Helping the wine world to communicate better

She won!

October 2nd, 2013 | Posted by roger in ewbc | scholarship - (2 Comments)


Yes – that’s it! This years winners in the EWBC/DWCC Scholarship are ALL women! And as if that wasn’t quite enough; even the brand new Donnafugata Award goes to yet another! We couldn’t be happier…

The waiting time is finally over, especially for those who fired away an online application, being amongst a group of wonderful wine bloggers the EWBC Scholarship panel had to choose from.

And the panel this year, consisting of three true wine lovers; Benjamin Spencer Aiws, Burcak Desombre and myself, Roger Kolbu, had an absolutely pleasent job reading through all the applications. Well done, all of you!

So, are you eager to know who gets the scholarships?

Here we go:

Full scholarship (travel, hotel and EWBC entry ticket) goes to:

Hotel and EWBC entry ticket goes to:

EWBC entry ticket goes to:

This year we also have a generous contribution from Donnafugata, the well known wine producer in Sicily.
The Donnafugata Award for excellence in enotourism communications will be given to one EWBC Scholarship applicant who shows great depth of knowledge, skill, and professionalism, while also demonstrating a need for financial support to attend this year’s conference in Logroño, Spain.

The Donnafugata Award (travel, hotel and EWBC entry ticket) goes to:

All winners are or will be contacted personally. We do hope to see you in a few weeks – in Rioja!

More information on each of the winners will be published within a few days!

On behalf of the panel I would like to thank all the applicants who took their time to write some truly interesting stories showing us their thoughts on the digital age of publishing.

We also bring a big thank you to those who donated to this years scholarship!

See you all in Rioja in three weeks!

Best regards,
Benjamin, Burcak and Roger

Tempranillo grapes, the heart of Rioja red wines

Tempranillo grapes, the heart of Rioja red wines

We’re almost to the end of the applications process for the 2013 EWBC/DWCC Scholarship – to help send some very talented communicators to Logroño, Spain – but YOU still have time to submit your application.

The deadline for scholarship applications is Sunday, Sept 15 –  so if you haven’t done it already, or you know someone who’s thinking of submitting, please goForIT! Submitting is easy. All you have to do is follow the link above and fill in the questionnaire.

As many of you already know, this year’s conference is being held in the Spanish wine region of Rioja, October 25–27. The theme of the conference is “Flavour.”

In honor of this sixth EWBC, we recently announced that in addition to our annual bursaries to attend the conference, the Donnafugata Award for excellence in enotourism communications will be given to one EWBC/DWCC Scholarship applicant who shows great depth of knowledge, skill, and professionalism, while also demonstrating a need for financial support to attend this year’s conference.

If there was ever a reason to submit your application, this would be it …

Other fabulous benefits that come with attending the EWBC/DWCC include the unique educational opportunities presented during the conference, the bounty of incredible wines to taste, and the great networking potential that comes with meeting others who are passionate about wine and communicating.

We are only a few short weeks away from the most important European conference of the year … we hope to see YOU there!

Donnafugata Image

Each year the European Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship Fund awards a few very talented digital communicators with a bursary for travel and expenses so that they may attend the one of the most important wine conferences of the year. 


The EWBC’s new logo and name …
Read the article HERE

In honor of this sixth EWBC, we are happy to announce that in addition to our annual bursaries to attend the conference, one very special award will be given to one digital wine communicator.  

            The Donnafugata Award for excellence in enotourism communications will be given to one EWBC Scholarship applicant who shows great depth of knowledge, skill, and professionalism, while also demonstrating a need for financial support to attend this year’s conference in Logroño, Spain.           

Jose Rallo

Jose Rallo –
Photo by Anna Pakula

The award is named for and championed by the Donnafugata Winery in Sicily. The Donnafugata strategy for marketing and promoting wines exudes modern communications strategies with the objective of telling a story – the story of Sicily.

Jose Rallo is the voice and the face of Donnafugata. “We are strongly convinced about the power of EnoTourism in conveying the culture of wine,” Rallo said. “We have invested a lot of our energy to organize the hospitality in our cellars. Today, we welcome almost 11,000 people a year. For Donnafugata, it was a natural choice to support digital wine communicators who specialize [in enotourism].”

Enotousim – tourism dedicated to wine discovery – is one of the newest and most profitable sectors of the travel industry in Europe, claiming revenues in the billions.

“EnoTourism is a strategic tool for [wineries] to promote wines directly to the consumer. It also valorizes the land where we are based,” Rallo added. “The hope is that winelovers who come to visit us will feel like they are in Sicily when they open a bottle of Donnafugata … wherever they are.”

Wine Tasting

Winetasting at Donnafugata Winery in Sicily –
Photo by Fabio Gambina

The theme of this year’s EWBC is “Flavour” – how it relates to wine and how we communicate.

Digital communications are the present and the future for wine,” Rallo said. “Wine is naturally social. We believe in the great potential of online communications because it is much more effective, compared to other marketing tools, to reach consumers directly.”

The Donnafugata Award will be awarded privately and announced publicly prior to the October conference.

            Previous Scholarship recipients have included Carolyn Blakeslee, Wojciech Bonkowski, Veronique Cecilia Berretto, Arianna Armstrong, Atakan Aya, Lotte Karolina Gabrovits, April Henning, Richard M James, Charlie Foley, and Alex Down.

            To apply for the EWBC Scholarship, follow the instructions at the top of this page … or CLICK HERE.

            To donate to the Scholarship Fund – further helping us effectively bring more communicators to the EWBC – CONTACT US .



The EWBC Scholarhip is here!
It is finally that time of the year where a few lucky guys or gals will be sponsored to the upcoming EWBC in Logroño, Spain on October 25th – 27th 2013. For more information about the conference itself, please check out the official page at

If you are interested in receiving a scholarship please hit the “Apply here!” link above and fire away your application.  We will be publishing more information about how we will hand out this years scholarships later.

How to donate?
All donations (100%) donated to EWBC Scholarship will be given to the scholarship winners. We hope to have multiple recipients this year! Let us know if you want to help us out and/or use the “Donate” button on the right side!

If you wish to contact us in any other matter, you can hit the “Contact us” link above.

Yours truly,
Roger Kolbu, Burcak Desombre and Benjamin North Spencer Aiws.

What is the EWBC Scholarship?

The EWBC Scholarship is a separate site and project from the official EWBC Conference. The project is this year run by Roger Kolbu (Norway), Burcak Desombre (Turkey) and Benjamin North Spencer Aiws (Italy), who are Alumni of EWBC Conference and actively write, share and talk about wine and communication.

The goal is to give the opportunitiy for at least two wine communicators to be able to take part in the  EWBC Digital Communications Conference which will be held in Rioja, Spain from 25th to 27th of October, 2013. The money will be collected from the community of volunteer contributors from all around the world. The main contributors will be the people who will attend the EWBC, along with sponsors who wish to support our mission. The more donations the more people we can help!

Who will choose the winners?

The winners will be chosen by Roger Kolbu, Burcak Desombre and Benjamin North Spencer Aiws. Exact date is yet to be decided. 

Does the EWBC Scholarship have any affiliation with the EWBC Digital Communications Conference?

The EWBC Scholarship is a separate site and project run by three wine lovers. The EWBC is helping with some technical details and will also be donating to the project!

How will the donations be used?

All donations (100%) donated to EWBC Scholarship will be given to the scholarship winners. We hope to have multiple recipients this year! Let us know if you want to help us out and/or use the “Donate” button on the right side!

Carolyn Blakeslee

October 3rd, 2012 | Posted by aleksi in ewbc | scholarship - (0 Comments)
The EWBC Scholarship is introducing the two main receivers of this years scholarship for EWBC 12, which is held in Izmir, Turkey.

BLOG: The Frugal Wine Snob,

FIRST TIME AT EWBC: Yes, and looking forward to it!

BACKGROUND: Besides being a musician, artist, and Mom of four children age 11-22, since 1986 I’ve been a magazine and book editor/designer/publisher, and have enjoyed a sideline as a gardening and restaurant-review newspaper columnist.

BLOG MISSION: “The Frugal Wine Snob” is dedicated to “wines that cost less than $20 but taste like a million bucks.” I started the blog to keep track of my tasting notes, grow as a person, and share my finds with others. It has been a labor of love and learning, as well as a wonderful journey of meeting happy, passionate people.

WINE-WRITING GOAL: I recently returned from Willamette Valley, Oregon (North American Wine Bloggers Conference and a magnificent pre-conference excursion). The trip was mind-blowing. I listened to people I admire, including Randall Grahm; met several bloggers I’ve looked up to for a long time; and met several independent artisanal winemakers, who gave me a glimpse into the power of pursuing one’s life dreams and the rewards of producing the very best wine they can. The sense of connection, and the excitement associated with the rapidly burgeoning world of artisanal winemaking, generated not only inspiration and joy for me, but also an idea for an international wine magazine (print, web, multimedia, mobile/tablet/social media, events, intimate tours, etc.) about independent winemaking. Although the majority of wine sold is produced and distributed by large conglomerates, the vast majority of wineries are actually small producers that can be described as family-owned, independent, “craft” and “artisanal.” Winemaking is exploding worldwide.


1. The international connections I would make in support of this new notion and network would be amazing.

2. My exposure to people and winemaking in an unknown-to-me area would be hugely beneficial to my worldview, particularly as someone with the intention of producing an international wine project.

3. It would be a helluva lot of fun.

4. Knowing what I know now from having been in Portland, I am absolutely certain the scholarship and being there would benefit me in ways I can’t possibly begin to imagine.

Wojciech Bonkowski

October 2nd, 2012 | Posted by aleksi in ewbc | scholarship - (0 Comments)

The EWBC Scholarship is introducing the two main receivers of this years scholarship for EWBC 12, which is held in Izmir, Turkey.

My passion for wine started in 1997 with a bottle of casual Bordeaux and followed rather convoluted routes before I started posting tasting notes on internet wine forums in 1999. So in a way I was born digital. In 2001 I moved to London for a year, tasting the heck out of myself and selling wine over the counter at Oddbins Canary Wharf where I learned, among others, that when HSBC secretaries at 9am ask for “D.P.” they mean Dom Pérignon for the big boss’ breakfast.

In 2002 I returned to Poland to write the first Polish guide to wine (3 editions, 25K copies, with co-author Marek Bie?czyk), co-fund the first Polish consumer wine magazine, Magazyn Wino, run the first Polish wine awards, etc.

In 2009 I decided I didn’t have enough work and started blogging in English at and Polish at In 2012 I launched, an online wine magazine which with the help of some great contributors, has soared to become Poland’s no. 1 wine medium. The Winicjatywa adventure continues are we develop innovative ways of embeding social media into our wine writing. I have never refused to taste a wine but given the choice, I focus on the wines of Italy, Central and Eastern

Europe including strange places like Croatia, Greece and Lebanon. I don’t particularly like wine competitions, and what I enjoy most is getting on the ground and roaming around wineries meeting vintners and talking about their past and future, embracing wine’s diversity and immensity. It has long been a little dream of mine to find more opportunies to taste more Turkish wines. Having been at the receiving end of some lovely Öküzgözü and Bo?azkere acids and tannins I’m really delighted to be awarded a scholarship for the 2012 EWBC in ?zmir.

When I don’t blog about wine I blog about tea. And I have another life in which I research 19th-century Classical music.

More congratulations!

September 28th, 2012 | Posted by aleksi in ewbc | scholarship - (0 Comments)

It feels great to be able to give something to all of the applicants and we did!  Here is the receivers for the other scholarships. I have also added link to their blog / twitter account so you can get know them.

Huge congratulations to you all from the scholarship team and the voting panel!

2 Hotel Scholarships
Veronique Cecilia Berretto
Arianna Armstrong

4 Travel Bursaries
Atakan Aya
Lotte Karolina Gabrovits
April Henning
Richard M James

2 Tickets for EWBC
Charlie Foley
Alex Down

Hope to see you all in Turkey!


September 24th, 2012 | Posted by aleksi in ewbc | scholarship - (2 Comments)

The amazing winners are for this years EWBC Scholarship are..

Carolyn Blakeslee and Wojciech Bonkowski have been awarded with the main scholarship to EWBC 2012 in Izmir! A huge, huge and even huger congratulations to you both! We will contact you personally for more details.

The decision was made by the EWBC Scholarship panel. This years panel consisted of Roger Kolbu, Andre Riberinho, Katie Myers, Anna Savino and Prateek Arora and including us Magnus Reuterdahl and Aleksi Mehtonen.

That is not all for this year – we will be giving out some other, smaller scholarships this year as well including a hotel scholarship, travel bursaries and of course tickets to the EWBC 2012 conference. You’ll be contacted personally.

Thank you all who sent their application and took their time to write us some smashing stories. Hopefully we will see you all in Turkey with the help of these little scholarships mentioned above.

We would also like to thank you everyone who donated. You made this whole thing happen – we love ya!
We also received some donations from the #winelover’s meetup in Stockholm, so thank you for that. A special thanks to Nomacorc for their donation as well!

See you in Izmir and let’s toast for the winners either now or at the location!

Best Regards,

Magnus and Aleksi





Notes: Updated 25.09.

Nomacorc Q&A with Katie Myers

September 12th, 2012 | Posted by aleksi in ewbc | scholarship - (0 Comments)

Here is the Q&A with Katie Myers from Nomacorc!

1. Why in your opinion is the scholarship important?

Blogging is uniquely conducive to sharing and engaging authentically in an open forum. Compared to traditional media, many bloggers have other commitments, responsibilities and even other jobs that may not allow a focus on blogging as a sole profession. Supplemental programs, like the EWBC scholarship, are important in allowing bloggers to attend the conference regardless of cost, and provide an opportunity to strengthen networks, expand knowledge, and ultimately improve the quality of discourse. We are thrilled to support EWBC’s scholarship program and provide opportunities for more bloggers to participate.

2. How has the wine blogging scene affected Nomacorc, has it been positive and do you think that wine blogging is crucial and very important for the wine industry?

Without a doubt, wine blogging is critically important to educating consumers and the industry. It has grown in relevance as bloggers have developed individual voices and expertise. In doing so, bloggers have built loyal followings and audiences.

Over the past several years, Nomacorc has worked wine bloggers across the globe to share information about our oxygen management technology. We’ve received positive feedback from bloggers, from those that have visited our facilities in Belgium and the U.S. to those who simply recognize that we actually don’t make those “hard to remove” plastic plugs. We are continuing to educate and share news about our innovation and technology, continually adapting what we do and share based on interest levels and feedback from bloggers.

3. What do you think will be the benefits for the scholarship receivers and how would like you to see them gaining from the EWBC experience?

This conference is truly an opportunity for attendees to engage, exchange and learn. From panels on SEO and plugins to workshops on managing oxygen in wine, attendees are exposed to a wide variety of topics that are relevant to them and their audiences. Not to mention a (likely) unfamiliar winemaking region – Turkey! Our hope is that scholarship recipients will soak it all in, and share what they have gained with the rest of the online wine community.