Sommelier Summit Schedule
May 6–9, 2018
Sunday, May 6
- 1–2 p.m., Registration, Copia Entrance
- 1–3 p.m., High Energy Warm-Up: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Edition, Mezzanine
These tastings are the perfect way to get your palate ready, willing, and able. Each station will provide a unique challenge for your senses, focusing this year on the evaluation, styles, and characteristics of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The open-format of this tasting allows you to quickly calibrate your palate while getting professional coaching and feedback from your station host.
- 3–4 p.m., Cocktail Treasure Hunt, Copia Gardens
Tour our Copia Gardens with farm manager Matt Gunn and culinary gardener Jon Brzycki. Discover new ways to go from garden to glass with a special mixologist guest. Presenters: Matt Gunn, Farm Manager, the CIA and Jon Brzycki, Culinary Gardener, CIA at Copia
- 4–5 p.m., Celebration and Cheers, Mezzanine
Celebrate the 40th anniversary Napa Valley Agriculture Preserve and enjoy a toast from our friends at the Napa Valley Vintners before the Terroir session begins.
- 5–6:30 p.m., Conversations at Copia: Terroir, Copia Theater
How do you define terroir? Our guest panelists will share their unique perspectives and expertise on what we believe, know, or hope to be terroir. Moderator: Jordan MacKay, Author and Journalist. Presenters: Shelley Lindgren, Owner and Wine Director, SPQR / A-16; Randall Graham, Winemaker, Bonny Doon Vineyard; Peggy Smith, Co-Founder, Cowgirl Creamery; and John Williams, Winemaker, Frog’s Leap Winery
- 6:30–8 p.m., Walk-Around Dinner “Napa Valley Microclimates,” Hestan Kitchen
Monday, May 7
- 8–9 a.m., Napa Valley Breakfast
- 8–9 a.m., Late Arrival Registration
- 9–10 a.m., General Session I
iWine: New Ways to Communicate to the Modern Wine Drinker, Copia Theater
From wine bars and wine collectives to Internet-based wine clubs, how has the beverage industry changed in the past few years to reach new audiences and adapt to the changing customer?
- 10:15–11:15 a.m., Breakout Sessions – Group 1
Session 1—Somm Circuit Training, Classrooms 1 + 2
Condition your nose, calibrate your palate, and sharpen your skills through this interactive session. This high-intensity workout is comprised of a series of lightning-round sensory challenges. Our team of Master Sommeliers will rotate you through several stations, while you learn firsthand their secrets to confident evaluation. Presenters: A Group of Master Sommeliers TBD!
Session 2—Chenin Blanc: A Historical and Global Perspective, PDR 1 + 2
Take a 360-degree view of Chenin Blanc and explore this darling of the wine world through classic and emerging regions.
Session 3—Hayne Vineyard: 146 Years, 56 Acres, 1 Badass Vineyard, Napa Valley Vintners Theater
What more is there to say?
- 11:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m., Breakout Sessions – Group 2
Session 1—Tony Tellin About Tea, Classrooms 1 + 2
Just like wine, tea has unique varieties, aromas, and flavors—if not many more than wine. Learn the intricacies of tea and tea blending from Master Tea Blender, Tony Tellin. Presenter: Tony Tellin, Senior Vice President Tea, Smith Teamaker
Session 2—Vermouth: Aromatized, Romanticized, Revitalized, Private Dining Rooms 1 +2
The recent cocktail revival has made vermouth en vogue again, but vermouth isn’t just for cocktails—it’s perfectly delicious on its own. Presenter: Scott Beattie, Beverage Director, Meadowood Estate Events
Session 3—Belgian Beer: Out of Darkness, Napa Valley Vintners Theater
Since the 12th century, Belgium has been one of the top contributors to the creation of an elevated image for beer as part of a civilized life. In 2016, the small European country—roughly the size of Maryland—was added to the Unesco List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which recognizes significant, and in this case delicious, treasures of humankind worldwide. This session will prepare you for lifelong learning, appreciation, and consumption of one of the finest fermented gifts to the world. (Sorry, no frites). Presenters: Charlie Bamforth, PhD, Distinguished Professor and Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor, UC Davis and Hoby Wedler, PhD, Co-Founder & Lead Designer, Sensepoint Design
- 12:45–2 p.m., Lunch
- 2–3 p.m., Breakout Sessions – Group 3, Repeat Group 1 Morning Sessions
- 3:30–4:30 p.m., Breakout Sessions – Group 4, Repeat Group 2 Morning Sessions
- 4:30–4:45 p.m., Break
- 4:45–6 p.m., General Session II
Food and Wine Pairing on the Fly: Secret Chef Edition, Copia Theater
Three sommeliers compete to pair mystery wines with three different courses in this spur of the moment live action brown bag challenge. Play along and vote for the sommelier that convinced you their pairing, which they had 60 seconds to come up with, is the best pairing in the room. Moderators: Kevin Zraly, Author and Wine Educator and Evan Goldstein, MS, President & Chief Education Officer, Full Circle Wine Solutions
- 6–7:30 p.m., Pairing on the Fly Walk-Around Reception, Hestan Kitchen
Use what you just learned in the previous session as you interact and taste with chefs and winemakers. Discover and discuss your favorite pairings with your fellow sommeliers and presenters. One last thing, you won’t know what any of the wines are until the second half of the reception. Go!
- 7:30 p.m., Program concludes for the evening
Tuesday, May 8
- 8–9 a.m., Napa Valley Breakfast
- 9–10 a.m., General Session III
Career Advice from the Ultimate Guidance Counselor, Copia Theater
What are the keys to success? There may not always be a clear road, but in this discussion with two hospitality industry icons, you’ll get an insight on what success looks like, how to make goals a reality, and lessons learned from past mistakes.
- 10:15–11:15 a.m., Breakout Sessions – Group 5
Session 1—From Chateau Faux-regard to Sham-bolle Musigny, what you need to know about counterfeit wines, Private Dining Rooms
In the business of fine wines, what’s on the outside must match what’s on the inside. This session will review key visual checks to make when inspecting a rare, collectible, or just-plain-old bottle of wine, followed by a tasting of older wines with discussion of how to evaluate signs of age, poor storage, or just plain fakes. We’ll help you develop your thinking cap to suss out authenticity and audacity with the assistance of experts in the field of collection, auction, and the billion-dollar fraudulent wine market.
Session 2—WTF: What, the Food?, Hestan Kitchen
Every chef should know something about wine, and every sommelier should know something about food and how it’s prepared. In this interactive session, chefs will demonstrate and cook with you, while they discuss how ingredients and cooking techniques can influence pairings.
Session 3—Poised for Greatness: Four Regions You Should Know, Napa Valley Vintners Theater
What do British Columbia, Michigan, Slovenia, and Ningxia have in common? Absolutely nothing! However, winemaking excellence has quickly come to these exciting regions. Grape varieties, styles, winemakers, and flavors will all be discussed. Come with eyes (and palates) wide open.
- 11:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m., Breakout Sessions – Group 6
Session 1—The Sensory Evaluation of Cider, Private Dining Rooms 1+2In every area of beverage, the accurate descriptive analysis, including agreeing upon key aroma and flavor terms, scientific validation of chemical properties and systematically training to identify both attributes and flaws, is key in furthering the quality and enjoyment of the drink. Paying special attention to acidity, sweetness, carbonation, appearance, color, and astringency, we’ll learn to add our expertise in evaluating aroma and flavor to the tasting of cider and how to know when a few bad apples have spoiled the bunch.
Session 2—A Sherry Tasting that will Flor you!, Napa Valley Vintners Theater
The most famous wine area within the hot, arid and dusty region of Andalucia has been making wine for nearly 3,000 years. One wonders how the winemakers of Jerez, and the magical, palm and citrus tree laden terroir, are able to remain inspired. One sip will remind you of the intense and deeply layered flavor and history to be found here, and compel you to savor, seek out new experiences, and always stock a bottle or two.
Session 3—American Gin: From Bathtubs to Ryan Reynolds, First Floor Classrooms
Since the 18th century, gin has been a spirit… The revolution continues as American craft distillers go beyond London Dry to ambitiously break the barriers using unique, local botanicals, American grain bases, and oak aging. Presenter: Traci Dutton, Sommelier
- 12:30–2 p.m., Lunch, Copia Gardens
- 2–3 p.m., Breakout Sessions – Group 7, Repeat Group 5 Morning Sessions
- 3:15–4:15 p.m., Breakout Sessions – Group 8, Repeat Group 6 Morning/Afternoon Sessions
- 4:30–5:30 p.m., General Session IV
Grand Pagos de Espana – The Grand Cru Properties of Spain
- 5:30–7 p.m., Reception and Dine-Around
Wednesday, May 9
- 9 a.m.–1 p.m., Expo: Small Independent Producers from Northern California
- 1 p.m., Program Concludes
*Schedule and presenters subject to change.