I’ve rarely had so many things scheduled so far ahead. I have things penciled into my calendar until late 2011, easily. A funny feeling for a freelancer who has mostly seen his schedule evolve on a month to month basis.
It’s good to be planning, however, especially for events like TasteCamp North, taking place in the Niagara region, May 13-15 2011.
For some forty bloggers and spouses, most of them from the United States, this will be an opportunity to discover Ontario’s main wine-producing region and its US neighbor across the falls. Grand tastings, winery visits and vineyard walks are on the program, as well as talks from some of the region’s top winemakers, about terroir, organic and biodynamic winemaking and the history of winegrowing and winemaking in the area.
I’ve been happy to work on bringing this event, which took place in Long Island in 2009 and in the Finger Lakes in 2010, to the Niagara region, along with Rick Van Sickle, of the St Catharines Standard and Wines in Niagara, and Suresh Doss, of Spotlight Toronto. We had the chance of being together at Château des Charmes, at a social media event, on October 29, to announce the event officially, along with US-side organizer Bryan Calandrelli, which was a great and exciting feeling.
There’s a great, busy program in the works, and more details will be offered in the new year. Judging from what I saw the last two years, the events creates great conversations between bloggers who are more familiar with the region and those who come for the first time. For winemakers, it provides an outside eye, another point of view from that of a local press that is more accustomed with what they are doing.
Rick and Suresh have actually been doing most of the legwork, so far, since they are down in the Niagara region pretty much all the time, so thanks to them for doing all this work – for free!
Yes, for free. And even covering some expenses.
TasteCamp shows just how dedicated and passionate wine bloggers can be. Lenn Thompson, who created the event, and Evan Dawson, who worked with Lenn on the Finger Lakes event, last year, invested a lot of time in getting the events together, for the simple pleasure of allowing fellow wine bloggers and wine writers to discover wine regions in a free, open way. That is what makes it so pleasant and BS-free.
The idea is catching on, too. There is even a TasteCamp Italia in the works for the spring 2011. Might have to pencil that in, too.