TasteCamp East: Voracious Wine Bloggers Taste Throughout the Finger Lakes

Ravines Wine Cellars Morten Hallgren sharing '07 Ravines Argetsinger Vineyard Riesling and wife Lisa's skillet breakfast pizzas

This past weekend, I was among a group of wine bloggers who participated in the 2nd TasteCamp East, this year in the Finger Lakes.  The local wine industry is the inspiration for this blog and my business as I’ve mentioned to you before.  I had nothing to do with the selection of our region as the host of this year’s TasteCamp East, but of course I was pretty ecstatic that it was chosen from several other regions by TCE organizers at The New York Cork Report.

Tom Higgins of Heart & Hands Wine Company

I consider many of you my friends and part of a significant, vibrant and beautiful industry in New York State.  I have also developed friendships with several wine bloggers since attending the Wine Bloggers Conferences and meeting many of them via Open Wine Consortium, Twitter and Facebook. This year’s TasteCamp East brought these two worlds together and I enjoyed hearing the unvarnished feedback and impressions of the region and its wines from the perspective of wine bloggers, craving info on the world of wine and winemaking intricacies and eager to educate their audiences about their discoveries.

Fox Run Vineyards winemaker Peter Bell

Posts and photos started appearing pre-TasteCamp and several bloggers posted live updates and pics via their mobile phones, bringing followers along with us as we navigated through the region, lake by lake, meeting with and tasting an array of wines and food selected for us.  I noticed excitement from some of the winery owners and staff pouring for attendees because of the keen interest and knowledge level of the wine bloggers.  It’s not every day that over 30 wine enthusiasts travel to the region from several states and Canada with pen, wine journals and lots of questions!

Anything Wine's John Witherspoon

Most of the wineries greeted our group with enthusiasm, but the ones who stood out most, from what I’m hearing so far, are the ones who brought their stories front and center, educated this wine savvy audience on their winemaking philosophy but also remembered to share a bit of their personal selves and beliefs, including their struggles and challenges.

Sam Argetsinger of Argetsinger Vineyard

If you missed out on following along, check the New York Cork Report posts tagged “tastecamp” which will be updated with a list of the bloggers posts and check out FLXTwits and the #tastecamp hashtag’s results on Twitter Search.

Thank you to Lenn Thompson and Evan Dawson at the New York Cork Report for organizing TCE and all of the sponsors and wineries for hosting us.  This was my husband Rich’s first wine blogger weekend as my date and we enjoyed seeing the region from a new perspective.

Wineries: the agenda that Lenn and Evan created for us is a good guide for the types of personalized, intimate experiences that your more advanced wine customers would enjoy.  Vertical tastings, wine and food pairing and a BYOB in a casual gathering place (ie on a boat ) went over well this weekend.  Bloggers, any other types of events that you’d like to see more of?

10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by vcuspoon on May 11, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    great post Melissa – excellent writing!


  2. What a great experience, Melissa. I especially liked your comment: “… hearing the unvarnished feedback and impressions of the region and its wines …” If nothing else, you knew it was attended with genuine interest and thirst for knowledge. How very cool.


  3. Melissa,

    It was a pleasure to have you as a return attendee and even better that Rich was able to join you this year.

    When it comes to TasteCamp, I’m not one to toot my own horn, but I think this year’s event was great from top to bottom. Sure there were a few minor hiccups as with any event, but I think most of them went unnoticed by the masses 😉

    As Evan and I talk about next year’s event and beyond, we’d love feedback from those in the industry and those who attended this weekend. It’s only a matter of time before we bring it back to NY.

    Thanks again!


  4. Hi Melissa:

    I have yet to write my story for New Jersey Monthly but I will and I have a lot to say. It was a great weekend and an eye opener for this Jersey girl to know that this region which is less than 5 hours drive for me is making some fantastic “cool climate” wines. I’ll be reaching for a bottle of Finger Lakes Riesling as soon as my teeth recover.

    Thanks for this wonderful post.



  5. I really appreciate your feedback guys. TasteCamp East is such a cool concept…I look forward to it every year and get a little bummed when it’s over. It’s a win-win for both wineries (relationships, reviews & feedback) and wine bloggers (relationships & fresh content). Hope to see you before next year!


  6. […] TasteCamp East: Voracious Wine Bloggers Taste Throughout the Finger Lakes […]


  7. Melissa,
    Great Post!
    Too bad we did not have a chance to chat a little at TasteCamp. There was just so much to do and taste!

    Great photo’s too. 🙂

    I have to say, that Lenn and Evan did a great job of giving us all a chance to get into the Finger Lakes wine region. The vineyard visits and vineyard walks were key, and highlights of the weekend. We were able to meet and get to know the people behind the wine.

    Looking foward to the next TasteCamp, where ever that may bring us!


    • Michael,

      I agree, I wish we had chatted too but hope to see you at a future event or TasteCamp 2011 🙂

      Thank you for the compliments on my post and pics. Nice touch at the end of your Damiani Wine Cellars Vineyard Walk Photo Show thanking each DWC staffer by name.



  8. Posted by Arka Chatterjee on August 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    great post and writing,I do have participate taste camp here in India at afraa saltlake ,kolkata India,

    I am posting the link for convenience



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