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    Blog

    Spanish wine maps by Quentin Sadler

    ‘In the search for a mapmaker for the Spanish Wine Scholar™ program, I was somehow led to Quentin Sadler.

    I didn’t think it possible to find someone with as much love and passion for Spain as I have but I certainly found this in Quentin! It was obvious that our collaboration on the Spanish Wine Scholar™ program was meant to be. His work is incredible and we both are committed to making the program the international gold standard in Spanish wine education.

    Quentin has more than 30 years in the wine trade and holds the WSET Diploma. He is a passionate London-based wine educator, communicator, educator, blogger, and mapmaker.’

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    A Guide to Recent Barolo and Barbaresco Vintages

    Thanks to a string of successful vintages, there has been a great deal of recent publicity regarding Barolo and Barbaresco wines.

    Produced entirely from Nebbiolo, these two iconic wines have changed in style over the past 20-30 years; where once, the wines were reserved upon release, today, the wines are riper and more forward. This is largely due to climate change, as warmer temperatures throughout the growing season have necessitated Nebbiolo harvests some two to three weeks earlier these days than in the 1980s, ‘70s and prior; while late October to early November was normal for a Nebbiolo harvest thirty and forty years ago, today, harvest is more typically in early-mid October.

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    1st WSG Educator Trip to Italy - June 2018

    Deep dive into Trentino, Franciacorta & Lugana

    Who could have imagined there would be so much to know about these three wine regions! Maurizio Broggi, along with the Consorzia of Trentino, Franciacorta and Lugana took us, a group of Italian Wine Scholar™ educators, into a deep dive to discover what these wine regions were all about. We had the opportunity to discover in detail the elements contributing to their uniqueness in styles and in quality along with the challenges they are facing.

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    Wine Scholar Guild at SommCon DC This July!

    The Wine Scholar Guild is hosting a full-day primer on France’s northern wine regions at SommCon DC in July. Sharpen your pencils and come well-rested, you could go home a winner!

    French Wine Scholar Review Day with Education Director, Lisa Airey, FWS, CWE

    We will start this full-day program with a quick 20-question quiz! Bring your A-game! There are prizes to be won!

    During this session, we will review the important wine regions of France’s north: Alsace, Champagne, Bourgogne, Beaujolais, and Loire.

    We will go over the biggest stumbling blocks to mastery for each region and clarify the complicated bits. The program is informative, fun and interactive.

    Although a stand-alone primer on France, the day also serves to introduce participants to the depth and breadth of the French Wine Scholar certification program.

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    Lisa Airey, WSG Education Director, Knighted by French Government

    Wine Scholar Guild Education Director, Lisa M. Airey, CWE, FWS was knighted by the French government in a ceremony at the Embassy of France in Washington DC on March 28, 2018.

    She was inducted as “chevalier” to the Ordre du Mérite Agricole for her contributions to French agriculture (namely, wine!).

    Sylvain Maestracci, Agriculture Counselor, officiated. It was his first knighting ceremony and hard to tell who was more touched as the medal got close to the lapel.

    Lisa was commended for the development of the French Wine Scholar Program which is now taught by over 50 program providers, in 53 cities, in 16 countries on 5 continents. It is also hosted as an online program in independent- and instructor-led formats.

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    Vin Santo, A Truly Great Dessert Wine from Tuscany

    Grapes  for Vin Santo Drying in the Vinsantaia

    One of the most characteristic wines of Toscana is Vin Santo. This passito is an ancient and traditional specialty produced throughout the entire region. Its origin dates back to the Middle Ages, but the prototype for this style of wine can be traced back to the Greeks and the Romans.

    Most Vin Santo is made from white grapes, typically Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia Bianca Lunga. It can be made from just one of these grapes but is more commonly a blend of the two. Trebbiano provides acidity while Malvasia provides body, texture and perfume. A rare, pink Vin Santo called Vin Santo Occhio di Pernice (“partridge eye”) is made from red grapes, usually Sangiovese. Only a few producers make this pink version.

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    Rick Fisher: Up Close and Personal

    #thespanishwineguy joins the WSG team full-time

    A couple of months ago we introduced you to Rick Fisher, our Program Developer for the upcoming Spanish Wine Scholar™ (SWS) program. By way of reminder, Rick is part Catalan with a passion for his heritage and a desire to educate others about Spanish wine and food. In his spare time, he has authored the blog Bodega: Eat. Drink. Explore. ESPAÑA! (www.bodegaspanishwine.com), whose aim is to further educate readers about the amazing wines and food of Spain.

    Rick has enjoyed a long career in finance and, over the past few years, found himself drawn to pursuing more credentials within the wine industry (He is currently a WSET Diploma student with Napa Valley Wine Academy). As a result of his passion for Spain and the wine business, he left his finance job last week in order to devote all of his time to the creation of our Spanish Wine Scholar™ program, whose expected launch is late-2018.

    Q1. Rick, you just made a huge personal move, giving up a 20-year career in finance – to work full-time in the wine industry, more specifically to devote all your time to the development of the SWS program. How are you feeling about that decision?

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    7 Reasons to Study Bordeaux + Buying Tips

       

    1) Bordeaux is France’s largest quality wine region and largest producer of AOC wine.

    2) The quality of its vintages drives the fine wine market globally.
     
    3) Bordeaux’s rich history, commercial significance, mercantile mindset, size, and quality set it apart from other French wine regions.

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    Why study Bordeaux?

    Bordeaux is France’s largest appellation and largest producer of AOC wine! It has been exported since the Middle Ages. In fact, its inland port with its historic and stately, stone warehouses, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
     
    The region has been tracked with regard to vintage year for its entire history. Collectors speak in terms of Moueix and Derenoncourt, of Thunevin and Maltus as avid fans speak of their favorite athletes. Even non-wine drinkers have heard of Châteaux Mouton, Lafite, Latour, Margaux and Haut Brion!
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    Vin Jaune: Time in a Bottle

    Vin Jaune is Jura’s claim to fame! This stylized wine product is made from Savagnin [Blanc] and represents a wine that has undergone controlled oxidation in barrel through the action of a film of surface yeasts.

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    Seven Things You Might Not Know About Rhône Wines

    The Rhône is France’s second largest producer of AOC wines (after Bordeaux). Its viticultural history dates back to the Romans who sculpted its terraced topography and introduced the vine.

    It is in the Rhône where east  meets west. The granite and schist of the Massif Central (west) collide with the sedimentary soils of the Alps and its foothills (east)….
    So, how well do you know the Rhône?

    Read more...

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