Thursday, November 20, 2014
The 2014 Digital Wine Communications Conference (DWCC) in Switzerland
The 2014 DWCC took place in Montreux at Lake Geneva in Switzerland from Friday, October 31 to Sunday, November 2, 2014. Formerly called European Wine Bloggers Conference (EWBC), it was the seventh such annual event. Previous conferences took place in Spain, Portugal, Austria, Italy, Turkey and again Spain.
The DWCC is a three-day event that provides a platform for the global wine community to address today's online communications opportunities. The theme of the 2014 conference was “Wine in Context”. The conference was attended by 315 participants from 37 countries.
Conference Highlights and Content
As in previous years, the 2014 conference was a highly entertaining and educational mix of workshops, lectures and tastings. There were 30 or so parallel workshops, lectures and tastings on Friday and Saturday, in 4 different meeting rooms.
Greg Lambrecht, inventor and founder of Coravin Inc., gave the key note speech around the topic of innovation and the drive to bring new ideas to life that can change a market. (His Coravin system allows you to pour wine from a bottle without removing the cork.)
Ryan Opaz led a session on publishing tips, tricks and tools. Marc Roisin headed a session where three inventors presented their invention and a committee selected the most promising one; it was an app (Food for Wine) that would tell you what wine to choose and where you could get it, when you type in what you plan to eat.
I liked very much the Disruptive Wine Talks - a series of short presentations by experts and personalities to make you think differently about the future of digital communications and the world. Each talk was exactly 8 minutes long and the speaker had 24 slides to work with, which auto-advanced. Hamish Nicklin, Sales Director at Google UK, encouraged us to use more the YouTube channel. Eric LeVine, formerly Microsoft and now CellarTracker, the largest database of community tasting notes in the world, told us the story of his database. Edgar Kampers, co-founder and co-director of Qoin and since 1993 responsible for the introduction of community currencies, promoted his idea of special money for the wine community. Gabriella Opaz talked about her experience of moving to Porto.
We finished the first day with a local dinner in the center of Montreux.
Obviously, Swiss wine figured prominently at the conference. On Saturday afternoon, Jancis Robinson and Jose Vouillamoz lead a Grand Tasting of Swiss wines. This was followed by a Walk Around Tasting of Swiss wines, with Swiss winemakers from all main Swiss wine regions presenting their wines. A limited group of us then had the opportunity to attend a Masterclass on Rare Swiss Varietals with Jose Vouillamoz and/or a Masterclass on Iconic Swiss Wines with Star Sommelier Paolo Basso.
We all finished the day with a Swiss Wine Gala Dinner at the Montreux Casino, with Jancis Robinson giving a speech.
The third day, Sunday, was comprised of excursions to Swiss wine regions. You could choose between 4 different tours: Geneva region, Vaud region, Neuchatel region and Valais region, unless you had booked a multi-day post-conference press trip, as we did.
In addition to the official schedule, there were a number of informal events at the various hotels after the official events had ended, including a ver interesting Champagne tasting organised by Christian Holthausen and Panos Kakaviatos.
Bring Your Own Bottle Party
The BYOB Party in the evening before the first day is always a fun event. Annette brought a Rheingau Riesling from Weingut Robert Weil and I brought a Baden Spätburgunder from Weingut Johner, both German top wine prodicers.
Pre- and Post-Conference Activities
In addition to the BYOB Party, the 3 conference days were preceded by various Masterclasses during the afternoon of Thursday, including one on Bordeaux Cru Bourgeois wines, conducted by Panos Kakaviatos.
There was also a multi-day pre-conference press trip to the Tavel and Chateauneuf du Pape regions in France. As to the post-conference trips, they started Sunday morning to the French, German and Italian speaking parts of Switzerland. Annette and I went to Ticiono (Italian speaking region).
Selfies and Other Pictures
It was good to meet old friends and make new ones.
Christian Schiller and DWCC/EWBC
This was be my fourth DWCC/EWBC; I participated in the 2010 conference in Vienna in Austria and in the 2011 conference in Brescia in Italy. I enjoyed these conferences very much.
Here are my postings on schiller-wine.
Silvia Prieler, Weingut Prieler, Schuetzen am Gebirge, Austria
The 2010 European Wine Bloggers Conference (EWBC) in Vienna
Wine Producer Austria - Not Only Gruener Veltliner
Willi Klinger Leads Tasting of Austria's Undiscovered Stars at EWBC 2010 in Vienna
Picking and Drinking Gruener Veltliner with Ewald Gruber sen. and jun., Weingut Gruber, Weinviertel, Austria
Lunch with Silvia Prieler, Weingut Prieler, Schuetzen am Gebirge, Austria
Chef Martin Weiler Suggests Amazing Food to Go With Gruener Veltliner
Producing Wines in Austria and Hungary - Franz and Franz Reinhard Weninger
With the WienWein Winemakers in Vienna in the Heurigen Drinking Gemischter Satz Wine
Wine and Food from Burgenland at Wachter-Wieslers Ratschen, Deutsch-Schuetzen, Austria - with Tom and Christoph Wachter and Julia Sevenich
Meeting “John” Nittnaus from Gols, Burgenland, Austria
Guerilla Wine Tasting with Gottfried Lamprecht from Herrenhof in Vienna, Austria
Internet Guru and Medical Doctor go Wine: Weingut StephanO in Suedburgenland
Badia a Coltibuono in Tuscany with Wine Makers and Owners Roberto and Emanuela Stucchi Prinetti, Italy
Blogging, Wining and Dining at the European Wine Bloggers Conference (#EWBC) October 2011 in Brescia, Italy – A Tour D’ Horizont
The Up and Coming Premium Sparklers of Franciacorta (#EWBC), Italy
The Premium Sparklers of il Mosnel, Franciacorta, Italy
The 1 Star Michelin Food of Chef Stefano Cerveni from the due colombe Ristorante and the Premium Sparklers of il Mosnel, Franciacorta - Wining and Dining at il Mosnel, Italy
An Apero at Zucca in Galleria in Milano, Italy
Wining, Dining and Blogging in Chianti Classico (#EWBC), Tuscany, Italy
Dining and Wining where the Royals Eat: Dario Cecchini’s Solo Cicca Restaurant in Panzano – the Butcher of Chianti Classico
Meeting Wine Maker Paolo Cianferoni at his Caparsa Estate in Chianti Classico, Italy
Wining and Dining at Badia a Coltibuono in Tuscany with Wine Makers and Owners Roberto and Emanuela Stucchi Prinetti, Italy
Extraordinary Art and Wines at Castello di Ama in Chianti Classico, Italy
Tasting Wines where Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa was Born – With Wine Maker and General Manager Francesco Nardi at Vignamaggio Estate in Chianti Classico, Italy
Visiting Barone Francesco Ricasoli and his Castello di Brolio in Chianti Classico, Italy
Wining and Blogging in the Soave Region, Italy
Christian G.E. Schiller’s Views on Soave – a Video Interview
Visiting Balestri Valda in Soave, Italy
Meeting the Winemakers of the Soavecru Association in the Palazzo Vescovile in Monteforte d’Alpone, Soave, Italy
A Visit of Cantina di Soave, Soave, Italy
Meeting American Wine Journalist/Writer George M. Taber (who was Present at the 1976 Judgment of Paris Tasting), USA
How Recioto di Soave - a Dessert Wine - is Made: In Le Sponde Room of the Coffele Winery in Soave, Italy
The 2013 Digital Wine Communications Conference (DWCC) in Logroño, Rioja
Rioja, Portugal, Austria, Italy, Turkey …. Rioja – EWBC 2013 Back in Spain
#DWCC : Comunicatore Digitale della settimana – Wine Blogger of the Week: Christian Schiller
Visiting a Stunning Winery: Bodegas Baigorri in Rioja, Spain
Bodegas Baigorri (Rioja, Spain) Wine Blog Posting Contest .... and the Winner is: Christian Schiller from schiller-wine
A Winery, a Foundation and a Museum: Dinastía Vivanco – Tasting, Tapas and a Tour with Santiago and Rafael Vivanco, Rioja, Spain
A Visit and a Tasting at Bodegas Bilbaínas in Haro with Head Winemaker Diego Pinilla Navarro, Spain
Visiting, Tasting and Eating at Bodegas Palacio, with Winemaker Roberto Rodriguez, Rioja, Spain
Schiller’s Favorite Tapas Bars in Logroño in La Rioja, Spain