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hai_irouchuujin had to ask...

...over in sfinsf he posted "I'm also not sure what goes on at a Vintacon." Our community profile begins to explain us but it's less than complete.

So what is Vintacon?

Well, back in the dark ages of the dot-com crash (2002) San José hosted a Worldcon, ConJosé. Quite a few folks working on ConJosé (including dave_gallaher, galtine1, jbriggs, dinogrl and the late, great Bruce Pelz) thought it would be fun to recover after ConJosé by going to a B&B up in wine country and go wine tasting all weekend.

It was a nice theory. Everybody was too busy planning for ConJosé to plan "SoNapaNomaCon" and too exhausted to actually do it had it been planned.

Many of us weren't working on Torcon 3, though, and in 2003 Spring & Dave decided to put together the first Vintacon: SLOcon in San Luis Obispo. It was a grand success. Somewhere just under 20 of us got together at the Madonna Inn, went wine tasting in Paso Robles, did a night-time tour at the Hearst Castle, sang and played various F&SF card games in the evenings. It's a relaxicon, just a structured relaxicon with a focus.

What's the program?
  • On Friday we open Hospitality. Friday afternoon we go tasting at one or two wineries. After dinner we all regroup in Hospitality for the traditional "7 Deadly Zins" party, play cards and drink zinfandel in Hospitality.
  • On Saturday we get breakfast. We go tasting at a winery, have picnic lunch, and go tasting at (probably) two more wineries. Somewhere during the day or evening we schedule a "local flavor" event. After dinner we have the "Sweets" party, play cards and drink dessert wine in Hospitality.
  • On Sunday we get breakfast, and usually close down hospitality. We often make one more tasting stop, or return back to a popular stop from Friday or Saturday to make final purchases. Then we disband.

We've been fine-tuning the blend since then. Since Vintacon 3 ("TeslaCon" in Livermore) we've offered cheap "Designated Driver" memberships to those who don't want to taste wine during the day. This saves on transportation expenses and lets us spend more on hospitality. We also learned over the last two years that it's way too easy to stop at way too many tasting rooms, and we're revising the program accordingly.

Vintacon 5, V for Vintacon! (or "ReeKon" for those of you keeping score) will be:
October 12, 13, 14
Hilton Garden Inn Gilroy
6070 Monterey Street
Gilroy, California, USA, 95020
1-408-840-7000 (group code "Vintacon")

Register for Vintacon. You know you want to.


Jul. 12th, 2007 12:30 am (UTC)
Bruce Pelz actually came up with the name "SoNapanomaCon" at Westercon 54 (Portland 2001) as we discussed an wine tasting expedition to occur after ConJose. 2002 was too full of events (Spring/Dave wedding, LA Westercon, Conjose and Bruce's death) for it to happen, so Spring and Dave took up the reigns in 2003.
Jul. 12th, 2007 12:50 am (UTC)
It's the Readers' Digest condensed version of the story, but I edited the posts to add Bruce's name to the list.
Jul. 12th, 2007 01:29 am (UTC)
VintaCon's roots are actually in "SpaceCon West" that was held a few times up in Napa and hosted by, of all folks, Allison Abramowitz and Michael Wallis in the early ninties. We were proud members of all the SpaceCon Wests, and I made the "Logo". Kevin Standlee and Lisa made it to one, as I recall. I wanted to ressurect this adventure (and logo) using the name "VintaCon". I brought up the ressurection idea during a sweets tasting at the Portland Westercon, and as Jim mentioned, names were bandied about. I also had a keen desire to have a "convention" at the Madonna Inn, an enduring monument to kitch. The rest, as they say, is history!