Society of Wine Educators 41st Annual Conference

Society of Wine Educators 41st Annual Conference

Agenda

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  • Thursday, August 10, 2017
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    Keynote Speaker

    9:00 AM  -  10:15 AM
    Navigating Global Winemaking
    Grand Ballroom
    Paul Hobbs’ personal drive along with his passion for the land and mind for science has led him to become a highly regarded, global consultant in viticulture and winemaking. His vast knowledge and experience adapts to each culture and environment to ultimately achieve producing luxury wines representative of place.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
     

    Conference Session

    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    A Taste of History: Piemonte Wines, Families and the Historic Women Behind Them  (T1B)
    Clackamas Room
    Based on the book "Labor or Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte" by Suzanne Hoffman, this seminar is an exploration of wines from legendary family producers of Piemonte. As we sip through a portion of the table of contents, we will present the historical relevance, survival stories, the grinta (grit), and courage that makes each chapter and wine special. Current political and cultural situations are also recognized, as is a look toward the future of great Piemonte wines and the families who've made them for centuries.
     Optional  Closed 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Climate Change & the Eola-Amity Hills: A Tale of Two Vineyards  (T1C)
    Clark Room
    Over the span of five years, Oregon’s Willamette Valley experienced three historic vintages: 2011, the coldest recorded; 2013, the wettest; and 2015, the warmest. Join Cristom Vineyards Owner & Winegrower Tom Gerrie and CEO Steve Thomson for a discussion on the impacts of climate change, as we comparatively taste two estate vineyards from each of these vintages: the Eileen Vineyard, Cristom’s highest elevation planting, consisting of predominately volcanic soils exposed to the full-brunt winds of the Van Duzer corridor; and the Louise Vineyard, the estate’s lowest elevation Pinot Noir planting, a combination of volcanic and sedimentary soils protected from the Van Duzer winds by a dense tree line.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    France in the Willamette Valley  (T1E)
    Hayden Room
    When the modern wine pioneers of the Willamette Valley first dreamed of growing cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Oregon’s marine climate, they faced ridicule and derision. They were told it couldn’t be done- it was too wet and too cold for Vitis Vinifera to thrive, and the vines would rot before producing a single grape. But they risked everything to prove that Burgundian varieties could produce premium wines here in Oregon. They proved their point. It wasn’t long before French producers began to acquire vineyard land, and French winemakers began producing Burgundian style wines on Willamette Valley soil. Today’s panel will consist of three French winemakers who have chosen to plant their futures here in Oregon. We will hear of their reasons for coming, the unique opportunities and challenges they faced, and the story of the wines they have chosen for us to taste and compare.
     Optional  Closed 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Simply Sake 101  (T1D)
    Washington Room
    Join Master Sake Sommelier, Toshio Ueno, for a Sake 101 and guided tasting of eight different styles of sake. Explore the main categories and types of sake through sight, smell, and taste. Learn about the history, ingredients, production, label information, and serving methods of Japan's native beverage. After this class you’ll never be confused by a Junmai Daiginjo or Tokubetsu Honjozo again!
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    The Basque Adventure  (T1A)
    Multnomah Room
    Intrigued by my Basque name, I invite you to a fascinating journey, a quest of identity through wines. During this seminar and wine tasting, you will discover the unique Basque Nation. Anthropologists and linguists still debate where the Basques came from and the origin of their language - which is not Indo-European remains an enigma. Great explorers, strong men, great shepherds, top chefs, and above all, proud winemakers, the Basques will conquer your imagination. When the mountain meets the sea, unique wine is produced: the light, fizzy, and bracing “Txakolina” from Getariako will hunt your memory. Leaving the Eastern corner of Spain and the Hondarrabbi Zuri and Hondarrabi Beltza varietals, we will head to the Province of Navarra, a wine region renowned for its Rosado (rosé). In less than twenty years, reds from Navarra have captured the attention of wine lovers around the world, received great accolades from specialized média, and surprised many during International Wine Competitions. Varietals not associated to Navarra, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Trempranillo are now part of the local landscape, growing along the traditional Garnacha. Moving towards the Western Pyrénées mountains, in the French Basque Country, lies the small vineyard of Irrouléguy. If white wines are locally made with the Courbu and Gros Manseng varietals, the Appellation is better known for its red wines. Here the Tannat grape is vinified alone or blended with either Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc to produce a distinctive red wine with an attractive deep purple dress, medium body, medium acidity, and splendid red fruits aromas.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    1:00 PM  -  2:15 PM
    “Deconstructing Spirits” Presented by The Tasting Panel & The Clever Root Magazines  (T2D)
    Washington Room
    What gives Irish whiskey its signature sweet smoothness? What makes mezcal so smoky and savory? What is the difference between rhum and rum anyway? With eight different spirits to examine, The Tasting Panel and The Clever Root will deconstruct spirits into their base ingredients, countries of origin, and distillation processes to understand what makes each spirit so special. A panel of chefs, sommeliers and high-profile mixologits will also focus on the flavor profiles of each spirit, as well as their pairability and places on the menu. Audience will taste each spirit neat. Moderated by Jeffrey Morgenthaler.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    1:00 PM  -  2:15 PM
    Catering to the Millennial Generation: Understanding their Whisk(e)y Obsession, Needs and Expectatio  (T2E)
    Hayden Room
    Baby Boomers came into wine through California Coolers, Bartle & James, and White Zinfandel. Through the years, Baby Boomers held onto their favorite "big beer brands", "big wine" and "big distillery brands" with little brand movement to another brand or category. Millennials moved into whiskies through flavored whiskies such as Fireball, Red Stag Cinnamon and Black Cherry, Crown Royal Maple, Jack Daniels Honey, etc. and the rebirth of mixology. They continue to look for their next favorite brand, unlocking the generations before close to 100% loyalty to a brand. They continue to move into and around the various whisk(e)y categories. Takeaways from this seminar will be trends, filling drink menu, back bar and catering needs, mixology, social media influence, and whiskies 101. We will also discuss the millennial generation's redefining of cocktail culture and their continued search of local, regional, and state distilleries in the United States and around the world. This session includes a whiskey tasting.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    1:00 PM  -  2:15 PM
    Discover Lombardy: A Microcosm of Italian Viticulture  (T2A)
    Multnomah Room
    Enjoy new varieties that you have never heard of while learning more about what Lombardy has to offer- from the heights of Valtellina, with its version of Nebbiolo, to Lambrusco from Mantova. Discover how this Northern region can be thought of as a microcosm of Italian viticulture, offering versions of what you find elsewhere in Il Bel Paese.
     Optional  Closed 
    1:00 PM  -  2:15 PM
    Orange Wines: How a Collection of Contemporary Winemakers are Putting Some Skin in the Game  (T2B)
    Clackamas Room
    A wine style once common throughout much of the ancient world is staging a comeback. Not reds, not whites as we know them, and certainly not rosés, orange wines were gradually pushed aside by technology and market sentiment until they reached the brink of extinction. In this seminar, we’ll first review their history and then focus on the current movement to bring back these complex, palate-challenging wines, to accept and appreciate them for what they are: the fullest expression of the grapes from which they are made. Though still underrepresented on wine lists and in retail, orange wines are here to stay, thanks in large part to a small group of pioneering Italian winemakers who’ve spread their gospel throughout the world. We will sample and discuss a unique selection of orange wines from both Old World and New World producers.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    1:00 PM  -  2:15 PM
    Santa Clara Valley – Wines with Character  (T2C)
    Clark Room
    While most people think of integrated circuits and software when considering the Santa Clara Valley, the fact remains that the area has a long tradition of winemaking. For the last 150 years, the Santa Clara Valley has played an interesting role in the world of California wine. With early leaders such as Charles Lefranc, Paul Masson, and Eduard Mirassou, Santa Clara gave us some of the key figures in U.S. winemaking history. Today there are more than two million people who live in the Santa Clara Valley, and only 1,500 acres of vineyards. With 28 wineries and a resurgent interest in the art of winemaking, the future is bright.
     Optional 
    1:00 PM  -  2:15 PM
    The Wines of Texas  (T2F)
    Overton Room
    This seminar will provide a look at the diverse growing regions of Texas and the grape varieties that are showing the greatest adaptation to produce quality wines. We will look at the regions and what makes them unique for the production of wine and their long history of wine production.
     Optional 
    2:45 PM  -  4:00 PM
    A Trifecta of Pure Pinot Perfection  (T3E)
    Hayden Room
    Opinions differ about the Pinot name. Some attribute it to the shape of the cluster which closely resembles a pine cone, while others believe it’s derived from Pignols, the village where plantings of Pinot have existed since the Middle Ages. What we know for certain is that it’s one of the world’s most ancient grape varieties having been grown for 2,000 years. Pinot has had plenty of time to mutate into a wide range of colors that share the same DNA profile, from black to grey to white. Pinot Nero, Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Bianco are planted in wine regions from Germany to Oregon and from France to Australia. Nowhere in the world do they offer the same luminous colors, purity of fruit aromas, core of juicy acidity, and lingering minerality that the wines from Alto Adige in Northeast Italy achieve. Is it the confluence of the near perfect climate with 300 days of sunshine and wide day-night temperature swings? Is it the dedication of the growers and winemakers in the area? These are only a few reasons why the wines of Alto Adige are championed by top sommeliers for their food-friendliness and tremendous quality to price ratio. This seminar offers a unique chance to delve into these three wonderful varieties. Pinot Bianco continues to fly under the radar of most wine drinkers; it’s the sleeper on most lists. The American consumer’s love affair with Pinot Grigio does not seem to be ending any time soon, so why not show them what this grape can do? We know how difficult it is to find a high quality, elegant Pinot Nero at an affordable price point, and Alto Adige has gotten that formula down! Join us for this seminar as we take you through a tasting of these 3 wonderful grapes, examining the influences of Alto Adige’s varied Alpine terrain and near Mediterranean climate on the wines. And if you never thought that Pinot Blanc could age, think again- we might have a surprise in store for you!
     Optional 
    2:45 PM  -  4:00 PM
    International Pinot Noir Blind Tasting  (T3C)
    Clark Room
    Come taste 8 high quality Pinot Noir wines from around the world. Using the blind tasting format, attendees will taste the wines and try to determine the origin of each wine, given clues by speaker Eric Hemer, CWE. The identity of the wine will be revealed after each tasting. The speaker will provide a brief profile of each wine, highlighting the climate, soil, varietal composition, and viti/vini of each and how these factors affect the style of each wine.
     Optional  Closed 
    2:45 PM  -  4:00 PM
    Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Retrospective and Format Tasting  (T3B)
    Clackamas Room
    Most know that wine ages as air moves in and out of the cork, interacting with the flavor components of a wine. For larger format bottles, this same surface area for wine transfer encounters a much larger volume of wine, leading to these bottles aging at half the speed of their 750mL counterparts. In addition, these larger bottle sizes allow older vintages to age with grace, while still expressing a youthful freshness reminiscent of the day they were released. Join Rob Davis, the winemaker whose hands have crafted every vintage of Jordan since the inaugural 1976, as he explores the ageability of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignons, as well as the differences between bottle size by tasting through a retrospective of 2012, 2007, 2002 and 1997 in magnums and 750mLs bottles.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    2:45 PM  -  4:00 PM
    Navigating the Changeable Bordeaux Classifications  (T3A)
    Multnomah Room
    While the 1855 Classification seems set in stone, there are some Bordeaux Classifications that drive wine students crazy because they change! This session takes you through the history, the milestones, the politics, and people to help you understand and navigate both the Cru Bourgeois and Saint Emilion Classifications. The session will include a tasting.
     Optional 
    2:45 PM  -  4:00 PM
    Oregon Pinot Noir via Burgundy, California, and Back Again  (T3D)
    Washington Room
    This presentation will focus on blind tasting 6 Pinot Noirs from 3 different regions and a brief history of those regions. We will discuss the evolution from Burgundy to California to Oregon and the stylistic similarities, differences, and the future of all three regions. This will be an interactive presentation with attendee participation.
     Optional  Closed 
  • Friday, August 11, 2017
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    Conference Session

    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Amazing Alsace  (F1D)
    Washington Room
    Alsace is one of the great, truly under-appreciated treasures of the wine world, with a tumultuous history, fairy-tale villages, and 13 distinct types of terroir. You'll explore their range of intense, aromatic, and extraordinary wines. These pure expressions of white grapes will amaze you with their diversity and powerful elegance. Laugh and learn while having fun enriching your awareness of this fascinating region.
     Optional  Closed 
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Colorado Craft Beer  (F1E)
    Hayden Room
    Colorado has emerged as the center of the craft brewing industry through hosting the Great American Beer Festival in Denver each year and becoming home to the American Homebrewers Association and 350 (and growing) craft brewers, as well as the world’s largest brewery at the famous Coors Brewery in Golden. This $2 billion industry has emerged as a vital part of the Colorado economy. The history of beer in Colorado dates to the Gold Rush, as thirsty miners were in need of affordable, quality libations. This session traces the historical path of Colorado’s first beers in the 1800’s, developed mainly by European immigrants keeping faith to traditional methods and modern interpretation of classic beer styles. Much of our nation's love for craft beer has its roots in Colorado history and the innovative group of brewers that have developed unique approaches to beer styles. A curated tasting of some of Colorado’s most famed and newly emerging brews provides a frame of reference to the stories and talents that have fostered the craft brewing movement.
     Optional 
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Insight: Best Practices for Teaching Professional Tasting  (F1C)
    Clark Room
    Teaching tasting is one of the most rewarding things we do as wine professionals. It can also be one of the most frustrating. Everyone is wired differently, and trying to teach someone our own personal way of tasting is not only challenging, it’s ultimately not useful. How can some kind of commonality be established so students can learn to taste quickly and easily using their own internal maps and experience? Further, what are the best practices and strategies for all the most important aspects of tasting? Strategies that include memorizing a tasting grid, improving recognition and memory of common wine aromas and flavors, calibrating structural elements (acidity, alcohol, and tannin) consistently and accurately, and deductive logic—putting sensory information together in order to make good conclusions in a blind tasting. Finally, what are the most effective strategies for dealing with the nerves and anxiety of a tasting exam? To answer these questions and more, Tim Gaiser, MS, surveyed fellow Master Sommeliers to learn their best practices, literally the strategies they use to create the biggest impact with their students and exponentially improve their tasting skills. Join Tim as he deconstructs the best practices of teaching professional tasting.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    New Zealand Pinot Noir Discovery  (F1B)
    Clackamas Room
    Those who know wine, i.e. SWE members, know that New Zealand Pinot Noir has arrived amongst the world’s leaders. Embrace and get to know these wines up close. Explore their turangawaewae, what Maori know as a foundation and a sense of place. Taste how these wines have evolved, and look ahead to their future. This session will be an extension of the Pinot Noir 2017 conference which took place in Wellington, New Zealand in January. Taste and get to know enlightening wines from New Zealand’s Pinot regions.
     Optional 
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Understanding and Comparing Recent Bordeaux vintages – 2010, 2011 and 2012  (F1A)
    Multnomah Room
    Working our way from the Left Bank regions of the Médoc to Graves to the Right Bank appellation of Saint Emilion, this session takes you through three consecutive vintages of Bordeaux – one much lauded and two less easily understood or appreciated. As well as examining the impact of the different weather and growing season conditions and winemaking decisions on the wines, this session will also discuss the differences between the two banks with merlot vs. cabernet dominant wines. Nine wines will be tasted.
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Chenin Blanc: South Africa’s Flagship Grape?  (F2A)
    Multnomah Room
    Chenin Blanc is South Africa’s most planted grape. The country has more of the variety planted than the rest of the world combined. With its diversity of climates, the South Africa’s Chenin comes in an array of styles: sparkling, light and crisp, full-bodied and oak-aged, sweet and rich, representing the range of South African terroir and the ambitions of the winemakers. Of special note is the emergence of Chenin-based blends, which embrace the grape’s acidity and structure and layer Rhone varieties and other grapes on top of it to create complex and unique wines with no Old World antecedents. Wines of South Africa’s Marketing Manager, Jim Clarke, a wine writer and former sommelier, will lead a presentation of a dozen South African Chenin Blancs and Chenin Blanc-based wines to familiarize the audience with South Africa’s own, special way with this white grape.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Finger Lakes on the Wild Side - Comparing Classic to Edgy Expressions of Finger Lakes Varietals  (F2D)
    Washington Room
    New York State’s Finger Lakes region is recognized for stellar cool-climate Riesling. It is also home to Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, and other aromatic white wines, dry rosés, and dry reds from Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir, with emerging varieties such as Lemberger and Syrah, and classic sparkling wines. Lorraine Hems and Bob Madill will lead you though a comparison tasting of the classic expressions with edgy versions that may utilize skin contact, ambient yeast, barrel fermentation, and aging (or not). Few Finger Lakes wines make it out to the larger US market, let alone the more adventurous varietals and styles. This is your opportunity to taste wines from the bleeding edge of the Finger Lakes.
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Taking Root: The Renaissance of Chardonnay in the Willamette Valley  (F2C)
    Clark Room
    As the Willamette Valley wine industry was taking root in the 1960’s and 1970’s, the founding wine makers had a vision of developing a wine region focused on the noble grapes of Burgundy — Pinot noir and Chardonnay. While the history and success of Pinot noir speaks for itself, the story of Chardonnay’s past, present, and future in the Willamette Valley is more mysterious and perhaps even more exciting. Winemakers in Willamette Valley encountered several obstacles with Chardonnay in the early years of the industry, ranging from challenges in viticulture to rapid development of consumer preferences for the big, ripe, Napa style that is simply not possible in the cool growing climate of northwest Oregon. As a result, wine growers lavished more attention on Pinot noir and easy going white wine varieties to fill the void. However, the desire to produce world-class Chardonnay has remained very much alive. Behind the scenes, groundwork was established in the 1980’s and 1990’s for the re-emergence of Chardonnay, not as an also-ran variety, but as a world-class example that is representative of the founders’ vision of Chardonnay that is uniquely from the Willamette Valley. In this tasting session, showcasing a variety of Willamette Valley producer examples, we will share the early history of Chardonnay in Oregon and explain the dedicated, collaborative research that took place in the shadow of Pinot noir that has now positioned Willamette Valley Chardonnay to become a world class wine that is both reflective of French tradition and also an authentic representation of Willamette Valley’s distinctive character.
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    The Willamette Valley: Understanding the Oregon State of Mind  (F2B)
    Clackamas Room
    As each wine region matures and evolves, the same question continues to arise: what makes it unique among its regional peers? Join us as we review the inimitable Willamette Valley of Oregon, for a spirited discussion of vines, rocks, people and wines. Our tour will take us through the geological development of the region, a history of the Oregon wine pioneers and AVA’s, a review of the region’s famed Pinot Noirs, as well as a discussion of the cultural factors that influence the region’s "state of mind.” A panel of distinguished Oregon winegrowers will be present to create sparks. Through a tasting of Pinot Noir from each appellation, we’ll address questions that are essential to a deep understanding of Oregon, including: (1) Is the Willamette Valley more like California or Burgundy, or neither? (2) Why is soil so important to the winegrowers of the Willamette? (3) How is Oregon Pinot Noir unique among other examples of this noble grape around the globe? This panel is not to be missed for anyone who needs to understand what makes the Willamette tick.
     Optional  Closed 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Uco Valley- Terroir in Focus: An In-depth Look to its Diverse Soils  (F2E)
    Hayden Room
    For the past 10 years, Martin Kaiser has devoted much of his time leading an extensive research through Argentina’s terroirs to assess the impact of the diverse climate and soils on each grape variety. A significant discovery was the impact of limestone soils in the production of high quality wines. The study of over 1,000 pits in Doña Paula’s vineyards and 150+ micro-vinifications conducted by Marcos Fernandez have shown that, despite limestone being quite common in the region, it is only relevant in cool climate regions (i.e. in Uco Valley’s highest altitude areas) where the fruit has enhanced ripened flavors, compared with soils with less limestone. The seminar will consist of three flights of wines carefully selected by Martin and Marcos. The first two will involve three test samples from the same climate, varietal and vintage, vineyard, management, and vinification techniques. Join Martin and Marcos through this exciting journey of discovery!
     Optional 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    Carmenere Continuum  (F3B)
    Clackamas Room
    Rediscovered in Chile only 23 years ago, Carmenere has evolved dramatically in the past two decades, offering distinct regionality and compelling age-ability. Discover Chile’s signature variety's unique profile through a master tasting of 12 wines, including mono-varietals and Carmenere dominant blends.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    Social Transformation in South Africa’s Wine Industry  (F3A)
    Multnomah Room
    South Africa’s long tradition of winemaking has, for most of its long life, not included the country’s black majority except in the role of low-skilled labor. As in all industries, the country has been working since the end of apartheid to change that. Today there are more and more black winemakers, black-owned brands, and other exciting ventures that bring the country’s previously disadvantaged peoples into the wine industry that has in turn improved housing, education, and opportunities for advancement within the industry. Wines of South Africa’s Marketing Manager Jim Clarke will lead a tasting of wines from producers that are leading the way in this transformation, continuing the peaceful and dynamic process that Nelson Mandela imagined for the whole country.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    The New Wave of Boutique California Sparkling Wines  (F3D)
    Washington Room
    California wineries have produced sparkling wine since the 1800s, and French producers have invested in California since the 1970s, but over a dozen new sparkling producers have popped up in the last decade. Learn about the development, regions, producers and styles coming from every corner of California.
     Optional  Closed 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    The Renaissance of Famous Volcanic Wines of Pico from the Middle of the Atlantic Ocean  (F3E)
    Hayden Room
    Discover and taste the brilliant wines of the formerly famous appellation of Pico Island of the Azores. The minerally tasting wines from the amazing volcanic isle are from vineyards designated as UNESCO heritage site. Vines protected by lava hewed walls built in the 15th to 19th centuries that, if juxtaposed end to end, would circumnavigate the globe twice. From over 6400 hectares to barely 100 after phylloxera, vineyards are undergoing a renaissance led by renowned Antonio Maçanita, together with his partners Filipe Rocha and Paulo Machado, who will lead us through a journey tasting wines made from unique grape varietals in world.
     Optional 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    Wine and the Movies  (F3C)
    Clark Room
    Like all art forms, movies serve as a window into how society thinks and feels. In this session Paul Wagner looks at how wine has played a role in some of the most memorable movies in history, how movies have affected what we think about wine, and what that tells us about wine, society, and the art of making movies. Part of Paul Wagner’s class at Napa Valley College on the history of wine, culture and society, this presentation will also include a number of video clips from films throughout the decades.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    “Digging in to Unique Terroir” Presented by The Somm Journal  (F4C)
    Clark Room
    A panel of eight winery representatives from around the globe will talk about terroir and how it affects wine styles and ultimately, wine sales. Although terroir is a much-discussed subject, the audience will be able to taste each of these wines from lesser known regions or lesser-known varieties from the world wine stage. Our moderator will develop a discourse with each winemaker or winery educator to better understand how each soil, climate, and geomorphology aspect comes through the character of the wine. Moderated by Eric Hemer, CWE, MS, MW.
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    Hungarian Furmint: Ancient Grape, Modern Wines  (F4D)
    Washington Room
    Previously known mostly for its sweet Aszú wines, the popularity of dry wines made from the Furmint variety is growing in the U.S. In presenting Hungary’s flagship grape variety, we will demonstrate the versatility of the Furmint grape by showing its range of styles and expressions. With the acidity of a Riesling, the complexity of a Chenin Blanc and the aging potential of a Chardonnay, Furmint is a rising star quickly making an impact on the U.S. market.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    Mind Blowing Brandies  (F4E)
    Hayden Room
    This session provides an in depth look at the classical and ultra-esoteric brandies of the world. All brandies consumed will be from single estate, craft distilleries, all extremely small production and, in some cases, single barrels. Sample some of the finest examples of Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados, heirloom tomato eau-de-vie, Greengage, Spanish brandies and Austrian specialties.
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    Napa Valley Through the Decades  (F4B)
    Clackamas Room
    Explore how and why the Napa Valley became one of the world’s premiere winegrowing regions. Learn about the people and events that transformed the area into a top wine producing region. Taste wines from Napa Valley’s past as well as current vintage wines sourced from around the region’s diverse terroir.
     Optional  Closed 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    The Great Global Pinot Noir Cage Match  (F4A)
    Multnomah Room
    Hoke Harden will harness three passionate Pinot Noir true-believers to choose their favorite three examples of the classic variety from major producing areas around the world to showcase the incredible range of style and expression. Each will vigorously defend their choices while tasting: Why that region? Why these three wines? Burgundy, Oregon and New Zealand will be represented. This one isn't about analysis and objective criteria: it's about passion and the magic of Pinot Noir.
     Optional 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Antonio Carpene, and the Birth of Prosecco  (F5E)
    Hayden Room
    Antonio Carpene was a remarkable character. He fought alongside Garibaldi for the unification of Italy, and then became Professor of Chemistry at the University of Padua. But, he preferred to give his chemistry lectures standing on a chair in the piazza of Padua because he believed that chemistry was the future and it belonged to everyone. He founded what is now the largest enology school in the world, did groundbreaking research in chemistry, named his children after chemical elements, and created the first sparkling wine in Prosecco. This presentation is his story and will be illustrated with wines from Prosecco DOCG and beyond.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Comparing the Finest Expressions of Port Wine  (F5B)
    Clackamas Room
    In the world of Port wine, Vintage and Colheita Ports are the noblest expressions of their categories – ruby and tawny, respectively. Although both are vintage-dated wines, they are dramatically different in style and often confused in the market. In this presentation, Tania Oliveira of Sogevinus and Paul Wagner of Napa Valley College will present a vertical tasting of Vintage and Colheita Ports and explain the differences in their production with a tasting of wines going back six decades. In a tasting that will transport you through space and time, discover the remarkable diversity and pleasure in the finest expressions of Port wine.
    Speakers:
     Optional  Closed 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Discriminating Taste—Zinfandel—A Study of Terroir  (F5D)
    Washington Room
    When you think of California wine country, you may think of Mendocino for sparkling wine, Napa for Cabernet, or Paso Robles for Rhone-style wine. But, think again! This renowned panel of Zinfandel specialists will prove that these regions have been known for Zinfandel from the very beginning of California winemaking and produce some of the most terroir-driven, nuanced, and balanced wines California wine country has to offer.
     Optional 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Lodi Native  (F5A)
    Multnomah Room
    In 2012 six winegrowers living and working in the historic Lodi Appellation launched a collaborative project to turn the spotlight on the region’s heritage plantings – many of them dating back to the late 1800s – through sensible viticulture and minimalist winemaking practices. All wines are made with native yeast, and no additives are allowed, including new oak, acid, or water. The wines are crafted to be a pure expression of the vineyard site and not the winemaker’s style. This session will debut the 2015 Lodi Native Zinfandels, showcasing the diversity and distinctiveness of these six historic vineyards. In addition, the tasting will compare several “native” versions to their “commercial” counterparts and discuss the roll native yeast and winemaking style play in vineyard expression.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Two Continents, Two People, One Vision  (F5C)
    Clark Room
    Claire and Gonzague Lurton own and operate a number of top chateaux on Bordeaux, as well as a remarkable estate in Sonoma's Chalk Hill. In this presentation they will conduct a tasting of these wines, while discussing their vision for each property and their perception of what each estate offers to the work of wine. This is terroir at its most fascinating.
     Optional 
  • Saturday, August 12, 2017
  •  

    Conference Session

    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    How Prohibition Changed America  (S1E)
    Hayden Room
    Over eighty years after it was repealed, there are many misunderstandings about Prohibition - starting with why and when it was enacted. The “noble experiment” had more to do with sexism and hostility to immigrants than alcohol itself. This lecture gives a sometimes humorous look at why Prohibition was enacted, what America was like before, during, and afterward, and the way that attitudes about food and drink changed as a result. Tastes of alcoholic beverages from different eras will illustrate the evolution of cocktails from 1862 to 1933.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    The Chemistry of Wine Drinking  (S1B)
    Clackamas Room
    Do you ever wonder what happens as you drink wine? What really does happen? Why do some people smell wines better than others? Can there be such a thing as a super taster? Why does wine flavor and aroma change when you accompany it with food? The answer to these questions will be explored in this lecture, along with a brief sampling to educate the mind and palate in the science of wine drinking.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Way Beyond Bubbles: Terroir, Tradition and Technique in Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG  (S1A)
    Multnomah Room
    Most people think of Prosecco as an inexpensive, pleasant, versatile and readily accessible bubbly wine- and it is, but that is just the beginning. To start, there is more than one Prosecco, and they are not all created equal. And the critical differentiating factor between them are the respective areas in which they are produced. Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG, historic birthplace of the wine we know as Prosecco, is a hilly enclave forty minutes north of Venice, and it is precisely these hills, from gently rolling to dramatically steep and high, that distinguish this area from the vast, mostly flat DOC area surrounding it. Due to its complex geological history, there is an incredible diversity of microclimates within the small area of Conegliano Valdobbiadene, as well as an ancient, handcrafted viticultural tradition. In this course we will dive into the surprising world of Conegliano Valdobbiadene by examining some of the key distinguishing factors through its wines. Following a brief overview of the history and terroir of this unique wine-growing area, we will taste 10 different wines in five flights of two. Overall, this course will offer a rare opportunity to experience key aspects of this unique wine growing area through a lineup of exceptional wines (many of them brought from Italy especially for this tasting) and discover what really makes Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    What Makes Oregon So Special – An Oregon Primer  (S1D)
    Washington Room
    Carrie Kalscheuer, CWE and Director of Sales and Education for A to Z Wineworks and REX HILL, will tell the compelling tale of Oregon wine starting when Earth was a child (geological history and unique climactic factors) through to the present, including vineyard and winemaking technologies being explored in this young wine region. Learn what’s on the horizon for Oregon: why Chardonnay is exciting, the importance of Southern Oregon, and what the trend of outside investment might mean for Oregon wine. Amid all of the changes, Oregon clings to its sustainability and environmental commitments. A to Z Wineworks was a member of the initial group in Oregon studying Biodynamics and now leads Oregon into another level of socially and environmentally conscious business practices with the winery’s B Corp involvement. Oregon remains on the cutting edge of innovation while maintaining the authenticity and conviviality of a small fine wine community. To complete the discussion, Carrie will conduct a Pinot Noir vertical tasting to highlight the beauty of vintage variation in this dynamic region.
     Optional 
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    You Had Me At Merlot: Long Island- Few Other Regions Have Come So Far  (S1C)
    Clark Room
    Join us for an exciting look in to the different expressions of Merlot while we explore the wine regions from which they came. We will taste you through some of the top Merlot producers from Long Island's AVA and California Merlot as we compare the distinctions this variety expresses from different climates. We will further explore the differences in the terroir, while examining Long Island, why Merlot is the most widely planted grape there, and why it is one of the few in the world that provides the best opportunity for growing and producing great Merlot.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    “Game of Wines” Presented by The Somm Journal and The Tasting Panel  (S2C)
    Washington Room
    Led by “Coach” Robert Bath, MS/Head Beverage Professor at Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, Napa Valley, attendees will taste eight wines—blind! The top three winners who guess the closest will win cash prizes. Each wine will be revealed with a five-minute presentation on typicity versus uncommon traits. Noses and palates will be tested, while our coaches help define what they are tasting and smelling- eventually giving clues on soils or climate.
     Optional  Closed 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    100 Varieties of Lodi and Growing  (S2D)
    Washington Room
    The Lodi Appellation is quickly becoming one of California’s most dynamic and exciting winegrowing regions. Innovation and experimentation are flourishing as young winemakers descend upon this historic region to discover over 100 grape varieties growing in commercial production. This experimentation is leading to an incredible diversity and quality of wines being made. This session will test the taster – 10 exotic Lodi wines from Aglianco to Kerner will be served blind. Attendees will challenge their tasting memory to guess the variety. Prizes will be awarded for best guessers or those willing to try.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Napa Valley Cultivating Excellence: The ongoing pursuit of quality within the cellar  (S2E)
    Hayden Room
    Napa Valley wines are among the worlds’ finest - cultivated with excellence in one of the most extraordinary places. The Napa Valley’s combination of diverse soils, ideal climate and varied topography are perfectly suited to producing a wide variety of consistent, high quality wines. The true pursuit of excellence requires us to challenge the status quo not just in the vineyard but also in the cellar while respecting more than 150 years of tradition. What is the role of innovation in the 21st century? Does optical sorting really work? What about native yeast as part of natural winemaking? Join us to explore how Napa Valley winemakers continue to push the envelope in their quest for only the finest wines.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Rose, Brose, Frose!!! New to Rosé? Get Familiar with Some of the Basics  (S2B)
    Clackamas Room
    Rosés offer a wide spectrum of colors and styles from a variety of different grapes and regions, and range from bone dry to sweet. Direct press, saignee- what does it mean for Rosé? Join us on a tour of Rosés born from some of the most intriguing grapes in the world, producing wines that range from pale “onion skin” or “eye of the partridge” to almost purple. Rosés are incredible food wines, and we will have a few palate teasers to show their versatility! The Rosé craze is on, expanding beyond its seasonality – Rosé has become a mainstay. Join us on the Rosé bandwagon.
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Sicily: Past, Present, and Future  (S2A)
    Multnomah Room
    Why is Hugh Johnson calling Sicily “Italy’s most vital and improved wine region,” when its tumultuous history has often hindered its reputation for wine? Because today, Sicily is choosing quality over quantity. It has more indie winemakers and more green practices. Sicily's local grapes are stars on the rise. Grillo, Frappato, Nero d’Avola, and of course, Nerello Mascalese, most famously farmed on the unstable slopes of Mt. Etna. These make interesting and award-winning wines. Yet Sicily is just scratching the surface of its winemaking potential. Join us as we talk and taste our way across this fascinating island.
    Speakers:
     Optional  Closed 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    A Multi-Faceted Background of Technical, Trade, Wine and Marketing Expertise  (S3A)
    Multnomah Room
    Raffaele Boscaini will present the classic varietals of the historic Valpolicela Classico region, each separately vinified in both the “fresh” and “semi-dried” stages. This session offers a unique opportunity to experience the development of Valpolicella to Amarone through the time honored process of “appassimento”, a winemaking technique dating back to Roman times. The seminar will examine how the three classic varietals are transformed from Fresh corvina to semi dried corvina, fresh rondinella to semi dried rondinella, and fresh molinara to semi dried molinara. Raffaele will detail what characteristics each varietal contributes pre and post appasimento, sample each varietal individualym, and finally the finished wines: Bonacosta Valpolicella, the double fermentation Campofiorin and the prized Costasera Amarone Classico DOCG. Raffaele will discuss the current regulations of the DOCG for Amarone and why Masi uses only the indigenous Venetian varietals when producing Amarone , including the recently rediscovered Oseleta which Masi has been.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    Bubbles and Stickies  (S3D)
    Washington Room
    This seminar offers in depth comparison of two of the world’s premier wine regions. The regions, cultures, and wines of Champagne and the Douro have obvious differences, but they have more similarities than you may expect. These include the role of merchants and growers, the declaration of vintages, historical innovations and approaches to winemaking, and being genuinely delicious! This seminar will include a comparative blind tasting of grower vs. NM champagne, as well as Single Quinta vs. Merchant port.
     Optional 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    Dessert Wines: Nectar of the Gods  (S3C)
    Clark Room
    There are good reasons that vinification methods refined by the Ancient Greeks are still in use today. Discover the delights of sweet wines by traveling through time with Ed Korry, former President of SWE, while metaphorically basking in the Mediterranean sun gaining a better understanding of sweet wines and their place at the culinary table. We will be tasting an array of premier examples of extraordinary passito and fortified wines of the Mediterranean from Greece, Italy, Spain and Maritime climates such as Bordeaux.
     Optional 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    Emporda, the Undiscovered Jewel of Costa Brava, Catalunya  (S3B)
    Clackamas Room
    DO Emporda, part of the Spanish Catalan in the farthest northeast corner, and contiguous with the Cote Catalan-Roussillon, is rich in culture, heritage, cuisine, and wine. DO Emporda is now campaigning to introduce these wines to the US market and it looks like they’re going to be all the rage. Explore the fascinations of this ancient region, this exciting culture and these marvelous wines. From the shores of the Mediterranean to the mountains of the Pyrenees, you’ll taste both classic and creative new expressions.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    IL Fiorello Olive Oil Company  (S3E)
    Hayden Room
    Want to understand the world of olive oil more completely? This tasting, led by leading expert Ann Sievers, will get you on the right track and explain away some of the confusion and mystery of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Ann is a Master olive oil miller and Owner of Il Fiorello Olive Oil Company, one of the most awarded olive oil companies in America. She produces olive oils for some of the biggest names in the Napa Valley, from Mathiasson to Chapellett, and will delight you with her stories and her clear explanations.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    A History of Prestige Cuvees as Told by a Monk, a Widow, a Cloth Trader and a German Accountant  (S4A)
    Multnomah Room
    Champagne houses and growers rely on non-vintage fizz to keep the lights on, and yet, it is their Prestige Cuvees that receive all the attention. We will dive into the history of champagne to find out how this rarified category came to exist and occupy our minds to the point of obsession. Through the journey of four of the most prestigious houses we will discover how champagne went from being the lifestyle wine of choice for celebration to a seriously collectable product.
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    Exploring the Backroads of the Cote d’Or (Part 2)  (S4B)
    Clackamas Room
    This presentation focuses on the “insider wines” of the Cote d’Or. The “insider wines” are often sought out by knowledgeable Burgundy enthusiasts who enjoy the value and pleasure of the more obscure Côte d’Or appellations, while saving the more expensive, higher profile wines for special occasions. Wines will be tasted from Monthelie, Auxey-Duresses, St-Aubin, and Santenay. A short history of viticulture and the principal vineyards in each village will be presented. During the presentation, 6 wines, selected to represent their villages’ “terroirs”, will be tasted.
     Optional  Closed 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    Touch the Vine & Follow the Flow  (S4E)
    Hayden Room
    Pruning. You’ve probably never thought much about it. Certainly never considered the impact pruning can have on the wine in your glass. Sound far-fetched? Marco Simonit has devoted his life to understanding the grape vine. With partner Pierpaolo Sirch, this visionary duo has created a new approach to pruning that is being adopted by top wineries all around the world. For wine growers looking to maintain the health and productivity of old vine vineyards, Simonit & Sirch have been saviors, curing and enhancing some of the greatest vineyards in the world. Marco will reveal the inside story of why so many iconic vineyards in some of the most storied locations have been on the brink of extinction, but have now bounced back as the result of insightful intervention. Marco will share his keen understanding of vine physiology, the learning that drove the development of their method, as well as a primer on the Simonit & Sirch pruning method. With illuminating visuals and cross-sections of vines, attendees will better understand the all-important grapevine. Marco will also lead a tasting of wines from properties on which Marco & Pierpaolo work.
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    Vineyard & Winemaking: Innovation 3.0  (S4C)
    Clark Room
    This seminar will discuss some of the newest and latest trends and techniques being used in both the vineyard and winery to make better wines. Wine produced from these vineyards and techniques will be tasted to show the final result. Wines from Washington, Oregon and California will be featured.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    Wine and Music Pairing Workshop  (S4D)
    Washington Room
    Master Sommelier and musician, Serafin Alvarado, will combine two of his passions in this dynamic seminar where he will experiment with different genres of music and the way they connect with different style of wines.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Cocktails on Tap!  (S5E)
    Hayden Room
    Local bartender extraordinaire, historian, and author Jacob Grier will lead you through the high points of his best-selling book, Cocktails On Tap!, wherein he relates the history of cocktails from the Colonial Era, explores cocktails made with beer, madeira, sherry, and other exotic ingredients, and generally relates a fascination with all things beverage. Experience slings, flips, syllabubs, and sangarees, just like George Washington did. (Jacob’s book will be available for purchase and signing.)
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Exploring Appellation from the Inside Out  (S5D)
    Washington Room
    Richard Mendelson, the leading expert on appellation and wine law in the USA, and who managed the legal work for many of these very appellations, tells a detailed story of the birth, definition, personalities and protection of America’s most famous wine region: the Napa Valley. Fifty years ago, the Napa Valley was a sleepy, inward-looking farm and ranching community, with two dozen wineries, very little art or music, and nowhere exciting to eat. Only a handful of intrepid pioneers believed that the Napa Valley could one day rise up and earn a place alongside Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Tuscany as one of the great wine-producing regions of the world. And yet, with innovation, intelligence, and a unique spirit of cooperation, those intrepid pioneers built the Napa Valley into a world-renowned center of top-quality grape-growing and wine-making, and a cherished destination for wine and food lovers from all over the globe. How did they do it? What vision and principles guided their way? And what lessons does the Napa experience carry for other wine-producing communities across America and far beyond? Mendelson answers all those questions as he takes readers deep inside the key issues -- legal, commercial, social, and environmental -- that the Napa Valley pioneers wrestled with as ambitious entrepreneurs, yes, but as equally ambitious custodians of the land, soil, and natural resources on which our collective future depends. With his unique insider's perspective, Mendelson tells not just a riveting regional story, but a story of America itself, working at its very best and in harmony with its most noble practices and ideals.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Mature Tawny Ports: The Art of Aging and Blending  (S5C)
    Clark Room
    This seminar will offer a unique insight into how Taylor’s assemble their Old Tawny Ports and the numerous decisions that must be made as individual reserves evolve and are gently corralled towards tawny port of a certain age. The blending room is where an Aged Tawny is born, in one sense, but it is also where it reaches the culmination of its existence. Aged Tawnies are blends of different years, each batch blended to match the last; and they are blended not at the beginning of their life, but at the end. The story of any given aged tawny has many beginnings. But at some point each of the component wines was picked out from a line-up of tasting samples – a sort of beauty pageant of young wines and earmarked for future Tawnydom. How does this happen? Join us to find out!
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    The Crystalline Beauty of Riesling – A Comparison of Global Styles  (S5B)
    Clackamas Room
    For many, Riesling is one of the true classic grape varieties; passionate advocates go further, insisting that Riesling reigns supreme. We all know that this grape is capable of an astounding range of styles, including underrated sparkling wines, as well as bone-dry examples, precisely calibrated off-dry iterations, and breathtaking sweet wines, some resulting from noble rot. Roger will profile the expressions of Riesling from varied origins such as Alsace, Australia, Austria, Germany, and North America, emphasizing the “dry” end of the spectrum. There will be many high-caliber examples to taste and contrast. He will also confront two related topics associated with Riesling wines: first, the perception of sweetness; and second, pH, intimately linked to the sense of dryness, yet often ignored. This seminar should be of value for educators seeking a better understanding of global Riesling styles – and for those who never tire of a beguiling Riesling in their glass!
    Speakers:
     Optional  Closed 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Valpolicella Ripasso: A Fresh Look at this Unique Style  (S5A)
    Multnomah Room
    Vibrant, flavorful and affordable: a winning combination from Valpolicella - the valley of many cellars known for its iconic Amarone. We will uncover the wonderful attributes of Ripasso, a wine gaining great momentum. Since prehistoric times, Veneto has been one of Italy’s main producing wine regions. However, Ripasso wines have only emerged in full force in the 20th century, achieving its DOC status in 2010. In this seminar, we will discuss the similarities and differences between Amarone, Ripasso, Valpolicella, and Recioto wines, while focusing on Ripasso’s winemaking techniques, styles, and the new regulations that will be implemented as of the 2017 vintage. Come and join Nora Z. Favelukes as she shares her findings and her favorite Ripasso wines with you!
    Speakers:
     Optional 
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