By examining Mount Etna's peculiarities, history, and modern practices we are able to learn why these inimitable volcanic wines have everyone talking about Sicily.
Benjamin Spencer is an award-winning American author, journalist, and the founder of the Etna Wine School, a wine consulting company on Mount Etna, in Sicily. After making wine on California’s Central Coast for a decade, he moved to Mount Etna in 2012 to study and share his love of Etna’s inimitable volcanic wines. The New Wines of Mount Etna won The Best European Wine Book from Gourmand International in 2021.
Once a resident of Sicilia, Ciro Pirone is well acquainted with the incredible Mongebello (Mount Etna) and its fascinating wines. Ciro takes viewers on a journey to discover more about the history and the bright, vinous future of this magical mountain.
Etna is a mountain but also a volcano, located in the heart of the Mediterranean sea, on the island known as Sicily that for thousands of years was the crossroad of civilizations, cultures, traditions, wars, but also great developments in many fields. Etna is a magical territory known to our ancestors but forgotten for a long while, finally is back and provides incredibly different and unique wines with a batch of local grapes.
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 and Italian Wine Ambassador (Vinitaly Wine Academy). Travelling 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, the London –based Wine & Spirits Educational Trust (WSET), as well as he completed and passed with Honors the Italian Wine
Specialist Certification by the North American Sommelier Association (part of the worldwide recognized Italian Sommelier Association). In June of 2017 (2019 & 2021 with Honors) he completed the Vinitaly Wine Academy and received the prestigious Italian Wine Ambassador certification. In 2019 also passed with Honors the Italian Wine Scholar program by the Wine Scholar Guild.
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!
For many years the area around Marsala has been producing a fortified wine that enchanted the English merchants landing on the western coast of Sicily in the XIX century.
This wine was sold around the globe gaining the same reputation as the well-known Port, Sherry and Madeira wines. Unfortunately, its big success and the large-scale production undermined its reputation, converting it into a wine often associated with low quality and price. But thanks to stubborn producers proud of the local traditions, Marsala´s potential to reaffirm itself as one of the great fortified wines in the world has been revealed again.
This WSG Live will guide you through the world of Marsala wines and their history, their production and the factors affecting the different styles, revealing the new wave of producers who are fighting to take "this Great forgotten" back to fame.
Tommasella Perniciaro was born in Italy, but her professional career took her to Spain and Sweden, where she currently lives. After taking the WSET Diploma in Wine and Spirits in London in 2015 and the French Wine Scholar (FWS) in 2016, she became WSET Certified Educator and founded The Good Wine Habit wine school in Gothenburg, where she runs the WSET Level 1-3 wine courses. Moreover, she teaches the online WSET Diploma in Wine for the WSET London School. Tommasella is a Vinitaly Italian Wine Ambassador (VIA), Vinitaly Certified Italian Wine Educator and Valpolicella Wine Specialist (Consorzio Tutela Vini della Valpolicella) for the Swedish market, where she organizes masterclasses and tastings about Italian wines for the trade and wine lovers. She recently got the Italian Wine Scholar (IWS) qualification with the Highest Honors.
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.
An In-Depth Exploration of Diverse Volcanic Terroirs Please join John Szabo MS, author of Volcanic Wines… Salt, Grit and Power, for a special webinar featuring Volcanic Wines from around the world.
John will explore the amazing diversity of volcanic terroirs in technicolor detail, and present several key regions and their unique wines. Learn why volcanic wines have caused such a buzz recently around the world.
Master Sommelier John Szabo was the first Canadian to add the “MS” after his name in 2004, and has been listed as “Canada’s best-known sommelier” in Meininger’s Wine Business International.
Today, John’s day job is as a partner and principal critic for WineAlign.com, Canada’s largest wine publication. He also writes for Wine & Spirits Magazine, and has published or held columns in dozens of other magazines and newspapers.
His latest book, Volcanic Wines, Salt, Grit and Power (Jacquie Small, 2016, UK) hit shelves in October 2016, winning the André Simon Award and making the top drinks books of 2016 in The Guardian, Forbes Magazine, Decanter, Globe & Mail and JancisRobinson.com, among others.
It has also earned him the distinction of being "one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject” according to Drinks Business Magazine, and he has delivered countless volcanic wine masterclasses across Europe and North America. John is a co-founder of Volcanic Wines International, and is the educational lead for the annual VWI Volcanic Wine Conference, next scheduled for June 5th, 2019, in New York City.