What’s happening to the wine blog world? Attrition. It reminds me of my college classes. We’d start the year with 40 students in the class, and by the end of the semester, we’d be down to half that size. The only class that didn’t go that way, and actually seemed to grow, was the Wine Components class at Santa Rosa Junior College. That one gained two people for each one that dropped out.

I was just in the back end of my blog, looking around to see what people were looking at on the front end. In the site stats area, there’s a “Clicks” section. I decided to see what those links would lead to today, from when they were originally added to my blog… Light housekeeping, if you will.

I found the following, and for a minute I began to wonder if there was something wrong with my site’s functionality, as many of them didn’t lead anywhere…

wineblogwatch.arrr.net 1
thehamperemporium.com.au 1
winefoodla.blogspot.com 1
winetonite.com 1
winebloglist.blogspot.com 1
thewinenews.com 1
oregonpinotgris.org 1
youtube.com/watch?v=eSV7F5IKxFg 1
twoguysfromnapa.com 1
psiloveyou.org/category/blog/ 1

Of this group, I had to delete wineblogwatch.arrr.net, winefoodla.blogspot.com, winetonite.com, and thewinenews.com. The Wine News I know about… I watched that gorgeous wine magazine (my favorite at the time) go out of the publishing business. But, I didn’t know I still had a link to it, so… cleaned house.

I believe – said she after starting my own blog in December 2005 – that the thrill is gone for many of the original people. Perhaps not the thrill of wine, and perhaps not the thrill of writing, but more to the point… writing for free about that which we all really love… the wine business.

I predicted early on that if people were so passionate about wine that it would serve them well to just get into the wine business. It would provide two important things:

  • Necessary income
  • Fast track knowledge

Granted, not everyone lives in wine country – regardless of the state. Still, I moved from Maine to California to pursue the dream, so I know firsthand it can and does happen for so many of us. Case in point: Hardy Wallace of Dirty South Wine. He won a social media contest, put on by the Kendall-Jackson empire, and he’s now making wine in Sonoma County. He followed his passion and fulfilled the dream.

This year he’s only written two blog stories, proving that when you’re really busy doing it, you may not have time to journal it.

  1. 40 Under 40: Wine Enthusiast ~ for which he was included (because he’s also now making wine and is a personality), posted on May 2, 2013
  2. Blood into Orange Wine- 1 Week Later ~ posted on January 21, 2013

He’s even made it to Wikipedia: “Wallace is now a full time resident of Sonoma County, works with winemaker and friend Kevin Kelley at The Natural Process Alliance and Salinia winery, and has started making his own wine under the Dirty and Rowdy Wine label.”

I get it… It’s now 20 years later for me, and I’m also about to embark on a wine brand… Of course, it’s going to be Petite Sirah, because that’s where a lot of background lies… I’ve got tons of connections and they’re the ones that are going to help me move this forward. Details will be forthcoming, but not for a while. It will surely give me something to write about, but will I have the time? I barely have the time now.

I also have some new developments in my family life. Grandchildren keep you focused on “now,” not on wine opinions that need to be shared. I’d much rather spend time enjoying these new souls, then tapping away at my computer. I think there would be something wrong with me if i didn’t see it this way.

And, yes, some bloggers are now having children (versus grandchildren), and they have to have a different focus. Jobs change, responsibilities pile up, and maybe even a day off is included in there somewhere. Hey, here comes summer!

BOTTOM LINE: Wine writers for years had all of the things going on that wine bloggers are now experiencing. In the first few years, the honeymoon was sublime for the new bloggers. Now, life is taking over and only the strong and focused will truly survive a long haul…

Just ask any of my traditional wine writing pals. They’ve been there and done that, and the millennial are now getting some grass under their feet, too… That’s what’s happening to the wine blog world. It’s growing up.

ONE FINAL THOUGHT: I also think that Facebook, with its ability to deliver snippets of thoughts and the instant gratification that comes with its interactiveness, is replacing a lot of essay writing.

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