Society of Wine Educators 43rd Annual Conference

Agenda

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  • Wednesday, August 14, 2019
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    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    A Practical Approach to Mastering Blind Tasting
    Palm Court Ballroom
    Blind tasting combines the practicality of sensory perception with theoretical wine knowledge, testing the total resources of the participant. Blind tasters are also trained to look for specific characteristics when tasting a wine “label up,” giving structure to quality evaluation. In this seminar, Certified Wine Educator Gary Twining will provide several methodologies and numerous tools for tasting blind. He will discuss how to prepare for and approach examinations and provide suggestions for teaching your students concrete techniques to successfully blind taste.
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Bordeaux’s Best Kept Secret - Dry White Bordeaux
    State Ballroom
    Red wine: iconic, classic, and probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Bordeaux. Dry white wine is perhaps Bordeaux’s best-kept secret, even today. Join us as we navigate through the history of dry white Bordeaux: its past prominence, its decline, and its modern renaissance, and examine its place today in restaurant wine programs and wine retail shelves. We will taste through the many different appellations and styles from the crisp, refreshing, fruit-driven wines to the complex, terroir-anchored, age-worthy wines, and everything in between.
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Tiki Time
    Chinese Ballroom
    From Don the Beachcomber’s original “Rhum Rhapsodies” to the enticing sounds of “Exotica,” come learn about the amazing history of everything Tiki, how it died, and how it came back. With some amazing rums, handcrafted syrups, and fresh citrus, Ben Coffelt will take you on a journey that will delight the palate and the mind.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Wine & Language: A Study of How We Communicate About Wine.
    East Ballroom
    Master Sommelier, Serafin Alvarado, continues with his usual philosophical approach to wine, this time tackling the subject of wine linguistics. In this seminar, Alvarado attempts to discuss the emergence of wine vocabulary and its common usage, with the key question in mind: is the language of wine a representation of the objective qualities of the wine, or is it an expression of our subjective experience?
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    1:00 PM  -  2:15 PM
    Navigating Napa Cabernet Sauvignon by Style, Price, and Pedigree
    East Ballroom
    The Napa Valley has been criticized for the "sameness" of its wine styles and high price points. Even as Cabernet Sauvignon entrenches itself as the valley's predominant grape variety, a myriad of styles, perspectives, and price points emerge. Yet they can all look pretty similar on the shelf! How can the trade, the retailer, and the sommelier convey meaningful distinctions in Napa Valley Cabernet and guide wine fans to the styles and bottles they will enjoy most? This session is specifically designed to train the trainer and is a must for anyone who regularly works with or communicates about Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    1:00 PM  -  2:15 PM
    New & Pending Pacific Northwest AVAs & Trends
    State Ballroom
    There have been many changes in wine production in Washington and Oregon in the last few years, and both quality and production are dramatically on the rise. Washington has 6 pending AVAs, while Oregon has 4 pending AVAs. Get caught up on these changes and discover new grape varieties, producers, and other trends in the dynamic Pacific Northwest wine scene. Master Sommelier David Glancy will lead you through a tasting of at least 8 wines during this update on the state.
     Optional 
    1:00 PM  -  2:15 PM
    South Africa: Wine from Before America’s Birth
    Chinese Ballroom
    Many of South Africa’s classic wine farms, characterized by classic Dutch gables and thatched roofs, date as early as the 1680s, before the birth of America. Dotting Franschhoek, Paarl, Stellenbosch, and Constantia, these properties are still producing, and many are making giant steps forward, matching their historical importance with wines of equal import. This session will focus on South Africa’s wine history from before 1776 and feature modern wines that showcase centuries of growth on South Africa’s historical wine farms.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    1:00 PM  -  2:15 PM
    The Wines of Uruguay: Tannat and Beyond
    Palm Court Ballroom
    For the past 25 years, Uruguay’s winemakers have worked hard to establish themselves as world-class wine producers. With the help of new investments, consultants, and improved technology, Uruguayan wines are increasingly receiving international recognition, especially for their New World-style Tannat wines. Family wineries predominate, and everyone takes great pride in their vineyard work. This session will give you an overview of the main wine-producing regions in Uruguay and demonstrate the versatility of the Tannat grape.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    2:45 PM  -  4:00 PM
    A Sandeman House History of Port
    East Ballroom
    In this session, you will discover the history of Porto, its terroir, production, and diverse styles. Learn about the cellaring potential of one of the oldest demarcated wine regions in the world, the Douro Valley. Join us for a Sandeman Port flight featuring Port cocktails and Vintage Ports and discover that Port is not only an-after dinner drink, but also works great in cocktails.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    2:45 PM  -  4:00 PM
    Discover the Liquid Gold from Lake Garda
    Palm Court Ballroom
    Join us as we taste through different versions of wines from Lake Garda made with the versatile Turbiana grape. In this session, we will explore each of Lugana’s five styles, as well as the geology of this unique interregional (Lombardy- Veneto) DOC, which provides much diversity within such a small area.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    2:45 PM  -  4:00 PM
    Marijuana – is it 411 or 911?
    State Ballroom
    Acceptance and use of marijuana is sweeping North America with consumers and companies entering the market in large numbers. Thirty-three states covering over half of US citizens along with Canada have legal access to cannabis. Coco-cola, Constellation, LaBlatts are all entering the market as beer sales lose ground in California to weed. And yet, the industry and the consumer are not always on the same path. In this session, discover the up to the moment insights of the green rush.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    2:45 PM  -  4:00 PM
    Sardinia: “The Grapes of Wrath”
    Chinese Ballroom
    Due to its strategic position, Sardinia has been invaded many times over the past 500,000 years. The Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, and French, among many others, all fought to conquer and occupy the second largest island of the Mediterranean Sea. By attending this Seminar-Tasting, you will discover that many of the “local” grape varietals growing in Sardinia were initially from Spain: "the grapes of wrath," brought by the occupants. Through this exploration of the vineyards of Sardinia, we will taste notable wines from the north, south, and very heart of the island.
    Speakers:
     Optional  Closed 
  • Thursday, August 15, 2019
  •  
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Classified - Exploring Chile's Regional Denominations and Classifications System
    Palm Court Ballroom
    Chile is one of the fastest evolving wine producing regions in the world. Emerging appellations, producers, and varietal trends are all hallmarks of Chile's current wine industry. Get your inner wine geek on and join us for a seminar which will keep you current on Chile's rapidly changing wine industry. Explore the expansion of Chile's appellations, the adoption of a complementary designation system (Costa, Entre Cordillera, Andes) that reframes Chile's wine classifications from east to west, and learn more about the country's first official Denominations of Origin, which correlate to microclimates rather than political boundaries. Wine professionals will taste through a selection of wines to best understand how producers are expressing and communicating Chile's unique climates and terroir.
     Optional 
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Confronting the Evil Dwarves
    State Ballroom
    In blind tasting practice, there are two sets of grape varieties that consistently give students nightmares. I call them the “Evil Dwarves.” Join Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser as he navigates through the perilous territory of Evil Dwarves, providing in depth analysis of these commonly confused grapes, with emphasis on strategies for identifying important impact compounds and assessing structural elements consistently and accurately.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Meunier: The Black Sheep of Champagne
    East Ballroom
    When was the last time you tasted Meunier? Of the three principal grapes of Champagne, Meunier has always been somewhat marginalized, despite the fact that it occupies a third of the territory under vine. Many Champenois consider it a mere filler to bulk up the ‘star players’ Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, while for others the late-budding, early-ripening variety represents little more than an insurance policy against frost. But Meunier does have its own unique personality, which can make a significant contribution to a classic blend. And, given the chance, the variety can show exceptionally well all on its own. While many vignerons were once a bit hesitant to even admit they grew it, over the past decade more and more producers have gotten squarely behind it, proudly producing 100% Meunier wines, which demonstrate the variety's true potential and offer an entirely different face of Champagne. Through an in-depth investigation of the Meunier grape and an unusual lineup of 100% Meunier wines in a variety of formats, this session will give participants both a rare look at a little known unfairly maligned grape variety, and a deeper understanding and appreciation of the wonderful world of Champagne.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: Wines of a Place and of Purity
    Chinese Ballroom
    This session will delve into New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc’s Tūrangawaewae (place in the world). Discover how the region’s mountains, rivers, coastline, and maritime climate contribute to a distinctive style all its own. Explore how these factors, through an unparalleled sustainable approach, result in wines of purity through a tasting of wines from different regions, sub-regions, philosophies, and techniques.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Heat, Floods, Fakes... and Skunks: The Art of the Appraisal (and Beyond.)
    Chinese Ballroom
    The father-daughter team Bill and Annie Edgerton of Edgerton Wine Appraisals have a combined 50+ years experience in performing wine appraisals for insurance, estate, divorce, and more. Learn the How’s and Why’s of wine appraisals: the best resources for comparable prices, which value to use (liquidation, fair market, replacement, etc.), USPAP certification, AAA and ASA membership, insurance claims, counterfeit wine investigation, how to handle agents and clients, and channels to sell or dispose of wine (in any condition) post-appraisal. Annie and Bill have seen it all- including skunks.
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Santa Barbara: A Marine-Derived Paradise for Chardonnay & Pinot Noir
    State Ballroom
    Join us to explore the dynamic wines of Santa Barbara. More than ever before, critics and consumers alike are endorsing the superlative quality from this marine-driven region along the Pacific coastline of California. Why? The geographical and geological features are highly unique among winegrowing regions, conveying an entirely unique stamp to the wines and offering a great value. This spirited discussion and tasting will illuminate that regional stamp, along with history and winegrowing elements—a not-to-be missed session for all who love the clarity and precision of wines grown in expressive, unique terroir.
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    SWE Sake Challenge: Blind Sake Tasting
    Palm Court Ballroom
    This guided tasting session is aimed at wine professionals interested in using their keen sense of smell and taste to learn about different styles of Sake. Through a tasting of a variety of sakes, including dry versus off dry, draft versus aged, and pure rice brewed versus alcohol fortified, wine professionals will discover how Sake can be utilized as a great food pairing.
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Virginia Wine: 400 Years Young and World-Class
    East Ballroom
    Richard Leahy, author of Beyond Jefferson’s Vines, will explain how the Old Dominion- celebrating 400 years of documented viticulture- has gone from being a curiosity to becoming a producer of top-quality wines across the style and category spectrum. He will share highlights from Virginia wine history and discuss the transformation of the state’s vignerons from hobbyists to professional winemakers and grape growers. He will also discuss the evolution of grape varietal choices to tap Virginia’s potential and the cutting edge style in Virginia wine today. Virginia wines will be tasted, and Richard will also sign and sell copies of Beyond Jefferson’s Vines.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    A Tale of Two Mountains: Atlas Peak vs. Mount Veeder
    Chinese Ballroom
    So close, but so far away: These two world-famous Napa Valley AVAs are only a couple miles apart as the crow flies, yet are incredibly different. During this session, you will taste a collection of some of the extraordinary wines from these regions, including some special older gems!
     Optional  Closed 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    Mount Harlan Through the Eyes of Josh Jensen
    State Ballroom
    Calera Winery founder Josh Jensen and winemaker Mike Waller will present the wines of the Mt. Harlan appellation. Through a tasting of wines from its various vineyards, they will discuss the appellation and its history while tasting wines from the nineties to the current releases.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    Take A Dive into the Exciting World of Wines from Campania
    East Ballroom
    This session will explore the varied terroir of Campania, one of Italy's most exciting regions. In this seminar we will taste white, rosé, and red wines, all made with indigenous grape varieties. Attendees will have the opportunity to try sparkling, still, and sweet wines that speak of Campania and its incredible diversity.
     Optional 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    Wine Competitions, Judges, and Medals and the Controversies and Press They Create
    Palm Court Ballroom
    Who benefits? Who loses? Get the inside story. This session will feature a frank and honest discussion of the State of Wine Competitions in America. How “fair” or shall we say, “honest,” are wine competitions? What do judges really need to know about the wines in order to judge them “blindly?” Can you really trust the results of 60 judges who taste 5,500 wines in 3 days? Why it is important to work and play well with others on the judge’s panel? This session will provide insight about wine competitions and their role in selling wine in America.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    Come Hell or High Water
    State Ballroom
    15-year industry veteran Rachel Martin recounts her 3,000 mile journey that led her to founding Oceano Wines in San Luis Obispo County (AVA). Her story began at Boxwood Winery in Middleburg Virginia (AVA). A first hand chronicle of how this tenacious pioneer built an international brand from an unknown region and then started over from scratch to produce the most infamous American wine, California Chardonnay.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    Modern Oregon
    East Ballroom
    In just 60 years of winemaking, Oregon has evolved rapidly. From clonal selections to varietal choices, labeling laws, and outside investments, much has changed as vintners grow and navigate the rapidly changing landscapes of one of the world’s newest and most dynamic wine regions. Taste through a selection of diverse wines from around the state as we discuss modern winemaking in Oregon.
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    Navigating the Bridges Between Wine, Food, and Herbal Influences
    Palm Court Ballroom
    Across the globe, each culture celebrates indigenous flavor profiles and classic herbal influences in its food. Listen to the tales of life on land and sea from US Navy Veteran, Chef and Sommelier Peter Vossenberg, as we circumnavigate the globe, examining how the herbal impacts of cuisine create bridges between food and wine in the wonder that is gastronomy.
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    The Future of Wine Retail: It’s Already Here
    Chinese Ballroom
    Real Somms work Retail! Join wine retailer Adam Acquistapace for “A Day in the Life of a Supermarket Sommelier,” where he will share his insights on moving wine bottles, pallets, and containers. This seminar will provide a unique look into the world of wine retail from a top wine and spirits vendor.
     Optional 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Amarone: A Historical Perspective
    Chinese Ballroom
    Discover the origins of one of Italy’s most unique wines - Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico. From its 2nd century B.C. Roman beginnings to its genesis into a modern day “gentle giant” of Verona, taste through Recioto and several library vintages of Masi Amarone to today’s contemporary expressions.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Hollywood & Wine
    Palm Court Ballroom
    Many celebrities in film, TV, and music have entered the wine business in recent years. Have they just lent their names for a price or are they actively involved in the product? Join us for a blind tasting of these wines to see if they merit the endorsement… or not!
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Refined, Regal, Revered, Rollicking, Romantic Reds of Italy
    State Ballroom
    Banfi Vintners, currently celebrating its 100th anniversary, has a long history with racy, refined, regal, revered, rollicking, and romantic red wines from Italy. Romance is always in the air in the city of Verona, where we find sexy Valpolicella, along with seductive Amarone della Valpolicella. What is more refined than the great Brunello di Montalcino, or more rollicking fun than Spumante? The world reveres Cabernet, as does Italy, especially those from Bolgheri on Tuscany’s incredible coast. Have you ever sipped an Albaraossa, actually a crossing of a regal Nebbiolo clone and racy Barbera? Other reds come to mind, such as beguiling Brachetto, captivating Chianti, Super Tuscans, Super Veronese, magnificent Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, and pretty Pinot Noir from the north! Join us on a tasting of some of Italy’s wondrous reds with a few palate teasers!
     Optional 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Stellenbosch Collective Chooses Cabernet
    East Ballroom
    South Africa’s winelands are diverse, and each region is finding its own specialty. In Stellenbosch, the center of the country’s wine industry, it’s becoming increasingly recognized that Cabernet Sauvignon does something special there. The mix of exposures takes what is essentially a warm climate and provides myriad variations on it, thanks to proximity to False Bay, the shadows of the mountains, or the flow of the winds. In September the district rolled out the Stellenbosch Cabernet Collective, a cooperative effort to raise awareness of the quality and style of their Cabernets. I think a session on Stellenbosch Cab would be an exciting look at South Africa’s most-planted red grape through the lens of the region most suited to it.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
  • Friday, August 16, 2019
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    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Excellence in Chardonnay Winemaking – Always Looking Forward
    State Ballroom
    Wente Vineyards is uniquely equipped to talk about Chardonnay winemaking: They were the first to put the words Chardonnay on a bottle (1936). This year Wente Vineyards celebrates its 136th Anniversary, the oldest continuously operated family owned winery in America, founded in 1883 in the Livermore Valley. Not only will Fifth Generation Winemaker and Winegrower Karl Wente lead us in a description of how & why Chardonnay became the passion of his family, but he will also taste through a variety of expressions of Wente Chardonnay, as well as an outstanding group of other exemplary Chardonnays who use the Wente Clone.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Innovation 4.0: A New Take on Some Old Techniques
    Palm Court Ballroom
    This seminar will explore several new techniques being used to produce Intrinsic Red Blend and Borne of Fire Cabernet Sauvignon. Taste barrel samples of these wines and see what the winemaker sees.
     Optional 
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Montilla-Moriles: Sherry’s Secret but Magical Cousin Next Door
    Chinese Ballroom
    Most of us think of sweet and intense PX wines if we conjure any image of wines from Montilla-Moriles. Join Ed Korry, CWE for an exploration of the unique terroir of Montilla-Moriles, from the Sierra de Montilla to Moriles Alba. Experience different styles from the unfortified dry wines of Pedro Ximénez to the extraordinary complex soleras of Fino, Amontillado, Palo Cortado, Oloroso and PX, including some older treasures.
     Optional 
    8:45 AM  -  10:00 AM
    Virginia's Emerging Varieties
    East Ballroom
    Since the founding of Jamestown, the rolling hills and temperate climate of Virginia inspired dreams of wine growing. In recent times, young and intrepid wine growers have experimented and are beginning to coalesce around the grape varieties most suited to varied Virginia soils and climate. In this session, you will follow along journey of discovery with a comparative tasting of Petit Manseng, Cabernet Franc, Tannat, and Petit Verdot from boutique wineries throughout the state to gain insights into these lesser-understood grapes. Ben Jordan, a founding member of the Winemaker Exchange Network and winemaker for Early Mountain and Lightwell Survey in Central Virginia, will lead the tasting and share the insights that he and other wine growers have found working on different sites throughout the region.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    Tasting Healthier Wines – They Do Exist, Don’t They?
    Chinese Ballroom
    If wines offer health benefits, are some wines better for you than others and if so, which ones and why? In this session, taste wines that rule the health roost and learn their salubrious secrets (hint: it’s not just the antioxidants). Grape varieties, terroir, winemaking, and some plain-speak chemistry all play important roles in this great debate. Controversy never tasted so good!
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    The Evolution of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Australia
    State Ballroom
    Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have a history of production in Australia dating back to the 1830’s. Unlike Shiraz and Grenache, it took time, experience, and experimentation for these two varieties to shine on the world stage. From vineyard to glass, Wine Australia’s Mark Davidson will explore the key factors that have contributed the diversity, character, and quality of modern Australian Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    The New Israel: Biblical Grapes Meet Orange Wines in a Bubbling Mediterranean Melting Pot
    Palm Court Ballroom
    On the Eastern border of the Mediterranean lies a country more famous for its long history, rich culture and religion than for its vineyards...Israel. As we look towards the next decade, Israel is hotly tipped to become one of the most interesting new wine regions due to its unique combination of historic clonal material, and a dynamic and innovative viticultural movement that has finally come of age. This session will allow you to discover the New Israel through a lens of wines and styles you may not know existed: indigenous grapes that go back to the time of the Bible, rare Mediterranean hybrids, old vine wonders, and Israeli takes on the European natural wine movement.
     Optional 
    10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
    The Wines of the West Sonoma Coast
    East Ballroom
    The West Sonoma Coast is a newly approved AVA located on the northern California coast. This AVA is a source of unique Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, and Syrahs. We will examine the history, geography, climate, soils, and wine growing methods that help explain the unique characteristics of the wines. This session is based on first-hand field research carried out by a team from the International Wine Review in April 2019. The session will identify some of the region’s top producers and include tastings of the wines from the region.
     Optional 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    Germany’s Best Kept Secret – Red Wines
    Palm Court Ballroom
    Red grapes now account for over a third of vineyard plantings in Germany, which might surprise those who automatically associate the country with its signature Riesling grape. While Germany remains the leading producer of bright, expressive Riesling worldwide, German winemakers are garnering increasing attention for producing premium red wines. Warmer and longer summers in Germany mean a greater variety of red grapes are able to grow in more places. Join us as we taste through the range of German red wines from Pinot Noir (aka Spätburgunder) to Dornfelder and more.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    New & Pending California AVAs & Trends
    State Ballroom
    There have been at least 8 new California AVAs approved in the last few years with at least 8 more pending now. Get caught up on these changes and discover new grape varieties, producers, and other trends in the dynamic California wine scene. Master Sommelier David Glancy will lead you through a tasting of at least 8 wines during this update on the state.
     Optional 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    Noble Nebbiolo
    East Ballroom
    Nebbiolo is one of the most notable grapevines of Italy and, by extension, of the world, but it is also one of the least worldly. Unlike Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Syrah, or Grenache, it doesn’t travel well. With the exception of some recent New World experiments, it generally prefers to stay put, not just in its native homeland but also specifically on its home turf in the adjacent regions of Lombardia and Piemonte. But within the fairly small area of northern Italy where it grows, Nebbiolo goes by a number of different names and makes distinctly different wines. In this session we will take a close look at the noble Nebbiolo grape through its most compelling and representative manifestations. We’ll also sample an uncommon traditional method sparkling nebbiolo and a rosato. Climatic and territorial aspects of each growing area will be discussed, and each wine will be accompanied by detailed information about precisely where the grapes come from, who made it and how.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM
    Who Put That Color In My Gin?
    Chinese Ballroom
    For as long as we remember, Gin has always been a clear beverage. But today, Gin has evolved into a beverage of pink, indigo, and blue. We will discuss the history of Gin and its use in today’s mixology marketplace and taste the latest editions of this venerable beverage.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    21st Century Maconnais, and its Drive for Excellence
    State Ballroom

    While many a wine lover has come to know and cherish the wines of Bourgogne through a memorable glass or bottle of red wine, almost three-quarters of Bourgogne’s wine production currently is white.  Leading the way in white wine production among Bourgogne’s sub-regions are the Maconnais and Chablis.

    Since the beginning of the 21st century, the Maconnais has undergone a qualitative wine revolution, fueled by a new generation of winegrowers who model their production methods after those used by prestigious Côte d’Or producers.  The result has been a profusion of “new” wines being produced from single vineyard origins and a general rising of quality of larger appellation wines. This session will bring you up to speed on what many believe is the most dynamic sub-region in Bourgogne today.

    Speakers:
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    Chablis & Friends: A Blind Comparison of Unoaked Chardonnay
    East Ballroom
    Chablis is a paradigm in the world of wine and has become a model for winemakers in many other regions. What is the secret of the uniqueness of Chablis? Is the answer found in the soil and the embedded fossilized mollusks- or perhaps in climate and winemaking? We will explore these and related questions, comparing examples of Chablis vinified without oak with equivalent wines. The tasting will be blind and in pairs, and the identities will be revealed as we go. This approach is intended to maximize the learning outcome while minimizing the stress associated all too often with blind tastings. The session will explore many factors, which may explain these myriad expressions. Ultimately, this comparative tasting will confirm- or challenge- the perception of Chablis as a wine, which can be imitated but never duplicated.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    The California Table – Wine Leads the Way in Sustainable Agriculture
    Palm Court Ballroom
    Consumers, retailers and restaurants are increasingly interested in how their food is grown and made, and wine is no exception. Wineries that produce a vast majority of California wines are involved in sustainability programs, with nearly 70% of the state’s wine being made in wineries that are Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE); and other specialty crops in the state are embracing sustainability. Allison Jordan and Elaine Chukan Brown will share insights about the sustainable wine and food movement and the link between sustainable practices and wine quality, while leading a tasting of wines from wineries featured in Wine Country Table, Recipes Celebrating California’s Sustainable Harvest. This session will explore how to incorporate sustainability into your wine education or “tableside” pitch, and illuminate which aspects of sustainability resonate most with wine drinkers drawing on findings from 2019 consumer research.
     Optional 
    3:00 PM  -  4:15 PM
    The Impact of Law and Regulations on the Wine Trade
    Chinese Ballroom
    Does wine only represent enjoying time with friends or a good food pairing? Or does it tie in directly to the daily news headlines of taxes, trade agreements, Brexit, and a host of other items? Join us for a discussion on how laws and regulations affect your next glass of wine.
     Optional 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Georgia on My Mind
    East Ballroom
    The country of Georgia boasts 8,000 years of winemaking history and is credited as the origin of the entire orange wine movement. After decades under the rule of the USSR (Josef Stalin hails from the Georgian town of Gori), Georgia is finally shaking loose the fetters of Soviet domination and making itself known to the world. Perched high in the Caucasus Mountains, this land of incredible beauty and hospitality is a treasure for the entire world of wine. Join Jim Laughren, CWE, recently returned from the mountains and vineyards of Georgia, as he shares the history, culture, and of course, wine, of this remarkable land.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! From Cane To Glass To Table
    Palm Court Ballroom
    Let us take you on a journey through the only single estate award-winning rum distillery in the U.S. “Cane Land Distilling Company” of Louisiana. From the family-owned Alma sugar plantation to the distillery, Chef Yvette will delight your palate with a tasting of Master Distiller Jonny Ver Planck’s unique line up of rums. The session will include a demo of Yvette’s delicious rum treats, which are part of the distillery’s ancillary products. You will also learn how to make some of their unique rum specialty drinks, along with creative food and rum pairings!
     Optional 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Tastes and Flavors: The Pairing Wine and Cheese
    Chinese Ballroom
    When people think of pairing wine and cheese, or any food for that matter, the focus is usually on the wine or cheese or both. Very often, the most important component in the pairing is missed- the taster. This session will explore why human physiology is an integral part of identifying tastes and flavors. Six Virginia wines will be paired to cheeses from around the world.
     Optional 
    4:45 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Treasure Hunting in Argentina: Looking for New and Exciting wines
    State Ballroom
    For 30 years, Nora Favelukes has followed the Argentine wine industry as it emerged on the world stage. Today, modern pioneers of this new movement are creating new wine regions North, South, East, and West of Argentina with a renewed passion and vision. Each way you go, producers and winemakers are crisscrossing frontiers in an explosion of creativity expanding into new altitudes and soil mapping. These winemakers are adopting sustainable and biodynamic practices and experimenting with micro-terroirs, Nomblot eggs, and micro-vinifications.
    Speakers:
     Optional 
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