Last year, this very blog (Social Vignerons) brought to me the joys of being award the tittle of 2015 Best New Wine Blog.
Over summer this year (2016), working and maintaining Social Vignerons brought me another major surprise and experience.
I was one of the very few people in the world to be a recipient of a scholarship allowing me to attend the 2016 Wine Bloggers Conference.
Being based in France, flying over to the US is not something one can do that often, at least not on a wine blogger’s budget. Writing and sharing about wine hardly even pays for the bottles, let alone for flying half-way around the world and staying there for a few days.
That is why last year, despite receiving one of the major awards given out at the conference, I couldn’t make it there from my New Zealand home at the time to the Finger Lakes to receive my award.
What a joyful surprise then I had back in July when I was informed that I would be the happy recipient of the EthniFacts Diversity Scholarship.
This scholarship aims at to encouraging ethnic, gender, and cultural diversity in the North American Wine Bloggers Conference attendees. I wasn’t the only male, or the only white man there, but the fact is that I was the only Frenchman, and one of the very few Europeans there too (I counted 3 of us).
Did I bring diversity there?
At least I tried, bringing my hybrid French/Kiwi accent, my long nose and my poor sense of humor in English (oui oui it’s a little bit better in French)!
This post, as little interesting as it may be, is to officially thank the sponsors and supporters of the wine bloggers conference and the scholarship program, as well as the scholarship committee and bring awareness to what their efforts have allowed conference attendants to experience.
Some of the sponsors I have particularly noted the impact of on my experience at the conference include the Lodi Wine Commission, Wines of Alsace, Visit Oakland, Wine-Searcher, and Rodney Strong Vineyards.
Find the complete list and who they are at 2016 Wine Bloggers Conference Sponsors.
Big thanks to the WBC conference’s organizers Zephyr Adventures whose super-friendly and efficient staff (including Beth, Sarah, Melanie, Thea and Allan) did transform this experience into an absolutely memorable one!
EthniFacts and the scholarship committee are obviously at the centre of my thoughts and thanks here for being the prime supporter of the scholarship I received.
Learn more about my Wine Bloggers Conference’s experience here:
There probably won’t be any more scholarship for me in the future.
I do hope there will be more wine bloggers conference for me, though it might be tough to justify budget wise 🙁