepest gratitude for letting us use their space and for providing some crucial kitchen and serving staff that we couldn’t have done without.
Below are some more photos from the event: