December 17, 2013As regular readers know, I moonlight as a wine blogger. When not cranking away at Keybridge, I’m running the wine blog Terroirist.com. Last month, I visited Rioja, Spain to speak at the Digital Wine Communications Conference. My panel explored the communication challenges faced by global wine brands. I shared the stage with Ben Smith, who heads up communications for Concha y Toro in the United Kingdom, and Pia Mara Finkell, who directs media relations and social media for Rioja Wines. The event was moderated by Robert McIntosh, co-founder of the conference. You can check out my prepared remarks on Terroirist.com. To put it briefly, I argued that generic brands -- think Rioja, Champagne, or Napa Valley – have an easier job than huge wine companies like Concha y Toro and Kendall Jackson. This makes sense. Just as the clothing you wear and the politicians you vote for say something about who you are, so does what you drink. Journalists are no different. San Francisco Chronicle wine editor Jon Bonné enjoys being an ambassador for “new” California wine – the producers who are exploring California’s vast and varied climate to protect old vineyards and produce wine from unusual grapes.