By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor
We're heading to Niagara wine country, both the Canadian and U.S. sides, May 13-15, 2011.
We are still finalizing many of the details, but here's what we know so far, from the press release we issued a few minutes ago:
TasteCamp 2011 will be an exploration of Canada's most established and prominent wine region, and one of America’s newest and most dynamic, including everything from the famous wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake to the terroir-driven wines on the Niagara Escarpment, as well as organic/biodynamic wineries, vineyard walks, grand tastings and wonderful food including the popular BYOW dinner at Treadwell Farm to Table Cuisine, one of Niagara's best local-produce restaurants. Attendees will stay at White Oaks Conference Resort and Spa.
What differentiates TasteCamp from other events and conferences geared toward wine writers and bloggers is that it’s largely self-funded. Attendees pay their own way and participate in TasteCamp out of a genuine interest to learn more about the region, its wine, its terroir and its people.
“The concept for TasteCamp from the start was to take writers who know little or nothing about a region and completely immerse them in it for three days. They taste a lot of wines, visit estates and meet dozens of winemakers. It’s not about just showing them the ‘best’. It’s about showing them the complete picture,” said event creator Lenn Thompson, who also founded the New York Cork Report.
Quebec-based TasteCamp organizer and wine blogger at The Wine Case, Remy Charest said, “From the moment I attended the first TasteCamp in Long Island wine country in New York in 2009, I was hoping that we could get the event to Canada. Even though I'm from Quebec, it was obvious to me that Niagara should be the first Canadian stop for TasteCamp."
Fellow organizer Rick Van Sickle of Wines In Niagara attended last year’s TasteCamp in the Finger Lakes wine region and added, "I was shocked as a participant at TasteCampEast in the Finger Lakes last May. The energy of the independent bloggers and writers, the Tweets, media, blogs and buzz during, after and continuing to this day was something I had never seen before. An honest assessment of entire region that was simply a coming a age for the Finger Lakes. Imagine what we can do in Niagara."
TasteCamp is an opportunity for the host regions to show off all that they have to offer — to a group of keenly interested writers. Morgen McLaughlin, President of the Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association, one of last year’s sponsors, said “TasteCamp 2010 was a tremendous success for the Finger Lakes. Having bloggers and journalists visit the region, many of them for the first time, generated significant media coverage and excitement among the wineries. We hope that TasteCamp makes a quick return to the Finger Lakes in the coming years.”
Suresh Doss, publisher of Spotlight Toronto and co-organizer for TasteCamp 2011 event concurred, saying “This is a unique opportunity to show Niagara’s terroir and the potential of farming in this region.”
Want to particpate in TasteCamp 2011?
To participate as an attendee, please email Lenn Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To participate as a sponsor, please email Suresh Doss or Rick VanSickle (email@example.com)
In the meantime, visit tastecampnorth.tumblr.com to stay up to date with the goings on.