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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wine Bloggers Get Big Welcome from Virginia Governor

Official welcome for the Wine Bloggers Conference from Governor Bob McDonnell (Wine Dogs are big fans!). Munchkin is packing her bags for Charlottesville.

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of Governor Bob McDonnell

Virginia Welcomes National Wine Bloggers Conference
– 330 wine bloggers from across the country to converge in Charlottesville this weekend –

RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell today welcomed 330 national wine bloggers to the annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference taking place this weekend in Charlottesville. The three-day symposium brings top wine bloggers from across the country to taste local wines, visit wineries and discuss the intersection of wine and new media.

Virginia, home to almost 200 wineries across the state, is the fifth largest wine producing state in the nation. The Virginia Wine Board, the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau are working in partnership to host the event, which is organized by Zephyr Adventures. Eric Asimov, chief wine critic for the New York Times, and Jancis Robinson, world-renowned Master of Wine, will be special guest speakers.

Speaking about this weekend's conference, Governor McDonnell remarked, "Virginia is honored to be hosting the Wine Bloggers Conference and excited to showcase our local wines to this national audience. The conference locating in the Commonwealth this year is yet another indication of the Virginia wine industry's growing reputation in domestic and global marketplaces, and it also furthers my goal of making Virginia the East Coast Capital of wine and wine tourism."

Virginia's theme for the conference is "A Commonwealth of Wine," highlighting the fact that Virginia has wineries in nearly every region of the state. Virginia has nine distinctive wine regions and six federally-recognized American Viticultural Areas.

Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd P. Haymore added, "The Virginia wine industry is an important part of our agricultural and tourism efforts to employ thousands of Virginians, preserve working farmland and promote buying locally grown products. I commend the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Charlottesville/Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office for their work in bringing the Wine Bloggers Conference to central Virginia and for helping to promote our burgeoning wine industry."

During the event the wine bloggers will attend seminars, taste wines from nearly 60 Virginia wineries from across the state, tour more than 20 area wineries and visit area attractions including Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and downtown Charlottesville. Attendees also are taking a pre-conference tour of Loudoun County wineries.

"We're proud to be the host city for the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference," said Kurt Burkhart, Executive Director of the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau. "We see this conference as the perfect complement to Vintage: The Winemaker's Year, which clearly shows that Virginia wines have arrived."

Attendees will use social media sites including Facebook and Twitter to share impressions and discoveries about Virginia's wines and travel experiences as well as blogging from the event.

Alisa Bailey, president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation, noted, "This is an incredible opportunity to showcase Virginia as a wine travel destination to thousands of potential travelers across the country through social media. We are excited to be a part of this event and look forward to welcoming the wine bloggers to Virginia."

Allan Wright of Zephyr Adventures stated, "We are thrilled with the response Virginia has shown us once we decided to bring the conference to the state. This is our fourth conference but our first on the East Coast and we feel we made the right decision in picking Virginia as the host."

Visit for more information or keep up with the conference action on Twitter @Winebloggerscon #WBC11. Follow Virginia's wine and tourism industries on Twitter @vawine, @visitVirginia and @vatourismpr.

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