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Event Information

The Symposium for Professional Wine Writers is a professional conference that focuses on writers who explore topics within wine and wine-adjacent fields. The purpose is to enhance craft of the written word, and this year’s virtual programming is intended as a career enhancement opportunity for writers at any stage of their career. 

 

This year the Symposium seeks to expand its reach through a virtual platform and to help foster new voices in the industry with a focus on inclusivity and diversity. The topics and speakers selected for this year’s symposium reflect these goals. Please see the schedule of events for more details. 

 

The 2021 Symposium is dedicated to the late Steven Spurrier who holds a special place in the hearts of many, especially in Napa Valley. Steven is well remembered for his passion and dedication to our industry. His contributions as a wine buyer, writer, educator, and vintner will live on indefinitely. We were fortunate to host Steven as our keynote speaker at the Symposium in 2018, and we are honored to dedicate this year’s Symposium to him.


2021 Press Release: Symposium for Professional Wine Writers Broadens Reach in 2021

Inquiries: Sarah Bray, Interim Director, sbray@meadowoodestate.com

 

Symposium for Professional Wine Writers Broadens Reach in 2021

Registration Opens for May 10-12, 2021 Virtual Program

 

April 9, 2021 – St. Helena, CA – The Symposium for Professional Wine Writers returns this May 10-12. This year the Symposium seeks to expand its reach through a virtual platform and to help foster new voices in the industry with a focus on inclusivity and diversity. The topics and speakers selected for this year’s symposium reflect these goals.

 

“One of the benefits of conducting the Symposium virtually is the ability to more easily bring together writers from around the globe. Our goal is to provide a forum for established wine writers to explore key issues alongside those newer to the field, with a focus on enhancing the writing profession for all,” said Sarah Bray, Interim Director for the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers.

 

This year’s program will take place over the course of three half days, with each day presenting a unique topic explored through keynote addresses, panels and activations. The lineup of speakers includes the who’s who in the writing world. The themes are as follows: 

 

• Day One - The New Language of Wine: speakers will explore how we talk about wine through a diverse array of perspectives with a keynote by Stephen Satterfield, co-founder of Whetstone Media whose mission is to champion food, wine and the stories behind them to expand human empathy.

 

• Day Two - Honing the Craft: attendees will receive insights and takeaways from leading writers and editors on pitching and the editorial process, as well as speaking to the critical role the editor plays and what makes for elegant, writerly writing. The day begins with a luminary address by renowned author Jancis Robinson, MW.

 

• Day Three - Reaching the Modern Consumer: presenters will explore ways to reach the modern consumer, touching on wine-adjacent topics, media beyond the written word and global wine trends with Felicity Carter, executive editor at Pix and former editor-in-chief of Meininger’s Wine Business International, closing the Symposium with a keynote address on perspectives on wine writing globally.

 

The program is designed to seize upon this unique moment in wine writing history, with at-home exercises to maximize takeaway for virtual attendees. Topics were developed for both established writers and active writers who would like to further their understanding of the editorial space in wine and expand their communication skills. 

 

“We are honored to have been part of so many journeys in wine, food and travel writing and are thrilled to be supporting the writing community through the continuation of the Symposium virtually this year” said Linda Reiff, President and CEO, Napa Valley Vintners.

 

“We recognize the importance of continuing the program and are committed, as we have been since its inception in 2005, to providing resources for writers,” said David Pearson, Managing Director, Meadowood Estate. 

 

There is no cost to attend, but registration is required for participation, and all applicants must submit a work sample by April 30th. All submissions will be reviewed by a committee, with applicants accepted based on the quality of their writing. To see the full list of speakers and further explore the agenda, interested writers should visit WineWritersSymposium.org.

About the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers

The Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, founded by Meadowood Napa Valley and the Napa Valley Vintners, draws top wine book authors and editors, wine magazine writers and critics, newspaper wine columnists, bloggers and other editorial wine content creators to Napa Valley to speak, listen, debate, explore themes prevalent in contemporary wine writing and network with their peers for four days. A combination of lectures, panel discussions, group and individual writing sessions, wine tastings, and fine dining make the Symposium an unmatched career enrichment opportunity for editorial wine, wine-food, and wine-travel writers.