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University of Pinot

University wine lecture
University wine lecture
University wine lecture

The University of Pinot is a series of educational afternoon seminars.

Our guests consistently ask for a wide variety of informative seminars and tastings. We will once again offer eight different classes to choose from at the 2022 IPNC. All classes are held in the early afternoon following lunch and are included in the full weekend ticket price. Courses are held concurrently and guests will attend only their top seminar choice. All featured winery representatives and media guests are also encouraged to enroll, as this will not interfere with weekend responsibilities.

All Full Weekend guests will attend the Grand Seminar on either Friday or Saturday morning of the IPNC weekend depending on group assignment.


2023 University of Pinot Courses

Sustainability in the Vineyard and Workforce with AHIVOY
Basketball, Pinot Noir, and Philanthropy
The International Language of Wine
Red Wine & Seafood? Are you crazy?
The Impact of Climate Change on Pinot Noir
Pinot 101
Circle of Sustainability
Sparkling Wine: The Art of Blending
Register for University of Pinot 2023

Sustainability in the Vineyard and Workforce with AHIVOY

Moderated by DeAnna Ornelas

We all know that highly-skilled individuals, who take into account the health of the entire vine, are the secret to the success of growing exceptional Pinot Noir. The details they attend to and the holistic approach they use each time they visit a vine is imperative to growing the best grapes possible; this work requires an incredible depth of knowledge. Cultivating and empowering people who are committed to providing this high level of stewardship is critical to growing Pinot Noir at its best. Learn how AHIVOY empowers these vineyard stewards through providing education, opportunity and advocacy, and taste examples of how this passion for growing great grapes translates into incredible wines.

DeAnna Ornelas
Moderator | AHIVOY

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DeAnna Ornelas combines her love of wine with her passion for social equity, specifically as it pertains to the wine industry. In May of 2018, she spearheaded the first ever, comprehensive DEI training for wineries in the Willamette Valley region, a joint venture between multiple producers. DeAnna is also actively involved in the Vineyard Steward movement and was first compelled to become involved in AHIVOY due to the lack of diversity in the positions of power in the Oregon wine industry. DeAnna wanted to help those whose experiences resonated with her own. She’s a WSET level III certified wine industry professional who believes in the power of personal narrative to bring about a more equitable wine industry. “I believe the immense responsibility and privilege to work in the cultures and communities within the Oregon wine industry is deeply transformative not only for Oregon vineyard stewards, but for me as well.”

Elena Rodriguez
Panelist | Alumbra Cellars

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Alumbra Cellars is a special family-owned business.  A vineyard and winery operated and owned by Mexican-Americans who are first-generation children of immigrants. Co-owned by siblings Leo and Elena Rodriguez. Their father, Baudelio planted the vineyard in 2005.  He immigrated to the United States in the 1970s from Durango, Mexico. Like many immigrants, in search of a better life.  He met their mother in Oregon. They married and decided to raise their family in Yamhill County. In 1996, the Rodriguez family were able to purchase a piece of property in Dayton, Oregon. Soon, the family farm was converted to grapes in 2005. Elena then took over the vineyard in 2014 and has since created Alumbra, a company dedicated to sustainable farming, a brand that celebrates the Latino culture of the family and vineyard stewards who embody the soul of Alumbra.

Sofia Torres-McKay
Panelist | Cramoisi Vineyards

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Cramoisi, French for crimson, is derived from the delightful crimson clover that blankets Cramoisi vineyard every spring. Vibrant, elegant, and earthy, the micro boutique winery is operated by owners Sofia Torres-McKay and Ryan McKay. Cramoisi reflects the color, beauty and complexity of their wines born from red volcanic soils. Estate grown with respect for the land, the grape and hardworking vineyard stewards. They are organic and biodynamic farmers. Every bottle honors and delivers their passion, from soil to glass.

In April 2012, they planted their first vines. Today, they have a total of 7 acres under vine, with just over 6 acres of Pinot Noir and nearly an acre of Chardonnay.  They produce Pinot Noirs, Rosé of Pinot noir, Blanc de Noirs, White Pinot and Chardonnay. Their vineyard is their home, and they farm without the use of pesticides and herbicides while leveraging ancient practices to avoid contaminating the soil, the environment, farm workers, and guests.

They make their home in the renowned Dundee Hills AVA of Oregon’s Willamette Valley.  It is a privileged place as their young vineyard is surrounded by some of the oldest vines in the region, planted where terroir is proven, and vineyards thrive.

Adrian Mendoza
Panelist | AHIVOY

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Adrian Mendoza is a Jack of all trades: a chef, a farmworker, a musician in a band and now a businessman on the way to having his own wine label. Adrian attended culinary school out of high school and interned in kitchens in South Lake Tahoe. He spent a few summers working for his uncle, a contractor. Eventually, he landed at a vineyard. He learned he was skilled in the field, and it helped that he was bilingual. He now manages hundreds of acres of vineyards and up to 120 workers. Adrian oversees vineyard operations and leases two properties for himself, to grow his own grapes on his own vines. He started making his sparkling rosé, his first official product as a winemaker, in September 2022. He wants to grow, but only so far as creative expression allows. Mendoza is an AHIVOY alum, a member of its first graduating class. The program, which is an acronym for Asociación Hispana de la Industria del Vino en Oregon y Comunidad, educates vineyard workers about wine production and vineyard management at no cost to them. Mendoza’s journey from vineyard steward to winemaker is exactly what the program wants for its graduates. Winemaking offers a way to combine his trained palate with his industry knowledge.

Basketball, Pinot Noir, and Philanthropy

Moderated by Ikimi Dubose-Woodson

In recent years, Pinot Noir has caught the attention of some of basketball’s biggest stars. Learn what drew Channing Frye, Joe Harden, and CJ McCollum to this fickle grape and how their vineyard and winery projects are not only producing great wines but also how these players are giving back to the communities they care about. Taste their wines as you hear their stories.

Ikimi Dubose-Woodson
Moderator | The Roots Fund

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“Find what you love and let it kill you.” is the famous quote wrapped around a Global knife tattooed on Ikimi Dubose-Woodson’s back. Ikimi is the CEO of The Roots Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to creating inclusive opportunities for communities of color throughout the wine industry, which she co-founded in 2020. As CEO, she has overseen more than 190 scholars, the creation of a high school program, multiple externship programs with wineries, a mentoring program, an annual fundraiser auction with Zachys, and a massive fundraising effort. Ikimi has spent her career working in hospitality and leading teams at the Marriott International, LifeWorks Restaurant Group, and other hospitality groups. A graduate of Johnson & Wales and Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy, she has combined her passion for the wine industry with her mission to change people’s lives.

Channing Frye
Panelist | Chosen Family Wines

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Chosen Family was founded by 2016 NBA Champion Channing Frye with a mission to connect people through some of the best wines imaginable and a promise that what you are drinking is cultivated with care. Channing then partnered with former 2016 NBA Championship teammate and current Cleveland Cavaliers star, Kevin Love, as well as CEO Jacob Gray, and Partner Chase Renton.

Good wine has been at the center of so many of their favorite memories. Inspired by these moments, they invite you to take a seat at their table and raise a glass to the people and places that have brought us all joy. At Chosen Family Wines, they believe in doing things with purpose, respect, and compassion. They believe in taking time to celebrate the best life has to offer, and they believe in giving the best you’ve got.

Joe Harden
Panelist | Salty Goats Wine Company

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Salty Goats is a wine company concentrated on Pinot Noir that is sourced and farmed on the coastal hills of Northern California. They pride themselves on collaborating with dedicated and trusted organic farmers and are constantly in search of new and exciting sites. With its high elevation, proximity to the ocean, and cooler climate, they believe the West Sonoma coast creates wines that are expressive and elegant.

Their winemaking style is rooted in producing fresh and vibrant wines. They achieve this through meticulous farming, whole cluster fermentation, and gentle extraction. Their wines are then aged between 10 and 12 months in French oak to be released the following fall. They strive to create site driven wines that are age worthy.

Stay salty.

CJ McCollum
Panelist | McCollum Heritage 91

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McCollum Heritage 91 is the creation of CJ McCollum, professional basketball player. Having been introduced to wine in his early 20s by his now wife, Elise, McCollum’s fortuitous move to one of the top wine regions in the U.S. led him to take his existing passion for – and knowledge of – wine to new heights. As reflected through his work both on-and-off the court, leaving a legacy is greatly important to McCollum, and McCollum Heritage 91 is a reflection of bringing his passions to life and honoring his family name in the process.

The International Language of Wine

Presented by Alice Achayo

The language of wine can be complex and intimidating. We often find ourselves trying to use the “right descriptor” for a wine, rather than describing a wine based on our individual taste and scent memory banks. Bring your sensory history and personal experience to find your own vocabulary to bring to the wines you taste. Alice Achayo will help you build confidence in your palate, breaking down linguistic barriers allowing you to describe wines in a way that is meaningful to you.

Alice Achayo
Presenter | The Wine Linguist

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Alice Achayo is the founder and owner of the Wine Linguist, a company focused on amplifying global cuisines in the wine industry, shifting the the language and culture of wine to increase accessibility to diverse wine drinkers, and raising awareness around the work of winemakers and vineyard stewards. Before starting the Wine Linguist, Alice worked as a sales consultant for a distributor, calling on both off and on-premise clients. Her passion and belief in food and wine’s ability to connect people from diverse backgrounds was the catalyst and is the driving force behind the company’s mission. Wine is for everyone.

Red Wine & Seafood? Are you crazy?

Presented by Nick Doughty and Chris Remy

For Elephants Delicatessen’s seventh seminar as part of IPNC, they will explore pairing PInot Noir with seafood. Join Chris and Nick as they push the boundaries on what you think can accompany Pinot, from salmon to more exotic pairings from smoked shellfish to octopus. Learn how not just the main ingredient, but thoughtful preparation, seasoning, and sauces can expand the range for what you think can accompany your favorite Pinot.

Nick Doughty from Elephants
Nick Doughty
Presenter | Elephants Delicatessen

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Born and raised in Napa, California, Nick Doughty is the Food and Beverage Director for Elephants Delicatessen in Portland, OR. Nick started in specialty foods at the age of 16 manning the cheese counter at Oakville Grocery. While attending graduate School in Northern Ireland, he ran Feasts Belfast, the region’s first cheese shop, while hosting a monthly cheese show on BBC NI radio. He has also worked at Palisades Market and Dean and Deluca in the Napa Valley. Nick is also an artist, focusing on culinary and vineyard scenes through his blend of woodburning art and traditional Japanese art. His work has been featured in the Napa Valley Register and Koller Collection of Asian Art. He is currently working on a series featuring vineyards and wineries around the world.  

Chris Remy from Elephants
Chris Remy
Presenter | Elephants Delicatessen

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Chris is the store manager and buyer for Elephants Delicatessen’s flagship store in NW Portland.  He has been producing and selling charcuterie and cheese for one million years along with selling specialty foods and wine. It’s a thing. You are in good hands.

The Impact of Climate
Change on Pinot Noir

Presented by Dr. Greg Jones

Join world-renowned wine climatologist Dr. Greg Jones to learn how our beloved Pinot Noir is already being affected by climate change. For over twenty-five years his research has firmly linked weather and climate with grapevine growth, fruit chemistry, and wine characteristics in regions all around the globe. His work was also one of the first to tie climate change to fundamental biological phenomena in vines and the resulting influences on productivity and quality. Taste through a flight of Champagne as Greg talks you through what Planet Pinot will look like in 2050.

Dr. Greg Jones
Presenter | Abacela Winery

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Greg is a world-renowned atmospheric scientist and wine climatologist. He has held research and teaching positions at the University of Virginia, Southern Oregon University, and Linfield University. He has taught extensively across many areas including meteorology, climatology, ecology, hydrology, geology, statistics, GIS and remote sensing, and wine business, viticulture, enology, and sensory evaluation. For over twenty-five years his research has firmly linked weather and climate with grapevine growth, fruit chemistry, and wine characteristics in regions all around the globe. His work was also one of the first to tie climate change to fundamental biological phenomena in vines and the resulting influences on productivity and quality. His groundbreaking work has informed and influenced the wine industry across the globe. Greg has served on the editorial advisory boards of multiple international and national scientific journals and sits on the Erath Family Foundation board. Dr. Jones also has lifelong ties to the Oregon wine community, most closely with his family winery and vineyards at Abacela where Greg was appointed CEO in 2021.

Pinot 101

Presented by Miguel Marquez Garcia

Whether it happens this weekend or it happened to you twenty years ago, at some point every avid wine enthusiast asks themself “What is the right way to taste Pinot?” –  The common answer is that there is no “right” answer, and that is correct. That’s not to say, however, that there aren’t ways to improve your experience. After all, a few useful pointers never hurt! Miguel Garcia invites you to create your own approach to enjoying Pinot Noir as you taste through a flight of hand-selected wines.

Miguel Marquez Garcia
Presenter | República & Co

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Miguel is an immigrant from Mexico who has had the pleasure to work in places as diverse as Disney all the way to five-star, five-diamond ski resorts such as The Little Nell in Aspen. Now a WSET III and Certified Sommelier by the CMS, in Portland Miguel has worked both in retail and in restaurants including Roe (now Tercet) and MUCCA Osteria. He is now the beverage director of República & Co. which includes the legendary República, Lilia Comedor, and Bar Comala/De Noche. Miguel contributes his time and expertise to OMSI as a food educator, to AHIVOY, as a sommelier at Salud, and as a Maître d’Hôtel at IPNC. Miguel believes in creating community through education, and inviting people to learn and come together through sharing delicious wine and food.

Circle of Sustainability

Moderated by Brian Freedman

Author and journalist Brian Freedman, along with an international panel of winemakers and viticulturalists, will share the exciting successes in sustainability they are seeing in their vineyards and wineries. Great strides are being made around the world to reduce the footprint our beloved wines make on the planet. Experience first-hand how these sustainable practices are not only great for the environment but taste great too!

Brian Freedman
Moderator | Food & Wine

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Brian Freedman is a wine, spirits, travel, and food writer, restaurant and beverage consultant, wine and spirits educator, and event host and speaker. He writes a weekly wine and spirits column for Food & Wine digital, writes the Wines of the Week column at Forbes.com and also covers spirits there, has contributed to Travel + Leisure online, Departures online, Whisky Advocate Magazine, Wine Enthusiast, The Bourbon Review, and more. He also hosted wine and spirit pairing segments on the CNN Airport Network. He also was awarded a fellowship to attend The Symposium for Professional Wine Writers in Napa Valley. He consults for restaurants on their beverage programs, hosts dozens of virtual and in-person wine and spirits tastings for corporate and private clients each year, and has traveled to more than 50 countries and territories around the world, and extensively throughout the United States, to experience the food, drink, and culture for his work. His first book, “Crushed: How A Changing Climate Is Altering the Way We Drink,” was published in October 2022. Publishers Weekly praised it as “a must-read.”

Brandy Grey
Panelist | Greywing

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Leaving behind careers in journalism and advertising for the wine industry, husband and wife team Brandy and Ari Grey deeply understood that it is the stories that connect us. And each vintage, each bottle is a story.

The places they come from and the people they meet along the way are woven into each choice they make. Therefore, their focus is on producing wines that can connect people and create community. Their goal is to highlight the distinct beauty of this very special region, which exists due to the environmental practices of the original inhabitants of this Valley as well as our unique geological history and the dedicated labor of today’s stewards.

Their small lots of Pinot Noir are all picked, sorted, pressed and bottled by hand from the high elevation fruit of Yamhill-Carlton, and from their small family estate, Blackfeather Vineyard, named for Brandy’s Shawnee Cherokee ancestor Johnson Blackfeather.

Martin Spedding
Panelist | Ten Minutes by Tractor

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Ten Minutes by Tractor’s three original home vineyards were planted in the early 1990’s – all ten minutes by tractor apart. The estate now has 10 vineyard sites, each with different aspects, slopes, soils, altitude, and influence from the cool maritime climate that surrounds the Mornington Peninsula. This diversity of terroir and sense of place, explains everything about the estate’s wines.

Over the past 20 years, Martin and Karen Spedding have propelled the winery to become one of the leading Pinot Noir producers in Australia. They also established one of the nation’s best winery restaurants and wine lists.

For Martin, the craft of winemaking is a process of continual learning and discovery. Ten Minutes by Tractor have been leaders in the development of sustainable viticulture programs and high-density vineyard architecture in the region. Martin has held a range of industry positions over the past twenty years, most recently as Chair of the 2019 & 2023 Pinot Celebration Australia.

Chris Figgins
Panelist | Toil Oregon

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From the time Chris Figgins’ great-grandparents arrived in the Pacific Northwest in 1902, his family has achieved everything through meticulous hard work. The silhouette on the label of Toil Oregon is from a photo of his Great Uncle William Leonetti and his father, Gary Figgins, planting the first Leonetti Cellar Vineyard in 1974 in Walla Walla, WA. Chris has long enjoyed Pinot Noir from around the world, especially from Willamette Valley, and was drawn to the challenge of producing a Pinot Noir that is the same level of quality as the wines from Leonetti Cellar and the Walla Walla Valley. At its finest, Pinot Noir has such a lovely delicacy, perfume, and levity that it was just impossible for Chris to not to try his hand at creating it while relentlessly striving to honor the trailblazers of the Willamette Valley.

Gonzalo Bertelsen
Panelist | Viñedos Veramonte/Ritual Wines

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Viñedos Veramonte is an organic and biodynamic winery dedicated to elaborate, fresh, authentic, and sustainable wines. One of the first wineries in the Casablanca Valley, they planted the first 40 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc vines in the 90’s. Viñedos Veramonte’s philosophy, named Living Soils, is the synergy of careful work in the vineyards, based on respect for the origin and the environment, where the soils nurture the vines so they can express their unique character, in conjunction with a dedicated vinification process with minimal intervention and native yeasts. The Casablanca estate is located at the foot of Chile’s Coastal Range. The vineyards, surrounded by 2,500 hectares of native forests, are influenced by the cool breeze and morning fog from the Pacific Ocean, which moderate the temperatures and provide the ideal conditions for growing cool climate red varieties such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Alison Frichtl Hollister
Panelist | WALT Wines

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WALT is a family-owned, multi-generational winery specializing in premier Pinot Noir and Chardonnay sourced from the most coveted vineyards along the Pacific Coast, spanning 1,000 miles from the Willamette Valley to the Santa Rita Hills in Santa Barbara County. WALT represents wines of a place – these special sites where thoughtful viticulture enables winemakers to create expressive wines that reflect the signature personality of each site. WALT farms four estate vineyards and partners with meticulous growers who aspire to share standards of quality. Owned by Craig and Kathryn Walt Hall, WALT honors Kathryn’s parents, Bob and Dolores Walt, who were grape growers in Mendocino County since 1972 and nurtured Kathryn’s passion for vineyards, wine and land stewardship.

Sparkling Wine:
The Art of Blending

Moderated by Julia Coney

Blending can be a key part of crafting traditional sparkling wine. Winemakers must carefully decide how much of which vintage of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, or Pinot Meunier to mix into their blends, if they blend at all.Different vintages as well as cooperage are also taken into account when making the perfect cuvée. While winemakers certainly consider house traditions when deciding how to assemble their wines, the final decision comes down to the art of blending.  You’ll start off by trying a beautiful example of a 100% Pinot Noir bottling, and you’ll taste and smell what this beloved grape brings to bear. Learn how the Champagnes and sparkling wines you love require painstaking attention to the ratios that go into each bottle.

Julia Coney
Julia Coney
Moderator | Wine Journalist

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Julia Coney is a Washington, D.C. and Houston, Texas-based wine writer, wine educator, speaker, and consultant. Her wine writing includes stories on wine, winemakers, and the intersection of race, wine, and language. Julia is the Wine Consultant for American Airlines in partnership with the James Beard Foundation. Julia is the recipient of Wine Enthusiast’s 2020 Social Visionary Award Winner for her work in writing and speaking on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the wine industry. Wine Industry Network has named her one of Wine’s Most Inspiring People for 2022. Julia is the Founder of Black Wine Professionals, a resource for wine industry employers and gatekeepers, professionals, and the food and beverage community. Their goal is to lift up the multifaceted Black professionals in the world of wine. Julia is a Contributing Editor for VinePair, the world’s largest online drinks platform and the Wine Columnist for Sweet July Magazine. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Wine Enthusiast, Thrillist, The Tasting Panel, Plate Magazine, Forbes.com, WineEnthusiast.com, The Washington Post, Seven Fifty Daily, Wine Searcher, the Financial Times, JancisRobinson.com, Glamour, Essence, and numerous print and digital publications.

David and Lois Cho
Panelist | CHO Wines

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CHO Wines specializes in high elevation Willamette Valley sparkling wine and Pinot Noir. Dave and Lois Cho were introduced to wine while playing music at local wineries in Southern California. Dave studied enology and viticulture at Oregon State University and worked for notable wineries in the Willamette Valley. Pursuing autonomous decisions from vineyard to bottle, in 2020, CHO Wines was born. CHO Wines is the first Korean-American owned and operated winery in Oregon, developing 77 acres on the west flank of Bald Peak in the Chehalem Mountains AVA at 650-1150 ft elevation. Their tasting room/winery is slated to open late 2023. Lois Cho left her decade-long career as a family nurse practitioner to run the operations. In her spare time, she serves on the Women in Wine Oregon Board and Our Legacy Harvested, founded the Oregon AAPI Food + Wine Fest, while raising three beautiful children.

Kathy Joseph
Panelist | Fiddlehead Cellars

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Founded in 1989, Fiddlehead Cellars encapsulates founder and winemaker Kathy Joseph’s desire to produce Pinot Noirs that capture the essence of their bi-state roots in Santa Barbara County and the Willamette Valley.

With over 35 years as “Head Fiddle,” Kathy helped define these regions, while bringing recognition to domestically produced wines. Her wines are crafted with a commitment to sustainable farming, nurtured from start to finish to pay tribute to their respective origins.

Fiddlehead Cellars’ textural and age-worthy Pinot Noirs naturally showcase an expression of place and deliciousness. Sources include Fiddlestix Vineyard, the iconic Santa Rita Hills site Kathy planted, farmed and owned for two decades, and Alloro Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains, farmed in conversation with owner David Nemarnik. The Lollapalooza selection highlights the dazzle of each vintage, and is selected with extreme care.

Claude Giraud
Claude Giraud
Panelist | Champagne Henri Giraud

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Contemporary of Henri IV and his descendants, the Hémart family settled permanently in Aÿ at the beginning of the 17th century. Its history is rooted in Aÿ, terroir of exception, and intimately mixed with the extraordinary epic of champagne from the 18th century. Claude Giraud, 12th generation of the Giraud-Hémart family, today presides over the destiny of this Champagne house. Since 1990 Claude has been focusing on making the first oak barrels from the Argonne forest since before the war. The famous oaks of this historic forest have for more than ten centuries raised the great wines of Champagne. “Argonne” is today the name of the house’s iconic cuvée. Each year, Sébastien Le Golvet, the Cellar Master of the house, mobilizes his merrandiers and coopers. Together, they select the most beautiful oaks of the Argonne forest, Sébastien then leads the toasting himself. This delicate work will be the last precious touch of the grande cuvées.

Clive Jones
Panelist | Nautilus Estate

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Nautilus Estate was established in 1985 by the Hill Smith family and remains in the same family ownership. Nautilus was part of the second wave of wineries to be established in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, a region that has become world famous after only 50 years of growing grapes. Clive Jones has been the winemaker since 1998 and led the development of the winery’s Pinot Noir program which included building a specialized Pinot Noir cellar in 2000 and completing harvests in Oregon and Burgundy. Over 20 years later we feel we have the right clones planted on the right sites, with enough vine age and accumulated learnings to make a real difference. Our focus is now on the ‘southern valleys’ sub region of Marlborough and our ‘Clay Hills’ vineyard. The future is looking exciting as we unlock the potential of Marlborough Pinot Noir.

Naomi Smith
Panelist | Champagne Laurent-Perrier

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Laurent-Perrier was established in 1812 and is now the largest family-run and female-led House in Champagne. Thanks to its long tradition of innovation, it can be credited with many techniques that have defined Champagne production over the centuries. The House is fiercely independent and makes only champagne, and is noted for its House style of freshness and elegance. Laurent-Perrier has been at the vanguard of sustainability efforts in Champagne, and has achieved the sustainability certifications of High Environmental Value (HVE) and Viticulture Durable en Champagne (VDC). The House is most renowned for its unique Cuvée Rosé, made exclusively from Pinot Noir.

Register For A University of Pinot Course

If you are a Full Weekend guest attending the 2023 IPNC, we encourage you to register for the course you are most interesting in.

Register for University of Pinot 2023
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