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    Blog

    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.

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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

    "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.

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    Vini Macerati: The Skin-Contact White Wines of Friuli with Richard Baudains

    Join Decanter Magazine journalist Richard Baudains for an insider look at the skin-contact white wines of Friuli.

    The orange wines of Friuli have become one of the iconic wine styles produced in the region.

    In this webinar, Richard Baudains will explore the various maceration process protocols adopted in Friuli as well as the most suitable grape varieties used for this style. Richard will also discuss the profile of the wines and some of the principal orange wine producers of Friuli.

    Presenter:

    Richard Baudains was born and bred on the island of Jersey, a corner of the British Isles with French origins, hence the French surname. He studied literature and trained to be a teacher of English as a foreign language to satisfy a wanderlust which eventually brought him to Italy, where he has resided for the past 30 years. He wrote his first article for Decanter Magazine in 1989 and has been a regular contributor on Italian wine ever since. He is the Regional Chair for the Veneto at the Decanter World Wine Awards, an occasional taster on the jury at the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon Blanc, a member of the team of the Slow Wine Guide for Friuli-Venezia Giulia and lecturer in wine journalism at Slow Food’s Università delle Scienze Gastronomiche. He lives in Gorizia and in his day job he directs a language school. 

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    Irpinia Who's Who: The Producers of Taurasi, Fiano di Avellino and Greco di Tufo with Tom Hyland

    The province of Irpinia represents the heart of the Campanian wine industry. On the map, this is the province of Avellino, but vintners here refer to this territory by its ancient name of Irpinia. From this land, some of Italy's most complex and longest-lived whites wines, such as Fiano di Avellino and Greco di Tufo are produced, while Coda di Volpe and Falaghina are other local stylish whites. As for red wines of Irpinia, the most celebrated is Taurasi, an Aglianico-based red that is among the country's most renowned and most cellar worthy reds. We will examine this province, discussing its lengthy history - vines were first planted here several thousand years ago - as well as its status quo, discovering the finest producers of each major type of wine.

    Presenter: Tom Hyland

    Tom Hyland is a Chicago-based wine writer/educator and photographer, specializing in Italian wines.

    He has authored two books on Italian wines, and has conducted seminars for the trade on various Italian wines in Chicago, New York and in Bordeaux at VinExpo.

    He has been writing about these wines for 19 years, and today is a contributor to Decanter and wine-searcher.com. He is also the U.S. ambassador for the consorzio, I Vini del Piemonte.

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    The Wines of Irpinia - Contemporary Excellence from an Ancient Territory

    I returned to Campania recently for the first time in three years and as with most Italian regions, discovered that not much had changed, at least as far as appearances are concerned. I did meet a few producers I hadn’t visited before, with one of them – Petilia – being a great new discovery for me. More on that below, but overall what impressed me most was the consistency of the wines, white and red.

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