As of this writing, I am wrapping up the September issue of the Review of Washington Wines which will go on line August 26th. This issue has been in the works for over a month, including planning the issue and its content, tasting wines at wineries and then retasting and so on.
Each issue starts with planned articles (you will see the next month's articles at the end of each issue). Some of them are ones that recur from year to year, such as reports on Taste Washington, Spring Release in Walla Walla and Fall Release. I make periodic visits around the state - Red Mountain, Prosser, the Columbia Gorge, Woodinville and elsewhere. Some places get reported the next month, others may take two months to be written up. We will go to the Olympic Peninsula in mid September, by which time the October issue will have been wrapped up, so that visit will be in the November issue.
Once each issue is written up from tasting notes and checking websites and winery tasting sheets, copy is emailed to each winery to check the accuracy of the information given in the reviews, pricing, percentages of varieties in blends, vinification, barrel programs and so on. Once that is done, I recheck copy for diction, typographical errors and omissions. Then the copy goes to our website manager, Amy Kinney at Advantagecom Networks in Walla Walla, who has done a great job for nearly eight years, ever since the first issue in December 2008. She gets a lot of credit for what the Review of Washington Wines stands for.
During the production process, I take breaks to write the weekly Review Blogs (such as this one). The blogs are usually topical with special tasting reports, wine industry news, accounts of trips and more.
Once an issue has been put together for on line publication, I receive by email a proof of that issue for final checking. Then it goes "live" for subscribers to see. Emails are sent out to Full Subscribers announcing the publication of that issue. In the meantime, the next month's issue will already have gone into production. Right now, the October issue is under way. Such is the life of on line wine journalism.
Credit also goes to our subscribers, without whom this would not be possible. Many are subscribers from the beginning, and the renewal rate of subscriptions has been about 90 percent. And to the wineries and winemakers, and others in the industry, who have been so helpful in hosting tastings and providing valuable information. And, finally, to my wife, Lynn, who has been with me on many winery excursions, and has been extremely supportive.