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    Blog

    Franciacorta and Trento: A Tale of Two Cities

    The story goes that a couple of years ago, at a high society charity event in Milan a noted British rock star was served a sparkling wine that impressed him so much that he asked to be introduced to its producer who happened to be present at the event, and to whom he is reported to have said “This is the greatest Prosecco I’ve ever tasted”. The wine was in fact a metodo classico riserva made by one of Franciacorta’s top producers. The anecdote may be apocryphal, but it could easily be true. The big wide world (and not only – the misconception is also becoming common in Italy) has started to perceive anything Italian with bubbles as Prosecco, without distinction of origin or refermentation method.

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    More than Nebbiolo – Delving into Piedmont’s Lesser Known Indigenous Varieties with Robin Kick MW

    Abstract

    Piedmont is most known for its Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto, the three core varieties that form the backbone of the Langhe, Piedmont’s most famous sub-region.

    But a number of other exciting indigenous and qualitative varieties make up the region’s complex viticultural patchwork.

    This webinar will focus on 4 lesser known whites – Arneis, Nascetta, Erbaluce and Timorasso - as well as 4 reds – Freisa, Grignolino, Pelaverga and Ruchè and discuss their individual histories, characteristics, attributes and unique challenges.

    Presenter: Robin Kick MW

    Originally from the Chicago area, Robin is a Master of Wine who is presently based in Lugano, Switzerland, where she works as an independent wine consultant, wine judge, journalist and educator.

    Following studies in French and English literature, she changed career paths in 1998 when she left her teaching position at the Université de Nice to study wine at the BIVB (Bureau Interprofessionel des Vins de Bourgogne) in Beaune, France and the Université du Vin in Suze-la-Rousse in France’s Rhône Valley.

    In the 20+ years of working in the wine business, she has held a number of different positions including wine auction specialist for Christie’s in Beverly Hills, California and fine wine buyer for a pre-eminent London-based wine merchant with an award-winning Burgundy list.

    In 2014, after many years of study and a successful dissertation on whole cluster fermentation in Pinot Noir from the Côte d’Or, she became a Master of Wine.

    Her main wine passions are Burgundy, Champagne, northern Italy, particularly Piedmont, Switzerland and Jerez.

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    Orvieto, the Magic, and Mystery of the Place and it’s 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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    Let's Tour Italy's Lesser Known Regions: Basilicata and Molise with Susannah Gold

    Join us as we delve into two of Italy's lesser known Southern regions, Basilicata and Molise. Home to wonderful wines made using indigenous grape varieties, Basilicata and Molise are regions to keep on your radar.

    In this webinar we will discuss the topography and climate factors as well as the denominations and producers that make these areas ones to watch.

    Presenter: Susannah Gold

    Susannah presents wines and wine regions and through her company Vigneto Communications promotes wine and food products in the U.S. with her team.

    She does media, trade relations and often helps to find importers and distribution. 

    She holds various wine certificates from schools around the world including an Italian sommelier certificate from  the Associazione Italiana dei Sommeliers (AIS), the Diploma in Wines & Spirits (DipWSET) from  the WSET, the CSW and CSS from the Society of Wine Educators and a certification from the Spanish Wine Academy. 

    She teaches wine classes, and has written for The Financial Times, Gourmet Retailer, Food, Food & Beverage Business, Snooth.com, the Organic Wine Journal, the Sommelier Journal, F&B Magazine and GDO Week.

    She pens a wine blog called Avvinare.com.

    Fluent in English, Italian, and French, she also speaks advanced Spanish and works with clients in all four languages.

    Learn more about Italian Wines:

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    Why Valpolicella and Valpolicella Superiore are Poised for a Comeback

    The wines of Valpolicella dance across the tongue with the same lift and loveliness as the name itself. Ideal with humble pastas as well as lighter red meats and game birds, it is well-suited to the table. As the  more modest bottling of the Valpolicella region, it is largely (and unfairly) overlooked among Italian reds these days.

    Valpolicella is the so-called “everyday” red wine of the eponymous production zone that is situated just north of the city of Verona, and extends west and east of the city. Other reds here include the iconic Amarone della Valpolicella as well as Ripasso, a wine made via a method of refermentation and remaceration, in which a Valpolicella is “repassed” over the skins of grapes used for Amarone.

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    What's new with Italian wine DOCs and DOCGs

    Learning Italian wine inside and out can be a thrilling experience, but it can also be confounding. The wrinkles in Italian wine law are numerous, and staying on top of the latest modifications to DOC and DOCG regulations can feel as time consuming as the slow train from Naples to Sorrento.

    Fortunately, we have Maurizio Broggi on our side. As Education Director for the Italian Wine Scholar™ program, he stays in close contact with Italy’s innumerable consorzi to learn about trends in the vineyards and wineries, as well as changes to their regulations — all so he can keep our education materials up-to-date.

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    Noble Nebbiolo with Alan Tardi

    Abstract:

    "Noble Nebbiolo" a survey of the prestigious Italian variety and its most important manifestations,appellations, and growing areas namely: Valtellina (Lombardia), Valle d'Aosta, and Piemonte (Langhe, Roero, Canavese, Alto Piemonte).

    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...

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