Whither the Dão?
Portugal’s more northerly Douro region tends to hog the limelight, but the wilder and more barren Dão has many vinuous secrets to offer wine lovers.
Once lumped together with Bairrada (the Portuguese still refer to both together as “Beira”), the Dão has its own unique signature. Home to Portugal’s highest mountain, the Serra da Estrela, it’s a mountainous and depopulated region filled with granite outcrops, vast boulders that look like they were hurled by giants and quartz-rich soils that glint in the morning sunlight. It’s also the probable origin of Touriga Nacional.
Almost a century ago, the Dão was famed for its structured and classic red blends, which were often compared to those of Bordeaux. But 50 years of being dominated by huge cooperative wineries destroyed its reputation. Now, thanks to a growing band of passionate winemakers, quality is firmly back on the menu. So too are projects to rejuvenate and value its incredible ancient vineyards – some of the oldest in Portugal, with many plots of vines over 100 years old.
Old vines and complex field blends is the perfect recipe for not just some of Portugal’s most exquisite red wines, but also equally over-achieveing whites that can have an almost Burgundy level of depth and nuance.
his session will explore the Dão’s path from ruin to reincarnation, via examples from many of the region’s leading wineries and winemakers.
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.
Have you read all about winemaking from books, but still struggle with confusing concepts? Have you ever wanted to dive deeper into a particular winemaking topic but didn't know anyone to ask? Winemaker and Master of Wine Nova Cadamatre is back for the second of a three-part series that will pull back the curtain on different winemaking styles. This second webinar covers Red winemaking. The third part will cover Dessert, Sparkling, and Fortified winemaking later this year. If you missed part one, do not worry; it is available here, but you don't have to attend part one to enjoy parts two and three.
A winemaker with a broad and diverse background, Cadamatre started in wine on the East Coast as a winemaking apprentice with Stargazers Vineyard in 2003. After graduating from Cornell University in 2006 with a Bachelor's in Viticulture, Nova moved to California. During her time in California, she worked with fruit from all over the state, eventually settling in Napa and focusing on Bordeaux and Burgundian varieties from some of the top vineyards in the area, including To Kalon, Vine Hill Ranch, MacDonald, Detert, and Hyde Vineyard. In 2015, she started her brand Trestle Thirty One, in the Finger Lakes of NY. In 2020, added Snowshell Vineyards for Naked Wines and, in 2022, will be launching Fiadh Ruadh, a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap AVA in Napa. She currently goes back and forth between Napa and the Finger Lakes to manage both her CA projects and her projects in NY.
In 2017, Nova was the first female winemaker in the US to achieve the title of Master of Wine. In addition, she has been named to Wine Enthusiast's Top 40 under 40 list and has numerous 90+ scoring wines to her credit from both coasts.
Intense aromas of blackcurrant and red fruit characterize the sensory profile of some red wines that are very much appreciated by consumers. Over the last decade, researchers have shown that varietal thiols such as 4MMP, 3MHA and 3MH, first identified in Sauvignon blanc, are volatile aromatic compounds responsible for and/or contributing to the expression of these aromas in red wines. Consequently, research on the expression of varietal thiols in red grape varieties is a promising worldwide trend.
The aim of this webinar is to present the state-of-the-art scientific literature focusing on the maximization of varietal thiols from the vineyard to the finished red wines.
The presentation will start with an overview on wine aromas, with a strong focus on varietal thiols (their nature, nomenclature, and history) including the aromatic contribution of varietal thiols in wines. The varietal thiols precursors and their location in the berry will also be presented. Their biogenesis in red wines will be explained.
In the final part of the webinar, the evolution of these volatile compounds during wine aging and storage conditions and the results of a trial conducted during 2019 vintage will be presented.
Marco Li Calzi received his PhD in Pharmacology from Mario Negri Institute in Milan (Italy) in 1995. He then spent three years as a postdoctoral researcher in the Biochemistry Department of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC. Marco returned to Italy and worked, between 1998 and 2007 as a sales representative in the pharmaceuticals industry for Merck in the Verona area (Northern Italy).
The passion for wine pushed Marco to get enrolled into an Enology & Viticulture bachelor’s degree program at the University of Bologna. He obtained his degree in December 2008. Between July 2007 and December 2009, Marco was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Viticulture & Enology department of the University of California, Davis. Marco was then an Assistant Professor and the Enology Program Leader of the ICCVE, at University of Missouri, Columbia (January 2010-February 2012). His appointment was on teaching, research (on wine aroma compounds) and extension.
Between September 2014 and February 2019 Marco was an Assistant/Associate Professor of Enology and Sensory Science at the Ecole d’Ingénieurs de PURPAN, in Toulouse, France. Marco is currently a consultant and trainer, and he holds the Technical Director position at the Enolfactive company that he cofounded with two associates in 2017.
Italy’s wealth of grape varieties presents wine connoisseurs with many tantalizing prospects, particularly on the red wine spectrum. While Sangiovese and Nebbiolo still reign supreme, numerous grape varieties have re-emerged from hiding in recent years to spellbind wine lovers around the world. In Italy, the story of how some of these grapes transitioned from obscurity to fashionably cool can be just as compelling as the wines themselves. In many cases, the wines from these grapes are shining in a way they never have before, thanks to more informed decisions in the vineyard and winery.
Here are five up-and-coming Italian red grapes to pay attention to. While all of these grapes have been around for centuries, their resurgence has meant a quality revolution and increased interest from the international marketplace.
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!
This fascinating webinar will focus on the ‘red hot’ wines of Sicily from regions such as Etna and Vittoria. Jimmy will cover how the very distinctive soils such as lava rock and limestone craft a wonderful array of elegant but complex styles of wine. Jimmy will set the scene by guiding you through the complex history of this large island, and through discovering the volcanic effect from Etna, Stromboli and Vulcano, he will explain how these volcanic soils craft different wines from mainland Sicily.
Jimmy Smith is the Founder and Head of Education at West London Wine School. Jimmy was named Drinks Business Man of the Year in 2019, and Wine Scholar Guild’s Italian Wine Scholar Educator of the Year in 2018. He is also has educated over 6000 students through the WSET Level 1, 2 and 3 Award certification programs. It’s the all-important infectious enthusiasm and passion for the world of wine that enables Jimmy to communicate to his audience without the use of confusing (& boring!) technical facts often detailed in wine tastings.
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.
Spanish red wines get a lot of press for being good values, but shopping in the Spanish wine aisle can be as daunting if you aren’t sure what grows where within the world of Spanish wines.
Many of Spain’s best red wines are labeled with the name of the wine appellation, rarely by grape variety. At its most simplistic, Spain can be divided into three “bands” for red grape varieties and wines. The Tempranillo grape variety excels in wines from central and northern Spain, Garnacha in wines from northeastern Spain and Monastrell in southeastern Spanish wines.
If you’ve ever felt completely overwhelmed while browsing an Spanish wine section, knowing just a few key wine names will help keep your shopping trip focused and ensure that you have the perfect wine to drink at a moment’s notice.