Society of Wine Educators 42nd Annual Conference

Agenda

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  • Closed  Closed
  • Optional  Optional
  • Wednesday, August 15, 2018
  •  
    9:00 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Keynote Seminar
    Speakers:
     Optional 
     

    Conference Session

    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Are Tasting Notes Relevant?  (W1D)
    Cayuga Room
    Tasting notes and the flavor profiles of wines are used for marketing by everyone from producers to retailers to sommeliers. Some seem straightforward and others, utterly ridiculous! But who reads them and makes buying decisions based on them? How did certain flavors become associated with certain wines? Are some wine flavors ‘hot’ now? And what is the future of tasting notes in a world increasingly ruled by the 100-point scale? Join us as we discuss and sip (and laugh) our way through this (ahem) serious topic.
    Speakers:
     Optional  Closed 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Be Wineful: Mindfulness for Testing and Tasting  (W1B)
    Conference Center West
    The benefits of mindfulness are seemingly endless. Reducing stress, improving happiness, improving memory and learning, and the list goes on. Join Jordan Cowe as he takes you on a journey through Winefulness to help you reduce test anxiety, improve your memory, and increase your sensory awareness for tricky blind tastings. Learn to harness the power of our mind and its capacity for present moment awareness in your career, learning and life!
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Cat Pee By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet: Understanding Marlbourough Sauvigon Blanc  (W1C)
    Conference Center East
    In his 1995 book Wine Atlas, Oz Clarke wrote of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, "No previous wine had shocked, thrilled, entranced the world before with such brash, unexpected flavours of gooseberries, passionfruit and lime, or crunchy green asparagus spears . . . an entirely new, brilliantly successful wine style that the rest of the world has been attempting to copy ever since." Over 20 years later, this description holds up, as New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc retains its reputation for shocking the palate and, even more so, the nose with its pungent flavors and aromas of tropical fruit, citrus, grass, bell pepper and, yes, cat pee. What is it about New Zealand, and Marlborough specifically, that creates this inimitable, distinctive style? This seminar explores the history and evolution of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, and the science behind its signature cat pee aroma. The discussion begins with an overview of the larger New Zealand Wine Industry, including the country's history of wine growing across its major wine regions. Focus will then turn to Marlborough, and the terroir of its three major sub-regions: the Wairau Valley's Rapaura region, the Wairau Valley's Southern Valleys, and the Awatere Valley. It will delve into ten years of research on New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and explain the science behind one of New Zealand's signature wines. The discussion will be supplemented by tastings of regional, sub-regional and single-vineyard Sauvignon Blancs from Marlborough.
     Optional  Closed 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Finger Lakes Grapes & Wines Moving Forward  (W1A)
    Tent
    The Finger Lakes continues to establish a stellar reputation for Riesling on the world stage, and the high potential for Cabernet Franc is being recognized. There is growing excitement for the world’s other grapes. What else has potential? Get the inside scoop with Finger Lakes native and Master Sommelier Christopher Bates, who will lead a tasting of some of his favorite examples of grapes and styles that are beginning to show the exciting potential of the Finger Lakes in the coming years. Think bubbles, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Blaufrankisch, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and of course, Syrah!
     Optional  Closed 
    1:00 PM  -  2:15 PM
    Greece - Ancient Wines to Modern Blends  (W2A)
    Tent
    Learn the grapes and regions of Greece, tasting indigenous varietals from A to X (Assyrtiko to Xinomavro). Discover the history and current trends of one of the oldest wine regions of the world. And of course, learn to decode the labels. We will also taste some non-traditional grapes and blends that are showing promise in Greece.
     Optional 
    1:00 PM  -  2:15 PM
    Not Your Mama's Milk  (W2D)
    Cayuga Room
    This session is an exploration into the cheeses of New York State. From goat, sheep, and cow’s milk, you will taste some of the region’s best cheeses and the wines that pair best with them. Chef/Ambassador/Educator Samantha Buyskes is a South African-born, red-headed chef who brings life, vitality, and excitement to all she does. Samantha is a Food Network competitor and cookbook author who asks you to leave your opinions at the door and be skillfully led through this wine and cheese pairing.
    Speakers:
     Optional  Closed 
    1:00 PM  -  2:15 PM
    To Disgorge or Not Disgorge, That is the Question  (W2C)
    Conference Center East
    The Finger Lakes region is becoming a phenomenal cool-climate epicenter for sparkling wines that range from PetNats to traditional cuvees. Sparkling winemakers have an arsenal of tools at their disposal to enhance the profile of cuvee and to provide sensory direction for the final wine style outcome. This seminar, conducted by Nancy Irelan, winemaker and co-owner of Red Tail Ridge Winery (previously VP of Viticulture & Enology at a large, corporate California winery), and Eric Bauman, sparkling winemaker of Dr. Konstantin Frank since 2005 (previously with J Vineyards), will conduct a sensory tour of how winemaking decisions made during tirage and disgorgement are reflected in the resulting wine. The tasting will include finished Finger Lakes sparklers from past vintages, as well as bubbles in process.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    1:00 PM  -  2:15 PM
    Wine Tasting: The Object, the Perceiver and the Experience  (W2B)
    Conference Center West
    Wine as an object of perception is multi-dimensional. Our five senses give us access to empirical information about the wine, which then subjectively evokes thoughts, feelings, and emotions within us. This holistic understanding allows the taster to go beyond the traditional experience of wine via sight, smell, and taste by including cognitive and emotional aspects that are triggered by the sensory data, giving a deeper meaning to the experience. Master Sommelier Serafin Alvarado will guide us through the exploration of these possibilities. It will change the way you think and talk about wine!
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    2:45 PM  -  4:00 PM
    A Journey Through America: Understanding American Whiskey  (W3D)
    Cayuga Room
    The attendees will gain new knowledge and understanding for American Whiskey while exploring its history, trends, and heritage. The speaker will guide attendees through a tasting of 8 American whiskies, from lightest to heaviest.
    Speakers:
     Optional  Closed 
    2:45 PM  -  4:00 PM
    Decanting: What, When, Why and How  (W3B)
    Conference Center West
    This seminar will discuss both the art and science of decanting, including what is chemically happening to the wine and the resulting effects on the wine experience. The seminar will present the results of our original research on the effects of decanting. We will also discuss the impact of using an aerator or a Coravin. The seminar will offer practical suggestions on when, why and how to decant so that you can confidently answer the question, "Should we decant this wine?"
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    2:45 PM  -  4:00 PM
    Sicily: A Continent of Wine  (W3A)
    Tent
    Bill Nesto, MW, and Frances Di Savino, co-authors of the book, The World of Sicilian Wine (University of California Press), winner of the 2013 André Simon Book Award, will discuss the evolution of Sicily as a wine region from its ancient roots to its current vibrant expressions. They will focus on the following topics: the impact of British merchants on the creation of Marsala, the role of the Planeta, Tasca d’Almerita, and Rallo families in the rebirth of the quality Sicilian wine industry, and the diversity of Sicily’s terroirs from the heights of Mount Etna to the wind-swept island of Pantelleria. The authors will provide a tour that will familiarize attendees with the flavors, images, and ideas that make Sicily special. They will lead a tutored tasting of 10 wines, which elucidate this diversity.
     Optional  Closed 
    2:45 PM  -  4:00 PM
    Vino Auténtico: Sustainable, Organic, & Biodynamic Practices in the Ribera del Duero & Rueda Regions  (W3C)
    Conference Center East
    The winemakers of Ribera del Duero and Rueda were locavore, artisanal, and sustainable long before those terms existed. After a brief review of the history and geography of Ribera del Duero and Rueda, we'll take a fresh look at these renowned Spanish wine regions through their viticultural practices. Wines from longtime stalwarts as well as recent upstarts will help illuminate our exploration.
     Optional  Closed 
  • Thursday, August 16, 2018
  •  

    Conference Session

    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Everything in Moderation Including Moderation: Making Sense of Wine, Alcohol and Health *Non-Tasting  (T1D)
    Cayuga Room
    What happened to wine being healthy? If you’re befuddled by questions about the latest news about wine, alcohol, and health, this fast-paced session will lay it all out for you. Get answers in plain-speak to the top 10 issues facing clients, educators, and the beverage industry, including the dish on the explosive alcohol and cancer debates. Besides the skinny on wine versus other adult beverages, you’ll get the latest scoops on ‘Dry January’ and other detox news, drinking patterns, weight control, sensitivities, cures and crocks, living longer and healthier, genes and more. Bring your questions and fasten your seatbelts for this spirited seminar.
     Optional  Closed 
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Methode Cap Classique  (T1A)
    Tent
    South Africa was the first New World country to develop a designation for its traditional method sparkling wines that didn’t ride on the coattails of Champagne. Methode Cap Classiques – MCCs, as they’re known colloquially – are one of the country’s fastest-growing wine categories in the U.S. Many are priced at that sweet spot that allows wine drinkers to upgrade from Prosecco to a traditional method wine without the full-on investment that Champagne demands, or to offer a traditional method wine by-the-glass without blowing out ones’ margins. The wines come in a range of styles, mostly made from the expected Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but with Chenin Blanc and even Pinotage making the occasional appearance. Join Wines of South Africa’s Jim Clarke in a tasting of great bubblies that represent the South African terroir in a surprising way.
    Speakers:
     Optional  Closed 
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Oxidative or Reductive? The Role of Oxygen in the Evolution of Red Wine  (T1C)
    Conference Center East
    What is the role of oxygen in crafting great red wines? Around the world winemakers are pondering the key issue of oxidative and/or reductive processes. Join Nova Cadamatre, MW from 240 Days and Constellation Brands, and Peter Bell of Fox Run as they explore the role of oxygen as a tool to guide the path of red wine evolution and style. A flight of finished Finger Lakes Cabernet Francs from the 2015 and 2016 vintages and 2017 barrel samples will illustrate the evolution of fruit forward vs. extracted-structured styles.
     Optional  Closed 
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Transitions, 20 Years in the Wine Business  (T1B)
    Conference Center West
    This session will tell a story of going from Service to Distributor to Supplier over the last 2 decades in the California wine business. John is currently the Regional Sales Manager for Groth Vineyards in Oakville and worked previously as Fine Wine Manager for Terlato Wines International, representing some of the great brands of the world such as Gaja, Bollinger, Ramonet, Roumier, Il Poggione, and Chapoutier, amongst others. Before that, he worked in Sales Management at Southern Wine and Spirits, representing the Diageo and Moet Hennessy portfolios. Prior to that, he was on the floor at high-end hotels and restaurants, including Zuni Café in San Francisco, a multiple James Beard Award winner. John will talk about the unexpected climb into these roles, about life on the road, and about the changing culture of wine sales. While tasting wines from each chapter of this journey, he’ll also discuss the economics of our business, the state of the restaurant industry, and how much fun one can have in our trade. John will also talk about how important his interaction with the Society of Wine Educators has been to his career. This will be a highly interactive presentation with tasting.
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Dueling Bubbles: A Comparative Examination of the Two Most Popular Sparkling Wines in the World  (T2B)
    Conference Center West
    The two most popular sparkling wine categories in the world today are Champagne and Prosecco. And the major differences between them are obvious: the grape varieties are different and so are the countries of origin. Champagne is the classic button-down splurge for a fancy wedding, New Year’s celebration or cruise ship’s maiden voyage, while Prosecco is the open-collar sockless Italian alternative for an everyday aperitivo or brunch cocktail. The wines are made (mostly) in different ways and there’s a notable price disparity too. Yet, despite these obvious differences, the two bubblies have — surprisingly — much in common, really essential things, such as the origin, history and evolution of these otherwise two very different wines. Moreover, these commonalities are spontaneous and independent of one another and the trajectories they’ve taken are parallel rather than imitative. And this is where it gets really interesting. This course will offer a comparative survey of Champagne and Prosecco, noting the obvious differences while focusing on the fundamental things the two wines have in common, such as: their origin as still wines with a natural propensity to bubble; the early stages of second fermentation in the bottle, verging off into a ‘fork in the road’ with the development of the Méthode Champenoise and the Metodo Italiano; the important role of sur lie ageing and residual sugar in both wines, and their gradual evolution from generic brand-driven bubbly products to more individualized wines representing a particular terroir and/or wine making philosophy. Overall, this course will clarify what makes Champagne and Prosecco essentially unique categories while also showcasing the commonalities in their individual trajectories, thus providing a better understanding and appreciation of both, as well as the nature of sparkling wine in general. Note: Due to limited time and space, only examples of uncommon Proseccos will be tasted in this session, including still Prosecco Tranquillo, Re-fermented in bottle Proseccos, Prosecco with extended sur lie ageing, Proseccos from a single village and/or single vineyard, and Proseccos in a variety of residual sugar levels from bone dry to moderately sweet. However, examples of corresponding Champagnes will be noted.
    Speakers:
     Optional  Closed 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Georgia: The Birthplace of Wine  (T2D)
    Cayuga Room
    Georgia is the oldest wine producing country in the world, with a winemaking tradition that began more than 8,000 years ago. As the birthplace of wine, Georgia has cultivated a rich wine culture that incorporates traditional and modern methods to produce some of the world's most intriguing wines. Explore this region and it's ancient history in a tasting of wines from one of Georgia's premier producers, Khareba.
     Optional  Closed 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Old Vines and Old Vintages  (T2A)
    Tent
    'What's old is new again' proves true in Chile. Discover the country’s fine winemaking quality by exploring the country's oldest vineyards and older vintages of Cabernet. This seminar will explore 6 heritage vines wines (varieties like Carignan, Cinsault, País, Muscat, Semillion) and 6 library vintages of Cabernet. Hailing from the original Spanish plantings in 1551, ancient vines in Itata, Maule and Bío Bío Valleys, and beyond, are producing outstanding quality boutique wine. Cabernet, the country's most widely planted variety, is proving to have outstanding age-ability. Taste through 12 wines which showcase Chile's wine quality and unique rich viticultural history.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Screw You Once Screw You Twice, Closure Innovations!  (T2C)
    Conference Center East
    Don J. Huffman, Wine Quality & Education Manager for Vinventions USA LLC in North Carolina will lead the participants of this session through a deep-dive of the benefits of several modern day closures found in wine today. You’ll enjoy an exploration as to why certain closures are chosen over others. Additionally, the team from Vinventions will pour wines from their “Taste the Difference” library that demonstrates how choosing different closures can affect the wine.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    Back to the Future: Biodynamic Viticulture is Here to Stay  (T3C)
    Conference Center East
    The concept of Biodynamics started in the 1920’s with Rudolph Steiner, an Austrian philosopher. It is a holistic, homeopathic manner of farming that includes viticulture. It is the oldest anti-chemical agricultural movement that predates the creation of organic farming by about twenty years. It is all about treating the farm like a living organism, self-contained and self-sustaining, and is the paragon of sustainability. Healthy farms mean healthy people and a healthy planet! Chilean winemaker, Alvaro Espinoza has been single-handedly responsible for introducing biodynamic viticulture into South America. “Traditional viticulture affects the vineyards, creating an artificial medium”, says Alvaro. “The result is that the wines are similar to those from other places”. In his view, organic and biodynamic viticulture facilitates the expression of “terroir”. In this seminar, Alvaro will share with us his 20+ years of experience producing organic and biodynamic wines around the world. He has personally selected wines that best represent biodynamic practices, from Luna Austral – the only Argentine winery full Demeter Certified; Antiyal, the Chilean winery he founded in 1996, and other great examples from France and the United States. Join Alvaro Espinoza in this comprehensive seminar on the Biodynamic practices of today!
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Nuits vs Beaune  (T3A)
    Tent
    There is no wine rivalry more vehement and historic than that between Burgundy’s Nuits-Saint-Georges and Beaune. Both give their names to two of the most revered Burgundy wine sub-regions, Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune. Both are major wine producing villages whose best vineyards have been highly recognized in the Burgundian wine classification system. Nuits has 41 premier cru vineyards; Beaune has 42. These numbers represent more than any other villages in Burgundy. Using a courtroom format, the case for wine supremacy between the two villages will be presented and challenged. The principals in this proceeding will be: Presiding: Her Honor & Judge, Countess Marguerite of Flanders, wife of Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy (Missi Holle) Representing Nuits-Saint-Georges: Dr. Guy-Crescent Fagon, 1st Physician to King Louis XIV (Don Kinnan) Representing Beaune: Chancellor Nicolas Rolin, Chancellor to the Duke of Burgundy (Nick Poletto) The case will be heard by those in attendance acting as the jury. After the tasting and closing statements, the jury will determine the victor.
     Optional  Closed 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    Outlier States: Wine Gems from the Rest of the Country  (T3D)
    Cayuga Room
    We all know quality wine is being produced across the United States, with classic regions in California, the Pacific Northwest, and New York State. We are even hearing more from places like Virginia and Texas. But are you familiar with wines from Arizona, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Vermont? (Probably not!) There are reasons for this: extremely small production, difficulty with growing conditions, and even a little snobbery. But there are many winemakers out there toiling away to produce high-quality wines that showcase what these outlier regions can do. And a steady flow of new AVAs is supporting that hard work.
     Optional  Closed 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    Teaching the Science of Wine  (T3B)
    Conference Center West
    Wine science from the vineyard to the glass is often part of our educational programs that is avoided. The goal of this session is to take the important parts of science and simplify them so students in our wine programs can grasp the basics to more fully understand and appreciate wine. The issues of wine balance and stability are vital to the longevity and enjoyment of our favorite beverage, but are seldom understood.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    Bordeaux Left Bank - Right Bank - Can We Still Distinguish the Wines  (T4A)
    Tent
    Since forever Bordeaux has been ‘neatly’ divided into two main styles of wines – Right Bank Merlot dominant wines on clay, limestone soils, and Left Bank Cabernet dominant wines on gravels. As time and winegrowing practices have evolved, how easy is it still to distinguish Right and Left Bank wines? We will explore in a blind tasting journey of discovery through a diverse selection of Right and Left bank appellations, terroirs, and blends of Bordeaux grape varieties.
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    Fun with Food and Wine: What Works and Why  (T4B)
    Conference Center West
    It’s happened to all of us. For a special dinner (usually a significant birthday or anniversary) we pull one of our very best bottles from the cellar, perhaps a fantastic Chardonnay. We toast, savoring that first magnificent sip. All is well with the world, until we have that first bite of the Shrimp Scampi, at which point disaster strikes! The garlic in the Scampi renders our splendid wine God awfully bitter, and now the garlic in the Scampi tastes burnt! So that never happens again, we will discuss the good, bad, and ugly of food and wine pairing with an emphasis on not only what works, but why. Our guide will be a man totally obsessed with wine and food matching, Len Presutti, the Corporate Wine Educator of the Martignetti Companies, as well as a Certified Wine Educator. Providing a palate of flavors upon which to play is Chef Johnny Sheehan of Boston’s newest and hottest restaurants, Nahita, as well as its COO, John Murray. This promises to be enjoyable as well as enlightening.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    Napa and Tuscany - The Evolution of Two Great Wine Regions  (T4D)
    Cayuga Room
    Please join us for a journey through time in two of the world’s most renowned wine regions. This unforgettable seminar will treat its audience not only to a colorful illustration of the wine history, beauty and romance of Napa and Tuscany, but will also enjoy recent and older great vintages from its esteemed wine producers.
     Optional  Closed 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    Wines from "The Island of Beauty": Corsica  (T4C)
    Conference Center East

    This Adventure Of Taste
    will start with a glass of
    Muscat du Cap Corse
    the wine who made me travel in my mind
    and forever changed my life....

    Inspired by Mr. Don-Jean Leandri
    my sommellerie teacher and mentor,
    who first introduced me to wines of his childhood,
    I’m bringing you to Corsica.

    Following the paths of the Phoenicians,
    you will discover
    “A mountain into the sea”.
    Your eyes will be seized
    by the hypnotic beauty of an island
    shaped by dramatic landscapes
    with clifs and vineyards diving into the sea.

    Together, we will explore the Corsican Viticultural Regions
    enjoy authentic and sincere wines
    featuring indigenous varietals
    which for the most part
    are not planted on the French main continent
    such as Biancu Gentile, Niellucciu,
    but which in some case
    like for the Sciaccarellu 
    have genetic ties with grapes
    growing in Tuscany, Italy.

    Buckle your seat,
    we are flying to the Island Of Beauty!

    Speakers:
     Optional 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    "Game of Wines" Presented by The SommJournal and The Tasting Panel Magazine  (T5B)
    Conference Center West
    The Somm Journal and The Tasting Panel Magazine create a super blind tasting for the attendees of this seminar. Moderated by two wine educators, the room is divided up into two teams. Each team will have a winner who receives a prize from the publication for guessing the most correct answers for varietal and region. Ten wines are submitted from varying regions and countries, and the moderators “coach” the teams on what they taste. When time is up, the wines are revealed, one-by-one, with five minute-presentations by the producers.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Emerging International Wine Varieties, a Comparative Blind Tasting  (T5A)
    Tent
    This seminar will introduce the audience to some of the less familiar red and white wine varieties that are starting to gain international recognition. Information will include a brief history of the varieties, physical characteristics, and primary growing regions. This will be followed by a blind tasting of eight international examples from Europe, the United States, and the Southern Hemisphere.
     Optional  Closed 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Roussillion: An Ancient and Reemerging Wine Region  (T5C)
    Conference Center East
    Definitely not Languedoc. Roussillon is culturally, linguistically, culinarily, and geographically separate from the Languedoc. Its wine history goes back almost 3000 years, and it produces some of the most expressive wines from the least forgiving and diverse soils. Tour the sub-regions from Les Aspres, Collioure, and Maury to Banyuls and Rivesaltes with Ed Korry, who spent last summer in this small and exciting reemerging wine region.
     Optional  Closed 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    So-Cal Wine  (T5D)
    Cayuga Room
    The South Coast AVA, located in Southern California, has several award winning wines that are rarely discussed. Situated between Los Angeles and San Diego, this region is most commonly known for its beaches, movie stars, and vivacious lifestyle. However, it is just as varied as any other region when it comes to wine. In this seminar, we will taste styles from eastern San Diego to Temecula and all the way up to Orange County to understand how the SoCal lifestyle translates into wine. We will also discuss the infamy associated with the region and why many say it will never be a famous wine region.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
  • Friday, August 17, 2018
  •  

    Conference Session

    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Decision-Making in Chardonnay Winemaking  (F1A)
    Tent
    This seminar is a “light-bulb goes on”/ “now I get it” moment for participants. We will taste 4 Chardonnays starting from oak-aged chardonnay all the way up to a single vine row selection. Along the way the participants work through each of the 5 major decisions the winemaker focuses on to make each wine uniquely outstanding. Starting with Vineyard Site Selection, then moving to Brix, Yeast, Barrel, and finally Malo-Lactic Fermentation. The intricacies of the process are laid out in detail. Wente Vineyards is uniquely equipped to talk about Chardonnay winemaking. They were the first to put the words Chardonnay on a bottle (1936), and experts state that approximately 80% of all the Chardonnay grown in California is the Famous Wente Clone. In addition, this year Wente Vineyards celebrates its 135th Anniversary as the oldest continuously operated family owned winery in America, founded in 1883 in the Livermore Valley.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Hungarian Wines Today  (F1B)
    Conference Center West
    While known internationally for its sweet Aszú wines, Hungary has recently gained recognition for its dry wines as well. Wines from both indigenous grapes such as Furmint or Juhfark, and international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot offer a range of styles and expressions. Come explore the major regions of Hungary (Tokaj, Eger, Somló, and Villány) and discover the grapes that make this country one of the most exciting “new” wine regions to explore.
     Optional 
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Sustainable Winegrowing: Beyond Bugs and Cow Horns  (F1D)
    Cayuga Room
    Do you need lactating cows to make environmentally friendly wines? Is it better to order BD500-508 from out of state or overseas companies versus developing an integrated, self-sustaining ecosystem? What is the difference between Sustainable, Organic and Biodynamic, and how can you explain it to a customer? Learn who certifies which programs, what is required, and taste wines from Spottswoode, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Brewer-Clifton, and other Green Medal Winners in Leadership, Environment, Community, and Business.
     Optional  Closed 
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Thinking Like a Grapevine  (F1C)
    Conference Center East
    Grapevines are living, sentient beings with their days and nights consumed by concern for vital life choices. Critical choices like: when to color and sweeten their fruit to attract birds in order to spread their seed, or when to break bud in the spring, or when to start storing energy for the next season. These are critical decisions a vine makes each and every day. At Frog’s Leap we seek to support the natural cycle of the plant and inform its decision making through thoughtful implementation of farming practices that aim to complement what’s happening in nature. We know that healthy, vibrant, microbial-dense soil will better absorb the winter rains and provide for the nutritional and water needs of the plant all year long. We’ve learned that if we maintain biodiversity through cover crops and insectary borders that the vine will be able to communicate with other plants and bugs in a meaningful way. We see that when we tend our vineyards respectfully, humbly, and with care that our vines are better able to use their canes and leaves to measure the angle of the sun, the length of the day, and warmth of the evening air. In short, if everything in its environment is a clue, then it’s our job to provide the grapevine with quality information. With this backdrop, the seminar “Thinking Like a Grapevine” will explore the reasons that our farming choices at Frog’s Leap are not radical concepts, but rather the very basics of what can be done to reunite a vine with its environment. We’ll discuss research into the effects of irrigation on the grapevine’s ability to clearly and distinctly measure seasonal change and to make critical life choices. We’ll delve into the three major hormones that dictate bud-break, fruiting, and ripening and the predominant environmental factors that influence them. We’ll seek to understand the evolutionary impetus of pyrazine, malic acid, and veraison. We’ll examine the way all of these things can and should influence wine style, character, and longevity. In short, we’ll spend an hour or so thinking like a grapevine. We will also sample a vertical of Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon spanning 25 years.
    Speakers:
     Optional  Closed 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Finger Lakes Riesling Shatters the Riesling Ceiling  (F2B)
    Conference Center West
    Over the past decade the brilliant Rieslings from top Finger Lakes vineyards have pushed through to the top echelons of internationally ranked wines. Finger Lakes Rieslings of great personality and poise have emerged from America’s preeminent cool-climate wine growing region and are now ranked among the best in the world. Join Lorraine Hems and Bob Madill in a tasting of wines that exemplify the hard earned status that Finger Lakes Riesling now commands.
     Optional  Closed 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    International Syrah Styles, A Comparative Blind Tasting  (F2A)
    Tent
    This seminar will introduce the audience to a brief history of Syrah, its physical characteristics, and the primary growing regions for Syrah. This will be followed by a blind tasting of several international examples, including France, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, South Africa, and South America.
     Optional  Closed 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    The Swartland Evolution  (F2C)
    Conference Center East
    If one had to pick a single region to represent the young face of the South African wine industry, the region that swept aside old assumptions of what South Africa could do, it would be the Swartland. North of Stellenbosch and Paarl, it’s home to a large concentration of old vine vineyards, many of which were long neglected – some even abandoned – and sent their grapes into anonymous co-op wines. But when Charles Back began exploring the area’s potential, young winemakers, priced out of Stellenbosch but eager to make their own wines, sat up and took notice, and now the region’s Rhone style blends and Chenin Blanc-based wines are some of South Africa’s most highly regarded. Wines of South Africa’s Marketing Manager Jim Clarke will lead a tasting of these wines, telling the story of the Swartland’s “rediscovery,” showing the range of terroirs in this large (100km x 140km) area, and illustrating how Swartland’s young producers have made the whole industry re-examine their vinous heritage and what the Cape’s vineyards are capable of.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    The Untold Story of Chianti Classico *Non-Tasting  (F2D)
    Cayuga Room
    Bill Nesto, MW, and Frances Di Savino, co-authors of the award-winning book, Chianti Classico: The Search for Tuscany’s Noblest Wine (University of California Press, 2016), will provide an in-depth exploration of the evolution of Chianti Classico, one of Italy’s most storied wine regions. They will focus on several groundbreaking aspects of their book – including revelations about the origins and use of the Sangiovese vine variety in Chianti; the relative impacts of Giacomo Tachis and Giulio Gambelli and what they signify for the development of both Chianti Classico and Tuscan wine in general; and the mystery of the long-lost 1716 Medici decree that created Chianti as one of the first legal appellations of origin for wine in the world. There will be no wine served at this lecture.
     Optional  Closed 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    Better ’Bang for the Buck' - Second Wines From Renowned Châteaux or Unclassified Petits Châteaux  (F3B)
    Conference Center West
    Second wines of Bordeaux chateaux have long been the go-to wines when looking for affordability, as well as quality and the association of Grand Vin. Is this still the case? Or are wine drinkers better off investigating the world of Petits Châteaux? This seminar will compare and contrast a range of second wines and Petits Châteaux wines to evaluate each wine on its quality, style, and ability to age.
     Optional  Closed 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    Discover Japan's Original Craft Spirit, Shochu!  (F3D)
    Cayuga Room
    Shochu is Japan’s most popular alcohol beverage, even over Sake. Until recently unknown by many in US, Shochu is starting to be recognized by many bartenders as a very unique and flavorful spirit made by Japanese craftsmanship. Through this seminar, certified Shochu educator Toshio Ueno will demystify Japan’s Original Craft Spirit Shochu. You will learn flavor characteristics of six Shochu made from rice, barley, sweet potato, buckwheat, sugarcane, and Thai rice.
     Optional  Closed 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    The Big, Wide Wonderful World of Grenache/Garnacha  (F3C)
    Conference Center East
    Grenache doesn't get the respect it deserves...but it's getting better. From workhorse to thoroughbred wines, from singular standouts to being a key player in awesome blends, Grenache delivers the goods. Explore the World of Grenache by sampling stellar examples of French, Spanish, American, Australian, and others around the globe. There will be red, white, and rose on parade, and everyone will find something they love.
     Optional  Closed 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    Unexpected Napa Valley  (F3A)
    Tent
    Napa Valley may be America’s most well-known wine region, famous for big Cabernet Sauvignon and full-bodied Chardonnay. But there is more than that to Napa Valley, including wines made from old vines, from almost unheard-of varieties, and classics made in a range of enjoyable styles. Join this session to taste the other sides of your favorite American wine region.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    Click, Sip, Learn: Wine Education in a Global Digital Culture *Non-Tasting  (F4D)
    Cayuga Room
    In today’s global digital age of smartphones, apps, and a plethora of social media platforms and online information, methods by which we buy, enjoy, share, and even study wine continue to emerge and evolve. This session will explore the many facets of wine and beverage education from technological and network perspectives, as well as the cultural shifts with respect to virtual classrooms, study forums, online communities, and media influences.
     Optional  Closed 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    GSM: Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre Blends Around the World  (F4A)
    Tent
    Blends of red Rhone varieties, after those of Bordeaux, are undoubtedly the most popular blended styles in the world of wine. While two of the three varieties to be considered are actually of Spanish origin, the combination gained international renown on the strength of iterations produced in France’s Southern Rhone Valley, from regional Côtes du Rhône to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Roger will delve into questions such as: Why do these varieties show an affinity for each other? How do small variations in the proportions affect the outcome? In what way does origin influence style? He will examine the characteristics of the grapes and detail the worldwide distribution by country and region. Intriguing examples from France, Australia and California, along with an added surprise or two, will be tasted and compared. A detailed data sheet will be provided outlining technical features of each wine. This session focuses on the GSM concept, but will be a larger learning experience about the practice of blending and the role of place.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    Icons of Barolo  (F4B)
    Conference Center West
    Barolo has captured the attention of wine aficionados throughout the world for its unique combination of earthiness, beguiling aroma, tannic structure and finesse, as well as its potential to develop over time. Yet the character and combination of these elements changes from year to year, producer to producer, town to town, and even vineyard to vineyard, within the clearly defined growing area in the Langhe hills — all of which makes it even more compelling. In this session we will take a close look at the noble nebbiolo grape, the small yet geologically diverse Barolo region, the birth and evolution of the wine itself, and some of the individuals who have played an important part in it. Most importantly, we will taste a group of carefully selected wines that constitute shining stars of the Barolo galaxy. In some cases the winemaker or even the winery could be viewed as stellar or ‘iconic’, but the real stars here are the wines themselves and the particular places they come from, including some of the area’s most renowned and representative crus like Cannubi (Barolo), Monvigliero (Verduno) and Vignarionda (Serralunga). Taken altogether, the 8-wine lineup (and the stories behind them) will paint a captivating portrait of an extraordinary winegrowing area giving participants a deeper understanding and appreciation of Barolo, and, by extension, of wine in general.
    Speakers:
     Optional  Closed 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    The Climats de Bourgogne  (F4C)
    Conference Center East
    The region’s Climats are a unique phenomenon that was recognized by UNESCO in July 2015. Over the past 2,000 years, the Bourgogne winegrowing region has benefited from the experience of men and women, from the observation of the soil, and from the region’s unique microclimates. This has given rise to a patchwork of plots whose qualities have been identified and acknowledged: the Climats de Bourgogne. But what are they? What are the origins of their characteristic names?
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Nouvelle-Zélande - Liaisons with France  (F5B)
    Conference Center West
    French explorers arrived in New Zealand soon after Captain Cook. Missionaries followed, and they established settlements. Had it not been for the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 between the Maoris and the British, where would New Zealand’s wine, cheese, and cuisine be today? There were many connections over the years and many continuing today. Frenchman Jean Desire Feraud arrived in 1863 and was the first to make wine in Central Otago. The Central Otago Burgundy Exchange program just celebrated its tenth anniversary. Daniel Le Brun of No. 1 Family Estate, originally from Champagne, began making Méthode Traditionelle wine in Marlborough in 1980. The Bourgeois family from Sancerre planted their first vines in Marlborough in 2001 and established Clos Henri. Lucie Lawrence, winemaker at Aurum in Central Otago, emigrated from France. Cloudy Bay and Brancott both have French ownership through Luis Vuitton, Moet Hennessy, and Pernod-Ricard. During this session we will dig into the history and current associations and taste wines expressing these ties between France of the Old World and New Zealand in the New World.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    One Company's Obsession with Valpolicella  (F5C)
    Conference Center East
    Explore the great diversity of Valpolicella, a well-known wine-producing region in the Province of Verona, between the foothills of the Alps and Lake Garda in the northern Italian Veneto region. Many styles have been produced for centuries in this region, from the bright, young, fresh valpolicella, to the majestic amarone and its grandfather, the noble sweet wine Recioto. The uniqueness of this region is expressed though the ancient technique of grape drying known as “appassimento” and the use of its indigenous varietals: Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. Masi will present wines from all the tiers produced in valpolicella, review the latest DOCG guidelines, and discuss the origins of Ripasso, current global trends, and what the future holds for the region.
    Speakers:
     Optional  Closed 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    The Pleasures of Pinot  (F5D)
    Cayuga Room
    Ahh, Pinot. Discover the myriad varietal variations of this diverse grape. From Gris/Grigio to Noir/Nero and Blanc/Bianco, these clones of the "original" Pinot are challenging to grow and produce. Don't forget Pinot Meunier! Explore the subtlety of these intriguing wines.
     Optional  Closed 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Wacky, Whimisical, Wondrous Whites of Italy  (F5A)
    Tent
    Which famous Italian white is named after an animal? One wine was a favorite of the Pope's (and the people on special occasions!) Giuletta’s kisses may have had a hand in naming one, while another is referred to as liquid gold, and still one more is named after a beautiful Princess. Join us on a tasting of some of Italy’s wacky, whimsical, and wondrous white wines. To titillate the taste buds further, we will enjoy these wines with a few palate teasers! Presented by Sharron McCarthy, VP Wine Education, Banfi Vintners.
     Optional  Closed 
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