Presented by the Lake County Winegrape Commission
Hosted by Wine Enthusiast Contributing Editor, Jim Gordon
“Volcanic wines” is an emerging category of wines that is as fascinating as it is rare, and yet little understood. How do volcanic soils influence the growth and production of various wines? What challenges do volcanics soils present? What qualities do they impart to wines like Cabernet Sauvignon? Join a winemaker, winegrower, and master sommelier as they explore volcanic wine regions around the world, and most notably the Lake County wine region on California’s North Coast.
Why You Should Attend: Attend this webinar to get a better understanding of the influence of volcanic soils on winegrowing and winemaking. This is a new area that people are just beginning to explore as its own category, and much can be learned.
What You Will Learn: With so little known or written about volcanic wines, this is an opportunity to get a deeper understanding of an emerging wine category.
Original Webinar Date/Time: Tuesday, November 17, 2020 @ 3 PM EST
Duration: 30 Minute panel followed by a 15 min Q&A session
Contributing Editor (reviews wines from California), Wine Enthusiast
Having Joined Wine Enthusiast in 2014, Jim Gordon reviews wines from California. Gordon was the editor of Wines & Vines for 12 years and is the former executive director of the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers in Napa Valley. He was editor in chief for two books, James Beard Award-finalist Opus Vino, and 1000 Great Everyday Wines. He is the former managing editor of Wine Spectator and former editor in chief of Wine Country Living magazine, for whom he helped create Wine Country Living TV with KNTV in San Francisco. He lives in Napa Valley where he writes, cooks, gardens and is an amateur winemaker.
Master Sommelier John Szabo was the first Canadian to add the “MS” after his name in 2004, and he holds the WSET Diploma with honours. He’s seen the hospitality business from all sides including cooking and washing dishes, serving and sommellerie, importing, teaching, writing, photographing, speaking, emceeing, consulting and judging wine internationally. He was listed as “Canada’s best-known sommelier” in Meininger’s Wine Business International.
Today, John is a partner and principal critic for WineAlign.com, Canada’s largest wine publication, and buyer for the WineAlign Exchange wine club, as well as columnist at Modalina and MarQuee magazines.
His latest book, Volcanic Wines: Salt, Grit and Power, earned critical acclaim including the André Simon award for best drinks book. On the consulting side, John builds wine programs across Canada, and is currently sourcing wines for Accor/Fairmont/Sofitel Hotels in Québec. He speaks regularly in Canada and internationally and (used to) spend many weeks each year traveling wine country worldwide to keep on top of this fascinating industry.
Peter is a one of three founders of Obsidian Wine Co., a partner and Board President of Kádár Hungary cooperage, and the General Manager of Poseidon Vineyard in Napa Carneros and Obsidian Ridge Vineyard in the Red Hills of Lake County. He has also served as the Board Chair of the Lake County Winegrape Commission as well as the Chair for The Elevation of Wine from 2009 to 2015.
Peter first started working summers in the family vineyards in Napa. After graduating from Cornell University, fate and history brought him back to Hungary, his parents’ homeland, just as the Iron Curtain fell in 1990. He spent the next four years working on wine industry privatization, starting a négociant business, helping build a winery on the north shore of Lake Balaton, and resuscitating the Kádár Hungary cooperage. He returned to California in 1994 and since then has been planting and managing vineyards, representing Kádár Hungary to over 150 winery customers in the Western US, and collaborating on vinifying Poseidon and Obsidian Ridge wines.
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Joy Merrilees is the Director of Winemaking and Production for Shannon Ridge Family of Wines, and oversees two facilities: Shannon Wine Company and the newly acquired Steele Wines Facility.
Joy has been making wine in Lake County, California and abroad since 2002. Her drive to produce top quality wines and excitement for discovery are evident in every bottle.
Just out of college she worked for a vineyard management company in New Zealand and spent her first harvest there in 2002. Afterward, she returned to her home town in Lake County, where she then spent 10 years honing her skills under Jed Steele, an iconic Californian winemaker. She also continued working harvests with the likes of J. Christopher in Willamette Valley, Valli Vineyards and Isabel Winery in New Zealand, and Margaret River Vintners in Western Australia.
To enhance her experience, Joy is continually educating herself at UC Davis and Sonoma State University. Her passion continues at home where she and her husband Bruce, a vineyard manager, have their own vineyards on their property in Lake County.
A Note From Our Sponsor: Established in 1991, the Lake County Winegrape Commission (LCWC) has been instrumental in developing the Lake County region’s unwavering commitment to farming high-quality winegrapes. Lake County’s landscape is dominated by Mt. Konocti and other mountains in the Clear Lake Volcanic Field. Volcanic eruptions in the region as late as 11,000 years have created some of the youngest volcanic soils in California.
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Last Updated: May 8, 2023