Walla Walla leaves good taste in bloggers' mouths

Many attendees of the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference have posted highlights of the weekend on their websites and Twitter accounts.

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William Pallard of Wild 4 Washington Wine at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center during the three-day wine and bloggers conference. 6-27-10

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Craig Sutton known for social media and online marketing, talks about increasing the conversion rate of blogging. 6-27-10

WALLA WALLA -- Judging from the trail of tweets they left behind, a lot of wine bloggers left Walla Walla Sunday with a sweet taste in their mouths.

The 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference drew a sold-out crowd of 300 to the Valley for three days of sampling vintages in wineries, tasting rooms and elsewhere.

Their impressions of the wines, people and places then flew out on the Internet via Twitter, Facebook and personal blogs.

Many of the bloggers already have posted highlights of the weekend on their websites and Twitter accounts. The postings congratulate the conference organizers, express pleasure in meeting and reconnecting with colleagues from throughout the country and compliment the Walla Walla Valley and its wines.

Joe Power of Houston wrote on his site, Another Wine Blog, that the event was "a lot of fun" and "they make some fine wine up here in Washington!"

Nicky Vallee of Palm Springs, Calif., also was impressed, according to her blog, Vino Chick. She terms Walla Walla a gem and wrote, "The power of the written word is limitless. Apparently so is my capacity for delicious vino, which I discovered via the North American Wine Bloggers' Conference, held in gorgeous Walla Walla ..."

Vallee also mentions two live blogging events she participated in and promises more details later on the "beautiful vineyards" and a vintner who shared his personal philosophy on winemaking.

Others tweeted they had a "whirlwind" of a time, received good education from local wineries, and "met so many great peeps."

Michael Davidson, Tourism Walla Walla executive director, said today he was very impressed with organizational work done by the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance.

"It was very good," he said. "The feedback that people are leaving is very positive."

Overall the event "was just phenomenal and it was just a great showcase opportunity for us," Davidson said. "I think it was a great opportunity for Walla Walla and a great opportunity for Washington state."

This was the third annual conference for the wine bloggers and the first time the event has taken place outside of California's Napa Valley. Walla Walla was selected by the bloggers for this year's conference.

The conference began Friday with dinner at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center followed by a "Walla Walla Walkabout" tour of downtown tasting rooms which opened their doors late for the event. Visits to wineries, vineyards and other tasting rooms followed throughout the weekend.

Davidson said the bloggers enjoyed being able to meet face-to-face with winemakers, viticulturalists and others during the tour.

"They were a pretty savvy group. They asked very good questions," he said.

Reporter Terry McConn contributed to this story.

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