IPNC Facebook Fan Page   Follow IPNC on Twitter   Join the IPNC Mailing List
Seminars and Speakers

The 2016 University of Pinot Courses will be announced late spring.
Shown below is content from the 2015 University of Pinot, held this past July.

University of Pinot
Our guests consistently ask for a wide variety of informative seminars and tastings. We are pleased to offer eight different classes to choose from at the 2015 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. Browse through the options and then click the button below to enroll. Note: Course enrollment ended on June 15th. If you did not enroll in your course by June 15th, you will be randomly placed in a course where space allows.

Navigate To:
Viticulture 300: Does Vine Age Matter?
Pinot Noir 101: Sensory Evaluation
Study Abroad: The Nuances of Alto Adige
History 125: New Zealand Wine Stories
Gastronomy 210: Your Palate's Next Great Pleasure
Alchemy 225: Classic Tea Blends Deconstructed
Applied Art 315: Global Comparative Tasting with Georg Riedel
Communications 410: House of Cards

Since David Lett planted the first Pinot noir vine at The Eyrie Vineyards 50 years ago, Willamette Valley wines and vines have come a long way. Winemakers now craft their wines from vines of various ages; older vines are preferred by most, but young vines can contribute much to a finished blend. Winemakers Michael Etzel of Beaux Frères, Ben Casteel and Mimi Casteel of Bethel Heights Vineyard, Adam Campbell of Elk Cove Vineyards, and Luisa Ponzi of Ponzi Vineyards will present one barrel sample of Pinot noir made from young vines and a second sample made from older vines. Savor the unique chance to compare and contrast these samples before the final blends are made. Wine guru Allen Meadows will help you untangle the mysterious, and perhaps surprising, differences between the wines.
Allen Meadows, BURGHOUND.COM (Los Angeles, CA)

After 25 years as a finance executive, Allen Meadows retired to author a book on the subject of Burgundy, his long-time passion and obsession. The book project evolved into an extensive quarterly review, Burghound.com. The review was initially devoted exclusively to the coverage of the wines of Burgundy, but he later added extensive coverage of Pinot noir from the United States. The critically acclaimed publication has subscribers in more than 64 countries and in nearly all 50 states. Hailed as “the world’s foremost Burgundy expert” by respected wine author Matt Kramer, Meadows published his first book, The Pearl of the Côte – the Great Wines of Vosne-Romanée in 2010. In December 2014, Allen released The Burgundy Essentials audio series, a 10-hour program created specifically for wine lovers of all levels.
Michael Etzel, BEAUX FRERES (Newberg, OR)

The story begins in the late 1980’s on an old dairy/pig farm in Yamhill County. Michael Etzel and his brother-in-law started the project that would become known as Beaux Frères. The original building was in fact a pig barn that was converted into a winery in 1990. It still retains its “rustic charm.” The original idea was to simply grow grapes and continue to run the farm on Ribbon Ridge. Yet when Michael and his “Beaux Frères” saw the potential in the young vineyard, they solicited help to convert the barn into a working winery – including a crush pad, barrel room, small lab, and a make-shift tasting area. The property is tended following the principles of organic and biodynamic farming, though not certified as either. The wines are grown and vinified to naturally express the characteristics of the vintage and place.
Ben Casteel & Mimi Casteel, BETHEL HEIGHTS VINEYARD (Salem, OR)

Gnarly old vines, geologically complex hillside soils, and direct impact from Æolian winds - all conspire to create highly energized wines with firm backbones, depth of character, and distinctive personalities. Nine different bottlings of estate grown Pinot noir and Chardonnay each year barely begin to tell the tale…Bethel Heights Vineyard was established in 1977 in the Eola-Amity Hills by twin brothers Ted and Terry Casteel and their partners Pat Dudley and Marilyn Webb. Over thirty years they grew the estate vineyards to 100 acres, but the original 50 acres of own-rooted Pinot noir and Chardonnay vines they planted in the 70s continue to provide the backbone of Bethel Heights estate grown wines. In 2006, cousins Ben Casteel (son of Terry and Marilyn) and Mimi Casteel (daughter of Ted and Pat) took the helm at Bethel Heights. Tradition spiced with revolution is proving to be a recipe for ever-more-interesting wines.
Adam Campbell, ELK COVE VINEYARDS (Gaston, OR)

Owner and winemaker Adam Campbell is the son of Elk Cove founders Pat and Joe Campbell and grew up on the property. Like all the Campbell kids, he spent his summers in the vineyard and on the bottling line, but Adam developed a special connection to the vineyards. In 1995, he joined forces with his folks to make Elk Cove’s wines, and in 1999, he became head winemaker. Living his whole life among the vines, Adam has a tremendous respect for the land on which the grapes were grown.
Luisa Ponzi, PONZI VINEYARDS (Sherwood, OR)

Thriving for more than two decades under second-generation ownership and operation, Ponzi Vineyards maintains an unwavering commitment to producing cool-climate wines of distinction. Founded in 1970, the pioneering winery continues to set the standard for New World Pinot noir. One of America’s first women to be formally educated in Burgundy, winemaker Luisa Ponzi carefully blends formal training with her lifelong experience working alongside her father and winery founder, Dick Ponzi, to craft wines of complexity and depth. Ponzi Vineyards’ state-of-the-art winemaking facility and 130 acres of vineyards are certified sustainable, recognizing the winery’s commitment to environmental responsibility in the vineyard and in the cellar.

Join acclaimed New York sommeliers Thomas Pastuszak of The NoMad and Rajeev Vaidya of DANIEL for an informal and informative “tasting group.” Taste an array of carefully selected wines blind, and participate in a guided discussion with these two engaging wine personalities.
Thomas Pastuszak, THE NOMAD (New York, NY)

Born and bred in New York, Thomas studied neurobiology and classical piano at Cornell University and all the while worked in restaurants to pay off his student loans. In January 2011, Thomas diverted from his path toward a medical career and took on the role of wine director at chef Tom Colicchio’s restaurant Colicchio & Sons in New York City. He would soon thereafter join the team behind the world-renowned Eleven Madison Park to create The NoMad in Spring 2012. He opened The NoMad as its wine director and helped it achieve its three-star New York Times rating within a few months of its opening. Thomas was chosen as one of the ‘Best New Sommeliers of 2012’ by Wine & Spirits Magazine, recognized as one of Forbes’ ‘30 Under 30’ in 2013, and was most recently named Food & Wine’s Sommeliers of the Year’ of 2015.

Rajeev Vaidya, DANIEL (New York, NY)

Raj Vaidya joined DANIEL in 2009 with an impressive history of experience in fine dining restaurants that boast some of this country’s most celebrated wine lists and wine service. His stellar resume includes positions at restaurants such as New York’s Cru and Per Se, as well as Gary Danko in San Francisco and Seeger’s in Atlanta. In addition, Raj has earned the wine world’s most respected diplomas including the Certificate Course of The Sommelier Society of America (2004), the WSET Advanced (2004), and Diploma Program (2008). Raj also worked in California with Sinskey Vineyards, a biodynamic estate in Napa. Raj is a graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy. He was born in New Jersey, but grew up in Bombay.

Nestled the Dolomite Alps between Switzerland and Austria, Italy’s Alto Adige is one of the world’s most stunningly beautiful wine regions. Experience the region through the eyes of the winemakers, and learn that when planted in just the right locations, Pinot noir can produce wine that is every bit as gorgeous as the place where it is grown. Moderated by Ray Isle of the Food & Wine.
Ray Isle, FOOD & WINE (New York, NY)

Ray Isle is executive wine editor at Food & Wine, an IACP Award winner and James Beard award nominee, and the man behind Food & Wine's "Wine Talk" wine column and "Tasting Room" blog. Ray's articles have appeared in a wide range of national publications and he is a regular guest on renowned media programs such as Today, The Early Show, CNBC's On the Money, NPR's All Things Considered, and American Public Media's The Splendid Table. Ray's career epiphany came to him during the 1997 Pinot noir harvest in Saratoga, California. He left academia for the wine business and never looked back!

Ines Giovanett & Ivan Giovanett, CASTELFEDER (Egna, Alto Adige)

After his double-degree in oenology and wine growing in 2005 and several experiences in wineries outside of Italy, Ivan joined Castelfeder to focus on the production of the wines. Within a couple of years, with his talent and determination as well as the experience of Günther and Alfons, Ivan was able to bring a fresh and new vision to the winery. Ines, the Giovanett’s youngest daughter, joined the winery in 2006 after several university experiences. Beginning her career in winery administration, Ines soon discovered her passion and aplomb for sales, and worked with her dad to extend the Castelfeder brand initially in Germany and Austria. Ines examines export market possibilities, and leads the export sales and marketing efforts for Castelfeder wines.
Gerhard Kofler, GIRLAN (Cornaiano, Alto Adige)

Winemaker Gerhard Kofler took over the reins of the Cantina Girlan 10 years ago. He keeps in close personal contact with the winegrowers and provides his professional advice during the growing season. This beneficial exchange of expertise sets the foundations for producing highest quality wines. A new grape-receiving station, a more functional pressing room and a new fermentation cellar were completed just before the beginning of the 2010 harvest. Since 2010, grapes have been processed using a careful and gentle method, which uses gravity instead of mechanical means to move them through the process.
Alexander Gottardi, WIENGUT GOTTARDI (Mazzon, Alto Adige)

The Winery Gottardi is situated in Mazzon, a small village and part of Egna in the southern part of Alto Adige. It was bought in 1986 by the Gottardi family, who live in Austria, but have roots some generations ago in Trentino. In 1995, it was completed by building a new, modern winery. The Gottardi family owns nine hectares of vineyards, which are planted exclusively with Pinot noir in the “Guyot” system. In normal years, there is only one wine in the portfolio, called Südtiroler Blauburgunder Mazzon DOC. In very selective years there is also a very small quantity of a Riserva, which is distributed exclusively by some selected distributors in Italy and Austria. Owner Alexander Gottardi is responsible for the winery and vinification.
Martin Foradori Hofstätter, J. HOFSTATTER (Tramin, Alto Adige)

Since 1970, Martin has lived in the small, very accessible South Tyrolean village of Tramin. 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. Since 2014, Martin Foradori Hofstätter is also dedicated to the Saar/Mosel region of Germany. He has realized his dream of producing world-class Riesling as co-owner of the historic Dr. Fischer Wine Estate.

Movie star turned wine grower Sam Neill strives to understand the paths people take to become winemakers and how their personal histories are reflected in their wines. Consider for yourself how influences translate in the glass as you hear from a lively group of New Zealand winemakers and sample the wines they have chosen to share with you.
Sam Neill, TWO PADDOCKS (Alexandra, Central Otago)

Born in Northern Ireland to army parents, his family returned to the South Island of New Zealand in 1954. Sam Neill has appeared in films around the world, achieving commercial and critical success with Jurassic Park and The Piano. Buoyed by the success of his friend Rolf Mills at Rippon, Sam planted a small vineyard, First Paddock, in Gibbston, Central Otago. Good friend and director, Roger Donaldson, had purchased the block of land over the fence and, although they eventually went in different directions, literally between them they had Two Paddocks. After the first few vintages of Two Paddocks, Sam explored other sub-regions of Central Otago. He bought and planted The Last Chance and The Red Bank vineyards in 1999 and added The Fusilier in 2014. The Two Paddocks 'empire' now consists of 19 hectares planted in the Gibbston, Bannockburn, and Alexandra sub-regions of Central Otago.
Ray Walsh, CAPITELLO (Marlborough)

Wine wasn't on Ray's mind as a young man trudging through the vineyards surrounding his home in Auckland, New Zealand, blasting black powder at crop-stealing birds, sending them scattering and squawking into foggy morning skies. His love of adventure took him to Europe, where he worked his way through the vineyards, learning as he went and as opportunities came along. Ray continued his study of enology back home in New Zealand, and before long, Ray was creating wine for Villa Maria and then Coopers Creek. In 1993, Ray was recruited as cellar master by King Estate, and in 1999, he was named winemaker. Ray started his own craft artisan brand, Capitello Wines, in 2003.
Larry McKenna, ESCARPMENT (Martinborough)

Larry McKenna might easily be described as the Prince of Martinborough Pinot. Larry was born and bred in Adelaide, South Australia, graduated from Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1976, and has nearly three decades of winemaking experience under his belt. After traveling for a stint through Europe sampling the wine culture, he 'cut his teeth' at Delegat's Wine Estate in Auckland, New Zealand. In 1986, Larry left Auckland to take up the position of CEO/winemaker at Martinborough Vineyard in the Wairarapa region. From 1986 to 1999, he grew this company from 20 to 160 tons and firmly put Martinborough Vineyard, and himself, on the world map as one of the pre-eminent New World Pinot noir winegrowers. Since 1999, Larry has been director and winemaker for Escarpment Vineyard.
Erica Crawford, LOVEBLOCK (Central Otago)

Erica, a graduate of the University of Cape Town, started life as an aspirational medical scientist and then progressed to the pharmaceutical industry. Erica made New Zealand home after marrying winemaker Kim Crawford. For nine years, Erica and Kim forged a brand and then sold their company. Loveblock heralds their return to the industry. Erica is an active member of the Global Women New Zealand Advisory Board, an organization which works to expand the influence of women and helps to shape and mentor emerging leaders. She holds a number of directorships, both in the wine industry and in other sectors.

Extra virgin olive oil is the ideal next great love for the wine aficionado: it is climate-specific and nurtured from the ground, made from a wide variety of cultivars from around the world, beautifully aromatic and flavorful, and can elevate cuisine in an almost ethereal manner. Master miller Paul Durant leads this delicious and enlightening introduction to the olive growing and milling processes. Be a part of this taste revolution, and discover techniques to discern sensorial and qualitative differences among oils.

Master miller Paul Durant has a vision to propel extra virgin olive oil to its rightful place in the North American food scene, and he is the man to do it given his family's farming history. In 1973, back when people said fine wine couldn't be grown in Oregon, the family pioneered the cultivation of Pinot noir grapes in the Willamette Valley. The Durants planted their first olive trees in 2005, and in 2008, founded the Oregon Olive Mill. Today, the property is home to the first estate olioteca in the Pacific Northwest, complete with 13,000 olive trees planted on 17 acres, Oregon’s only certified modern milling operation with a state-of-the-art Italian mill, onsite storage, and bottling facility.

Wine and tea both require blending to meet target characteristics, with flavor, aroma, and color of the individual components key to the final product. Join Tony Tellin, master blender at Smith Teamaker, for a fascinating examination of tea blends. Explore timeless recipes of the tea industry by tasting final products as well as their individual components to appreciate what each brings to the blending equation. Refresh your palate with a good cup of tea and a study of this art.
Anthony Tellin, SMITH TEAMAKER, (Portland, OR)

Anthony Tellin has spent the past 17 years making tea. Finding a career in the industry was the last thing he was looking for, but one that serendipitously found him. Tellin started at Tazo Tea Company the day after he moved to Portland and he has been a tea advocate ever since. Tellin was recruited by Tazo’s Technical Services Department, helping to create the structure and specifications that allowed Tazo to meet continued growth. In this role he gained an understanding of flavor, aroma and how the ingredients interact to create finished products while meeting market and regulatory requirements. Tellin started working closely with Tazo founder, Steven Smith, helping with the buying and formulating of all Tazo products. Today, Tellin is back working with his previous mentor and making some of the best tea in the world. He is a founding member of Smith Teamaker – a blender and packer of super-premium full leaf teas, herbal tinctures, and bottled concoctions in Portland, Oregon.

Wine enthusiasts will tell you the nose, body, and structure of wines evolve differently depending on the glassware used. In this tutored tasting with Georg Riedel, tenth generation glassmaker, experiment with a selection of wines and glasses to uncover how glassware impacts your ability to evaluate and appreciate Pinot noir. Seminar attendees will be able to take their glassware home.
Georg Riedel, RIEDEL CRYSTAL (Kufstein, Austria)

Georg Riedel has advocated his approach to wine glasses on a global scale; function first, followed by beauty, executed with unparalleled perfection. He explains, "We have developed tastings around the world; we educate approximately 40,000 people each year using wines from every region, where we demonstrate how the right glass enhances the experience of wine drinking.” His decades of experience in wine tasting and keen understanding of design have taught him how best to bring out the expression of a wine’s various flavor components for maximum enjoyment. In his philosophy and quest, Riedel's love and passion for wine have made him an expert in the subject, respected by top winemakers and sommeliers around the world.

When you talk about wine, do you sometimes wonder whether others really perceive what you do? Wine tasting is highly subjective, and the mind is prone to the power of suggestion. Test your communication skills in this light-hearted game led by sensory scientist Dr. Jordi Ballester and winemaker Matt Berson, in which you attempt to identify wines from anonymous descriptions written by others in the class.

Jordi Ballester, UNIVERSITE DE BOURGOGNE (Dijon, France)

Dr. Jordi Ballester is a researcher in sensory science at the Université de Bourgogne, Dijon. Born in València, Spain, he studied food science at the Universitat Politècnica de València. In 2000, he moved to Burgundy where he started a PhD focused on the aroma of Chardonnay, which he achieved in 2004. After one year teaching sensory analysis in the Université de Bourgogne, he spent one year doing post-doctorate work at the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute in Ontario, Canada studying ice-wine aroma. In 2006, he came back to Burgundy where he teaches sensory science and wine tasting for oenology students in the Institut Universitaire de la Vigne et du Vin in Dijon. In addition to teaching, Dr. Ballester is a researcher at the Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l’Alimentation. Most of his research centers on cognitive aspects of wine description and categorization.

Matt Berson, LOVE & SQUALOR (McMinnville, OR)

Matt Berson of Love & Squalor began his adventures in winemaking in 2003 when he was rescued from an illustrious restaurant career by a band of marauding Oregon vintners. He was first taught the rudiments and joys of winemaking by Patty Green of Patricia Green Cellars. Additionally, he has scurried in the cellars of Jimi Brooks & Chris Williams (Brooks), Jay Somers (J. Christopher), Larry McKenna (Escarpment, NZ), and Erni Loosen (Dr. Loosen). Matt launched the label in 2006 while he served as assistant winemaker for Tad Seestedt at Ransom Wines. Love & Squalor focuses on Pinot noir and Riesling sourced from northern Willamette Valley vineyards. These wines are un-manipulated and honest. Matt currently practices his craft in a shared winery in McMinnville. He lives in Portland in an old house filled with curly girls, including his wife and partner in crime, Angie Reat.