2016 SWE Conference Recaps – Friday Morning

The following sessions were enjoyed by all on Friday morning, August 12, 2016 as part of SWE’s 40th Annual Conference, held at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC!


Not all Cavas are Created Equal: Tracy Ellen Kamens, CWE, asked the question: Is Luxury Cava an oxymoron, or a paradigm? Tracy told the story of the history of Cava, starting in 1872 when José Raventós produced the first sparkling wine made using the Traditional Method in the Penedès region. The Codorníu cellars at Sant Sadurní d’Anoia were then built, and by the early 1900’s, the facility was producing about 100,000 bottles of cava per year.  The grapes of Cava were discussed, which include the leading varieties of Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarel-lo, as well as the minor grapes of Garnacha Tinta, Trepat, Pinot Noir, Subirat Parent, and Monastrell.

All along the way, a variety of Cavas were tasted, which included Alta Alella Bruant 2014 Brut Nature, Parés Baltà Blanca Cusiné Gran Reserva Brut Nature, and Agustí Torelló Mata Gran Reserva Barrica Brut Nature 2010. Click here to download the slideshow for All Cava is not Created Equal-presented by Tracey Ellen Kamens, CWE, and click here to download Tasting Notes – All Cava is not Created Equal-presented by Tracey Ellen Kamens CWE.


Vino Nobile di Montepulciano—Tuscany’s Tiny Gem:  In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the DOC, Silvia Loriga and Paul Wagner presented a session all about Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The Vino Nobile DOC is tiny–just 40,000 acres (16,500 ha) in total area, with less than 75 bottling wineries producing the wines. The main grape of the area is Sangiovese, here often known as Prugnolo Gentile. Two wines are produced within the DOC–the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which requires at least two years of aging, and Vino Nobile Riserva, which requires a minimum of three.

After a slide show of some of the cultural icons of Montepulciano, including the tradition of Bravìo delle Botti as well as local landmarks including the Fortress of Montepulciano and the Well of the Griffon and Lions, a wine tasting commenced. Wines tasted included the 2012 vintage of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano from Boscarelli, Dei, Fattoria La Braccesca, Salcheto, and Tenuta di Gracciano della Seta. Click here to download the slideshow from the session Vino Nobile di Montepulciano-Tuscany’s Hidden Gem.


New Generation Bordeaux: Presented by Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW and Linda Lawry, DWS, CWE, this session focused on the emerging generation of 30-40 something, passionate young winegrowers in Bordeaux. This creative group is interested in using the latest technology and innovation while still respecting the tradition and heritage of Bordeaux while expanding the reach of Bordeaux to include more reasonably priced wines that are suitable for casual, everyday consumption as well as special occasions. Wines tasted included Le Rosé de Floridene 2014, a pale, direct-press rosé from an organically-farmed estate owned by the late Professor Denis Dubourdieu and his wife Florence; La Cuvée Bistrot de Puy Arnaud, produced with 70% Merlot and 30% grown on a biodynamic estate, and L’Atypic de Peybonhomme 2010, Vin de France—50% Malbec and 50% Cabernet Franc  (biodynamically grown). Click here for a copy of the slideshow and handout for the session  New Generation Bordeaux-presented by Mary Gorman-McAdams.

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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