The 2009 Wine Bloggers Conference for North America will take place July 24-26, 2009 in Napa and Sonoma Counties, California. Wine bloggers, winery bloggers, and other wine and social media professionals will gather from throughout North America and beyond to meet, learn, and share.

We have arranged excellent meals, fantastic wine tastings, interesting discussions, and motivating speakers.  If you are a blogger who rates wine, covers the wine industry, or works for a winery, you won’t want to miss the 2009 North American Wine Bloggers Conference! As a 2008 participant told us: “I have been to hundreds of conferences for work, ed and play—I can safely say yours was one of the best organized I have ever been to!  Kudos to you all!”


  • Citizen Bloggers who write about wine or the wine industry on their own.
  • Winery Bloggers who have a winery-related blog. In 2009 we will have special content tailored to winery bloggers.
  • New Media Innovators who work in the world of blogging and social media.
  • Wine Industry members who would like to learn about new media or interact with bloggers.


The cost of the conference is $95 for citizen wine bloggers (those unaffiliated with a business or organization), $195 for industry wine bloggers (those whose blog is affiliated with a winery, retail store, or other business or organization), and $295 for non-blogger participants (industry, media relations professionals, friends and family, etc). We are able to offer a lower price to citizen bloggers and wine-industry bloggers since it is because of these folks our sponsors underwrite the conference. If you are a member of OpenWine Consortium, you will receive a discount of $10 (just indicate your membership on the registration along with your member name and we’ll discount it automatically). Payment is required in advance by credit card. If you must cancel your registration, your payment is 50% refundable through June 24 and not refundable after that.

We have kept the registration fee as low as possible and, frankly, it is a screaming deal when considering what you receive:

  • Discounted hotel rates (until rooms are gone) including free wireless
  • Live Wine Blogging session where you will taste, rate, and blog about wines presented by owners and vintners themselves
  • A Sonoma Grand Tasting featuring up to 40 top Sonoma County wineries
  • A Napa Grand Tasting featuring up to 40 top Napa County wineries
  • Two dinners and three lunches – with wine plenty of wine
  • Napa Rocks day with a progressive tour of three Napa wineries
  • Conference content including breakout sessions, panels, keynote speakers, etc
  • Optional Sunday afternoon Vineyard Walks in Dry Creek Valley

Not included in the conference price are your hotel, two breakfasts, and transportation to and from the conference.


Our host hotel is the Flamingo Resort, an amazing resort built in 1957 and on the National Historic Register. The Flamingo is offering us conference space, discounted room rates, and free wifi. We have a block of rooms reserved for July 24 and July 25 for $169 per room per night ($189 for fancier Executive rooms); you can extend your stay on non-weekend nights (Sunday through Thursday) for only $119. Once you register for the conference, we will provide you with information on how to reserve a room. If you would like to share a room with another conference attendee, please visit our Forums section on OWC and talk with other participants.


Registration and a Sponsor Lunch begin at 12:00 noon on Friday, July 24 in Santa Rosa, giving you that morning to reach the site. You can fly into one of several airports including San Francisco, Oakland, and nearby Santa Rosa. You will not need a rental car during the conference and from San Francisco or Oakland airports you can take the Sonoma County Airport Express to the Days Inn location in Santa Rosa and take a taxi the five miles to the Flamingo Resort. Cost is $30 one way. If you prefer to rent a car and drive to the conference hotel, we suggest you use our Forum on OWC to share with other conference participants. The convenient Sonoma County Airport is a short taxi ride from the Flamingo. Horizon Airlines serves this airport with service from Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, and Las Vegas. The conference ends at 12:00 noon on Sunday, July 26, allowing you to return home that day. Alternatively, we are offering lunch and Vineyard Walks, last year’s highest rated conference event, from 12:30 to 4:30 PM on Sunday for those of you staying in the area.


Dress is “wine country casual”. What does that mean? Really, you should dress as you feel comfortable. For daytime sessions, jeans or shorts and a polo shirt are fine. For the evenings, many people will dress up a bit but ties and jackets are definitely not required.

Monica Turner
Contributor to Stark Insider for tech, the arts and All Things West Coast for over 10 years.