Archive | October, 2012

Columbus and Wine: Exploring Brave “Old Worlds”

8 Oct

Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) was a navigator and explorer who made four voyages to the ‘New World’. He died in poverty in Valladolid, Spain and is buried in Seville Cathedral. See more from his life and adventures in this gallery.
Henry Guttmann/Getty Images

        It’s October 8th and, aptly, I feel a bit like Columbus on his 2nd voyage.  While wine is not, to me, undiscovered territory, I’m constantly exploring, learning and renewing my passion.  My 70 classroom hour ISG course last year was my first educational expedition and I was so disappointed when the 180 hour diploma course was not offered in Houston this fall.  The first course allowed me to discover my wine equivalent of the Bahamas, but I have yet to reach the mainland.

            I sent out a plea for help to industry friends and found an alternative that excites me.  I registered for the French Wine Scholar Certification Program offered through the Texas Wine School, which begins on Thursday.  The Program, designed for “advanced” students of wine, was developed by the French Wine Society and covers, in depth, the history, climate, geology, soils, viticulture, viniculture and wine law of 8 French wine producing regions.  Upon passing, what is reported by friends, to be a challenging final exam, students are awarded the French Wine Scholar (FWS) credential.

            Our vineyards are in Italy and my main interest and focus are on Italian wine. So pursuing a FSW may seem a little counter-intuitive   But I’m excited about an opportunity to increase my general knowledge, especially about the “Mecca” of the wine world, France.  And after all, while Columbus failed to discover a sea route to Asia, we celebrate the fruit of his disappointment, the discovery of the Americas, 500+ years later.  I’m willing to set my sextant on a star and see where the wine winds take me.

photo from

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