Displaying items by tag: viticulture

Wednesday, 31 May 2023 10:16

Meeting of the Minds: Heroic Viticulture


No one who has visited the classical vineyards of the Mosel, the Douro or Cote Rotie will ever forget the often dizzying experience of their steep slopes and tiny terraces – but these astonishing sites are also workplaces, too.  What are these vineyards like to work?  How profitable are they?  Is the younger generation ‘heroic enough’ to follow their forbears up the steep paths?  Should there be a ‘heroic surcharge’ on bottles of wine created in exceptionally difficult circumstances?  Or do we have to let viticultural evolution unfold as it will?  Many of the steep-slope vineyards of the past have disappeared and are not coming back. Listen to and engage with our panel as they tackle these and other questions in our Meeting of the Minds – Heroic Viticulture webinar.event.

Host & Panelists:

Andrew Jefford will be joined by:

Paul Symington, Honorary President of the WSET and a long-term Douro resident.  He joined the family port firm, Symington Family Estates (which today includes Graham’s, Dow’s, Warre’s, Cockburn’s and Quinta do Vesuvio, as well as Altano and Prats & Symington) in 1979, becoming joint managing director in 1988 and retiring in 2018.  Symington Family Estates is today the leading vineyard owner in the Douro valley, with 26 quintas (farms) covering 2,255 ha (1,024 ha are under vine), most of them acquired during Paul’s tenure.

Caro Maurer MW was the first woman from the German-speaking world to have become a Master of Wine, which she did in 2011.  A career journalist who has served as a foreign correspondent in both New York and LA, Caro now reports exclusively on wine from Bonn in Germany and writes for many publications including Feinschmecker and Decanter.  She teaches for the WSET diploma course in Germany, Austria, Italy and Norway as well as tutoring and mentoring the MWs of the future.

Dani Landi (or Daniel Gómez Jiménez Landi, to give him his full name) was born to a family of vineyard owners and farmers in Méntrida, almost all of whom sold to local co-operatives.  He began to work independently with his cousin, and then formed his own winery in 2012, and has since become one of the leading exponents of the distinctive old-vine, single-site, high-altitude Garnacha (and Albillo) wines of the Sierra de Gredos.  He also works in partnership with Fernando Garcia on the wines of Comando G.

Published in Viticulture


Climate is a pervasive factor in the success of all agricultural systems, influencing whether a crop is suitable to a given region, largely controlling crop production and quality, and ultimately driving economic sustainability. Climate’s influence on agribusiness is never more evident than with viticulture and wine production where climate is arguably the most critical aspect in ripening fruit to optimum characteristics to produce a given wine style.

This webinar will provide an overview of regional to global research on: 1) aspects of terroir that influences optimum quality and production characteristics; 2) the suitability of different winegrape cultivars to different climates; 3) how climate variability influences production and quality variations; 4) how climate change has and will likely continue to alter the global wine region map; and 5) measures being taken by the wine sector to mitigate and adapt to changes in climate.

Presenter: Greg Jones

Greg is a world-renowned atmospheric scientist and wine climatologist, having held research and teaching positions at the University of Virginia, Southern Oregon University, Linfield University, and as an adjunct professor at the University of Adelaide. He has taught extensively across many areas including meteorology, climatology, ecology, hydrology, geology, statistics, GIS and remote sensing, and wine business, viticulture, enology, and sensory evaluation.

For over twenty-five years his research has firmly linked weather and climate with grapevine growth, fruit chemistry, and wine characteristics in regions all around the globe. His work was also one of the first to tie climate change to fundamental biological phenomena in vines and the resulting influences on productivity and quality, informing and influencing the wine industry worldwide. Greg has served on the editorial advisory boards of multiple international and national scientific journals and organizations and serves as a Director on the Oregon Wine Board and the Erath Family Foundation board.

He was named to Decanter Magazine’s 2009 Power List representing the top 50 most influential people in the world of wine, named the Oregon Wine Press’s 2009 Wine Person of the Year, has been named in the Top 50 Wine Industry Leaders in Wine Business Monthly in 2016, 2017, and 2018, and has been in the top 100 most influential people in the US wine industry in 2012, 2013, and 2018 ( He was also bestowed the Honorary Confrade with the Rank of Infanção (Nobleman) from the Confraria do Vinho do Porto and installed as a knight in the Oregon Wine Brotherhood. He had the pleasure of appearing on CBS 60 Minutes in December 2021 in a segment called "Effects of climate change taking root in the wine industry".

He serves as a Director on the Oregon Wine Board and on the boards of the Erath Family Foundation, the Society for International Terroir Experts, the Porto Protocol, the Sustainable Wine Roundtable, and the Umpqua Valley Winegrowers Association. He is honored to hold adjunct professor positions at Southern Oregon University and the University of Adelaide. Dr. Jones also has lifelong ties to the Oregon wine community, most closely with his family winery and vineyards at Abacela where Greg was appointed CEO in 2021. To find out more about his research and access videos, podcasts, and publications visit this website (

Published in Learn from the Experts


Sustainable wine growing can cover various practices from farming to production techniques, environmental and social policies, and even packaging and waste reduction choices. The challenge for wineries is how to present their sustainable principles and practices to consumers.

This webinar will focus on the importance of sustainable certification programs around the world, such as Napa Green, and how they are helping to shape the conversation about what is sustainable in the age of climate change, and how to move the wine industry forward using measurable data and accountability.

Presenter: Martin Reyes Mw 

A first-generation American, Martin is the first Master of Wine of Mexican descent. With a prolific career as a buyer, importer, educator, speaker, judge, writer, and winemaker, he has held influential roles in many sectors of the industry. Martin’s wine story began with an over-indulgent dinner while studying in Paris as a Stanford undergraduate and, by 2003, he was stocking shelves at K&L Wine Merchants in California. After managing St. Helena Wine Center for several years, Martin was hired as the principal buyer & importer for prominent wine club programs for partners such as The New York Times, Food & Wine Magazine, and Williams-Sonoma. In 2015, he was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s Top Forty under Forty Tastemakers. That same year, he worked the harvest at Salomon Undhof in Austria.

Today, Martin is General Manager for Sonoma-based Peter Paul Wines, works closely with Spottswoode Estate on climate action & sustainability initiatives, and consults across the full wine supply chain. Clients have included Vice Versa Wines, Copa Fina Wine Imports, and He launched Reyes Selections in 2018, a small portfolio of his favorite producers, singled out from years spent sourcing wines globally for the US market.

An internationally recognized wine professional and speaker, Martin has judged at Texsom International Wine Awards, International Wine Challenge (Panel Chair), Decanter World Wine Awards, USA Wine Ratings, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, and Taittinger Sommelier d’Or Competition, Mexico; and most recently, the James Beard Foundation, and recently won Best Paper Award at the AAWE Conference, Vienna 2019 for his research in wine purchasing behavior. He is a Speaker/Moderator & Organizer for IBWSS, Porto Protocol, Green Wine Future, and 2022 Napa THRIVES Symposium as well as co-hosts  the James-Beard award-winning podcast, The Four Top.

Published in Learn from the Experts


In this WSG Live, Nova Cadamatre, MW and winemaker, will deliver a grapevine anatomy lesson and discuss how growing conditions impact the vine. If you ever wished you knew a little more about how heat, wind, drought, rain, and cloud cover impact photosynthesis, why hot vintages produce “green” wines, and what it takes to make a good vintage…this “bud” is for you.

Presenter: Nova Cadamatre

Nova Cadamatre is a winemaker, writer, and blogger. As one of the first graduates of Cornell’s Viticulture and Enology program in 2006, Nova relocated to California to assume a number of winemaking roles. She has worked for numerous iconic wineries in CA including Robert Mondavi Winery, Souverain, Beringer, and Chateau St. Jean. She was also involved as a contestant in the Ningxia Winemaker Challenge making wine in Ningxia, China with Lansai Chateau from 2015-2017.

In 2017, she became the first female winemaker to become an MW in the US and in 2014, Cadamatre was named to Wine Enthusiast’s Top 40 under 40 list. She has numerous 90+ scoring wines to her credit and writes her blog at 

Published in The Science of Wine


Join vigneron Olivier Humbrecht MW, of the famed estate Zind Humbrecht in Alsace, for a deep dive into one of the key building blocks of wine: acidity!

In this WSG Live, you will learn about:

  • The different types of acids found in grapes and wine and their sensory perception
  • How to not only quantify but qualify acidity in wine
  • The viticultural factors influencing acidity in the grape
  • The vinification practices and factors impacting acidity in the final product
  • Evolution of wine acids with age

Olivier will also illustrate his talk with some real-life data and text-book examples of acids measured in various types of wine depending on various variables such as grape varieties, vintage, ripeness, with/without malolactic fermentation and terroirs.  Sharpen your tasting skills by understanding one of the key parameters that makes up the structure of a wine!

Presenter: Olivier Humbrecht MW

Olivier Humbrecht studied wine together with wine marketing and wine business for five years in Toulouse, and then got the chance to do his ‘military service’ working for Sopexa in London. 

He learned about and enrolled on the MW course, becoming France’s first-ever Master of Wine in 1989.  He began to work with his father and converted the family domaine to biodynamics in the early 1990s.  His father had painstakingly built up a unique collection of hill-site vineyards over the decades, notably clearing and replanting a quarter of the great historic Grand Cru of Rangen de Thann with Olivier in his later school years. 

Olivier has continued to build on this, notably with the recent acquisition of a parcel of Sommerberg to complement the family’s Grand Cru holdings in Brand, Hengst and Goldert, and to complement its other holdings of Rotenberg, Clos Hauserer, Clos Jebsal, Heimbourg, Herrenweg and Clos Windsbuhl.

Olivier’s respectful, non-interventionist winemaking, combined with his and his father’s fastidious viticulture, has given the world vintage after vintage of magnificently differentiated, nuanced bottlings: global white-wine references.  He has never stopped experimenting and improving on his work, using biodynamic practices, changed row orientations and re-thought canopies recently to produce a much greater percentage of dry wines than before.

Published in The Science of Wine


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 WSG Live is to present 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 of 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 thiol 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 ageing and storage conditions and the results of a trial conducted during the 2019 vintage will be presented.

Presenter: Marco Di Calzi, PhD

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 the 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 co-founded with two associates in 2017.

Published in The Science of Wine
Friday, 17 December 2021 07:35

Vine to Wine: A Year of Viti/Vini - December

Finally, we have reached the end of the winemaking year. 

In the vineyard, soil health is a common topic of discussion now that the vines are dormant.  This is a great time to dig soil pits and send samples off to discover more about the composition of the soil layers around the root system of the vines. 

Soil pH plays a large part in the health of a vineyard as it controls nutrient uptake.  Even if the soil contains plenty of a particular nutrient, if soil pH is wrong, that nutrient might not be available in a form that the plant can use.  This can lead to micronutrient deficiencies or toxicities. For this reason, it is very important to manage the soil pH.

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 19 January 2022 12:52

Sustainable Bordeaux with Romana Echensperger, MW


The city of Bordeaux has recently been governed by a green mayor, more than 14,000 hectares of vineyards are certified organic or are being converted, and biodynamics is experiencing great popularity.

In the Gironde region, too, it has been realized, not least after various pesticide scandals, that neither people nor the environment can be poisoned for a luxury product like wine. In this webinar, we want to get to the bottom of the efforts for more sustainability in Bordeaux.

We want to look at what the big challenges facing the region are and what solutions exist. We will also present different winemakers and their ideas for a sustainable future.

Presenter: Romana Echensperger MW

Romana Echensperger MW worked for many years as head sommelier in various top restaurants. Among other things, she was responsible for a 1000-item wine list with exclusively German wines at Berlin's Quadriga restaurant. In 2005, she was voted best sommelière in Berlin. In addition, she was head sommelier at the Vendôme restaurant near Cologne, which is awarded 3 stars in the Michelin Guide. Since 2015 she can call herself a “Master of Wine”. Today she works independently as a consultant, journalist and in education.

Recently her comprehensive book about biodynamic top winemakers in German-speaking countries was published.
Published in Learn from the Experts
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