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Governor McDonnell Announces National Wine Bloggers Conference to be Held in Virginia

Charlottesville Selected as 2011 Location for National Conference; 300 Attendees Expected; Premier National Event for Wine Bloggers

The national 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference will be held in Charlottesville.  The conference is expected to bring at least 300 attendees to the area for the 3-day gathering.   

Commenting about the selection, Governor McDonnell noted, "Virginia wineries are garnering lots of attention across our country and around the world.  By hosting the Wine Bloggers annual conference in Charlottesville, interest will continue to grow thus attracting more visitors to Virginia and its wineries.  Since taking office, we have been looking at new and innovative ways to promote Virginia wines both domestically and internationally.  In addition to announcements of major national conferences choosing Virginia, our major initiatives supporting tourism and the wine industry took effect last week on July 1st.  Virginia is now the nation's fifth largest wine producer and seventh largest commercial grape producing state, and we are committed to growing this important, job-creating industry in the years ahead.  I look forward to welcoming the Wine Bloggers Conference to the Commonwealth next July."

The Wine Bloggers Conference is the premier event for wine bloggers and others involved in the new media of online wine writing. Over 300 bloggers and social media experts involved in the wine industry will gather to meet each other, learn about blogging and social media, and taste hundreds of wines. There are over 800 English-language wine blogs that have a growing audience and influence on consumers.

Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd P. Haymore stated, "While 2010 has already been quite a year for the Virginia wine industry, 2011 is shaping up to be even more exciting given the Wine Bloggers decision to hold their annual gathering in Virginia.  Hosting events such as the Wine Bloggers Conference is key to helping our wines continue to receive notice and critical acclaim here and around the world.  And, when pairing the Wine Bloggers announcement with Wineries Unlimited's decision to hold its annual conference and trade show in Richmond next year, it's obvious that our wine industry is getting the respect it deserves.  Both of these conferences will enhance the growing domestic and international reputation that our wines are receiving and will generate more economic opportunities through increased tourism and sales at Virginia's more than 160 farm wineries."

Conference Organizer Allan Wright of Zephyr Wine Adventures added, "Charlottesville is a natural place to hold our fourth Wine Bloggers Conference. The city is fantastic, the Virginia wine scene is burgeoning, and the state-level support of the conference is tremendous. We are very excited to introduce wine bloggers from across North America to the wines of Virginia."

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