Winews / 6 Thoughts and a Bonus from the DWCC 2015 Plovdiv

30th of October 2015

Plovdiv, this small, but coquette historical town in Bulgaria, from the 23rd till the 25th of October, shined a bit more than usual. Why, you may ask? Well, because of all those wine glasses and fabulous people who were present at the 2015 edition of the Digital Wine Communication Conference.

One of the things I learned here in terms of content writing, is that tops are always a good idea. So, here are my top six things that I learned from DWCC15 and the people I learned them from:
Robert Mintosh and Ryan Opaz
1. “Sell what sellsbut keep an open mind” is the idea that stuck to me during Ted Popov’s keynote.Ted is the General Manager of Accolade Wines, a world leading wine provider and they have this weird new product called Echo Falls Fruit Fusions(check it out, but don’t taste it if you’re not the experimental type). Drawing on a heritage with one of the first wineries established in Australia, Accolade Wines has evolved into a global wine company, with some of the world’s best-known brands sold in over 100 countries, including Australia, the UK, Mainland Europe, the US, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and China.

2. “Communicate, don’t just write” is what essentially Ryan Opaz (the creator of DWCC, founder of Catavino) was saying at his “Tips, Tools & Tricks” seminar, which I loved. It’s ok to write about wine or any other passion, but if you want to really put the information out there, then you might need a couple of new media and social media tools, not just Facebook and Twitter. The ones that stuck to me, even though I knew them, but never took the time to actually use, were HootsuiteTextExpander and, believe it or not, Tumblr.

3. “Wine tourism isn’t about wine, it’s about the whole experience”, Diana Isac from Winerist pointed out. She said that all over the world, wineries still have to learn how to welcome tourists. I am happy that from what she said, I can see Romanian wine tourism going in a good direction. Diana is from the Republic of Moldavia and she is one of the most well known people from the wine tourism sector, thanks to her awesome project, Winerist.

4. Humor is good in wine, but don’t overdo it with pretentious wine facts and comparisons, that not all people get. We learned that from MW Richard Hemming. Humor sells or just draws attention, but there’s a thin line between a not so good joke and a memorable one.

5. Find a niche and learn all there is to know about it. This thought came from the great Wink Lorch, but I must admit it was in a private conversation which was one of the best parts of my stay in Plovdiv. Wink wrote abook on Jura wines. Jura is a small wine region in France and the things they do there seem unbelievable. One of them is that they chill the red wines and serve the whites warm. Find out more from her book.
Jim Budd at Romania's booth
6. Even a city can have good marketing (d’oh!). This goes to the “fun facts” category. I liked that the first speaker at the “Welcome to DWCC” keynote was Plovdiv’s Deputy Mayor. The “goodie bag” had a lot of info about the city and, to my disgrace that I hadn’t known this before, I found out that Plovdiv is the oldest European city. “The City of Seven Hills” how it was called, though only six remain today, had its first prehistoric settlements in the 6th millennium BC. Good job, Plovdiv, at promoting yourself during the conference!

7. (Bonus) Romanian wines are pretty good (of course I knew that, but confirmation from professionals always helps) and so unpopular in the international wine world. Of course they can do better, but who can’t? Romania’s booth did great at the Walk Around Tasting in the Exhibition Hall, but more on that in a future article.

Thank you, DWCC, for having us and see you again soon!

Romania's wine booth at the DWCC exhibition

Alexandra Hash