An in depth look at how climate and soils affect the winemaking and style of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. This webinar is open to all levels of knowledge but would be perfect for students studying the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines or the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines.
This webinar will take a deep dive into Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon styles, aiming to connect the dots between climate and soil and their influence on winemaking and wine style. Through discussion with two panellists; Renee Ary, renowned winemaker at Duckhorn Vineyards, and Gustavo Aviña, renowned viticulturalist at Pine Ridge Vineyards; attendees will be able to deduce how the range of Cabernet styles produced in this famous region are the result of climate, soil and a myriad of techniques employed in the vineyard and the cellar. The session will be moderated by Catherine Bugué DipWSET, Vice President of Education at the award-winning Napa Valley Wine Academy.
Gustavo Aviña, viticulture director at Pine Ridge Vineyards, grew up helping his father farm tomatoes in Mexico. When he and his wife came to the United States in 1988, Gustavo began working with some of the finest vineyard management programs in Napa Valley, including stints at Newton Vineyard and with David Abreu. Since 2003, Gustavo has worked intimately with every Pine Ridge Vineyards estate property. He and his team understand the soils and climates of the winery’s vineyards in five different appellations: Stags Leap District, Howell Mountain, Oakville, Rutherford and Carneros. If he had to choose a favourite, Gustavo might pick Howell Mountain. He likes the way this steeply sloping vineyard is challenging to farm; it’s also the first vineyard he developed from the ground up for Pine Ridge Vineyards. But he can talk extensively about what he appreciates about each of the appellations, and he cites the opportunity to work with such different vineyards as one of the things he likes best about his job. “Knowing each vineyard row by row, vine by vine—that’s how I grow such high-quality grapes. I walk every vineyard, every block, once a week. This close connection to the vines is what gives us the quality grapes that allow us to make such high-quality wine.”
Renee Ary became the fourth winemaker in the four-decade history of Duckhorn Vineyards in 2014. Her promotion came after 11 years as an integral member of the winemaking team—including roles as assistant and associate winemaker. Like the two acclaimed winemakers before her, Renee spent years working alongside her predecessors, honing her craft, refining her gifted palate and mastering the Duckhorn Vineyards style. “It’s important to approach a role like this with humility,” adds Renee, “and with the knowledge that I am a part of an ongoing story—that I am contributing to the legacy of a great winery, and building on the work of the talented people who laid the foundation for excellence.” Today, with an approach that balances artistry, science and a deep respect for the viticultural side of winemaking, Renee guides the entire Duckhorn Vineyards portfolio, crafting wines that offer structure and sophistication, as well as a deep and purposeful sense of place. Renee has a degree in chemistry and art from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California. Renee spent years working closely with winemaking luminaries Genevieve Janssens, Steve Leveque and Richard Sowalsky.
Catherine Bugué DipWSET
Catherine is co-owner and Vice President of Education at the Napa Valley Wine Academy, overseeing WSET course content, delivery, and instruction. Catherine earned her WSET Diploma in 2010 and instructs advanced-level courses such as the WSET Level 3 and Level 4 Diploma. Catherine sits on the Napa Valley Vintners and St Helena Star Tasting Panel and is a wine columnist for the Napa Valley Register. Catherine previously managed international wine accounts for Balzac Communications & Marketing where she promoted the region and wines of Navarra, Rueda, Collio, Franciacorta, Chianti Classico and more. She lives with her winemaker-husband, François, and daughter in the Napa Valley.
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If you enjoy the webinar, we would love to welcome you onto one of our WSET wine courses, all of which can be studied online from your home. More details here.