Once a resident of Sicilia, Ciro Pirone is well acquainted with the incredible Mongebello (Mount Etna) and its fascinating wines. Ciro takes viewers on a journey to discover more about the history and the bright, vinous future of this magical mountain.
Etna is a mountain but also a volcano, located in the heart of the Mediterranean sea, on the island known as Sicily that for thousands of years was the crossroad of civilizations, cultures, traditions, wars, but also great developments in many fields. Etna is a magical territory known to our ancestors but forgotten for a long while, finally is back and provides incredibly different and unique wines with a batch of local grapes.
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 and Italian Wine Ambassador (Vinitaly Wine Academy). Travelling 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, the London –based Wine & Spirits Educational Trust (WSET), as well as he completed and passed with Honors the Italian Wine
Specialist Certification by the North American Sommelier Association (part of the worldwide recognized Italian Sommelier Association). In June of 2017 (2019 & 2021 with Honors) he completed the Vinitaly Wine Academy and received the prestigious Italian Wine Ambassador certification. In 2019 also passed with Honors the Italian Wine Scholar program by the Wine Scholar Guild.
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!
Wine Scholar Guild is pleased to provide its readers with vintage and harvest reports for some of Italy’s most famous regions, from 2010 onward. We felt it was time that we expand our assessment of vintages and harvest reports outside of France and Italy was first on our list. To compile this in-depth report, we reached out to Italian wine specialist Tom Hyland.
Tom seemed like the perfect fit for this project, as he has been reporting on and promoting Italian wines for more than twenty years as a journalist, educator, and photographer. He has made more than 75 trips to wine regions throughout all of Italy from his home in Chicago. In that time, he has written for numerous publications, including Decanter, wine-searcher.com and most recently Wine Spectator. He has written two books on Italian wine: Beyond Barolo and Brunello (2013) and The Wines and Foods of Piemonte (2016). Tom has conducted seminars on Italian wine for the trade and public; over the past year, he has led more than two dozen webinars with Italian producers; among these were several for Wine Scholar Guild. He also served as US ambassador for Consorzio I Vini del Piemonte for five years. He is also an accomplished photographer, having been named Wine Photographer of the Year (Category: Places) in 2020 at the prestigious Pink Lady competition in England.
Andrea Eby, Italian Programs Director, asked Tom to provide a short blog article describing how he went about compiling this fantastic resource. We hope you enjoy the article and find the vintage charts as useful as we do. As always, we look forward to your questions and comments!
For many years the area around Marsala has been producing a fortified wine that enchanted the English merchants landing on the western coast of Sicily in the XIX century.
This wine was sold around the globe gaining the same reputation as the well-known Port, Sherry and Madeira wines. Unfortunately, its big success and the large-scale production undermined its reputation, converting it into a wine often associated with low quality and price. But thanks to stubborn producers proud of the local traditions, Marsala´s potential to reaffirm itself as one of the great fortified wines in the world has been revealed again.
This WSG Live will guide you through the world of Marsala wines and their history, their production and the factors affecting the different styles, revealing the new wave of producers who are fighting to take "this Great forgotten" back to fame.
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. She recently got the Italian Wine Scholar (IWS) qualification with the Highest Honors.
When you think of Italy’s vast array of wine grapes, which one comes to mind as the most difficult to study? Maybe Nebbiolo, for its seemingly endless site-specific details? Or Sangiovese, simply because there is so much of it, in so many different forms? I would posit that Trebbiano is perhaps the most perplexing. For one, Trebbiano grapes appear in vineyards across the Italian peninsula. In the case of Trebbiano Toscano and Trebbiano Romagnolo, they are among the most widely planted white wine grapes in Italy. The potential for variability is astounding.
In this webinar, we will develop a greater understanding of Liguria's history which has impacted winemaking, cuisine and people today. We will explore the key grape varieties, appellations, vinification methods and terroir. From Colli Di Luni to Rossese di Dolceaqua and Taggiasca Olive Oil to Farinata, we will gain an appreciation for this region's wines and cuisines.
For the last 20 years, Roger Bissell has been on an inspiring mission to help others explore authentically.
Born in Italy, Roger's mission has been greatly influenced by his Italian roots and an upbringing on a New England farm. A self-made entrepreneur, former restaurateur and hospitality pro, Roger has traveled the world dining and designing innovative, epicurean experiences for Michelin restaurants, hotels, private country clubs, resorts and wineries. As a Certified Sommelier and Italian Wine Expert with a Master of Olive Oil and a Master of Terroir, Roger shares his extensive knowledge and passion of Italian wine and culture through exclusive, one-of-a-kind, travel excursions and tours throughout Italy.
In 2018, Roger was knighted in Piemonte, Italy for his considerable contributions to Italian wine and culture. In 2019, Roger launched Unwined Live, an award-winning, weekly podcast featuring the lives of industry innovators, locally and around the globe. Previous guests have included Ted Lemon, Littorai Wines, Chef Mauro Uliassi, 3 Star Michelin Uliassi, Michele Faro, Pietradolce, Dr. Laura Catena, Bodega Catena Zapata and James Beard winner in journalism, author Bill Esparza; just a small peek inside the show's incredible roster of special guests.
In late 2020, Roger launched Eat Drink Explore, (www.eatdrinkexplore.com) a community-driven platform that educates and unites people through the exploration of food, wine, culture and travel. Utilizing curated tours, engaging content and videos, Eat Drink Explore also serves as a creative partner for brands and companies looking to build community, expand awareness and create unique, unforgettable experiences, offline and online.
The guest for our fourth edition of WSG Live will be Gaia Gaja, one of the three children of legendary Piedmont producer Angelo Gaja, and already a familiar face to fans of Gaja wines worldwide.
Born in 1979, Gaia says she has worked in the winery 'since she was a child': her parents always included all the children in decisions made about the future of the winery. From 2004, she began to travel the world as the family's International Brand Ambassador -- but is also very much involved with decisions made at home about both vineyards and wines with her sister Rossana and brother Giovanni. The Gaja family now has vineyards not only in Piedmont but in Tuscany (Montalcino and Bolgheri) and in Etna, too.
Join Andrew Jefford to hear Gaia talk about these zones, about the future of Italian fine wine, about her family, about climate change and about diversity in the wine world.
Nestled between the Apennine and the Sub Apennine, Umbria is Known as the Green Heart of Italy and is apt, overflowing with extraordinary food and wine traditions! While often overshadowed by its famous, and wealthy neighbor to the West (Tuscany), Umbria has a rich culture in its own right.
A place where ancient meets maverick, and tradition meets modernity, Umbria welcomes both international, but is also the home of many indigenous grapes as well, and is home to many little-known wine treasures: full-bodied reds, age-worthy whites, red passito wines, the only DOC regulated botrytis wine in Italy, and even a host of artisanal traditional method sparkling wines!
This webinar will dive deep into the terroirs, appellations, and wines of Umbria, and also explore the ancient and contemporary history, which shapes the wines and culture, making it such an exciting place to explore.
Tanya Morning Star is the owner of Cellar Muse Wine School in Seattle Washington where she teaches the French, Italian, and Spanish Wine Scholar certification courses, she is proud to have been named French Wine Scholar Instructor of the Year in 2018. Tanya is an approved WSET instructor for L1-L4 curriculums, and is faculty at South Seattle College where she is a professor of Wine History, and has developed many wines of the world curriculums. She is an Official Ambassador of Bourgogne Wines, the Official Ambassador of Orvieto Wines, and works frequently in both France and Italy.
Tanya holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York Universitys Tisch School of the Arts, is a Certified Wine Educator, has completed the WSET curriculums through Diploma Level, and has passed the Bourgogne Master, Provence Master, and Champagne Master Levels, all in the top scorer category.
Tanya brings joy into studying to help students find their path to success.
Heroic viticulture can be defined in several ways. Surely, to grow grapes under quasi impossible conditions must be included in that definition. The lagoon of Venice is perhaps the most unlikely place in the world to grown grapevines. Yet, few know that the Serenissima has centuries old history of growing wine grapes and making wine for its population. This seminar explores different type of heroic viticulture, the history of wine in Venice and its lagoon and discover that it is still possible today to taste wines from grapes grown in the lagoon.
A self-declared “Gourmand and a Storyteller”, JC is deeply passionate about wine and other pleasures of the table. Holder of the WSET Level 4, he is a WSET Certified Wine Educator and a Vinitaly Academy Italian Wine Ambassador. In January 2019, he was appointed Greater China Ambassador for Franciacorta and Master of the Hong Kong Delegation of the “Ordine dei Cavalieri del Tartufo e dei Vini d’Alba”. JC now talks about wine live on RTHK Radio 3 each Thursdays in Hong Kong and contributes to Spirito diVino Italia with bi-monthly articles on the issues facing Italian wineries when selling their wines in Greater China. After 27 years in Hong Kong, he relocated to Verona in November 2021 where he specializes in wine marketing including strategy, education, and storytelling. He is committed to stimulate the growth of Italian wines in international markets.
BACKDROP PHOTO CREDIT: Venissa
Ready for your next challenge? There's still time to join the upcoming sessions!
+ 300 on-demand replays on WSG Studio