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    Italian Wine 101

    25 Italian Wine Terms You Need To Know

    The Italian wine world is full of wine-related terminology that many consumers struggle to understand. Learning the meaning of a few key terms can increase your confidence level and help you make informed decisions when selecting your next glass, or bottle, of vino. We have compiled a list of 25 common terms and phrases that we know will help you navigate the delicious world of vino Italiano!

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    Focus - The Wines of Valle d'Aosta: Not Quite Italian, Not Quite French

    Whether it is in the bilingual wine labels of Alto Adige, or the occasional Slavic grape name in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italian wine often reveals the duality of culture present in some of the country’s border regions. Tucked into Italy’s northwestern corner, Valle d’Aosta certainly demonstrates this, as its language, cuisine and wine seem to have one foot in Italy and another in France.

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    Discover the Undiscovered: Calabria and its Wines with Tommasella Perniciaro

    Calabria is one of the most undiscovered wine regions in Italy, although its wine history and heritage goes back to very ancient times. The ancient Greeks called it “Oenotria”, land of wine, when they first reached the Ionic coast of Calabria, discovering a wonderful land with perfect conditions of climate and soil to grow grapes and produce wine. A wine that was even offered to the winners of the Olympic games as a special award. 

    This webinar will guide you through this amazing region, showing the diversity of terroir, grape varieties and styles of wine it can offer and revealing the new wave of producers who are bringing this region back to ancient fame. 

    Presenter: Tommasella Perniciaro

    Tommasella Perniciaro was born in Italy, but her professional career took her to Spain and Sweden, where she currently lives. After taking the WSET Diploma in Wine and Spirits in London in 2015 and the French Wine Scholar (FWS) in 2016, she became WSET Certified Educator and founded The Good Wine Habit wine school in Gothenburg, where she runs the WSET Level 1-3 wine courses. Moreover, she teaches the online WSET Diploma in Wine for the WSET London School. Tommasella is a Vinitaly Italian Wine Ambassador (VIA), Vinitaly Certified Italian Wine Educator and Valpolicella Wine Specialist (Consorzio Tutela Vini della Valpolicella) for the Swedish market, where she organizes masterclasses and tastings about Italian wines for the trade and wine lovers.

     

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    Valtellina and Sforzato – Explore the spectacular terroir of this mountainous Northern Region of Lombardy with Mario Cagnetta

    In this live one hour webinar we will explore a very small but unique appellation in Italy which produces one of the best expressions of Nebbiolo.

    An appellation where the Alpi Retiche mountains, climate and influence of the Adda River and Lago di Como play key role in the evolution of its wines.

    Valtellina Superiore DOCG, its Subzones (Maroggia, Sassella, Grumello, Inferno and Valgella), and its jewel Sforzato have always been considered a hidden gem and are quickly gaining more attention all over the world. This in-depth webinar focuses on the characteristics of each subzone, the spectacular landscape and heroic viticulture, and offers experts insight to the origins of Nebbiolo grape, locally known as Chiavennasca.

    Presenter: Mario Cagnetta

    Mario Cagnetta is the head sommelier at Buca Cucina and has worked for prestigious restaurants like Buca Yorkville, Buca King and Don Alfonso 1890 in Toronto. He developed Wine Education Programs for King Street Food Company and he is very passionate about wine and food pairings. He has achieved Italian Wine Scholar, Spanish Wine Scholar, Burgundy Master level, Bordeaux Master Level with highest honors and also owns Master Level in Champagne and Provence. He is also a Certified Sommelier from AIS, the Italian Sommelier Association and from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Before starting his wine and sommelier career he worked as a journalist for 15 years in Italy and Canada. He holds a Masters Degree in Literature and Journalism from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano.

     

     

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    Discovering Alto Piemonte

    The best-known wines of Piemonte, such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Roero Arneis and Moscato d’Asti are produced from grapes grown in the southern sector of the region; this includes the province of Cuneo and Asti, in districts such as the Langhe and Roero. But farther north, Alto Piemonte is a territory that is home to some of the region’s most complex, yet least understood wines. Gattinara, Boca and Ghemme are a few of these selections, and these days, greater attention is being paid to these wines and this relatively unknown viticultural outpost.

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    History, origin and all about Montepulciano with Ciro Pirone

    Drinking and discovering Montepulciano (the grape) d'Abruzzo is like looking at a painter's palette, so many colors, so many shades and so many possibilities. Montepulciano is one of Italy's most versatile grapes that can produce terrific rosatos, quaffable reds for any occasion but also some of Italy's boldest and age-worthy wines, worth every sip.

    Presenter: Ciro Pirone

    Ciro Pirone, Director of Italian Wines for Horizon Beverage Company, is a graduate of the Istituto Alberghiero (Hotel and Restaurant Management school) of Salerno, Italy.  Traveling and working in Italy, England and the US, Ciro developed an incredible passion for wine, food and culture. After all, growing up in Italy, wine was always a very important part of his family’s lifestyle and traditions.

    In 1999, Ciro moved to the US permanently.  He landed in Boston, where he continued his wine studies at Boston University, the International Sommelier Guild and the London –based Wine & Spirits Educational Trust (WSET). In 2007, Ciro accepted the position of Italian Wine Specialist for Horizon Beverage. After successful growth at HBC, Ciro accepted on a new challenge as the US Brand Manager for the Arnaldo Caprai Winery of Montefalco (Umbria), the top producer of worldwide recognized Sagrantino di Montefalco. In June 2011, Ciro returned to Horizon Beverage with a new position of Director of Italian Wines in support of their expanding presence in the New England marketplace.  Ciro is happy to share his passion for Italian wine and culture in an effort to give the American wine consumer  a better understanding and appreciation for Italian wine!

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    Jimmy’s Red Hot Sicily with Jimmy Smith

    This fascinating webinar will focus on the ‘red hot’ wines of Sicily from regions such as Etna and Vittoria. Jimmy will cover how the very distinctive soils such as lava rock and limestone craft a wonderful array of elegant but complex styles of wine. Jimmy will set the scene by guiding you through the complex history of this large island, and through discovering the volcanic effect from Etna, Stromboli and Vulcano, he will explain how these volcanic soils craft different wines from mainland Sicily. 

    Presenter: Jimmy Smith

    Jimmy Smith is the Founder and Head of Education at West London Wine School. Jimmy was named Drinks Business Man of the Year in 2019, and Wine Scholar Guild’s Italian Wine Scholar Educator of the Year in 2018. He is also has educated over 6000 students through the WSET Level 1, 2 and 3 Award certification programs. It’s the all-important infectious enthusiasm and passion for the world of wine that enables Jimmy to communicate to his audience without the use of confusing (& boring!) technical facts often detailed in wine tastings.

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    Orvieto: The Magic and Mystery of the Place and Its Wines with Tanya Morning Star Darling

    The Orvieto wine-producing region in Umbria is a whole package of beauty, history, cultural richness, and extraordinary wines, a region that sometimes flies under the radar beside its famous neighbors in Tuscany.

    Orvieto wines were the prize of the renaissance period in Italy, but in recent history the wines have been better known for deliciously democratic wines led by cooperatives and wines bottled by Tuscan giants like Antinori, and Ruffino. In the last 40 years Orvieto has undergone an Estate bottling revolution, which has spurred a culture of quality and pursuit of terroir values in the region, yet the pleasure to be found here is still under-recognized. Did you know, for example, that Orvieto is the only DOC in Italy to regulate the production of Noble Rot, or that Orvieto has both marine sedimentary soils, as well as volcanic ones? Well, these little known facts, just scratch the surface of wonders to be discovered in Orvieto!

    In this class, we will uncover the magic and mystery of this region: the town, the terroirs, the wines, and the people who create them.

    Presenter: Tanya Morning Star Darling

    Tanya Morning Star Darling is a full time wine educator with nearly 3 decades of industry experience. Her school Cellar Muse is the approved program provider for Wine Scholar Certifications (French, Italian, and Spanish) in the Seattle area. She also teaches WSET coursework, and is Faculty at the Northwest Wine Academy at South Seattle College.
    Tanya has family in Umbria, and recently completed a comprehensive research project in partnership with the Orvieto Consorzio, where she visited almost every estate and cooperative producer in the region, and tasted nearly every single wine produced in the DOC. Tanya is proud to be Orvieto’s first and only Ambassador of Orvieto Wines, and to have the pleasure of sharing these wines with the world!

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