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Vin Santo, A Truly Great Dessert Wine from Tuscany

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.

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Toscana Wine Study Tour with Jane Hunt, Master of Wine

 

Embark on our 2018 Tuscany Study Trip with instruction and guiding by Jane Hunt, Master of Wine!
Only 5 seats left!
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Embark on our 2018 Tuscany Study Trip with instruction and guiding by Jane Hunt, Master of Wine!
Only 5 seats left!

Embark on our 2018 Tuscany Valley Study Trip with professional-level instruction on site coupled with a certificate program!

 

Tuscany Wine Study Tour Highlights

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to travel through all the key appellations of this authentic Italian wine region with a true expert and fabulous instructor!

Tuscany’s famous hills are home to some of the world's most notable wine regions. Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano showcase Sangiovese, the king of red grapes in Toscana. The wines of Bolgheri will challenge what you think you know about Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Experiencing the incredible wines of Vernaccia di San Gimignano, may make you see Italian white wines in a whole new light.

A lot meets the eye when you visit the beautiful Toscana, but so much more is waiting to be discovered. Toscana’s diverse climatic conditions, soils and topography makes the region a vast mosaic of distinctive terroirs—often combined with a rich historic and cultural heritage hard to match elsewhere. 

  • Enjoy personal guidance and instruction from Jane Hunt, Master of Wine and senior judge for Italian wines at the Decanter World Wine Awards tasting competition
  • Visit the region’s most iconic wine appellations including Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti Classico and Bolgheri
  • Get access to some of the most prestigious and sought-after small wine producers and experience the wonder of “insider” tours
  • Discover how short distances between wine regions manifest themselves in the glass as you taste the remarkable differences
  • Let Tuscany’s medieval cities transport you through time as you follow cobblestone trails in the region’s famous walled cities
  • Indulge in the renowned, authentic cuisine of Tuscany – an immensely varied use of seasonal vegetables, ‘panzanella’ a summer salad made from bread and fresh tomatoes,’ribollita’ a bean soup, the famous Fiorentina steaks from the Tuscan breed of Chianina beef, pork from the Cinta Senese breed, locally hunted wild boar, delicious pasta dishes often including local truffles in the Autumn period as well as all manner of diverse salumi and Pecorino sheep’s cheeses. Delicioso!

Travel with like-minded, committed students of wine, whether serious wine hobbyists or wine professionals, and share with us an unforgettable educational, epicurean and enlightening experience! Trips are open to people from all countries, and are held in English.

Your Instructor & Guide: Jane Hunt, Master of Wine

  • Senior judge for Italian wines at Decanter Wine World Awards tasting competition
  • Master of Wine specialized in Italian wines
  • Jane speaks fluent Italian and spends 6 month of the year in Umbria where she produces olive oil from her own trees
  • Director and Lecturer for 'Wine Academy Italia' running WSET Courses in Italy
Jane was fabulous. She has an exceptional talent for conveying complex information in an understandable way to a diverse group. She is an absolute asset to your educational program. I know she enjoyed this trip and the group as much as we enjoyed her; the perfect formula for an exceptional experience."
Matt Kirkland, FWS
The instructor was wonderful. She was laid back, but very informative. Her relationship with the wineries truly made the experience more intimate and memorable. I would attend any trip she instructed in the future."
Cary Chappell
Jane is very knowledgable and did a great job. Again I am very happy with Jane's performance. Maro was important to support her and coordinate behind the scenes."
Celia Hay, NZ Wine School

 

 

PODCAST: Jane Hunt MW & Andrew Jefford on Tuscany

Tuscany Study Trip Itinerary at a Glance:

  • Sunday, May 27: Arrival in Pisa
  • Monday, May 28: Bolgheri
  • Tuesday, May 29: Bolgheri & Suvereto
  • Wednesday, May 30: Brunello di Montalcino
  • Thursday, May 31: Chianti Classico
  • Friday, June 1: Chianti Classico

Your 6 Day, 5 Night Tuscany Immersion Study Trip includes:

  • Instruction throughout by Tuscan wine expert Jane Hunt, Master of Wine
  • The services of a Tour Manager throughout, to provide customer service and logistics support
  • Deluxe, air-conditioned motor coach transportation throughout, with bottled water on-board
  • 2 nights at 4-star Park Hotel Marinetta in Marina di Bibbona, double occupancy
  • 1 night at 4-star Hotel NH in Siena, double occupancy
  • 2 nights at 4-star Palazzo Leopoldo in Radda in Chianti, double occupancy
  • 2 gastronomic dinners expertly matched with top-quality regional wines
  • 4 gourmet lunches expertly matched with top-quality regional wines
  • 5 buffet breakfasts
  • All professional-level tours and extensive tastings at renowned wine producers
  • All hotel and other taxes, and gratuities for included restaurants

 

Space is limited to 18 participants, so reserve your space today!

Embark on our 2018 Tuscany Study Trip with instruction and guiding by Jane Hunt, Master of Wine!
Only 5 seats left!
Embark on our 2018 Tuscany Study Trip with instruction and guiding by Jane Hunt, Master of Wine!
Only 5 seats left!

 

 

 

 

 

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PODCAST: Jane Hunt, MW & Andrew Jefford on Tuscany

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, and will be leading a Wine Scholar Guild immersion tour through some of the legendary Tuscan wine estates.

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Harmonious Balance in Sangiovese: Ruminations on a Tuscan Taste

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

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The Ten Best Italian White Wines: A Beginner’s Guide

Italy’s white wines are as diverse as the country’s reds. With a trove of native varieties, there is an Italian white wine to fit every budget and every occasion. In fact, there are so many choices that shopping for an 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.

Just knowing a few key 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.)

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The Legend of Chianti's Black Rooster (Gallo Nero)

The Gallo Nero (Black Rooster) was the historic symbol of the League of Chianti and has become the symbol of the wines of Chianti Classico. The Black Rooster symbol is linked to a medieval legend that takes place during the time of open hostilities between Firenze and Siena for control of the Chianti territory.

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Chianti Classico with sommelier Jeffrey Porter

Chianti Classico: From Medici to Marvelous

Nestled in the hills of Tuscany with some of the most unique soils in the world with one of the greatest grapes in the world, Chianti Classico is a wine that conjures up the best (and worst) associations within the world of wine.

Get the inside scoop! Join Jeffrey Porter, Beverage Director for the acclaimed Italian restaurant group Batali & Bastianich, as he guides you through the history and specificities of Chianti Classico.

Presenter: Sommelier Jeff Porter

Originally from Texas, Jeffrey’s passion for wine started while at the University of Texas at Austin.

He began his career at Central Market in Austin, Texas.

After graduating Jeffrey moved to California where he worked as a sales person for a wholesaler in the Bay Area.

His sommelier career began in Napa Valley working at Tra Vigne Ristorante in St. Helena, California.

He joined the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group in 2009 at Osteria Mozza.

In 2011 he moved to New York to become the wine director for Del Posto and in 2014 Jeffrey became the Beverage Operations Director, overseeing the beverage programs for Babbo, Del Posto, Esca, Lupa, Otto, Babbo Pizzeria & Enoteca in Boston, MA, and our newest restaurant La Sirena at the Maritime Hotel.

Learn more about Italian Wines:

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Italian Wine Tradition and Transition with Nick Bielak

Webinar Abstract:

Join Nick Bielak for a punchy introduction to some of the important buzz words of contemporary Italian wine… what’s exciting and what to look out for.

Going beyond Italian Wine 101 (basics of Italian wine, main varieties and regions, culture and pronunciation), Nick will discuss hot topics including: menzioni geografiche aggiuntive in Barolo, the noble Italian red varieties, top Italian whites, the emerging south, the awakening of the giants– Italian coopertives.

These are just some of the most exciting developments in Italian wine production. Don’t miss out for a session on tradition and transition in Italy!

 

Presenter: Nick Bielak

After several forays to Italy, Nick emigrated in 1996 and inevitably became involved in wine, working for a Puglian winery until 2003.

After exploring the length and breadth of Italy’s vineyards from Alto Adige to Sicily, he returned to London with a view to disseminating the message of the exciting world of Italian wine to international markets.

After a short experience at Bibendum as an Italian specialist, he started working with Nicolas Belfrage MW in 2006.

Since then, he has had the privilege of working with this significant protagonist of the modern Italian wine époque, roaming Italy's vast expanse of DOCs and DOCGs, consulting with producers and ecologists, judging at major events (including Decanter for the last 8 years).

He currently spends half his time in Italy, and half in London, whilst being challenged by the Institute of Masters of Wine.

Learn more about Italian Wines:

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