California winemaker Randall Grahm (pictured between chefs Fergus Henderson and Jamie Kennedy in Toronto, April 2011) will attend this year’s wine blogger’s conference in Turkey. Photo: Jo Dickins.

This year will mark the 5th edition of the EWBC Digital Wine Communications Conference, to be held in Izmir, Turkey the 9th-11th of November. Held last year in Brescia, Italy, the number of participants drawn to the conference has been steadily growing. Organized by wine marketing company Vrazon in conjunction with Wines of Turkey, the conference anticipates 300 international participants. “Our goal is to create a network of wine communicators across the globe to spread information, broaden the culture of wine, improve industry standards and, above all else, create a physical space to communicate and share ideas,” says Vrazon spokesperson Gabriella Opaz.

When asked why Turkey has been chosen as this year’s venue, Ms. Opaz commented, “We love inviting our participants to push their boundaries, exploring that which has not been considered ‘traditional’ wine regions. Turkish wines have garnered considerable fame in recent years for creating quality wines from native grapes. Turkey is simply unknown, which is always intriguing to us.”

Following the success of the inaugural tasting of Turkish wines held in London in February 2011, Wines of Turkey expressed hope that the conference will help maintain the momentum created. Mr. Taner Ogutoglu from Wines of Turkey remarked, “We have been monitoring this conference in the last two years and saw that it was very effective in terms of communication with the bloggers, masters of wines, opinion leaders and traders.”

Prominent wine personalities Tim Atkin MW, Andrew Jefford, Jamie Goode and Randall Grahm are just some of the confirmed speakers. Participants will have the opportunity to attend hands-on workshops as well as tastings, pre and post-program sponsored trips are also scheduled, allowing participants to visit local vineyards and gain a greater understanding of wine culture from a sociological, cultural, archeological and gastronomical perspective. Ms. Opaz pointed out, “[It is] an incredible opportunity to network with dynamic, passionate, collaborative people who adore innovation and thinking ‘outside the box.’” More info regarding the conference can be found at

Lindsay Groves is a sommelier and professional wine educator based in Toronto.