Conference Highlights 2017: Piedmont History and Valpolicella Ripasso  

We had a wonderful time at the 41st Annual Conference of the Society of Wine Educators, held August 10-12, 2016 at the lovely Red Lion Hotel on the River, located on the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon. Below you will find some pictures, presentations, and handouts provided by our wonderful speakers – the next best thing to being there!

Suzanne Hoffman

Suzanne Hoffman

A Taste of History: Piemonte Wines, Families, and the Historic Women behind them—presented by Valerie Caruso, CWE, FWS, and Suzanne Hoffman: This session was based, in part, on the stories and photography of the historic wine making families of Piedmont, as documented by Suzanne Hoffman in her book “Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piedmont.” Throughout the session attendees were delighted to hear Suzanne read some of the stories from her book, accompanied by delicious wines—as well as wine information and commentary from Valerie Caruso.

The families and wine estates discussed included Deltetto (and their Spumante Brut Reserve produced using Nebbiolo and Pinot Noir), Matteo Correggia (and their Roero Arneis), and Marenco (and their 100% Albarossa produced under the Piemonte DOC). For more information on the wines presented click here: Wines and Producers – A Taste of Piedmont History – Suzanne Hoffman and Valerie Caruso

Nora Favelukes

Nora Favelukes

Valpolicella Ripasso: A Fresh Look at this Unique Style—This session, presented by Nora Favelukes on Saturday afternoon, began with an overview of the Valpolicella Region. The area contains three distinct zones: Valpolicella Classico, Valpolicella Valpantena, and Valpolicella Orientali (sometimes referred to simply as “Valpolicella”). The area has 18,770 acres of vineyards and 2,347 grape growers.

The distinct “ripasso” style of Valpolicella is produced using a second fermentation (a “ripasso” or “re-pass”) of a newly-fermented Valpolicella wine on a bed of pomace left over from the fermentation of a Valpolicella wine that will become Recioto or Amarone. This unique style of wine received DOC (PDO) designation in 2010.

Further information on the grapes, terroir, and wine styles of the region was interspersed with tastings of Valpolicella Ripasso, which included such diverse wines as Cesari “Mara” 2015, Corte Figaretto “Acini Ameni” 2015, and Remo Fari “Montecornoa” 2014. For more information, see Nora’s presentation: Valpolicella Ripasso A Fresh Look at this Unique Style – presented by Nora Favelukes

We will be posting many more conference recaps in the days to come, and will create a permanent record of them here.

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