The Sherry region of Spain is one of the country’s oldest and most traditional; but did you know it is also one of the most dynamic? While many historic regions remain stuck in the past, Sherry is forging a new future.
Over the past couple of years, numerous (sometimes radical) changes have been discussed, including “unfortified” Sherry and new grape varieties.
Join Sherry expert Lucas Payà as he helps to uncover the vibrant transformation of one of the world’s great wine regions.
Lucas Payà, DipWSET, is an independent consultant and speaker working in collaboration with several world-class firms dedicated to wine, beverage, and culinary culture. He has worked as a head sommelier for legendary chef Alain Ducasse in London as well as with Ferran Adrià at elBulli in Roses, Spain.
Additionally, he ran the Wine & Beverage program for José Andrés’ restaurants in the United States and abroad. Since 2016 Lucas has been working as the House of Lustau U.S. National Brand Educator. He is the creator of the Certified Sherry Wine Specialist program (CSWS®) and teaches the course with the Wine Scholar Guild.
He is a Spanish Wine Scholar as well as a member of the prestigious L’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne.
This WSG Live will provide an overview of the latest developments within the D.O. Cava and the efforts of the appellation to increase and protect the quality and reputation of the Cava brand. We will further examine the latest updates regarding the quality classification system and labelling as well as the D.O.’s advancements in terms of sustainability.
Born in Bulgaria and educated in Italy Nicoletta holds a master's degree in winemaking and wine marketing from the University of Piacenza, Italy, she is also currently enrolled in the Master of Wine Program as a stage 2 student. Nicoletta works as an independent wine educator and communicator, she is a guest professor at the University of Gastronomic Sciences, a Cava Advanced Educator and a VDP Ambassador. She lives on a permaculture farm in Tuscany (San Donato in Bellaria, Chianni) together with her husband and 2 kids expecting that the vineyard they planted together bears its first fruits.
The first vines arrived in Penedès 2700 years ago brought by the Phoenicians. Today, DO Penedès is the Catalan DO with the oldest historical ties and very strong traditions.
Its boundaries stretch from the mountains at the west of the appellation reaching 800 m of altitude to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Its 2500 ha of vineyards are planted on a diverse palette of climates and soils, resulting in 10 different subregions that add huge diversity to its wines.
The range of indigenous varieties such as Xarel•lo, Macabeu or Sumoll cohabit in harmony with other international grapes, perfectly adapted to the Mediterranean climate and the local soils.
Originally from Barcelona, Álvaro moved to London in 2006 after completing his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering. His wine passion developed over several years, working in restaurants and wine bars in the UK capital.
Over the years that followed, Álvaro studied all WSET qualifications, finishing his Diploma in 2014, for which he won the Lustau and Derouet Jameson Scholarships. In 2011, Álvaro completed a master’s degree in engineering management and carried out the final thesis in a wine bottling plant in Veneto, Italy. He has been working for Indigo Wine, Spanish Specialist Importer, since 2014, currently as their Spanish buyer.
In 2021, Álvaro completed his Master of Wine studies and was awarded the Madame Bollinger Medal for excellence in tasting and outstanding achievement in the Institute of Masters of Wine practical exams. Álvaro speaks four languages, and outside of wine, he enjoys running, playing football, cooking, travelling, and spending time with his young family.
Bordeaux. Burgundy. Barolo. Rioja. Just the mere mention of any one of these wine regions conjures images of the world’s best wines all sharing the ability to age for decades. The wines of Rioja have earned their place amongst this elite group; and whilst consumer tastes may swing like a clock’s pendulum, the practice of aging wines in Rioja helps define its successful past, present, and future.
Rias Baixas is a region which has had a growing amount of coverage as people discover the beauty of its white wines and the quality of its principal grape Albariño.
We will look at the terroir and winemaking, the local infrastructure, marketing and current issues being addressed by this ancient and remote wine region.
Elizabeth Gabay has been in the wine trade for thirty years, and an MW since 1998. She has lived in South-East France since 2002.
Elizabeth specialises in the wines of southern France and Central Europe with a particular interest in viticulture, climate change, winemaking and non-mainstream varieties. International judge and speaker, she writes for magazines such as Decanter, Meininger, The Drinks Business, The Buyer, Sevenfifty and GuildSomm. Author of "Rosé: Understanding the Pink Wine Revolution" (2018) and a new e-guide "The Buyer's Guide to the Rosés of Southern France" (2021).
As the global popularity of Spanish wine grows, more exciting options are becoming available in restaurants and wine shops. While many people are familiar with Spain's premium red wines from regions such as Rioja and Priorat, the country also produces stellar white wines. These wonderful – and often underappreciated selections – represent a great value with excellent variety and versatility.
Like its red wines, Spain's white wines are labeled with their appellation of origin – or Denomination of Origin (DO). This designation represents the grape's place of origin, and typically each DO will specialize in one or more different wine styles made from specific grapes. For those new to Spain, knowing what to expect can be challenging if you are unfamiliar with the region.
Below is a breakdown of some of Spain's most popular (and delicious) white wines. This list includes their region of origin as well as the primary grapes from which the wines are made. Use this as a guide to expand your understanding of Spanish wine.
Rick's Pick: University of Tarragona instructor and winemaker, Antoni Sanchez-Ortiz focuses on climate change and how viticulture must adapt in Spain’s DOQ Priorat region.
The mesoclimate determines climatic differences due to the topography of the Priorat and that give rise to local modifications or changes that can affect to more or less ample extensions. Factors that condition them include distance to the sea, altitude, orientation, exposure, and latitude. Between nearby municipalities, noticeable differences in temperature, precipitation, insolation and thermal amplitude can be seen, which affect the processes of growth, bud breaking, fruit formation, ripening and, ultimately, the composition of grapes. The prediction of an interval of concentrations of color and tannins would be of utmost importance to define qualities and styles of wine, given the great inter-parcel variability observed in plots of Grenache and Carignan vines within the Priorat DOQ.
Here is his bio, as narrated by Antoni:
I was born in December 4th, 1978 into a family with few financial resources in a small valley in the Spain’s Pyrenees. Although my parents never had the chance to go to school, I had some talent to study science and so continued my studies until college. After five years in college, I majored in analytical chemistry and more particularly to assess the degree of chemistry in the University of Barcelona. After I worked in corrosion of automobile engines and intercoolers using the Swaat Tecnique, at Frape Behr. Quickly I moved into the development of a GC-MS (gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy) methods to determine fatty acid composition from raw materials (mainly palm and coconut oil), where I worked at Henkel Düsseldorf plant in Germany for one year after obtaining a scholarship.
It was there almost by chance where I took a course of wine tasting and there began my interest in the discovery of quality wines. Consequently I fell in love with fine wines. In the following years, after studying enology within the University Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona (Spain) and the University Victor Segalen in Bordeaux. I graduated as a winemaker at 23 years of age. For 18 years now I have worked full time within the demanding context of producing world-class wines, both as a winemaker and as a viticulturist in the renowned appellation of Priorat,Spain. For many years I have also worked closely with the renowned French consulting enologist Claude Gross, and have travelled to California to study the Pinot Noir blending techniques of Sea Smoke Cellars, the acclaimed Pinot Noir producer near Santa Barbara, California. I like obtaining outstanding fine wines with a unique personality, making a superb red wine in the Priorat wine growing region, as an expression of varietal and site showcases the best which region’s true native character. Currently, with the consulting company I am also committed to producing one of the high-end, handmade organic olive oil in Spain’s Pyrennees. My conviction that great wine results from an intimate knowledge of the land arises from additional experience in vineyard management and climate warming studies as a PhD candidate with the Viticulture Department at the Faculty of Enology in Tarragona.
Rick's Pick: Join DO Cava President Javier Pagés as he explains the numerous changes happening in one of the world’s most important sparkling wine regions.
Cava is synonymous with excellence, and its high standard is achieved thanks to the authenticity guaranteed by the traditional method elaboration process. This 2021 is full of new challenges, important steps continue evolving D.O. Cava's strategy focused on value and excellence with the activation of the ambitious segmentation and zoning project. This webinar guided by Mr Javier Pagés, president of the D.O. Cava Regulatory Board, will take you through the 4 qualitative pillars which represent Cava’s identity and the future challenges for D.O. Cava embracing a sustained compromise with its territory, producers and the environment.
Javier Pagés is a father of four and a great lover of the world of wine and sports. Born in Barcelona, he got a degree in Business Administration from ESADE, an MBA from IESE and an International Marketing Degree from the Harvard Business School.
Since September 2018, he has presided over the Regulatory Council of the CAVA Protected Designation of Origin. Over his long career, he has held important positions and gained considerable experience as a CEO, director and president. He also has an extensive background in family and international businesses.
In addition, he is the President of the Barcelona Wine Week (BWW) international Spanish wine fair. For eleven years he has been a Director of the SAICA Group, a leading European company in the manufacture of recycled paper and packaging. He is also an entrepreneur.
He has been the CEO of the Raventós CODORNIU Group for over thirteen years, with wineries in Spain, the USA and Argentina, and distribution subsidiaries in several countries; the President of Bodegas Bilbaínas S.A. for twelve years; and from 2013 to 2018, he was the Vice-President and President of the Spanish Wine Federation (FEV), Vice-President of the Interprofessional Organization of Spanish Wine (OIVE) and President of the Spanish Observatory of the World of Wine (OEMV).
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