Taste Camp comes to Northern Virginia wine country this weekend. What is Taste Camp? A gathering of 40 wine journalists and bloggers from all over the U.S. and Canada in an emerging wine region for an immersive wine weekend.

The concept for TasteCamp, created in 2009 by Lenn Thompson, executive editor of the New York Cork Report, is a simple one: getting these enthusiastic writers to taste as much wine as possible and speak to as many winemakers as possible over the course of a weekend in a region that is new to them. This is not a junket — attendees pay their own travel expenses, including their hotel rooms and meals (some are sponsored).

I’m excited to be one of the writers attending this weekend! The 2012 program features a combination of vineyard visits, grand tastings, conversations with winemakers and camaraderie. Participants will also take part in what has become a TasteCamp tradition, a BYO dinner where wine lovers share special bottles in a freestyle evening of discovery and one-upmanship.

We’re visiting six wineries Boxwood Winery, Breaux Vineyards, Fabbioli Cellars, Tranquility Vineyard,  North Gate Vineyards, Linden Vineyards. At several wineries there will also be tastings by other Virginia wineries.

  • At Boxwood: Ankida Ridge, Annefield, Barboursville, Boxwood, Blenheim, Gadino, Glass House, Hume, Notaviva, Paradise Spring, Pearmund, Rappahannock and White Hall
  • At Tarara Vineyards: Bluemont, Corcoran, Delaplane, General’s Ridge, Horton, Loudoun Valley, Narmada, Philip Carter, Stinson and Zephaniah
  • At Tranquility Vineyard: 8 Chains North and Otium Cellars

The last three years of TasteCamp visited Long Island, the Finger Lakes and Niagara (U.S. and Canada). The events generated significant attention for these emerging wine regions via dozens of stories and articles.

Why Virginia for the fourth year? “The 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference was a great opportunity for both Virginia and bloggers, but I wanted to bring TasteCamp to Northern Virginia to offer a truly immersive experience. We want attendees to eat, drink, sleep and breathe Virginia wine for three days. It’s of course impossible to fully explore a region in just a weekend, but that doesn’t stop us from trying,” said Lenn.

I’ll be tweeting this weekend from the event so you can follow on @GrapeOccasions & #TasteCamp AND plenty of content will be gathered for upcoming articles so check back here.

Cheers to Taste Camp 2012!