What can I say about my trip to Vienna?
It has been like falling in love in slow motion –surprisingly, the same way it happened in Lisbon a year before in the previous editions of the EWBC.
In the days before the event, my head was completely out of this world. I gradually started to visualize my stay in Austria and to recall familiar faces I was to meet. It was a very nice feeling. Right on the plane, I met some of those people.
When we landed in Vienna, I suddenly felt I wanted to play the violin –and I don’t even know how to hold it!
The programme was perfectly organized. This was mainly due to the fact that the organizers –who arranged everything with great professionalism– were also participants to the event, and they wanted to enjoy it too.
Presentations? Michael Cox from Wines of Chile made a fantastic presentation. They talked about Chile as a great wine-maker, its wineries and, finally, its wines. This helped us understand why Chile is becoming a first-line reference in the wine global market.
What can I say about Wines from Austria? Not only they presented their wines, but also they organized the event in wonderful premises, the city of Vienna and their country with all its wineries backing their presentation. Our Austrian friends did really well. They have a wonderful country and a breathtaking city and their wines are simply gorgeous. Their wines (mainly white)have music. Their red wines are a bit flat, at least this is my opinion bearing in mind I come from Spain where red wines are much more expressive.
There were quite a lot of Austrian wineries present at the event, as well as some Portuguese (Wines of Portugal) and Spanish that offered their spaces, time and wines to the participants.
The conferences by Elin McCoy, who wrote The Emperor of Wine; Rowan Gormley, CEO of nakedwines.com; Evelyne Resnyk, author of Wine Brands; and Andre Ribeirinho, CEO of Adegga.com, were really interesting.
Dinners. I spent three nights in Vienna and I had the chance to experience three very different styles of dinner. The first one took place in a beautiful restaurant. The second one in a super-modern bar where we could dance; and the third in a popular place where we were served dishes that recalled Obelix’s dinners. All these places had three aspects in common: 1) Loads of good wine. 2) Wonderful people around the wine. 3) High spirits adults get when they want to have fun with good wine.
The perfect end? I had not planned which trip to get for Monday. Right after arriving in Vienna, I decided I wanted to take a boat ride on the Danube. “A boat ride on the Danube”, I think no more words are needed –tasting wines and seeing vineyards from the Danube; doesn’t it sound great? It certainly does and it was simply marvellous.
Every time more and more we hear about the power of social networks. In fact, a new film on this matter has just been released and I do recommend it. There is not a single economic sector that has not been influenced by the power of social networks. In this sense, many of the agents trying to change the way wines are seen and appreciated in the world were gathered there.
Social networks are changing the world in general and more specifically the world of wines. But what makes the sector of wines especially interesting is that a lot of consumers assume as unique and/or main source of information the Internet and Social Media, and only a few Wineries understand this tendency.
A few days ago I read in Twitter: The sector of wines ignores Social Media. And I replied to that tweet, “maybe the sector does, but certainly not consumers”.
At this meeting, there were 200 consumers from 30 countries. Their passion for wines encourages them to gather once a year to meet other people with their same likes. They usually find other people in the Internet and try to get to know them outside the net in events like this. Or maybe they look for other people with their same interests with whom they may keep in touch through the Internet. They are all linked by their passion for wine and its culture. Most of them see it as a hobby, but they write and read a lot about wine. And there is nothing else they like more than tasting different and good wines. Therefore, they flew or drove thousands of kilometres to be in Vienna. They know a lot about wines. And they went to Vienna to write in their blogs about which wines they love and why. Then a lot of people will read their opinions.
Will Wineries start to understand how important it is that these people get to know their wines and make a good evaluation of their products? If they had understood that, they would have been there. However, many of them were not present in the event.
Congratulations to Robert, Ryan and Gabriella because this edition was even better than last year’s. Because this format works. Because I really enjoyed my stay in Vienna and I got the feeling that most of participants share this opinion.
And to all participants to the EWBC 2010, I hope to stay in touch with many of you. Big hugs.
This post in Spanish: European Wine Blogger Conference, en Viena 2010