Aug 30

#winestudio Session 36: Undiscovered Italy - Drinking & Eating Our Way through Marche and Umbria!

It's our triumphant return to Marche with Jonathan Zeiger of ZRG Imports and Wines of Marche! But this time we've added another somewhat undiscovered region - Umbria! Join us in August as we discuss the wines from the lesser known Italian regions of Marche and Umbria.

Our Undiscovered Italy Marche and Umbria program will showcase both regions, highlighting wine and foods and the businesses within.

Much thanks to our sponsor: Suzi Perez, CEO & Founder, 

Vinmaps LLC @vinmapsforyou


Tuesdays 6:00pm – 7:00pm PST online Twitter hashtag #WineStudio

Week 1: August 2 - Welcome to Marche and Umbria

Just east of well-known Tuscany lies the centrally located Marche and Umbria regions which have somehow remained fairly unsung.  Filled with olive groves, rolling, sun-ripened wheat fields, wildflowers dabbled with cypress trees and of course vineyards, the essentially rural regions are dotted with hill towns, beacons of cool stone surrounded by green pastures and even greener woods.

Tonight we’ll discuss what makes Marche and Umbria so incredibly special:  rustic regions, creative and individual.

Special 15% off discount available through Sabatino Tartufi @sabatinotruffle -  use code #winestudio through the month of August!


Week 2: August 9 -  We return to Marche with Jonathan Zeiger and guest appearance by Timothy Hanni MW

Professor Hanni talks about his new book “Why You Like the Wines You Like”
--why we like what we like and drink what we drink. What’s your VinoType@timhanni

--We'll be giving away a few coveted copies of his book!

Jonathan Zeiger is back with his new project: Wines of Marche@WinesofMarche

Week 3: August 16 - Jonathan introduces us to Colli Ripani

What began as a partnership between a handful of farmers in 1969 has grown into a cooperative of over 330 small, local growers. One thing that Colli Ripani did not lose with its growth was its quality. Each of the partnered vineyards is between 2-4 hectares, and each of the growers knows their vines inside and out. It’s this attention to quality that has made the Cantina dei Colli Ripani a leader in its area, both as a producer and as an employer.


Colli Ripani 2014 Trebbiano IGT
Colli Ripani 2014 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC
Colli Ripani 2014 Rosso Piceno DOC

Week 4: August 23 -  Giselle Stafford, Gusto Wine Tours | Angelo Fongoli, winemaker Fongoli Winery | Amy Ezrin, Senior VP Massanois Imports



Umbria – a day in the life. Thrilled to be joined by Giselle Stafford, co owner with husband Mark of Gusto Wine Tours.  “Mark and I dreamt up Gusto Wine Tours as a means to stay in our beloved Umbria.  Soon we realised that it wasn’t just a means to an end - but a real fun, pleasurable and meaningful business.” 

We'll be tasting winemaker Angelo Fongoli's Sagrantino @CFongoli while discussing his winery and the Montefalco region and joined by importer Amy Erin @lavinaia discussing that special relationship between winery and importer.


Fongoli 2010 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG

6pm PST - Jonathan Zeiger returns so we can discuss and taste Rio Maggio and Centanni!


Rio Maggio 2012 Falerio Pecorino DOC
Rio Maggio 2011 Rosso Piceno DOC
Centanni 2013 Rosso Piceno DOC

Week 5: August 30 -  Order of Malta Wines with Clay Fritz and Giulia Luccioli

Thanks to Clay Fritz, owner and winemaker of Fritz Winery in Dry Creek Valley, we’ll be tasting wines only imported to San Diego. The Order of Malta - The Knights of the White Cross is an ancient religious order that continues to provide global relief efforts to areas affected by natural disasters. Their funding is provided by their winemaking, some of which is imported by Order of Malta member Clay. @FritzWinery

Giulia is the Senior Managing Director of a group of leading wine estates in Italy. She started off her career with an advanced degree in Business & Communications from the University in Milan and attended Stanford University’s Specialization Course in Strategic Marketing.

After a career in International Marketing in the United States, Giulia returned to the beautiful region of Umbria, Italy where she now resides. The small, family owned vineyards, most seem unchanged by time, are still producing those traditional flavors that make Umbria so special. 

Giulia heads the sales department at Sagrivit, one of the largest Agricultural Companies in Italy comprising 14 Producers. It includes farms that cultivate grains, animal feed, tobacco and livestock and four estates specialize in viticulture: Castello di Magione (DOC Colli del Trasimeno in Umbria), Commenda Meniconi Bracceschi (DOC Torgiano zone Umbria), Rocca Bernarda (DOC Colli Orinetali Friuli) and Villa Giustiniani (DOCG Colli Asolani Veneto). 

Colli Trasimeno DOC and Torgiano DOC production zones

Castello di Magione is a magnificent medieval castle built as a hospital for pilgrims travelling to Rome in XII century. Wine production here began in the Middle Ages, and it remained an important influence in the history of viniculture worldwide. The vineyards are located on the hills circulating the Lake Trasimeno in Umbria, where abundant sunshine and perfect exposure ensure delicious grapes.  Castello di Magione has contributed greatly to the awareness of and appreciation for its native grapes, particularly the Grechetto, Trebbiano and Sangiovese.


Castello di Magione - 900 years of tradition in a glass!

Castello di Magione 2013 Monterone Grechetto Colli del Trasimeno DOC
Castello di Magione 2014 Sangiovese Umbria
Castello di Magione 2008 Morcinaia Vendemmia

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Sep 27

#WineStudio Session 37: Achaval-Ferrer

Speaking of icons...

In September we turn our sights south to Argentina, one of the top five producing wine countries in the world. And while winemaking in the region is by no means new (modern wine making was recorded as early as the 1500s) it’s only been in the past twenty-five years that winemaking in the region has expanded and begun to include exports.

Our host winery for the month is Achaval-Ferrer, this is a winery we know well. We’ve met with the founders, winemakers and sales reps for this amazing winery over the years and each time it's a pleasure. Achaval-Ferrer began its enterprise in 1995, just when Argentina began to focus on exports to other countries. Since that time the winery has been on the forefront to guiding the effort of serious site and viticulture selection combined with high-end winemaking. For over 20 years Achaval-Ferrer has helped to lead the way in developing Argentina as one of the top wine producing countries. 

Join us in September as we explore the wonderful region of Argentina with Achaval-Ferrer! Register below.

#WineStudio Dates September: 6, 13, 20, 27

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Oct 25

#WineStudio 38: Two Hands Wines

For the last twenty-five years seminal issues relating to the sale of wine have been sorted via the Australia wine industry. Issues such as: the potential relevance of the 100 point scoring system, establishing delineation of new wine regions, exporting large quantities of wine and the struggle of dealing with the rise and fall of world wine demand (among many other core issues) have all been well sussed via the Australian wine trade.

And through all of this, Two Hands Wines was born, grew and is now flourishing. Founded in 1999, Two Hands Wines has operated as the modern Australian wine market was established, experience explosive growth, crashed and has now begun to grow again. Dedicated to expertly crafted wines form a number of appellations, Two Hands winery is a truly influential winery that we’ve come to love over the years.

Join us in October as we explore the recent history of the Australian wine trade hosted by Two Hands Wines. Register below.

#WineStudio Dates October: 4, 11, 18, 25

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#winestudio Session 35: Sonoma's Rosé Revolution
Jun 28

#winestudio Session 35: Sonoma's Rosé Revolution

Tuesdays 6:00pm – 7:00pm PST online Twitter hashtag #WineStudio

Summer is coming and it’s Rosé season in Sonoma. It’s often the least expensive wine in the region and the first to sell out. We’re talking Rosé of course! And Sonoma knows what it’s doing when it comes to this quaffable style of wine.

#winestudio is a free online event.
Register now at the bottom of this page.

Right now our wine market is overflowing with brilliant rosés and we're not even in full rosé season yet! Did you know that some wineries are so dedicated to the rosé lifestyle that they intentionally produce a rosé because they like it not because they want to make red wine seem more intense. Rosé season has become any season.

Rosé fever has reached such a pitch that some retailers are even looking to sell rosé before the wines are in bottles. We’ll discuss this phenomenon and many more subjects including: 

How long do rosés last?

What do all these pinkish hues mean?

The Provence Wine Council organized a rosé color scale of acceptable colors, such as red currant, peach, grapefruit, melon, mango, and tangerine.

Are all rosé producers trying to emulate the "Provençal lifestyle"?

Is there a sliding scale? How much is too much?

Intentional Rosés
Rosés are what they are. Or are they? 

Should there be specific rosé criteria? 

We're joined by special guests Thea Dwelle @Luscious_Lushes and Bob Barron  @TheBobBarron film maker #TasteofRosé.

Week 1: 7 June - @passaggio Cindy Cosco Passaggio Wines
2015 Rosé Merlot Sonoma

Week 2: 14 June - @ellipsiswines Devika Maskey Ellipsis Wine Company
2015 Rosé of Pinot Meunier Sonoma County

Week 3: 21 June - @Pedroncelli Julie Pedroncelli Pedroncelli Winery
2015 Dry Rosé of Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley

Week 4: 28 June - @aandcwines Daniel Hill Angels & Cowboys
2015 Rosé Sonoma County (Grenache Rouge, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Grenache Blanc)

Join us for the Session 35 of #winestudio: Sonoma’s Rosé Revolution! This session includes four weeks of discussion about Rosé in Sonoma on the #winestudio platform and gives you the opportunity to network with wine lovers around the world. This is a free online educational course. Complete the registration to gain access and join us for Sonoma’s Rosé Revolution.

*Would you like to receive a #winestudio scholarship? Some participants in #winestudio receive an education scholarship of wine from our sponsors to drive the conversation on #winestudio. Scholarship participants must meet the following qualifications:

1) Participated in a previous session of #winestudio.
2) Have a Facebook account and subscribe to our #winestudio Facebook group.
3) Have an active Twitter account and follow the two #winestudio Twitter accounts @Protocolwine & @TrueWineCulture.
4) Be active in some form in the digital wine community (social media, blogger, etc.)
5) Be willing to participate in all sessions, taste and comment on wines and be generally active in social media during the time of our session. If you'd like to apply for a wine scholarship please check the scholarship box.

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#WineStudio Online Session 34 – Albariño from Rias Baixas
May 31

#WineStudio Online Session 34 – Albariño from Rias Baixas




Win, Place or Show? -How Fine Wine is Sold in America
May 31

Win, Place or Show? -How Fine Wine is Sold in America

Win, Place or Show?
How Fine Wine is Sold in America

Americans are turning toward wine as their alcoholic beverage of choice in record numbers. And yet beer is still at the top of the list when it comes to what Americans love to drink. In some long-term studies on alcohol consumption wine even falls into the third position behind spirits.

It’s a strange phenomena for wine, strong demand with an expanding marketplace and yet as an industry wine can’t seem to climb out of the show position. At PROTOCOL we can’t help but ask ourselves why?

For this session of the #wine studio Warm-Up we explore the growing interest in wine among Americans by examining the various ways wine is sold in the marketplace. We’ll explore how wine finds its way into the gullets of the consumer and what role these sales channels play in the success (or failure) of wine becoming the most popular beverage in America.

Session One: Tuesday, April 5, 5:20-6:00pm PST
The Mystique of Boutique
Evolution of the Neighborhood Wine Shop

A traditional small scale (boutique) wine shops is the most enduring and romanticized business model for the retailing of wine. But various market pressures are placing the survival of this business model in peril.

Fine wine producers seek smaller scale “boutique” distribution channels to maintain the quality of their brand. But we live in an economic environment where these small scale businesses are being squeezed by large retailers that can more efficiently bring their wine to market.

When it comes to retailing, wineries find themselves facing two hard choices: Exploit high volume sales channels that create the risk of damaging their brand vs. mining an ever shrinking boutique market where the risk is wine never finding good placement in the market.

Join us as we look at the status of the neighborhood wine shop in the world of wine retail. Is there room for this traditional model to survive in our new economy? Or will small wine shops soon be a fond memory replaced bymore modern and progressive models.

We’ll continue to explore different wine retail strategies for the next several weeks on #wine studio Warm-Up:

Session Two: Tuesday, April 12, 5:20-6:00pm PST
Straight to the Source
Winery Tasting Rooms

Session Three: Tuesday, April 19, 5:20-6:00pm PST
A Service Solution
Fine Dining Restaurants (Sommeliers)

Session Four: Tuesday, April 26, 5:20-6:00pm PST
On-Line Time
Selling Wine On-Line

Session Five: Tuesday, May 3, 5:20-6:00pm PST
Internet Sales (Wine Clubs, Flash Sites and Other Internet Models)
Mid-Sized Wine Shops
Courting the Big Leagues

Session Six: Tuesday, May 10, 5:20-6:00pm PST
Big Box Retailers
Selling Wine by the Truckload

Session Seven: Tuesday, May 17, 5:20-6:00pm PST
Dynamic Models (Wine Bars / Restaurants / Mixed Licenses / Other)
The Evolving Strategies for Selling Wine

Session Eight: Tuesday, May 24, 5:20-6:00pm PST
Listen for the Future
What is the Future of Selling Wine in the US?

Session Nine: Tuesday, May 31, 5:20-6:00pm PST
Bringing it All Together
What We’ve Discovered about Selling Wine in America