Wines of Chile just held its third wildly successful on-line blogger tasting. This time the focus was on Sauvignon Blanc–just as the weather breaks in the northern hemisphere and tastes turn to lighter, fresher, summer wines.
Why do virtual tastings with bloggers? Lori Tieszen, the US Director for Wines of Chile, explained that “Unfortunately we can’t take everyone to Chile to discover the quality and diversity of our wines, so with technology we try to bring a bit of Chile to them. Because Chilean winemakers are known for embracing new technologies, an on-line blogger tasting is a natural fit for Chile.”
Fifty-five US bloggers from 17 states participated in this on-line event. Each received a box of the 8 wines, information about the wines, wineries, winemakers, and Chilean wine regions, as well as 2 samples of Chilean “1492″ brand olive oil beforehand so they could taste along with the 8 winemakers and interact with them and each other via twitter, chat, and live streamed video.
The young and oh-so-dynamic Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer who led the tasting, had never participated in such a technology-driven event, but was clearly excited about the outcome. “It took a ton of preparation to create a good flow and nail down all the technology needed to pull this event off seamlessly. It was pretty awesome when it all came together; we went live and there was a total rush of adrenaline!”
Wines of Chile recognizes the importance of bloggers and social media in today’s wine world. “Chilean wines are modern and unpretentious and we feel this fits perfectly with the attitude of today’s bloggers. We are a perfect fit!” says Tieszen. “We’re also reaching more and more people via our Facebook Fan Page and Twitter feeds. It’s just another extension of our efforts to talk to people across the US about our incredible wines,” says Tieszen.
Dexheimer, who is the official Wine Educator for WoC in the US, agrees. “The power of social media is definitely awe inspiring! This type of tasting is an amazing way to reach a large number of influential people who talk and write about wine for a living. Wines of Chile was able to connect 51 bloggers with 8 of the best winemakers in Chile and have a virtual conversation about Chilean wine, which is pretty incredible! Overall, I was extremely happy with the questions and comments from both sides of the conversation. I am pumped that so many bloggers were interested in Chilean Sauvignon Blanc and participated not only in our live chat but also through Twitter using the #SBChile tag.”
It has been thrilling to see the response before, during, and after the event as this group of bloggers commented on the event itself, the wines, and the opportunity to interact directly with the winemakers, something that for many would be impossible any other way, given the great distances.
Participating winemakers & their wines:
1 Christian Aliaga: Viña Veramonte: Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2009, Casablanca Valley
2 Felipe Tosso: Viña Ventisqueiro, Queulat Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Casablanca Valley
3 Rafael Urrejola: Viña Undurraga, TH (Terroir Hunter) Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Leyda Valley
4 Brett Jackson, Viña Valdivieso, Single Vineyard Wild Yeast Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Leyda Valley
5 Vivian Alamo, Viña Santa Rita, Medalla Real Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Leyda Valley
6 Matias Ríos, Viña Cono Sur, Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2009, San Antonio Valley
7 Cecila Guzmán, Viña Haras de Pirque, Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Maipo Valley
8 Arnaud Frennet, Viña Casa Silva, Cool Coast Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Colchagua Valley
Here are just a few comments from the bloggers about the event:
This was the first tasting I had done this way, and I think it was terrific. It gave me an excuse to get several people together who like wines and who had a lot to say about these wines. It gave me a chance to hear from several winemakers all at one time who I probably never would have been able to meet in any other way.
We both really enjoyed the whole experience–from the beautiful marketing materials, communication with Morgan Perry, Fred’s moderation, the winemakers, and all the wines (in vary degrees, of course). Neither one of us had participated in a virtual tasting and were not sure what to expect. It was great. Seeing and hearing the winemakers was a highlight. We later enjoyed the leftovers with friends and explained the whole event to them–they quickly joined in in our enthusiasm. Well done Everyone!
It was great to see what Sauvignon Blanc wines are coming out of Chile right now. My friends and followers look forward to hearing about the value focused, quality wines Chile has to offer. I look forward seeing how continues to develop as a wine making region
The bloggers are now doing their thing and have had a lot to say, so take a look at the links below for what they thought of the experience-and the wines!
We’ll be adding to this list of blogger posts as they develop. If you participated and don’t see your link here, be sure to let us know!
Wined & Dined express their excitement for the tasting and promise to report on it soon
Bottle Report shares their own notes on the tasting along with a summary of their positive experience and there is a cute pic of the event
The Blog Wine Cellar also shares his own notes and ratings along with his insights of the tasting
Niche Wine also expresses excitement about the tasting and promises tweets and reviews
Drink Hacker checked in with his Tasting Report
Drink Nectar did a video report
The Good Wine Guru invited friends along to enjoy the event
The Foodista finds wines to enjoy on the deck
The Miami New Times blended old tech and new by listening via telephone
Wine Peeps was happy for the opportunity to “kick some virtual vineyard dirt” with the winemakers.
The Wine Chatr (same as Wine Peeps)
See the video: The 3rd US Wines of Chile Sauvignon Blanc Blogger Tasting