Wine Bloggers Conference Santa Barbara
I’m attending my first Wine Bloggers Conference #WBC14 in Buellton, which is about a 40-minute drive north of Santa Barbara. This year’s event will host more than 300 bloggers and event attendees ranging from wineries to glassware manufacturers to wine gadget producers.
I took the Amtrak from San Diego and it was a great ride. I purchased Business Class and loved it. The seats are comfortable with a huge amount of space between the next row. Nothing like the airplane. In fact, dare I say there’s too much space because the tray table was too far away for me to comfortably use my laptop.
Once I reached Santa Barbara, I took a bus which was waiting directly behind the train station. There was no running to a gate in a completely different terminal. Awesome! The driver placed my luggage underneath the carriage and I took my carry on. Again, a comfortable ride and one where I got to enjoy the beautiful scenery along with way. I love my state with its diverse landscape of beaches and mountains.
Santa Ynez Marriott, the conference’s home for the next three days, doesn’t have a shuttle service but they were happy to call a taxi for me for the four block ride. Given I’m nursing a pinched nerve in my neck, I didn’t want to drag my luggage up the street for fear of further injuring myself so if you don’t have any physical limitations, you could easily walk from the bus stop.
After resting up, I headed downstairs for the Expo and Opening Wine Reception. The highlight of the evening’s tasting for me was the Szige Grüner Veltliner Brut Sparkling Wine. It a traditional method sparkling with wonderful acidity, soft, rounded citrus and a clean finish.
I also liked the 2013 Leyda Sauvignon Blanc from Chile and pear notes and a lemon zest finish.
I spend a lot of time at the Wines of Portugal table because the wines were qiute good. They are hosting a wine and food pairing lunch on Friday so I’ll have more details on their wines later. But I did really enjoy Julia Kemper from Dão DOC.
The night concluded with another round of tasting at Standing Sun.They have a great patio and a huge indoor space for pouring and a barrel room.
Well, it’s off to Day 2.