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    Northern Italy

    Displaying items by tag: Other European Wines

    Fortified wines such as port, sherry or marsala are slipping out of fashion. It’s no different with Madeira, but this highly food-friendly beverage deserves your attention.

    Madeira is unique in its exceptional acidity and freshness, and also in its ability to age. No other wine has the ability to start showing its fruit at its best when 100 years old.

    We’ll talk about this Portuguese island – where it is, and why the terrain and climate are different compared to the Azores or the Canary islands. How did vines come to be planted here, and what are the conditions for grape growing?

    We’ll cover the winemaking, how madeira is made and what you can expect from the various styles and single varietals. Get to grips with 10-year olds, colheita, frasquiera, garrafeira and more. Understand why Sercial, Verdelho, Bual and Malmsey are so revered, and why Tinta Negra Mole was always regarded as second best. And what about

    Learn the difference between madeira’s two key ageing techniques: estufagem and canteiro.

    What are the challenges for madeira producers in the modern age? Is this one of those wonderful wines that is in danger of disappearing like Carcalevos or Commandaria? Who are the major players now, and which producers should you seek out? (spoiler: there are only eight in total!).

    What should you pair madeira with, and what are the implications for ageing? Why should you pay close attention to the bottling date of a colheita or frasquiera?

    There will also be a brief mention of the developing sector of Madeiran still (unfortified) wines, and how this compares with the traditional and hard-to-find vino seco.

    Presenter: Simon J Woolf

    Simon J Woolf is an award-winning English author and wine writer, currently based in The Netherlands.

    An acknowledged expect on the developing niche of natural wine, he's written for Decanter magazine, Meininger’s Wine Business International, World of Fine Wine and Noble Rot, and many other publications. Simon is the editor of The Morning Claret, an online wine magazine which specialises in natural, biodynamic, organic and orange wine.

    Simon's first book "Amber Revolution - How the world learned to love orange wine" was published in 2018, and won the Roederer Wine book of the year award in 2019. Simon has also won numerous awards for his magazine features and online columns.

    Simon travels regularly to countries such as Georgia, Slovenia, Italy and Portugal, where he continues to research the stories and traditions behind artisan winemaking. His second book, Foot Trodden, a collaboration with photographer and wine communicator Ryan Opaz, was published in October 2021. It is described as a journey deep into the soul of Portuguese wine.

    Simon is also active as a presenter, editor, wine judge and translator.

    WSG members still enjoy a discount on Simon's book "Food Trodden" ! Get your discount HERE

    Published in Other Wine Countries
    The Balkans, a colorful mosaic and a melting pot of cultures , languages, ethnics,  ancient indigenous grapes and fascinating terroirs are perhaps among the very few areas in Europe still holding the allure of mystery of the undiscovered, the exotic, the unknown.Join us in this introductory webinar on the wines from the Balkans providing an overview of the different countries and wine regions, the main indigenous varieties and wine styles. 

    PRESENTER: NICOLETTA DICOVA

    Born in Bulgaria and educated in Italy, Nicoletta holds a Master's degree in winemaking and wine marketing from the University of Piacenza, Italy.  She is also currently enrolled in the Master of Wine Program as a stage 2 student. Deeply passionate about wine, in particular artisan and natural wines, she has travelled extensively to wine regions especially in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus area. Nicoletta works as an independent wine educator and communicator, is a guest professor at the University of Gastronomic Sciences, a Cava Certified Educator and a VDP Ambassador. She lives in a permaculture farm in Tuscany (San Donato in Bellaria, Chianni) together with her husband and 2 children, expecting that the vineyard they planted together will bear its first fruits. Nicoletta  is currently busy with the work on the Balkan Wine Academy project, a platform aimed in providing education and wine tours to the Balkans. It expected to be launched in the Fall of 2022. She is also studying to get the French Wine Scholar credentials.

     

     

     

    Published in Other Wine Countries

    Riesling isn’t the first grape we think of when considering “international varieties.” Yet it thrives from the suntraps of Napa Valley to the cool valleys of the Antipodes. In this webinar, we will briefly examine the origins of Riesling, trace its early spread through Germany, then zero in on the surprising range of regions where it thrives today: Alsace, Austria, Luxembourg, Northern Italy, the U.S. West Coast, Michigan, and New York, as well as Australia and New Zealand. With a focus on the terroir, traditions, and innovations that affect style in each place, we will uncover what makes Riesling so well-suited to such a wild array of climates, soil types, trellising styles, and winemaking approaches.  

    PRESENTER: VALERIE KATHAWALA

    Valerie Kathawala is a New York City-based writer specializing in the wines of Austria, Germany, South Tyrol, and Switzerland. She is a lifelong student of German culture and language and has lived, studied, and worked in both Germany and Austria. Valerie holds a WSET advanced certification and has hands-on harvest and cellar experience in two of Riesling’s spiritual homelands: the Mosel and the Finger Lakes. Valerie’s work appears in SevenFifty Daily, Pipette, Glug, Meininger’s Wine Business International, Pellicle, WineFolly, The Vintner Project, and more. She is co-founder and co-editor of the wine magazine Trink

    Published in Grape Varieties

    The Alentejo is a massive, sprawling wine region to the south of Portugal. It often has a reputation for mass produced wines produced from international grape varieties, and you’ll find cheap Alentejo wines sold in every corner of Portugal, and even on the islands of Madeira and the Azores.

    But Alentejo holds a great deal more interest than just budget priced Syrah or Chardonnay. It’s just that it kept one of its most important winemaking techniques a secret for half a century.

    Talha is a Portuguese word meaning clay pot, and Alentejo is home to a 2,000 year old tradition of making wine in these large stone vessels. Although the talha tradition has some similarities to the Georgian qvevri winemaking method, it arguably has more differences. But talha winemaking in the traditional way is in the middle of a massive resurgence. There are villages where it’s said there’s a talha behind every door. Is this true? You’ll find out as part of this seminar.

    We’ll go through the specifics of how talhas are made – and by whom – and how the wines are produced in this age-old tradition. Yet more importantly, we’ll talk about the culture that surrounds talha wine, and why it can be hard to find it in a bottle.

    Alentejo is a diverse region climatically, and although much of it is hot, dusty plains, we’ll also cover the fashionable Porte Alegre sub-region, and the south-western tip of Alentejo, where it meets the Atlantic ocean and conjoins the Sétubal region.

    We’ll mention a number  of key wineries, large and small, and some recommended wines to seek out and taste. They’ll range from the giant Esporão, to more boutique operations such as Cabeças do Reguengo or Herdade do Cebolal.

    Presenter: Simon J Woolf

    Simon J Woolf is an award-winning English author and wine writer, currently based in The Netherlands.

    An acknowledged expect on the developing niche of natural wine, he's written for Decanter magazine, Meininger’s Wine Business International, World of Fine Wine and Noble Rot, and many other publications. Simon is the editor of The Morning Claret, an online wine magazine which specialises in natural, biodynamic, organic and orange wine.

    Simon's first book "Amber Revolution - How the world learned to love orange wine" was published in 2018, and won the Roederer Wine book of the year award in 2019. Simon has also won numerous awards for his magazine features and online columns.

    Simon travels regularly to countries such as Georgia, Slovenia, Italy and Portugal, where he continues to research the stories and traditions behind artisan winemaking. His second book, Foot Trodden, a collaboration with photographer and wine communicator Ryan Opaz, was published in October 2021. It is described as a journey deep into the soul of Portuguese wine.

    Simon is also active as a presenter, editor, wine judge and translator.

    WSG members still enjoy a discount on Simon's book "Food Trodden" ! Get your discount HERE

    Published in Other Wine Countries

    Tokaj is no longer a ‘one-trick pony’ of the wine world, producing botrytised sweet wines that everybody respects for their balance and complexity – and hardly ever drinks. While such wines are still made and represent most of the value Tokaj creates, the past decades have seen some unprecedented changes and the rise of terroir-driven dry varietals that are becoming the growth driver in the region as Tokaj enters a new golden era of its long history.

    This webinar will begin with an overview of the region’s distant past and the most recent developments, and then provide a thorough insight into local grape varieties, historical and modern wine styles, special methods of vinification, as well as the characteristics of the local terroir and the Tokaj vineyard classification system. You will also learn about some key current trends relating to styling wines, planting new sites and sparkling wines before a Q&A session at the end.

    Presenter: Gergely Somogyi

    Gergely Somogyi is a ‘Tokaj allrounder’, based in the region and involved in multiple different Tokaj-related projects since around 2011. Apart from working as a contract wine steward for multiple regional wineries, he runs Tokaj Today, an independent news and information website about Tokaj, as well as organising and hosting small-group wine trips (including press and trade) to the region. He is also the Tokaj guide for British wine travel website Winerist.com, as well as British wine tour operator SmoothRed. He regularly works as a regional expert, guide and translator for journalists coming to Tokaj to write wine and travel articles for international media such as Decanter, Vinum and Lonely Planet, as well as doing location scouting and guidance for foreign documentary photographers and film crews shooting in the region. He regularly gives masterclasses, lectures and talks on Tokaj and Hungarian wine-related topics in Hungary and abroad.

     

    He has worked as a mentor, on behalf of ICOMOS Hungary, for the Tokaj World Heritage Site Management Organisation in a UNESCO periodic reporting process, and he is also former admin officer for the Confrérie de Tokaj and current admin officer of Vindependent, the Hungarian Association of Independent Winegrowers, as well as of Mádi Kör, a local winemakers' association.

    You can find him online here: 

    https://tokajtoday.com/

     

     

    Published in Other Wine Countries

    Why is it that Portugal tends to get pigeonholed as just Port wine, or cheap Vinho Verde? This small but important European wine nation offers a huge diversity of wine styles across the whole length of the country. The vineyards span an incredible variety of differing climates and terroirs, and teem with fascinating indigenous grape varieties.

    What’s old is new in Portugal – many ancestral winemaking methods have not just survived, but are growing in popularity again. Fashion has caught up with Portugal, as wine consumers around the world crave greater authenticity and sense of place in their wines. Portugal offers these qualities in spades, with many interesting and unique styles.

    We’ll look at some key Portuguese wine concepts: the importance of the field blend, why foot treading grapes is the best method of extraction there is, and why making wine in clay pots is having a renaissance in Alentejo and elsewhere. Plus a brief guide to some of the country’s more important indigenous grape varieties.

    You’ll discover many of Portugal’s lesser known gems, along with some of its more famous still wines. The regions covered will include:

    • Vinho Verde- so much more than just a simple fizzy quaffer
    • Douro – there’s a new breed of winemakers taking this region’s still wines in a new direction
    • Bairrada – not just sparkling wines, but innovative winemakers who are taming Baga
    • Dão – the forgotten heart of Portugal, boasting amazing field blends and classical wines built for ageing.
    • Lisboa & Ribatejo – a powerhouse of young winemaking talent with fresh whites and reds
    • Colares – unique wines that age forever, but vineyards that nearly succumbed to property development
    • Alentejo – the renaissance of talha winemaking and the rise of more artisanal producers and diverse styles

    NOTE: This webinar will not cover fortified wines (Port, Madeira, Carcavelos) or the islands of Madeira and Azores

    Presenter: Simon J Woolf

    Simon J Woolf is an award-winning English author and wine writer, currently based in The Netherlands.

    An acknowledged expect on the developing niche of natural wine, he's written for Decanter magazine, Meininger’s Wine Business International, World of Fine Wine and Noble Rot, and many other publications. Simon is the editor of The Morning Claret, an online wine magazine which specialises in natural, biodynamic, organic and orange wine.

    Simon's first book "Amber Revolution - How the world learned to love orange wine" was published in 2018, and won the Roederer Wine book of the year award in 2019. Simon has also won numerous awards for his magazine features and online columns.

    Simon travels regularly to countries such as Georgia, Slovenia, Italy and Portugal, where he continues to research the stories and traditions behind artisan winemaking. His second book, a collaboration with photographer and wine communicator Ryan Opaz, will be published in October 2021. "Foot Trodden" is described as a journey deep into the soul of Portuguese wine.

    Simon is also active as a presenter, editor, wine judge and translator.

    WSG members enjoy a discount on Simon's new book "Foot Trodden - Portugal and the wines that time forgot"! Get your coupon code HERE to pre-order the book

    Please note, there is a small error in the spoken presentation. When talking about the grape varieties commonly planted in the Bairrada region, Simon mentions that Cercial is the same variety as the Sercial grown on the island of Madeira. Simon later advised us that this is incorrect. The Sercial of Madeira is called Esgana Cão in mainland Portugal. Cercial (also known as Cerceal Branco and confusingly as Sercial) in Bairrada is a different and genetically distinct variety.

    Published in Other Wine Countries

    Even away from the textbook regions of the Mosel and Rhine, Germany’s wine culture flourishes. Riesling and slate are less dominant, a wider array of varieties and terroirs step into the spotlight, all defined more by proximity to forests and mountains than rivers thanks to their comparatively warmer climates. Underestimated, sometimes even by the Germans themselves, these are four large yet very distinct regions we should all be watching far more closely. They offer a vibrant mix of outstanding estates producing superb classic wines from singular terroirs and individualists revitalizing unjustly forgotten sites through attentive viticulture and a thrilling openness to stylistic experimentation.

    PRESENTER: Valerie Kathawala

    Valerie Kathawala is a writer specializing in the wines of Germany, Austria, northern Italy, and eastern Switzerland. Her particular interest is in biodynamics and regenerative viticulture. She is a regular contributor to wine-focused print and digital publications around the world. In October 2020, she and co-editor Paula Redes Sidore launched TRINK magazine, the first English-language journal dedicated to "German-speaking" wines. Valerie lives with her family in New York City and (when circumstances allow!) travels regularly to the "umlaut regions" she loves. 

    Published in Other Wine Countries

    Niederösterreich is Austria’s largest province and also its biggest wine growing region for “Qualitätswein”. This province is home to the most famous Grüner Veltliners and Rieslings from the country but is known for much more than these two precious grapes. Under its name are gathered an abundant diversity of wine cultures, ranging from vinous stylings of local varietal rarities to distinctive interpretations of international types. The cooling influences from the Northwest bring freshness to its wines while the warm winds from the Pannonian side support the generous fruit one will also find in many examples from Niederösterreich.

    Let us take a stroll along the Danube and hear about sonorous names such as Wachau, Krems- and Kamptal and find some exciting treasures from the Carnuntum and Thermenregion.

    Presenter: Andreas Wickhoff MW

    Commencing with vintage 2016, Andreas Wickhoff MW has been managing director for Weingut Bründlmayer in Austria's Kamptal and oversees, along with Willi Bründlmayer, all operations for this leading estate. Before that, he was general manager for a group of premium wineries from Austria for 12 years. Ahead of establishing this association in 2004, he worked as a sommelier and wine buyer in Corsica, France and Vail, CO, USA. Andreas is a graduate of the College of Tourism and Hotel Management in Bad Gleichenberg, Austria, and completed a degree in Food & Hospitality Management at Martin College in Brisbane, AUS. Upon receiving his Master of Wine title in 2012, Andreas won four awards for excellence in particular areas of the exam, including the much acclaimed Madame Bollinger medal for outstanding achievement in the practical paper. He also is a lecturer at the Austrian Wine Academy and judge at international wine competitions.

    Published in Other Wine Countries
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