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Pouring Points

Articles, profiles, roundups and more from the Napa Valley Wine Academy

Student Success Story – Jeff Lewis

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.

Three Yoga Poses for Exam Success

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...

Episode 10 – Stu Smith, Winemaker

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.

What it’s like to be an enologist

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.

Four things I learned about Pinot Noir

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.

Episode 8 – Mary Margaret McCamic MW

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.

Episode 7 – Angela Maculan

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.