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    Castilla y Leon

    The Torres Ancestral Varieties Recovery Project with Miguel Torres

    Over thirty years ago, Familia Torres embarked on an exciting project close to its heart: the recuperation of ancestral varieties which were believed extinct after the devastating phylloxera plague of the late 19th century. The idea was to recover the winemaking heritage of Catalonia, and thanks to the efforts of the family's fifth generation, the project is going stronger than ever! More than 50 varieties have been rediscovered so far, a few of which are very interesting from a winemaking perspective.

    Miguel Torres, who is now heading these efforts, will share more about this amazing project and how it is also making a positive impact on climate change.

    PRESENTER: MIGUEL TORRES

    Miguel Torres Maczassek is fifth-generation and has been the General Manager of Familia Torres since 2012. Miguel started as Manager of the Jean Leon winery (Penedès), later at Familia Torres he oversaw the new ventures in Priorat, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Rueda and Rias Baixas and worked as General Manager of Miguel Torres Chile. Today, his primary focus is the production of wines from unique vineyards and historical estates, climate change and the recovery of ancestral varieties.

    LEARN MORE ABOUT SPANISH WINES:

    Read more...

    5 Trending Italian Red Grape Varieties

    Italy’s wealth of grape varieties presents wine connoisseurs with many tantalizing prospects, particularly on the red wine spectrum. While Sangiovese and Nebbiolo still reign supreme, numerous grape varieties have re-emerged from hiding in recent years to spellbind wine lovers around the world. In Italy, the story of how some of these grapes transitioned from obscurity to fashionably cool can be just as compelling as the wines themselves. In many cases, the wines from these grapes are shining in a way they never have before, thanks to more informed decisions in the vineyard and winery.

    Here are five up-and-coming Italian red grapes to pay attention to. While all of these grapes have been around for centuries, their resurgence has meant a quality revolution and increased interest from the international marketplace.

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    5 Trending Italian White Grape Varieties

    While Italian red wines still garner much of the attention, there are, without doubt, many outstanding white wines that deserve consideration. While white wines like Soave, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi or Fiano di Avellino, are already well-known, there are also lesser-known — but rightfully trending — Italian white grape varieties that today produce exciting wines worth seeking out.

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    Meunier: The Black Sheep of Champagne with Alan Tardi

    Meunier has always been somewhat marginalized in Champagne despite the fact that it occupies a third of the territory under vine. Many Champenois consider it 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 has its own unique personality which can make a significant contribution to a classic blend and, given the chance, the variety can also show exceptionally well all on its own.

    While many vignerons were once hesitant to even admit they grew it, more and more producers have gotten behind it, proudly producing 100% Meunier wines that demonstrate the variety's true potential and offer an entirely different facet of Champagne.

    In this webinar we’ll take a close look at the Meunier variety and assess its true significance in Champagne while also examining exactly where it grows within the region and some of the most important wines and producers that champion it.

    Presenter: Alan Tardi

    Alan Tardi first became interested in wine through food, working as a cook, chef, and chef-owner in New York City.

    As a freelance food and wine journalist, Tardi has authored numerous articles for publications including The New York Times, Wine & Spirits Magazine, The Wine Spectator, Decanter, and Sommelier Journal.

    In 2003, Alan moved to the village of Castiglione Falletto in the Barolo region of Italy, where he spent several years working in the surrounding vineyards and wineries through all phases of the growing and production process.

    This lead to his first book, 'Romancing the Vine: Life, Love and Transformation in the Vineyards of Barolo' (St Martins Press, 2006), which won a James Beard Award for Best Wine and Spirits Book of 2006.

    In 2015, Tardi became the first-ever US Ambassador of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco.

    His new book, “Champagne, Uncorked: The House of Krug and the Timeless Allure of the World’s Most Celebrated Drink” (Hachette 2016) recently won a Gourmand Best in the World Award.

    Read more...

    The Key Red Grapes of Spain with Lucas Payà

    Tour through Spain’s greatest red grape varieties and the most important wines they produce. This webinar will present several wines from Spain’s most iconic vineyards, along with their history, terroir, viticulture, vinification and taste profile, and the cultural connection with their regions.

    Presenter: Lucas Payà

    Lucas Payà currently works as an independent consultant for several quality firms within the wine, beverage, and gastronomy industries.

    For five years, Lucas served as sommelier for acclaimed chef Ferran Adrià’s highly esteemed restaurant elBulli, in Catalonia, Spain, with a wine inventory of over $2M. Between 2002 and 2007, he was employed as one
    of the restaurant's two sommeliers / wine buyers [working under Juli
    Soler's direction] and, one of the core team of fewer than a dozen who stayed on and worked throughout the winter too. During that period of time elBulli's wine list doubled its offerings.

    Most recently, he worked as the wine & beverage director for José Andrés ThinkFoodGroup (TFG), where he oversaw the wine and beverage programs for all fifteen TFG restaurants in the U.S. and internationally. His involvement in the design and development of these unique beverage programs also marked the expansion of TFG restaurants outside the DC area.

    Prior to working for TFG, he represented and promoted a number of top-tier wineries from Spain in the U.S. wine market, and was a collaborator in
    Eric Solomon’s prestigious wine importing company.

    In his early years in the industry, he worked as sommelier for the Spoon+ concept by chef Alain Ducasse in London. 

    Lucas is a member of the respected L’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne and a Certified Sherry Educator. His expertise on wine and beverages has appeared in multiple publications such as Wines from Spain News, The Boston Globe, El Mundo, Verema, Expansion, LA Times Magazine, Gayot,
    Angeleno, Gourmet, The Tasting Panel, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Somm Journal, Wine Enthusiast, Wine & Spirits, Food & Wine, Wine Spectator and Punch, among others. Lucas has been invited to take part in numerous international wine events and seminars. He has
    visited many wine regions in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the US, Canada, South Africa, Mexico and others, as a guest taster and buyer.

    Learn more about Spanish wines with the Spanish Wine Scholar study & certification program.

    Read more...

    The Key White Grapes of Spain with Lucas Payà

     

    Tour through Spain’s greatest white grape varieties and the most important wines they produce. This webinar will present several wines from Spain’s most iconic vineyards, along with their history, terroir, viticulture, vinification and taste profile, and the cultural connection with their regions.

    Presenter: Lucas Payà

    Lucas Payà currently works as an independent consultant for several quality firms within the wine, beverage, and gastronomy industries.

    For five years, Lucas served as sommelier for acclaimed chef Ferran Adrià’s highly esteemed restaurant elBulli, in Catalonia, Spain, with a wine inventory of over $2M. Between 2002 and 2007, he was employed as one
    of the restaurant's two sommeliers / wine buyers [working under Juli
    Soler's direction] and, one of the core team of fewer than a dozen who stayed on and worked throughout the winter too. During that period of time elBulli's wine list doubled its offerings.

    Most recently, he worked as the wine & beverage director for José Andrés ThinkFoodGroup (TFG), where he oversaw the wine and beverage programs for all fifteen TFG restaurants in the U.S. and internationally. His involvement in the design and development of these unique beverage programs also marked the expansion of TFG restaurants outside the DC area.


    Prior to working for TFG, he represented and promoted a number of top-tier wineries from Spain in the U.S. wine market, and was a collaborator in
    Eric Solomon’s prestigious wine importing company.

    In his early years in the industry, he worked as sommelier for the Spoon+ concept by chef Alain Ducasse in London. 

    Lucas is a member of the respected L’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne and a Certified Sherry Educator. His expertise on wine and beverages has appeared in multiple publications such as Wines from Spain News, The Boston Globe, El Mundo, Verema, Expansion, LA Times Magazine, Gayot,
    Angeleno, Gourmet, The Tasting Panel, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Somm Journal, Wine Enthusiast, Wine & Spirits, Food & Wine, Wine Spectator and Punch, among others. Lucas has been invited to take part in numerous international wine events and seminars. He has
    visited many wine regions in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the US, Canada, South Africa, Mexico and others, as a guest taster and buyer.

    Learn more about Spanish wines with the Spanish Wine Scholar study & certification program

    Read more...

    Pinot Noir: France's Great Grape - At Home in California with Karen MacNeil

    A look at the rising star status of Pinot Noir in California including top regions, clones and styles.

    Presenter: Karen MacNeil

    Karen MacNeil is the President of Karen MacNeil and Company and one of the foremost wine experts in the United States. She is the author of the award-winning book, The Wine Bible, recognized as “the most comprehensive and authoritative book on wine written by an American author.”

    Karen’s articles on wine and food have been published in more than 50 magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, Food and Wine, U.S.A. Today, Elle, Cooking Light, and Town & Country. Karen has also brought her style and love of wine to television—first as the wine correspondent for NBC’s Today Show, and later as the Emmy-award winning host of the PBS television series Wine, Food & Friends with Karen MacNeil. In 2006 her companion book, Wine, Food & Friends, was released.
    With her team at Karen MacNeil and Company, Karen creates and consults on one-of-a-kind wine experiences, seminars, and education marketing programs for corporate clients, wine related businesses and individuals. Some recent past clients include: Lexus, Merrill Lynch, Disney, General Electric, UBS, Boisset Family Estates, Sunset Magazine, Singapore Airlines, and Mattel (who, in recognition, designed a wine-glass-holding Barbie look-alike after Karen!)

    An educator at heart, Karen is the creator and Chairman of the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley. The multi-million dollar center with its advanced wine curriculum and state-of-the art wine sensory classrooms has been called the “Harvard of Wine Education.”

    In a full page profile in 2004, TIME magazine named Karen “America’s Missionary of the Vine.” She holds an Advanced Certified Wine Professional Degree.

    Learn more about Pinot Noir grown in France with the French Wine Scholar study and certification program. Or dive deep into Burgundy with our Bourgogne Master-Level program.

    Read more...

    Grenache: the little grape that could with Jay Youmans MW

    Ask the average wine consumer about Grenache and you will probably get a blank stare; yet it is one the greatest, most important wine grapes in the world today. Join Jay Youmans CWE, MW as he explains why Grenache often plays a role in a blend, rather than as a single varietal wine. We will look at the history and origins of this curious grape, and discuss the challenges it presents in both the vineyard and winery. We will examine the characteristics that Grenache adds to wines such as Rioja, Priorat, Montstant, GSM’s from Australia, Gigondas, and Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

    Presenter: Jay Youmans MW

    Jay has been involved in the wine industry for nearly 30 years.  He owns Rock Creek Wine Merchants LLC. and The Capital Wine School, www.capitalwineschool.com. He is a Certified Burgundy Wine Educator, an Advanced Level Sommelier, a Certified Wine Educator, and a Master of Wine.

    Jay is the 21st American to pass the MW exam, considered the most difficult of its kind in the world. His dissertation was on cool climate viticulture. He also won the Vina Errazuriz award for an outstanding paper on the business of wine.

    Read more...

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