In this live one-hour webinar, we explore the origins of Italy’s first-ever DOCG, Brunello Di Montalcino DOCG, where we see Sangiovese reach its full potential. An appellation where history, climate and influence of highly skilled winemakers play key roles in the evolution of its wines.
This detailed webinar focuses on the foundations of the appellation where Brunello is grown, the unique characteristics of the grape and different methods used in production. We will learn the methods used to identify the best locations to grow Sangiovese and gain exclusive insight on the producers of this Southern Tuscan region.
Mario Cagnetta is the head sommelier at Buca Cucina and has worked for prestigious restaurants like Buca Yorkville, Buca King and Don Alfonso 1890 in Toronto. He developed Wine Education Programs for King Street Food Company and he is very passionate about wine and food pairings. He has achieved Italian Wine Scholar, Spanish Wine Scholar, Burgundy Master level, Bordeaux Master Level with highest honors and also owns Master Level in Champagne and Provence. He is also a Certified Sommelier from AIS, the Italian Sommelier Association and from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Before starting his wine and sommelier career he worked as a journalist for 15 years in Italy and Canada. He holds a Masters Degree in Literature and Journalism from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano. And recently led the Wine Scholar Guild Webinar on Valtellina and Sforzato.
Drinking and discovering Montepulciano (the grape) d'Abruzzo is like looking at a painter's palette, so many colors, so many shades and so many possibilities. Montepulciano is one of Italy's most versatile grapes that can produce terrific rosatos, quaffable reds for any occasion but also some of Italy's boldest and age-worthy wines, worth every sip.
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. Traveling 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 and the London –based Wine & Spirits Educational Trust (WSET). 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!
Mention the red wines of Tuscany and immediately examples such as Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti Classico and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano come to mind. Produced primarily or exclusively from the Sangiovese grape variety, these celebrated red wines truly define this region’s viticultural excellence. Over the last three decades, the distinctive red wines of Bolgheri, crafted from Bordeaux grape varieties from vineyards along Tuscany’s coast, have also become icons of Tuscan wine.
Yet there are other sublime red wines from this region that are notable yet lack the renown of the wines mentioned above. Carmignano, Morellino di Scansano and Montecucco are three other important red wines of Tuscany that reflect a sense of place and represent not only special quality, but impressive value as well.
Grapes for Vin Santo Drying in the Vinsantaia
One of the most characteristic wines of Toscana is Vin Santo. This passito is an ancient and traditional specialty produced throughout the entire region. Its origin dates back to the Middle Ages, but the prototype for this style of wine can be traced back to the Greeks and the Romans.
Most Vin Santo is made from white grapes, typically Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia Bianca Lunga. It can be made from just one of these grapes but is more commonly a blend of the two. Trebbiano provides acidity while Malvasia provides body, texture and perfume. A rare, pink Vin Santo called Vin Santo Occhio di Pernice (“partridge eye”) is made from red grapes, usually Sangiovese. Only a few producers make this pink version.
Master of Wine Jane Hunt is interviewed by Decanter Magazine’s Andrew Jefford about Tuscany and its wines. Jane has a long, distinguished career in various aspects of the wine trade. She leads the Wine Scholar Guild immersion tours through some of the legendary Tuscan wine estates.
Matt Kirkland was an attendee of the WSG’s first Study Trip to Tuscany with Jane Hunt, MW. Here, he shares some of the insights he gleaned from the trip.
Quality in wine can be assessed based upon balance, length, intensity, and complexity (and typicity when not tasting blindly). As the workhorse grape of central Italy, Sangiovese had a checkered history relative to quality. It is a high acid grape, with relatively high tannins; and quality demands a balance of these structural components. The goal of this essay will be to discuss the acid/tannin balance, its impact upon quality, and the implications for “mouthfeel” of the resultant wines. The harmonious balance of quality can be achieved with pure Sangiovese (Brunello de Montalcino or some Chianti’s, or with blends as in Chianti or the “Super Tuscans”); the key is taming the interplay of tannin and acid on the palate. The journey through Tuscany is a delectable discovery of vinous diversity, unified by the grape.
“In the bad old days, Sangiovese tended to be overproduced which accentuated its tendency to exhibit high acid and unripe tannins… Sangiovese’s dominant viticultural characteristics are that it can vary as much as Pinot Noir in its sensitivity to place and that it ripens relatively late.” Jancis Robinson, www.jancisrobinson.com/learn/grape-varieties/red/sangiovese
Italy's white wines are as diverse as the country's reds. There is an Italian white wine with a trove of native varieties to fit every budget and occasion. Unfortunately, there are so many choices that shopping for Italian white wine can be overwhelming. It doesn't help matters that many of the white grapes have similar-looking names. However, you don't have to memorize an encyclopedia to find the perfect wine for dinner.
Knowing a few essential wines will ease the confusion and simplify the shopping trip (hint, if the grape or wine name has a "v" in it, you will probably love it.)
Recently, Barbara Philip MW hosted a virtual food and wine tour webinar for the Wine Scholar Guild. The cuisine of central Italy is as fascinating as it is delicious. This is where tomatoes and olive oil begin to replace the butter and cream of the north. Heavy, stuffed pastas give way to long pastas and are joined by more vegetables. The food of central Italy reflects the agricultural treasures provided by the warmer climate. Local grape varieties also enjoy their time in the sun, ripening to juicy perfection, creating wines that really reflect their surroundings.
Forbes Spirit quotes Wine Scholar Guild as one of the best ways to learn about wine.
Wineindustryadvisor.com reports on the launch of a new version of WSG's Bourgogne Master-Level Program.
French newspaper DNA reports on the very first panel tasting using the Architecture of Taste research project’s tasting grid, organized in Colmar, France.
Harpers reports on the unveiling of a new project aimed at developing a new way to assess wine.
Cellar Asia discusses online wine education programs available in China.
Wineindustryadvisor.com reports on the creation of the Golden Vines Wine Scholar Guild Scholarships for BAME/BIPOC students.
The Drinks Business reports on the launch of the Certified Sherry Wine Specialist certification program in collaboration with Lustau.
Wine Enthusiast Magazine discuss the diversity of wine courses and certification programs.
Interview of WSG President Julien Camus in the French newspaper EAV/PHR.
Vino Joy News reports on the appointment by WSG of Corinne Mui as WSG Ambassador for Asia, its fastest-growing market so far, to drive its regional growth.
The Drinks Business reports on the launch of WSG's new IWS Prep course
Wineindustryadvisor.com reports on the launch of IWS Prep, WSG's new foundation-level programming on the wines of Italy
Wineindustryadvisor.com reports on WSG's three new online education series: "Meeting of the Minds" panel discussions, "WSG Live" interviews and "The Great Debate articles.
Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen from Forbes.com talk with Rick Fisher about the Spanish Wine Scholar program and its online version.
Foster's Daily Democrat discusses online wine education opportunities and reports on our upcoming 5-week, intensive French Wine Scholar online program starting April 6th.
SWS Education Director Rick Fisher talks about on one of Spain’s most popular white grapes - Albariño!
The Wine Industry Advisor reports on WSG's Program Providers of the Year and Top Exam Scorers for 2019
The Drinks Business mention the new Spanish Wine Scholar program in their top 6 ways to become a wine expert in 2020.
Marisa D'Vari from Forbes.com covers Wine Scholar Guild programs and study trips
NeatPour.com compares wine & sommelier certification programs and covers Wine Scholar Guild
The Grapevine Magazine reports on the global launch of WSG's Spanish Wine Scholar study & certification program.
The Wine Industry Advisor reports on the global launch of WSG's Spanish Wine Scholar study & certification program.
Somm Journal reports on the launch of the Spanish Wine Scholar study & certification program.
The Wine Industry Advisor reports on the endorsement by Wines from Spain of WSG's Spanish Wine Scholar study & certification program.
Harpers reports on the launch of the Spanish Wine Scholar study & certification program.
WSG Education Director Lisa Airey discusses different job opportunities within the wine industry and how to get those jobs.
Rick discusses an exciting new Spanish wine education program being offered by the Wine Scholar Guild. He also talks about the joys of Garnacha Tinta, the ever-increasing popularity of Rías Baixas wines in the American marketplace, and a few of his favorite regions to visit in Spain.
WineTitles Media reports about award-winning journalist Andrew Jefford joining the Wine Scholar Guild as Academic Advisor
Wine Scholar Guild is added among the "Internationally Recognized" wine education providers along with WSET, IMW and CMS
Drinks Business reports on the launch of the Spanish Wine Scholar program
Wine Scholar Guild prgrams are discussed in Wine Enthusiast in an article on "A Guide To Wine Certification Programs"
Drinks Business reports on Patrick Schmitt MW joining the panel of instructors teaching WSG's Champagne Master-Level Program
The 1st Wine Scholar Guild educator trip to Italy makes the Italian news on RAI, Italian national TV.
Drinks Business reports about the French Wine Society rebranding as Wine Scholar Guild
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