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Coronavirus and Its Impact on the Movement & How Natural Wine Has Changed the Wine World

Displaying items by tag: Meeting of the Minds

Tuesday, 06 September 2022 11:57

Meeting of the Minds: Climate Change

No topic matters more for the future of wine than climate change.  Will the world’s great wine terroirs be lost?  Can we save them -- and mitigate the effects of climate change -- by intervention, irrigation and regenerative farming?  Is it time for all wine regions to explore alternative varieties?  Will wine-growing in general move up-latitude or up-altitude?  Is the era of glass bottles ending?  Listen to and engage with our panel as they tackle these and other questions in our Meeting of the Minds – Climate Change webinar on Tuesday September 6th

Andrew Jefford, WSG's Academic Advisor will be joined by …

Michelle Bouffard, formerly a classical trumpet player, has worked in wine for the last 20 years as sommelier, educator, journalist and broadcaster.  In recent years she has specialised in questions of climate change in the wine world, having founded the Tasting Climate Change symposium in 2017.

Dr Greg Jones, world-renowned atmospheric scientist and wine climatologist, formerly worked at the Universities of Virginia, Southern Oregon and Linfield and is now CEO of Abacela Vineyards and Winery in the Southern Oregon region of Umpqua Valley, originally founded by his parents Hilda and Earl Jones.

Josep Maria Ribas Portella studied engineering and sustainable energy systems in Catalonia and Sweden, and is now Director of Climate Change for Familia Torres.  His role there involves both climate change mitigation and adaptation for the company as well as raising awareness and fostering collaboration with partner businesses both inside and outside the wine sector.

Photo: Vineyard Fire, Victoria, Australia. Credit: Tom Carson

 

Published in Viticulture

Every drop of wine we ever drink is the product of observation, intervention and craftsmanship.  Without intervention, every wine would be oxidising and turning to vinegar; without craftsmanship, every wine would be rough and unpalatable.  Advances in craftsmanship have brought us the extraordinary beauty and diversity we are all familiar with and that we celebrate in today’s wine world.

What have been the key winemaking advances of the last two decades, and what changes and challenges await in a world of rapid and unprecedented climate change? 

 Among the many topics our expert panel hopes to touch on are

  • Dramatic advances in the sorting and handling of harvested fruit
  • The deepening understanding of balance in wine (acidity, alcohol, other elements)
  • Changing attitudes to the role of oak in élevage, and the increasing use of large wooden vessels, of well-seasoned oak, of concrete and of earthenware vessels
  • The role of oxygen in fermentation and ageing processes (micro-oxygenation through to controlled oxidation)
  • Skin-contact white wines (orange or amber wines, or qvevri-made white wines)
  • The deepening understanding of tannins, especially in red wines, and the extraordinary advances in textural sophistication of red wines in certain regions
  • The meaning and application of “non-interventionism” as a means to achieving vineyard or terroir expression
  • ‘Precision’ and ‘purity’ as the new aesthetic desiderata for wine, replacing those such as ‘power’, ‘opulence’ and ‘generosity’
  • The role of (primary) fruit flavours in wine
  • Warm and hot vintages: responses in vineyard and winery
  • Redefining varietal styles and regional styles for a changing world

The panel will discuss these and other questions in an accessible, non-technical style, with the emphasis on those changes most clearly evident to wine students and keen wine drinkers.

Wine Scholar Guild Academic Advisor Andrew Jefford, speaking from France, will be bringing together a panel of key thinkers, writers and winemakers in four countries to talk through these and other issues. 

Fiona Morrison MW is a writer, winemaker and wine merchant based in both Bordeaux (where with her husband Jacques Thienpont she manages Ch Le Pin, L’If and Le Hêtre) and in Belgium, where she manages the family Thienpont négociant business; she obtained her MW in 1994. 

St Helena-based Rosemary Cakebread owns and makes the wines for the much-admired Gallica; she is a former winemaker and consulting winemaker for Spottswoode. 

Consultant and writer Pedro Ballesteros MW is a qualified agronomical engineer and holds a Masters degree in viticulture and oenology, as well as having obtained his MW in 2010.  A polymath and polyglot (working in four languages: English, French, Spanish and Italian), Pedro is based in Brussels where he formerly worked for the European Union. 

Tuscany-based Alberto Antonini was cited by Decanter magazine in 2015 as one of the five most influential winemaking consultants in the world.  After training in Tuscany, Bordeaux and in Napa and working for Frescobaldi and Col D’Orcia, Alberto now consults in Italy, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, California, Canada, Spain, Portugal, Armenia, Russia, Israel and Australia. 

Published in Vinification

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  • What are the main tasting methods and what are their key characteristics? 
  • How do different cultures, languages and sensibilities impact how wine tasting is approached? 
  • Can we envision a more overarching and universal tasting method? 

These are some of the questions we will be addressing in this Meeting of the Minds panel discussion.

Wine Scholar Guild Academic Advisor Andrew Jefford, speaking from France, will be bringing together a panel of key thinkers, educators, writers and experts in four countries to discuss a world of tasting methods. UK-based Professor Barry Smith not only directs the Institute of Philosophy at the School of Advanced Study at London University, but is also founding director of the Centre for the Study of the Senses/CenSes, which pioneers collaborative research between philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists. He is himself a philosopher of language and mind. Sommelière (and former philosophy student) Pascaline Lepeltier MS, speaking from New York, grew up and studied in the French tradition of wine appreciation but has spent much of her working life talking about wine to Anglophones. UK-based Matthew Stubbs MW is one of the wine world’s most experienced and popular educators, and has taught both on his own behalf and for WSET and IMW around the world. Finally, speaking from Nanning in China, comes Julien Boulard MW, one of the most brilliant of recent MW graduates and a wine educator in China whose mastery of Mandarin sees him regularly appearing on Chinese media.

Become a WSG Member to get your invitation to live weekly webinars! Can't make it? Recordings of all past events are available on demand.

JOIN TODAY FOR $100 A YEAR

Published in Membership Demo

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the texture of life for us all, and left no field of economic activity unruffled.  More than 2.5 million people have lost their lives and 115 million have been infected, with up to one in 10 of those infected suffering long-term consequences.  

Anosmia (the loss of taste and smell) is a symptom of Covid.  International travel has slowed to a trickle; restaurants and bars have closed; festivities and celebrations of all sorts have become muted.  

Wine, as a widely traded commodity and one synonymous with conviviality, has been profoundly though irregularly affected.  Who are the winners and losers?  Has the crisis changed the way we think about wine?  What new ways have we found to talk about and to share our wine experiences?  In a world whose biggest challenge remains the climate crisis, might ‘travel shame’ affect the wine world?  Is luxury still alluring?  Have the different rates of success in fighting the virus in different parts of the world changed the balance of power in the wine world?  

These are some of the questions we aim to discuss in this upcoming Meeting of the Minds.

Wine Scholar Guild Academic Advisor Andrew Jefford, speaking from France, will be bringing together a panel of key thinkers, educators, writers and experts in four countries to talk through these and other issues.  

PRESENTER: ANDREW JEFFORD 

Academic Advisor to the Wine Scholar Guild, Andrew has been writing about wine since 1988, notably for The Evening Standard and The Financial Times among other UK newspapers.  He has columns in every edition of Decanter magazine and World of Fine Wine magazine, and is co-chair of Decanter World Wine Awards and vice-chair of Decanter Asia Wine Awards.  His books include The New France, Whisky Island and Andrew Jefford’s Wine Course.

MEET THE PANEL:

New York-based Eric Asimov is the Chief Wine Critic of the The New York Times; his books include How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto and Wine With Food: Pairing Notes and Recipes from the New York Times.  

Speaking from Ampuis in the Northern Rhône, comes Philippe Guigal, the third generation of one of France’s most significant and dynamic wine families, exporting its wines to 137 different countries around the world

Master of Wine Fongyee Walker read Classical Chinese at Cambridge University and captained the University Blind Tasting team before moving to Beijing to found Dragon Phoenix Wine Consulting with her husband, fellow MW Edward Ragg.  

Former lawyer Professor Steve Charters MW teaches Wine Marketing at the Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, having formerly taught at the Reims Management School and at the Edith Cowan University in Perth; he obtained his MW in 1997.  He also blogs at https://wineandculture.net/

Friday, 27 November 2020 05:41

Meeting of the Minds - Taste and Terroir

Can you taste ‘minerality’? What do we mean by ‘terroir’? Where do aroma and flavour come from? Is too much attention paid to the role of the soil in discussions of the aromas and flavours of great wines? How rare are truly great winegrowing sites? These are some of the questions we aim to discuss in the upcoming Meeting of the Minds on November 25th.

Wine Scholar Guild Academic Advisor Andrew Jefford, speaking from France, will be bringing together a panel of key thinkers, educators, writers and experts in four countries to talk through these and other issues. Wales-based Professor Alex Maltman has had a forty-year teaching career, and now divides his time between writing about the relationship between geology and wine production as well as the influence of geology on other beverages and tending his own vineyard. California-based Professor Hildegarde Heymann teaches sensory science within the viticulture and oenology department of UC Davis, one of the world’s leading wine-educational institutions. Former plant scientist and science editor Dr Jamie Goode, speaking from the UK, writes, blogs and tweets about wine and wine science via his own Wine Anorak website as well as for The World of Fine Wine and other publications. Finally, speaking from Turckhiem in Alsace, comes Olivier Humbrecht MW, one of the world’s leading exponents and practitioners of site-sensitive winemaking and a widely acclaimed viticulturalist and winemaker.

This Meeting of the Minds aims to explore one of the most misunderstood yet also the most important topics in today’s wine world.

PRESENTER: ANDREW JEFFORD

Andrew, Academic Advisor to the Wine Scholar Guild, has been writing about wine since 1988, notably for The Evening Standard and The Financial Times among other UK newspapers.  He has columns in every edition of Decanter magazine and World of Fine Wine magazine, and is co-chair of Decanter World Wine Awards and vice-chair of Decanter Asia Wine Awards.  His books include The New France, Whisky Island and Andrew Jefford’s Wine Course.


MEET THE PANEL:

Emeritus Professor Alex Maltman, Aberystwyth University, geologist, teacher, writer

Professor Hildegarde Heymann, UC Davis, sensory scientist, teacher

Dr Jamie Goode, wine writer, wine judge

Olivier Humbrecht MW, wine grower, winemaker

Published in Wine Tasting
Wednesday, 30 September 2020 15:45

Meeting of the Minds - Trends in Bordeaux

Our next Meeting of the Minds will cover the issues and challenges facing Bordeaux, France's largest AOC wine region and an area that drives the global fine wine market. Jane Anson, Bordeaux expert and author of the encyclopedic Inside Bordeaux (described as a 'category buster' by Jamie Goode and 'the most complete, up to date and scientifically accurate book on Bordeaux' by Imbibe magazine) will host the discussion. She will bring together one of the region's leading négociants (and organic winemaker at his home estate) Mathieu Chardonnier of CVBG-Dourthe-Kressmann (Compagnie des vins de Bordeaux et de Gironde), Smith Haut Lafitte's technical director Fabien Teitgen and wine educator Tanisha Townsend to debate new developments in viticulture and winemaking in the face of a changing climate, as well as looking out how the commerce and marketing of the region should take on the challenges of the next decade in the face of Covid, changing consumer behaviour and the challenges of selling En Primeur.

PRESENTER: JANE ANSON

Jane Anson is Bordeaux correspondent for Decanter, and has lived in the region since 2003. She is author of Inside Bordeaux (BB&R Publishing 2020), Wine Revolution (Quarto Publishing 2017), The Club of Nine with Andy Katz (2016), Angélus (Editions de la Martinière 2015), Bordeaux Legends, a history of the First Growth wines (November 2012 Editions de la Martiniere as Elixirs (French title) / April 2013 Stewart, Tabori & Chang, English version), the Bordeaux and Southwest France author of The Wine Opus and 1000 Great Wines That Won’t Cost A Fortune (both Dorling Kindersley, 2010 and 2011). Anson is contributing writer of the Michelin Guide to the Wine Regions of France (March 2010, Michelin Publications), and writes a monthly wine column for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, where she lived from 1994 to 1997, and a weekly column for DecanterChina.com. Accredited wine teacher at the Bordeaux Ecole du Vin, with a Masters in publishing from University College London, WSET qualified, Diplôme Universitaire d'Aptitude à la Dégustation des vins (DUAD) from Bordeaux Faculty of Oenology (2013).

  

MEET THE PANEL:

Mathieu Chardonnier, CEO of CVBG (Compagnie des vins de Bordeaux et de Gironde)

Mathieu Chadronnier, CEO of CVBG, is one of Bordeaux's most influential wine negociants and one of its youngest top players. A modernist in this traditionalist world, he has pioneered new IT solutions to fine wine distribution, and is at the forefront of the recent introduction of great “Beyond Bordeaux” wines on the place de Bordeaux.
In a sometimes commoditized market, he has always placed trust in relationships, candid passion and extensive knowledge of fine wines among his core values.
Beyond his busy career as a grand cru negociant, Mathieu runs Château Marsau with his wife Anne-Laurence, a professional winemaker, with whom he shares his passion for great wines.

Fabien Teitgen, General Manager of Château Smith Haut Lafitte

Fabien Teitgen is a child of Nature. From a very early age he would accompany his grandfather through his vineyard and as he grew up, developed a very deep respect for Nature around him. It was thus, that a true passion was born...

After graduating from viticulture and winemaking in Rennes and in Montpellier, Fabien Teitgen was then initiated into “listening to the earth” by Paul Pétrou, (Château Canon la Gaffelière). Over the years he learned to “read the signs of the vines, to respect and to love them.

Drawing upon this extensive experience, Fabien joined Château Smith Haut Lafitte at the beginning of the 90’s and quickly rose to became Technical Director of the estate.

With his agricultural and winemaking qualification he brought extensive knowledge of viticulture and wine, whilst on the other hand his experience of the soil brought a practical wisdom and a strong ability to listen and understand the behaviour of the vines.

It is in this vein, that Fabien along with Florence and Daniel Cathiard ; owners of Château Smith Haut Lafitte, have developed a unique working method called : «Organic Precision ».

After more than 25 years of commitment, this approach ; from ploughing with horses in the vineyard, to the establishment of an on-site cooperage and an island-based rootstock nursery in the Garonne river. As well as the building of a positive energy Stealth Cellar, have all been hailed as a great success by wine professionals, global press and wine lovers from all around the world.

Fabien Teitgen strives to make wines in perfect harmony with Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte’s magnificent terroir. Wines that are full-bodied and powerful but also smooth, harmonious, and elegant.

These rather opposing characteristics stand testament, as one of the greatest wines from a great terroir which captures the pleasure and emotions of wine lovers.

Since 2014, Fabien Teitgen has been responsible for the wine making at Château Beauregard in Pomerol.

In 2016, Fabien Teitgen was promoted to General Manager of Château Smith Haut Lafitte.

Tanisha Townsend, Chief Wine Officer of lifestyle agency Girl Meets Glass

Tanisha Townsend has cultivated a community of wine enthusiasts through an unyielding passion for oenology. As Chief Wine Officer of lifestyle agency Girl Meets Glass, Tanisha leads wine classes and tours in Paris (and virtually). She also hosts the podcast, Wine School Dropout. Her goal is to empower individuals with an advanced knowledge of wine & spirits in order to build confidence in their tastes and make choices as a better informed consumer.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BORDEAUX:

Published in Bordeaux wines
  • What are the main tasting methods and what are their key characteristics? 
  • How do different cultures, languages and sensibilities impact how wine tasting is approached? 
  • Can we envision a more overarching and universal tasting method? 

These are some of the questions we will be addressing in the upcoming Meeting of the Minds on July 22nd.

Wine Scholar Guild Academic Advisor Andrew Jefford, speaking from France, will be bringing together a panel of key thinkers, educators, writers and experts in four countries to discuss a world of tasting methods. UK-based Professor Barry Smith not only directs the Institute of Philosophy at the School of Advanced Study at London University, but is also founding director of the Centre for the Study of the Senses/CenSes, which pioneers collaborative research between philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists. He is himself a philosopher of language and mind. Sommelière (and former philosophy student) Pascaline Lepeltier MS, speaking from New York, grew up and studied in the French tradition of wine appreciation but has spent much of her working life talking about wine to Anglophones. UK-based Matthew Stubbs MW is one of the wine world’s most experienced and popular educators, and has taught both on his own behalf and for WSET and IMW around the world. Finally, speaking from Nanning in China, comes Julien Boulard MW, one of the most brilliant of recent MW graduates and a wine educator in China whose mastery of Mandarin sees him regularly appearing on Chinese media.

PRESENTER: ANDREW JEFFORD


Andrew, Academic Advisor to the Wine Scholar Guild, has been writing about wine since 1988, notably for The Evening Standard and The Financial Times among other UK newspapers.  He has columns in every edition of Decanter magazine and World of Fine Wine magazine, and is co-chair of Decanter World Wine Awards and vice-chair of Decanter Asia Wine Awards. His books include The New France, Whisky Island and Andrew Jefford’s Wine Course.

MEET THE PANEL:

Pascaline Lepeltier MS, MOF: 

  • 2018 Best French Sommelier
  • Master Sommelier and Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) 
  • Highly qualified and experienced speaker and presenter
  • Managing Partner at Racines (NYC) and Former Beverage Director at Rouge Tomate (NYC)

Matthew Stubbs MW: 

  • More than 30 years experience in the wine trade, from importing and distribution to running a supermarket wine department.
  • Master of Wine since 1996, winner of the Bollinger Medal for the best tasting paper and the Listel Scholarship for the best Vinification paper.
  • Actively involved with the Institute as Practical Examiner, seminar lecturer or mentor.
  • Mentor to many MW students over the years and continues to help them fine tune the tasting skills needed to succeed in the Practical exam.
  • Regular on judging panels for wine competitions, Panel Chair for the International Wine Challenge and co-President of the Sud de France Top 50 in China.
  • Practical Chair of the MW Education Committee.

Julien Boulard MW:

  • Born in Alsace, Julien arrived in China in 2003 after studying Mandarin at University
  • After completing a Master's degree in International Affairs, he worked for five years for a wine importer in Nanning, China
  • Founder and owner of Zhulian Wines wine school in China, offering both WSET and WSG programs
  • His fluency in Mandarin, both spoken and written, as well as his wine knowledge and experience as a wine educator, enabled him to become a key professional on the Chinese wine scene
  • He is a judge for various wine competitions in China and Hong Kong
  • Read Julien's full interview HERE

Prof Barry C Smith: 

  • Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Institute of Philosophy at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study.
  • Founding director of its Centre for the Study of the Senses, which pioneers collaborative research between philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists.
  • His current research on flavour perception involves collaborations with psychologists, neuroscientists, oenologists and chefs, and he has published theoretical and experimental papers on flavour perception in Nature, Food Quality and Preference, Chemical Senses and Flavour
  • Editor of Questions of Taste: the philosophy of wine for Oxford University Press (2007).
  • Frequent broadcaster, who regularly appears as a sensory expert on BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet and BBC Two’s Inside the Factory
  • Presenter of a 10-part series for BBC Radio 4 called The Uncommon Senses
  • Frequent contributor to The World of Fine Wine and for seven years was wine columnist for Prospect Magazine.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WINE TASTING:

Published in Wine Tasting

The quality potential of a wine is created in the vineyards and Champagne’s knife-edge climate poses many challenges to the vine grower. The recent years have put sustainability to the fore and increasingly many growers are venturing into organic and biodynamic production.

Champagne specialist Essi Avellan MW has gathered a panel of great, ambitious new generation growers to virtually experience a year in the Champagne vineyards with. The young and recently established grower-producer Etienne Calsac is our guide to the world of Chardonnay. Benoît Tarlant has been one of the figureheads behind the renaissance of Meunier. And, with Benoît Marguet we will take a look into the fascinating world of biodynamic production.

This Meeting of the Minds will equip you with everything you need to know about vineyard management from pruning to controlling pests and diseases, following fruit development and finally harvest.

PRESENTER: ESSI AVELLAN MW

 

 

 

 

Champagne and sparkling wine specialist Essi Avellan was Finland’s first Master of Wine. Together with Tom Stevenson she is the author of the Christie’s World Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine. Essi is the organiser of the annual Grand Champagne Helsinki event and a jury member at the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships. She has has been knighted as Chevalier l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole by the Minister of Agriculture of France. 

MEET THE PANEL:

Etienne Calsac of Champagne Etienne Calsac in Avize

Benoît Tarlant of Champagne Tarlant in Oeuilly 

Benoît Marguet of Champagne Marguet in Ambonnay

LEARN MORE ABOUT CHAMPAGNE:

MEMBER SPECIAL: We remind WSG members that they are enjoying a 20% discount on the 4th edition of “Christie's Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine", written by Tom Stevenson and Essi Avellan MW. Details and coupon code HERE.

NOTE: One of our panelists had some technical difficulties with the sound. As a result, we have edited the recording to cut out segments that were the most affected by this technical problem.

Published in Champagne wines
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