University of Pinot 2017

2017 University of Pinot Courses

Our guests consistently ask for a wide variety of informative seminars and tastings. We are pleased to once again offer eight different classes at the 2017 IPNC. All classes are held in the early afternoon following lunch and are part of the program for all Full Weekend guests.
Full Weekend Registered Guests:
University of Pinot Enrollment is now CLOSED.
IF you missed enrolling, don’t worry! We will save you a seat in one of our fantastic seminars.

(Philosophy 216)

Despite all the technological advances in viticulture and winemaking, more and more winemakers are repurposing old ways that were once discarded, but now seem to have new-found merit. From fermenting in amphora, to farming with horses, to biodynamics, many winemakers seem to be looking to the past for ways to improve their wines. Patrick Comiskey leads you through a tasting and discussion exploring how winemakers are reviving a diversity of older methods to the benefit of their wines.

Patrick Comiskey is a senior correspondent for Wine & Spirits Magazine, where he serves as chief critic for the wines of the Pacific Northwest. He is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times, and is a founding contributor to His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Decanter, The Hollywood Reporter, the Robb Report, and several other publications, and he is an instructor on the wine business at UCLA. He lives in Los Angeles, where he’s just completed a history of the American Rhône wine movement.


Domaine Charles Audoin is located in the Marsannay appellation just south of Dijon, which is known as the “Gateway to Burgundy.” The Domaine began in 1972 with just three hectares of vines. Along with his wife, oenologist Marie-Françoise Audoin, Charles Audoin has since built up their Domaine to 14 hectares. Their son Cyril has been on board since 2000, and together they are continuing the Burgundian tradition of respecting the terroir. Their vines on average are 45 years old. In the winery, they bottle without fining or filtering and produce about 4,000 cases annually.


B. Kosuge Wines was founded in 2004 as a platform for the exploration of Californian Pinot noir.  The goal was simple—make a wine that is as honest an expression of its origins as possible. Byron Kosuge is a self-described purist. He prefers unadorned wines, or at least those that carry their adornment gracefully. His objective is to be as natural as he can, but he doesn’t consider himself a “natural” winemaker, in the current sense of the term. Like most new world winemakers, he’s inspired by old world wines, but firmly believes that in the new world we should be creating our own traditions, and not merely copying what came before. The B. Kosuge current lineup features three Sonoma Coast Pinot noirs, one Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, a Carneros Pinot noir and a Carneros Gamay noir. Total production is around 1200 cases.


Overlooking Oregon’s verdant Chehalem Valley, Brick House is a 40-acre farm first planted to wine grapes in 1990.  Brick House wines are grown in the vineyards surrounding a 1931 vintage, brick farmhouse. Certified organic since 1990 and Demeter Biodynamic™ since 2005, Brick House produces Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Gamay noir in harmony with nature. The winemaking is decidedly non-interventionist, incorporating several unique strains of yeasts native to the farm and the old-barn winery. All the wines are bottled on site and by hand, with an eye to quality at every step of the production process. Great care is taken to respect vintage variations and, most of all, the unique characteristics of the site. From the first day of pruning to the last of harvest, Doug Tunnell and his team strive to make wines that reflect the beauty and complexity of the Brick House farm.


Since 2001 two generations of the Cobb family have established Cobb Wines as one of North America’s most revered small wineries, recognized for the elegance and nuanced sophistication of its limited-production wines. Focused exclusively on single-vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot noirs, and small amounts of Chardonnay, Cobb Wines combines the winegrowing expertise of David Cobb with the winemaking skill of his son, Ross, who has been hailed by Jay McInerney in The Wall Street Journal as one of “The Rockstars of Pinot Noir,” and by Linda Murphy in Decanter as “the future of California Pinot Noir.” Working with the finest vineyards, Cobb Wines has earned acclaim for making some of the New World’s most stirring Pinot noirs—complex, aromatic, lower-alcohol wines that have been called a “revelation” by Rusty Gaffney in PinotFile. In both 2015 and 2016, Wine & Spirits selected Cobb Wines as one of the world’s “Top 100 Wineries.”


Since 1970 Martin has lived in the small, very accessible South Tyrolean village of Tramin. He has worked in the vineyard and the winery since his childhood. The 50 hectares (124 acres) of family-owned vineyards are uniquely located on both sides of the Adige Valley, each claiming a completely different microclimate. He can thank the knight Ludwig Barth von Barthenau, founder and previous owner of his winegrowing estate Barthenau, for the tradition of over 150 years in Pinot noir. The grapes for his unique single vineyard wine “Barthenau Vigna S. Urbano” grow on vines that are seventy years old. His love of winegrowing was handed down from his maternal grandfather and father. With these individuals in mind he carries on the fourth generation of tradition that began in 1907 when his great-great uncle founded the Hofstätter family winegrowing estate.


Maysara Winery – which translates to “house of wine,” a nod to the Momtazi family’s Persian heritage – is deeply rooted in cultural traditions, respect for the surrounding land, and a commitment to biodynamic farming and winemaking practices. At Maysara they believe that the essential part of winemaking takes place in the vineyard. They maintain a strict form of land use, acting as stewards of the land in order to nurture and reap the rewards naturally. Without using minerals, chemicals or pesticides to maintain their vineyard, they instead use tea steeped from a variety of medicinal herbs and flowers grown on the vineyard. The high quality and manipulation free wines made from Momtazi Vineyards’ grapes have shown that dedication to both the vineyard’s terroir and biodynamic farming and winemaking practices are well worth the effort.

(Meteorology 325)

Join Allen Meadows, along with Chisa Bize, Mathilde Grivot, and Etienne de Montille, in an exploration of how a growing season impacts the finished wine. Each winemaker has chosen two distinct vintages to share with you to compare and contrast. Learn from the winemakers how vintage characteristics contributed to the finished wine, and how each vintage offers up something new by imparting a personality of its own.

Allen Meadows founded in 1999, the first resource of its kind to offer specialized and exhaustive coverage of a specific wine region and grape. Allen spends over five months a year in Burgundy visiting more than 300 domaines. His quarterly reviews have subscribers in over 64 countries and nearly all 50 states. In addition to Burgundy, Allen covers Oregon and California Pinot noir, along with Champagne. Hailed as “the world’s foremost Burgundy expert” by acclaimed author Matt Kramer, Allen published his first book, “The Pearl of the Côte- the Great Wines of Vosne-Romanée” in 2010. In March 2017, it was released in e-book format. Recently, Burghound released the Burgundy Essentials Audio Series, a nearly ten-hour, seven-part program created specifically for all wine lovers, from the casual wine enthusiast to the seasoned pro. This three-year project was expressly designed to demystify what is a highly complex and even intimidating wine region, while enhancing the knowledge of those already well immersed in their Burgundy education.


As a vigneron, Patrick Bize had an intimate knowledge of his parcels and adapted his viticulture practices to suit each one. He is quoted saying, “It isn’t Monsieur or Madame who makes the wine, it’s the Appellation and the grape; one should never forget this.” This philosophy guided his work in the cave as well. Chisa Bize arrived in Savigny-lès-Beaune in 1997 from her home in Tokyo, Japan. She married Patrick Bize in 1998. In 2008, she participated in a truly revelatory conference with Anne-Claude Leflaive on the connection between plants (vines) and mankind, and the first biodynamic experiments in Savigny 1er cru Les Serpentières began soon after. Just before harvest in 2013, Patrick Bize tragically passed away, leaving Chisa and Patrick’s sister Marielle Grivot-Bize to carry on his legacy, and now the womens’ power flourishes in the bio-dynamically farmed vineyards.


Domaine Jean Grivot is generally seen as one of the finest in the Côte d’Or. At the end of the eighteenth century, just before the French Revolution, Joseph Grivot settled in Vosne-Romanée, but it was his son Gaston who developed the domaine. In 1919, Gaston sold vines in the lesser areas to buy a large parcel of the grand cru Clos de Vougeot. You can still see the gate he built today. He was one of the first oenologists to graduate from Dijon University in the 1920s, followed by his son, Jean, a few years later. Like his father, Jean acquired a parcel of grand cru land, 31 acres of Richebourg in 1984, and was succeeded by his son Etienne in 1987. Mathilde Grivot, Etienne’s daughter, has worked at the domaine since the 2010 vintage. Envisioning an eventual, peaceful handover, Mathilde works in harmony with her brother Hubert and her parents.


Domaine de Montille (60 acres) and Château de Puligny-Montrachet (30 acres) craft their wines from bio-dynamic certified vineyards located mainly in Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault, Volnay, Pommard, Beaune, Corton and Vosne-Romanée. The family estate was established around 1730. In 1990 Etienne de Montille took over from his father Hubert. Since 2000 he has acquired significant pieces of prime land, including the Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet. He now owns and manages the estates with his team, including Brian Sieve, a winemaker from the US. The style of the red wines has progressively evolved from Hubert’s style with the consistent use of a large quantity of stems during a long fermentation with moderate foulage and pigeage at natural temperatures to develop complexity in the wine. The white wines are pure, fresh, and focused with mineral aromas accompanied by a palate with tension and a slight saline character. To express the distinctions of the Burgundian terroirs, they moderately apply new oak ranging from 0% to maximum 50%. The wines’ firm structure, based on their acidity, tannins, and moderate alcohol, allows for great aging potential.

(Pinot Noir 101)

Whether it happens to you this IPNC or it happened to you twenty years ago, at some point every wine taster asks him or herself “am I doing this right?”. Helpful friends, winemakers and wine retailers tell you there’s no “right” answer and they are exactly right. That’s not to say, however, that a few useful pointers in the right direction won’t help. “Professional Pinot Noir Taster” and “Approachable, all-around nice guy” don’t always go hand in hand, but when you meet Josh Raynolds, editor for Vinous, you’ll see why we picked him to present this seminar.

Josh Raynolds has been an editor for Vinous since 2014, and before that was assistant editor of Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, a role that he took on in 2005. Prior to that he spent 18 years in the wine trade, working in and traveling through Europe’s wine regions in 1989 and 1990 and then spent 12 years as national sales representative for Rosenthal Wine Merchant. He is responsible for Vinous’ annual reviews of the wines of Oregon, Paso Robles, Santa Lucia Highlands, Spain, Beaujolais, the Rhône Valley and Australia.

(Food Sciences 212)

Coffee’s flavor is as complex, intricate, and nuanced as many of the beverages we enjoy on a regular basis. Through a series of tastings, we’ll look at the variety of factors involved in creating the taste of the beverage we know and love by looking at cultivar, terroir, processing, roasting and brewing that will help illustrate the wide difference that can be caused by a subtle change.

Rob can best be described as ‘the coffee whisperer’ of Nossa Familia. He has a diverse range of experience within the specialty coffee industry, including training, roasting, and green coffee purchasing. He holds the highest level certificates with the Roasters Guild of America and was recently elected to its Executive Council for 2016-17. He also works as a subject matter expert, content developer, and instructor for the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). He is a Certified Trainer for Loring Smart Roast and travels around the world instructing on roasting methodology. In March 2015 Rob published a book on coffee roasting, Modulating the Flavor Profile of Coffee – One Roaster’s Manifesto, which has sold nearly 3,000 copies worldwide. Rob manages the entire coffee program at Nossa Familia Coffee, developing relationships with coffee farmers and importers, ensuring quality control for green coffee, and managing roast profiles.

(Botany 210)

The ability to discern subtle nuances and describe complex aromas and flavors is a skill that requires continued training and practice. This effort yields precise and romantic descriptors as well as alternative ways to discuss the beverage and food. Come and join Portland’s iconic Smith Teamaker in a botanical and tea tasting aimed at increasing your descriptive vocabulary and developing a firsthand impression of key ingredients often used in describing fine wines. Taste side by side different floral sources, roots, barks, herbs, seeds, peels and of course tea leaves and start expanding your vocabulary.

In 1998, Tony Tellin moved to Portland, Oregon from a small town in his home state of Iowa. He grew up drinking sun tea on the farm and had no idea how tea was grown, or made, or even what tea was really. Tellin started at Tazo Tea Company the day after he moved to Portland and has been a tea advocate ever since. During his time at Tazo, he worked with founder, Steve Smith, to source ingredients and create blends, as well as traveling to India, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Nepal to develop relationships with key producers. Tellin followed his mentor to Smith Teamakers and now holds the position of Head Teamaker.

(Geography 312)

With a nod to the region’s history, sub-regions, and profound vintage variation (thanks to the extremes of a marginal climate) this seminar will explore Pinot Noir of Central Otago. Through six wines – including two from the first ever to grow and make Pinot in the region – we will taste across five vintages from six of the smaller production producers of Central Otago, each helping to discover the region’s unique signature expression of Pinot Noir.

Based in Sonoma, California, Elaine Chukan Brown serves as the American Specialist for, is a contributing writer to Wine & Spirits, and a columnist for Wine Business Monthly. Her work has also been featured in The World of Fine Wine, The Robb Report, Decanter,, San Francisco Magazine, among others, and appears on her own website, Elaine is known for having created illustrated tasting notes, which have been described by @KermitLynchWine as “a new standard in wine reviews.” Prior to her career in wine, Elaine served as a philosophy professor at Northern Arizona University. She was Dartmouth College’s Charles A. Eastman Fellow, and a Tomlinson Fellow at McGill University, where she did her doctoral work. Prior to her career in philosophy, Elaine was a commercial salmon fisherman in Bristol Bay, Alaska, where the rest of her family still operate their businesses.


Aurum Wines is a family run estate based in the Lowburn sub-region of the Central Otago, New Zealand. Joan and Tony Lawrence planted their first grapes in 1997 on the Pisa Flats outside of Cromwell and expanded their estate in 2001 and 2004 with their Te Wairere Vineyard. Their son Brook and daughter-in-law Lucie joined them in 2006. Brook trained as a winemaker in South Australia. Lucie was raised in Burgundy. She is the third generation in her family to be a vigneronne and completed her degree in Oenology at Dijon University. Lucie and Brook met while they were both trainees at Domaine de L’Arlot in Nuits-Saint-Georges. Upon returning to New Zealand, Lucie continued to develop her skills as a winemaker, while Brook took on the viticultural management of the estate. Aurum converted to organics in 2010. Lucie and Brook’s wines have evolved to become more and more a reflection of the land and their philosophy.


The majestic mountains and lakes of the Southern Alps are home to Mount Edward. The winery, situated in Gibbston, just east of Queenstown, has its vineyards amongst the foothills of the Pisa Range and on the banks of the Kawerau river in Bannockburn. Mount Edward, part of the Central Otago wine community since 1998, is BioGro certified organic with this philosophy at its heart. Owned and managed by the Buchanan and Forsyth families since 2004, our winemakers Anna Riederer and Duncan Forsyth craft wines that are textural, restrained, and speak of our place here in Central Otago, New Zealand.


Prophet’s Rock’s two estate vineyards are located in the Bendigo sub-region of Central Otago, New Zealand. Both of the stunning sites are elevated and steep, providing great sun exposure in the marginal climate and accentuating the cool nights typical of the region. Each vineyard is distinctive, the Home Vineyard with its rare mix of soils, notably clay and chalk, and Rocky Point with its stony schist laden ground and treacherous slopes. Prophet’s Rock finds its muses in the old houses of Europe. Winemaker Paul Pujol refined his trade working in France’s classical wine regions – the Languedoc, Sancerre and, crucially, Burgundy and Alsace. Paul also has a strong tie to Oregon having worked here for the 2003, 2004 and 2006 vintages. His traditional aesthetic –respectful, patient, vineyard-focused – resonates in his approach, and frees the wines to express the unique tenor of each site.

(Gastronomy 126)

We all know that lamb and Pinot noir are a great match, but what about the other food on your plate? As vegetables move toward center stage on many menus, how might our wine choices change to marry well with today’s more creative preparations of non-meat items? What about a recipe that calls for vinegar? Chef Chris Remy and specialty food and wine expert Nick Doughty work together daily employing innovative approaches to answer these questions and will share them with you in this hands-on seminar so you can take what you’ve learned back to your own kitchen.

Originally from New York, Chris Remy cooked in the burgeoning food scene of numerous restaurants in New York City and Oregon before falling in love with cheese and charcuterie. Hanging up his clogs and moving into mongering. Chris helmed the cheese and charcuterie counter as the manager and co-owner of New York’s Stinky Bklyn, one of the nation’s most influential shops. After five years in Brooklyn, Chris and his wife returned to Portland, Oregon where he shaped the cheese, charcuterie and specialty grocery programs at Elephants Delicatessen. Hipsters and gentrification (and great food) follow Chris wherever he goes. Chris has appeared in numerous publications including the The New York Times and Alex Guarnaschelli’s Alex’s Day Off. In his spare time, Chris can be found obsessing over baseball, records, Broadway musicals, or a salted pig’s leg hanging from his basement rafters.


Born and raised in Napa, California, Nick started his career in specialty foods at the age of 16, manning the cheese counter at Oakville Grocery. While attending graduate school in Northern Ireland, he ran Feast Belfast, the region’s first cheese shop, while hosting a monthly cheese show on BBCNI radio. Upon returning to the Napa Valley, Nick worked at Palisades Market before taking over the cheese and charcuterie counter at Dean & DeLuca and becoming passionate about wine. Nick and his wife came to Portland, Oregon in 2006, and he has managed Elephants Delicatessen ever since. Nick has been featured in Bobby Flay’s Boy Meets Grill, National Geographic Traveler, and National Public Radio. Outside of work, Nick hikes with his daughter, gardens, and spends way too much time on pyrography.

(Geography 322)

Alsace is best known for its white varietals (most importantly Riesling and Gewürztraminer) and sparkling Crémant d’Alsace, but Pinot noir has flourished there since the middle ages. A generation ago Pinot d’Alsace was a pale light-bodied red for easy drinking, but in recent years there has been a surge of media interest as it was transformed into a deep colored, powerful and complex wine through improved vineyard practices and winemaking. Moderator Stuart Pigott, who has championed Alsatian wines for thirty years, along with three esteemed winemakers from the region, will provide an overview of Pinot noir in Alsace, and guide you through a tasting of some of the most exciting new wines.

After getting a master’s degree in cultural history from the Royal College of Art in London in 1986 Stuart Pigott realized that the only way he could earn a living was to write about wine. He has lived in Germany for almost 30 years and although his name is most closely associated with the wines of the Rhine and Mosel he has undertaken in-depth research in regions as widely contrasting as the Médoc in Bordeaux, Hua Hin in Thailand and the Willamette Valley in Oregon. In 2008-9 Pigott was a guest student at the famous Geisenheim wine school in Germany and combines the scientific approach he learned there with hardcore gonzo journalism inspired by the works of Hunter S. Thompson. He is a contributing editor to, the wine columnist of the Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany’s equivalent of The New York Times) and has his own blog,


The Albert Mann estate is located in Wettolsheim in the center of Alsace’s vineyards, 2 km outside of Colmar. The domaine is the fruit of the joint efforts of the winemaking families Mann and Barthelmé, each with histories of winemaking stretching back centuries. Today, Maurice Barthelmé and his brother Jacky Barthelmé manage the domaine with their wives Marie-Claire and Marie-Thérèse. Together, they run 23 hectares of vineyards, including two lieux-dit: Rosenberg and Altenbourg, five Grands Crus: Schlossberg, Furstentum, Steingrubler, Hengst, and Pfersigberg, and two monopole plantings of Pinot noir: Clos de la Faille® and Les Saintes Claires®. Since 2010 the entire estate has been certified Biodynamic. The vineyards are split into more than a hundred plots and are tended like individual gardens with patience and a total respect for the benefits that nature brings. The goal of the estate is to produce wine that is in harmony with nature.


Since 1935, the Muré family has owned the noteworthy “Clos Saint Landelin,” a 25-acre single vineyard located in Rouffach, Alsace. Today, the 12th generation of the Muré family, siblings Véronique and Thomas Muré are responsible for running the “Clos Saint Landelin” and its neighboring terroirs using biodynamic methods. The domaine is guided by the principles of allowing the wine to fully express the terroir, preserving the Muré inheritance, and respecting the savoir-faire handed down through generations. Véronique and Thomas achieve this through planting vines densely, tilling the vineyards, hand pruning, fermenting exclusively with indigenous yeasts, and minimal interventions in the cellar. Véronique received her enology credentials from SupAgro Montpellier and interned with Domaine Jean-Marc Boillot in Pommard, Domaine Guigal in Côte-Rôtie, and at the University of California Davis. In the early 2000s, she returned to the family domaine to join her brother Thomas and her father René in operating the vineyards and the cave.


In 1691 Domaine Valentin Zusslin was founded in the southern part of the Alsace region. Since 2000 the 13thgeneration, brother and sister, Marie and Jean-Paul Zusslin have co-managed the domaine. The climate – warm, sunny, and dry – ensures slow, extended ripening of the grapes that in turn favours the development of extremely elegant aromas in the finished wine. The estate owns vines in Bollenberg, Pfingstberg (a Grand Cru), and a single vineyard monopole Clos Liebenberg. The domaine was certified biodynamic by Demeter France in 1997. These practices have imbued the whole vineyard with a huge development of biodiversity. The harvest is done exclusively by hand, selecting only well-matured fruit. The cellar work is minimalist with no interference in the natural process of the fermentation. The cuvées are aged on the fine yeast lees in oak Alsatian foudres and oak barrels for the red wine.