When I started my blog three years ago I did so with nothing more than a desire to write. I didn’t know what I wanted to write about, I didn’t know who would read it and I had NO idea if I even had the skills to write. I never studied to become a writer and hadn’t written a short story in years. My tech skills were adequate at best and I really didn’t know what I wanted my voice to be. When you look back at the first several blog posts, that is all really obvious! But once I started, I realized what Napa Valley lacked was a positive voice for vegans. There were very limited dining options; Chefs had made their careers and fortunes serving up plate after plate of animal flesh with no signs of slowing down. Having lived in Napa for 2 1/2 years by the time I unveiled my blog, I realized that I had spent most weekends somewhere else. My husband and I were traveling all over the Bay Area for our food and entertainment and not spending any time in beautiful Napa Valley. So it came down to this…I started my blog and raised my voice for the animals OR I moved. While I was open to starting over somewhere more vegan-friendly, Steve just loved Napa. So, in lieu of an argument that I wasn’t going to win and a move that he didn’t want, my blog was born!
The amount of knowledge I have acquired about winemaking, food and wine pairing, writing and self-hosting has been self-taught and incredible! And I finally realized that this writing thing is pretty cool. And I not only want to keep doing it but I want to keep getting better at it. I want to earn more money doing it. And I want to be seen as an expert on my topics.
The Conference is being held in Santa Rosa and I’m really looking forward to spending my time and money in a city that was so devastated by the 2017 North Bay fires. In fact, the registration fees for the Wine Education sessions and Wine Dinners are being donated to the local American Red Cross based in Santa Rosa. The Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country is hosting the Conference and will be offering vegan dining options and I’ll get to support all of my favorite vegan restaurants in and around Santa Rosa!
To start this new journey, I’ll be joining close to 300 other attendees at the Wine Bloggers Conference on November 9th – 11th. I will be surrounded by Citizen Bloggers like me; Industry Bloggers; Social Media Innovators and Wine Industry leaders. Day One of the Conference includes Wine Education Sessions with Mark Beringer of Beringer Wines. He’ll be sharing the story behind one of Napa Valley’s most celebrated wines – their iconic Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignons. Next, I’ll be learning about the relationshjp between dry-farming & quality wine production with an illustrious panel that includes producers from Armida Winery, DeLoach Vineyards, Oak Farm Vineyards and Quivira Vineyards. That evening the Opening Reception & Expo will include an incredible meet & greet with my fellow attendees; tastings of wines produced locally and from around the world and a big welcome from the event sponsors.
And this is just Day One! My weekend is going to be filled with learning, conversations…and wine! Keep an eye out for what Days Two and Three will include and as always…eat, drink and be vegan!