SWE Conference Recaps 2016: Day One


The first day of our 40th Annual SWE Conference started with a bang!

Spain’s Single Vineyard Estates: In Nora Z. Favalukas’ session on Spain’s Single Vineyard Estates, attendees started out their tasting with a Gramona III Gran Reserve “Lustros” Cava from 2007, followed by a 100% Garnacha Tinta from the Somontano DO.

This was followed by a single-estate Finca Valpiedra Rioja DOCa Reserva 2009, Numanthia Toro Tinto DO 2009, an impressive Mustiguillo Quincha Corral Vino de Pago 2012, and Mas Doix Doix Vinyes Velles 2012 from DOQ Priorat (among others).

Click here to download the Tasting Sheets-Spain’s Single Vineyard Estates-presented by Nora Favelukas, as well as the handout from the session here: Spain’s Single Vineyard Estates-presented by Nora Z Favelukes.


Bordeaux – Napa Valley Seminar and Tasting: Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW, DWS, of the Bordeaux Wine Council, accompanied by Connor Best, CSW, of Napa Valley Vintners and Linda Lawry, DWS, CWE, of the International Wine Center presented a “compare and contrast” session which pitted Bordeaux wines alongside Napa Valley Wines. After a detailed introduction, three groups of wines were tasted side-by-side: the first round showcased Sauvignon Blanc-based white wines, followed by a flight of Cabernet Sauvignon-based red wines, followed by another flight of reds dominated by Merlot.

You may download their presentation, which includes details on the wines sampled here: Bordeaux-Napa Valley Comparative Tasting-presented by Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW, DWS.


Stellenbosch: Seven Wards or More? Quick! Can you name the 7 wards of the Stellenbosch District? Surely, the attendees of Jim Clarke’s session, “Stellenbosch—Seven Wards, or More?” can! After a slide show highlighting the beauty of South Africa’s winelands and the unique features of the Stellenbosch Region, attendees embarked on a tasting tour of the seven wards.

The wines included Lanzerac Chardonnay from the Jonkershoek Valley and Rudi Schultz Syrah from the Bottelary Ward.

For more information on the 7 wards and the wines tasted during the session, click here: Stellenbosch-Seven Wards or More-presented by Jim Clarke. For more information on the wines, click here to download the: Tech Sheets from Jim Clarke’s Stellenbosch session


American Rum: From Pirates to Pineapples: We may never know for sure where the first rum was produced, but most experts agree that the likely birthplace of rum is Barbados—and we do know for certain that the first written record of the use of the term “Rum” was in 1658, concerning the legal recording of a Barbados planation sale that included “four large mastrick cisterns for the liquor for rum.”

But here’s an interesting twist—as discovered by attendees of David Singer’s session entitled “American Rum: From Pirates to Pineapples, its History and Innovations”—the first American distillery was located in Providence, Rhode Island 1684 (although Boston quickly became the center for American rum production).

To learn more about American rum—including Privateer rum and delectable rum produced in Hawaii—click here: American Rum from Pirates to Pineapples-presented by David Singer CWE, CSS


Climate, Grapes, and Wine: Understanding Terroir Influences in a Variable and Changing Climate was the topic covered by Gregory V. Jones, Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at Southern Oregon University.

Dr. Jones gave attendees an overview of the changing wine map, noting that commercial vineyards and wineries are now located in such non-traditional areas as India, south China, Beijing, and Vietnam (among many others). The reasons behind these burgeoning areas were also discussed, and include the change from national to international economics, changing demographics, growing demand, the never-ending search for the “next new thing,” and—perhaps—the role of climate change. To read the fascinating science behind these ideas, click here to download the slide deck for this session:Climate, Grapes, and Wine-presented by Gregory Jones

We will be posting additional conference recaps in the next few days. In addition, we are building our permanent archive of notes from the 2016 SWE Conference-click here! If you are a conference speaker who would like to share your materials, please contact Jane A. Nickles at jnickles@societyofwineeducators.org


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