Join WSG Academic Advisor Andrew Jefford as he talks to Laura Catena, Managing Director of Catena Zapata, one of contemporary Argentina’s most celebrated and innovative wine-creating companies.
Laura’s initial ambition was to help people – hence her medical studies and her continuing work as an emergency and paediatric physician in San Francisco. From the mid-1990s, though, the energetic and dynamic Laura has combined her medical career with driving the family wine business forward in partnership with her father Nicolas Catena Zapata.
She has been a leading figure in Argentinian wines’ move to ever-higher vineyards, and its search for single-site, terroir-expressive wines. She is a leading voice, too, in arguing that it is time to move beyond conventional Old World/New World thinking towards a wine scene in which each hemisphere is accorded parity of status -- so that expressive differences between the world's wine regions can be better explored, enjoyed and celebrated.
Join WSG Academic Advisor Andrew Jefford as he welcomes Elaine Chukan Brown, Executive Editor US for JancisRobinson.com for a passionate discussion about her life, her career and what lies ahead!
Elaine Chukan Brown serves as Executive Editor US for JancisRobinson.com, and is a James Beard nominee in Journalism. Brown is responsible for reporting on the California wine scene and expanding the site’s coverage of U.S. wineries and sustainability topics, as well as climate action and social responsibility in the context of wine. In 2020/1 IWSC and VinItaly awarded Brown Wine Communicator of the Year, and The Hue Society named them the Legend in Wine Education.
In 2022, WINWSA in China listed Brown as one of the 50 most Influential Women in Wine. Brown also leads seminars and does public speaking on wine, personal empowerment, and social justice and has done so in countries around the world. Prior to their career in wine, Brown was an academic philosopher, but first, they were a commercial salmon fisherman running their own business in Bristol Bay, Alaska.
WSG Academic Advisor Andrew Jefford welcomes Gigondas appellation President and leading winegrower Louis Barruol of Chateau de Saint Cosme to the latest in our Wine Scholar Guild Live series: an hour of discussion with leading figures in today's wine world. In addition to his groundbreaking work in Gigondas, Louis also knows the length of the Rhone very well via his 'St Cosme' micro-negociant wines -- and he has partnered with Rick Rainey and Justin Boyette to create Forge Cellars in New York State's Finger Lakes region.
Don't miss the chance to listen to the views of one of France's most thoughtful, provocative and internationally minded winegrowers!
Louis Barruol is the descendant of a family of wine growers who has made wine since 1490. After spending his childhood in Gigondas, he graduated in Economy and Agro-economy at the Universities of Montpellier and Paris. He took over the family property Château de Saint Cosme in Gigondas in 1992, aged 23. He then launched a negociant business called « Saint Cosme » in 1997 and began to develop partnerships with other growers all over the Rhone valley, especially the Northern Rhone.
In 2011 he created Forge Cellars on Seneca Lake in the Fingers Lakes region of New York State with friend Rick Rainey: they began to plant vineyards, build a cellar, vinify and explore the potential of hundreds of plots. This work continues. In 2019, Louis bought the Château de Rouanne in Vinsobres, southern Rhone: an extraordinary 136-acre property located on the best slope of the appellation. He has been President of the Gigondas appellation since 2017.
Louis played a lot of competitive rugby and he plays the cello. He is married to Cherry and they have three children: James, Jenny and Alix.
Andrew Jefford welcomes Dirk Niepoort to WSG Live, our ongoing series of discussion webinars with some of the most significant and innovative thinkers and actors in today's wine world.
Dirk Niepoort is a unique figure both within his native Portugal and in European wine more generally.
Although he was born into a long-established port wine family (Niepoort was founded in 1842; he represents the fifth generation of his family to run it), Dirk's approach has been unconventional and free-thinking since the start. He began his career by travelling widely, meeting and working with many other winemakers in different countries, and tasting voracious.
As a winemaker himself, he is self-taught, intuitive and iconoclastic. He has helped push the boundaries for what is possible both in the Douro and in other wine regions, both in Portugal and beyond, notably in Germany and Austria. His influence has been significant in many fields, notably in the quest for lightness, delicacy and refreshment in wine despite ever-warmer vineyard conditions, and on the natural-wine movement. He designs his own labels and has many interests beyond wine, and is a notable enthusiast for cuisine (he is a passionate cook) and for tea. Andrew first met Dirk in the mid-1980s, and the two have remained friends ever since.
Join Wine Scholar Guild's Academic Advisor Andrew Jefford to engage with one of the most original minds in today's wine world
Our sixth edition of WSG Live features the wine scholar and author Ian D'Agata!
Ian D'Agata is a wine scholar like no other. He initially studied medicine (at four universities including Rome, Harvard and Montreal in his native Canada) and worked in pediatric medicine, specialising in pediatric gastroenterology; this background in science and scientific research informs all of his work. He pursued medicine and wine concurrently -- but eventually, wine won out, and for most of the last two decades he has lived and worked in Italy, writing the multi-award-winning Native Wine Grapes of Italy (in 2014) and Italy's Native Wine Grape Terroirs (in 2019). He has worked for Decanter and Vinous as well as teaching Oenology at the University of New Mexico and tasting and wine culture at New York University; he co-founded the Vinitaly International Academy and directed the International Wine Academy in Rome. Since December 2019, he has been Chief Scientific Officer at TasteSpirit, a leading Chinese wine and food media company and wine school, and is Editor in Chief of the TerroirSense Wine Review. He now lives in Shanghai, China.
Our fifth edition of WSG Live features the Chilean terroir consultant Dr. Pedro Parra. Join Andrew Jefford for a passionate discussion about Pedro's work and his ideas surrounding terroir!
Since earning his doctorate in 2004 in Terroirs Viticoles from the Ecole d'Agriculture de Grignon (now part of AgroParisTech), Pedro has travelled the world consulting for many of today's leading wineries, including Liger-Belair and Roulot in Burgundy, Biondi-Santi and Argiano in Montalcino, Quintessa in Napa, Marengo in Barolo, Comando G in Gredos and Altos Los Hormigas in Mendoza.
His approach to soil studies is unique, combining as it does scientific analyses and detailed site mapping with an intuitive understanding and original reasoning, and always validating his insights with tasting in his quest for minerality (a term he uses freely), tension and freshness.
Since 2013, too, he has made his own wines in his native Chile, in Itata.
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.
As Hugh Johnson first grasped in the late 1960s, there is no greater tool to wine understanding than fine cartography: the chance to read a landscape from a single sheet of paper. More and more wine regions around the world, moreover, are now refining the manner in which both growers and producers are able to express terroir via geological and topographical surveys, and high-quality mapping is an essential adjunct to this. No contemporary cartographer has had more impact on today's wine world than Alessandro Masnaghetti: the guest on our third edition of WSG Live.
Alessandro began his career in wine as a taster -- for the influential Luigi Veronelli, and then later for Vinum and l'Espresso, as well as for La Revue des Vins de France. He is the only Italian founder member of the Grand Jury Européen. Since 2007, though, he has gone back to a former passion of his, cartography, on the basis that "the true essence of journalism lies not in purveying opinions but in carrying out research and in-depth analysis". His magnificent maps of the Langhe and of Chianti Classico have led to new ways of thinking about these classic regions, and he has also mapped both Valpolicella and Bordeaux. He is currently engaged on a major, long-term project to map California's wine regions for Antonio Galloni's Vinous.