Conference Preview: Super Tuscany!

Today we have a Conference Preview from Paul Poux, CSW. Paul gives us an update from Tuscany, where he has been busy preparing his session “Super Tuscany” session for SWE’s 40th Annual Conference.


Hello from Tuscany, where I have been doing wine ‘research’ for my seminar next month. As you can imagine, it’s a terrible burden but I was glad to make the sacrifice. I started in Chianti. What a fascinating place this is, with history at every turn: the 1716 proclamation establishing the first Tuscan wine zones in Chianti and Carmignano; a Castello-now-winery in Chianti once owned by the family whose daughter was painted by Leonardo, perhaps you have heard of her, Mona Lisa; and the Castello di Brolio, once owned by Barone Ricasoli (I learned it’s pronounced Ri CAH soli), who laid down what he considered the definitive recipe for Chianti in the 1800s, one that even today seems remarkably prescient.

There is more recent history too: a sharecropper-like system for agricultural workers that existed in the area until after World War II; and the development of the straw basket on Chianti bottles, which made this Sangiovese-based wine fashionable for some but concealed a not very good wine underneath. How Chianti developed, changed, and certainly improved is a focus of my seminar.

I was also fascinated by my visit to Montalcino to learn more about Brunello. Brunello is world famous now but just 60 years ago circumstances were very different for both the wine and this now gorgeous hilltop town.


My last visit was to explore the Super-Tuscans, both in Chianti and in the Bolgheri area, which is by the coast. These bold thinkers wanted to make the best wines they could, whether part of the current DOC system or not, and the world took notice.

What about the wines themselves that we will be tasting? My seminar is one of the last, after lunch on Saturday when many of you could be tired of tasting; however I recommend you pace yourselves during the previous days so you can fully appreciate my lineup! I don’t want to give too much away, but I am excited about the wines. This delicious mix will include a couple of superstars and a couple of surprises, but all will be interesting!

Ciao and see you there!

Paul’s session, entitled “Super Tuscany” will be offered on Saturday, August 13th at 1:15 pm as part of SWE’s 40th Annual Conference, to be held in Washington DC. Here’s how Paul describes the session: In the 1960s, Chianti from Italy was incredibly popular in the US and other countries, and quality suffered. A few producers inside and outside Chianti dared to break with wine law and tradition to make better wine – and critics and consumers noticed. The emergence of a new kind of Italian wine, the Super Tuscans, reverberated throughout Tuscany and Italy, leading to important changes in wine law and wine styles, including Chianti. Taste wines Paul -headshotfrom throughout Tuscany that have been part of this fascinating history.

Paul Poux, CSW finds joy in combining food, wine and travel. Paul provides wine education ‘experiences’ to Millennials, and to the rest of us, for wine brands and regions. Paul also does marketing and sponsor management for food and wine festivals around the country.

Paul’s favorite wines are Amarone and Muscadet. Tell him yours at



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