Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Tweetup at Wente Vineyards in Livermore

This evening I checked out the tweetup at Wente Vineyards. A tweetup is an event where people who Twitter come together to meet in person. It's a novel concept, sometimes called meeting in meatspace. There is probably one going on near you. Click for the map to find out. Normally we connect with our friends online after we have met them. At a tweetup you meet the people you might only know virtually, in cyberspace. It’s finally putting a face to a name. Just as Twitter has evolved from "micro-blogging" to a news source, market research tool, customer service outlet, and communication channel, the tweetup has also evolved. A tweetup is a great opportunity to connect with the people in your network and share more than 140 characters at a time. Talk is often about Twitter, and social media and often there will be a featured speaker who talks on a social media topic or maybe there will be entertainment like tonight. Businesses often sponsor tweetups as a way to connect with customers. The event was put on by the Tri-Valley Tweetup.

My friend Carol and I went together. She drove and I navigated. It’s a plan that has proven to work, like when we went to Dark and Delicious in Alameda. Wente is close by for us as we both live in Pleasanton. I’ve been there for wine tasting and a winery tour. The event was held in the tasting room on Tesla in Livermore. When we got there we were both impressed with the newly landscaped grounds. Wente has done a great job creating a garden escape. When we got inside a musician, Suzie Brown was playing guitar and singing. She’s on Twitter @suziebrownsongs. People were mingling and of course trying the wine. Carol and I had a flight of 5 wines which a great way to find what you like. After that I got a bottle of Charles Wetmore Cabernet that we shared with the people we met.

The Wente tasting room staffers were friendly and helpful as they presented the wines. Our pourer mentioned that she liked the "Bottle Shock" movie and I got a little carried away giving her the low down as I'm reading "The Judgement in Paris". We met a few people including Rhonda Wood, a local wine maker at Wood Family. We found that tweetup’s can be fun and they get you off of the computer, if you use them all day at work like I do at work. There’s no substitute for meeting in person. What a concept. Of course having a glass of wine helps get the conversation going, whether it’s about technology or hobbies like wine tasting. If you are thinking of doing a tweetup check out this article by Nicole Nicolay @nik_nik, one of the organizers. If you use Twitter I’m @michael3900.

If you are in the area check out Wente Vineyards. Fifth generation Karl Wente @KarlWente is active in local events and at the winery as the winemaker. The winery was established by Carl Wente in 1883. Previously he worked for Charles Krug of Napa Valley which was later owned by the Mondavi family. In 1935 his sons, Ernest and Herman, introduced California's first varietal wine label, Sauvignon Blanc. The efforts of the Wente family, include pioneering night-time mechanical harvesting, have helped establish the Livermore Valley as one of the premier wine-growing areas of California. Wente also produced vine clones that were used to plant chardonnay in many California vineyards, helping to establish it as a California favorite. The Wente Estate is registered as California Historical Landmark #957.

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