Pouring PointsArticles, profiles, roundups and more from the Napa Valley Wine Academy
WSET Level 3 Study Tips or How to Wrangle the WSET Level 3 Beast First and foremost, Level 3 success depends on interactive studying. Students often feel that if they read through the book once, or even twice, they have studied. To be successful on the WSET Level 3...
This month’s success story comes to us from the Pacific Northwest, in Oregon. Jeff Lewis is a graduate of our WSET Level 3 Award in Wine credential and used this internationally-recognized certification to further expand his wine career; taking a winemaking opportunity in Argentina and serving as sommelier for an Argentine celebrity chef before taking a National Sales Manager position at the premium producer, Revana Wines. We sat down with Jeff to see how wine education helped him realize his wine dreams.
Stop in for a tasting or a special bottle at In Fine Spirits, located in the bustling neighborhood of Andersonville in Chicago, and you might think owner Jarran Conger was the local mayor. In Fine Spirits has been Andersonville’s wine, beer, and spirits source for...
You’ve spent weeks, if not months, studying. You’ve stayed up myriad nights reading, highlighting, making flashcards, and learning the names of grapes that you cannot even pronounce. You’ve canceled social engagements, turned off your phone more often than not, and...
In Episode 10 of our ongoing podcast series, The Stories Behind Wine, we speak to Stu Smith of Smith-Madrone Winery. Stu is a winemaker, a man of science and a passionate skeptic on many topics in the wine business. We cover a wide range of issues from biodynamics, Napa’s Controversial measure C, why he thinks its stupid to try and make a 100 point wine, what it was like in Napa Valley in the early days for the 2nd boom as well as his thoughts on what the future holds for Napa Valley.
For top-level Grower Champagnes (aka Récoltant-Manipulant, or RM), Gimonnet is one of the most available and most reasonably priced in the U.S. market. While you can find plenty of nice Champagne for under $50/bottle retail, I generally find $50 is the starting point for something special.
In Episode 9 of our ongoing podcast series, The Stories Behind Wine, we speak to Dan Petroski San Francisco Chronicle’s Winemaker of the Year who makes wines for Larkmead Vineyards and Massican Winery. Dan tells us about his fascinating journey to become a winemaker even though he has no formal winemaking training or education.
If you’re fascinated by the natural world, you enjoy research, and you love using the tools of science to solve problems, the wine world has more to offer you than late-night grad school study fuel. Enology, the cellar counterpart to viticulture, is the science of winemaking, and the field provides vital research to winemakers in every region of the world.
Jamie Rauch is an enologist who graduated from Oregon State University’s Enology and Viticulture program in 2012 and worked in Germany for three years before returning to her home state to work in the Dundee Hills region of the Willamette Valley. I sat down with her to talk about her path to a career in wine science.
My first wine job was in a winery that specialized in single-vineyard Pinot Noir in an AVA petition written based on its apparent similarity to Burgundy. My most recent job had me working with one of the best Burgundy portfolios books in the country. It’s safe to say that when I moved to Oregon in August, I thought I knew Pinot Noir.
In Episode 8 of our ongoing podcast series, The Stories Behind Wine, we speak to Mary Margaret McCamic one of only 45 Masters of Wine residing in the United States, of whom just 16 are women. She discusses her journey to becoming one of the wine world’s top experts, shares her tips on passing the most challenging wine exam on the planet and what its like to win both the Bollinger Medal for outstanding tasting ability and the Overall Achievement Award for being the top student in her graduating Master of Wine class.
I’ve written before about the value of working a harvest at a winery. From Western New York to Stellenbosch to Central Wisconsin and now the Willamette Valley, I’ve found that harvest offers a wealth of experience and hands-on skill building that can serve wine...
In Episode 7 of our ongoing podcast series, The Stories Behind Wine, we speak to Angela Maculan the globe trotting ambassador for her family estate in the Breganze DOC of northern Italy. Angela shares with us what it’s like to be a woman in the male dominated wine business and about her family’s rich history and how they transform the ancient indigenous Vespaiola grape variety into some of the most revered sweet wines in Italy.