8/26/2010 - St Helena, CA--The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) non-profit trade association announces today that thirty top wine educators from the US and Canada have successfully completed its signature educate-the-educator course known as the Napa Valley Wine Educators Academy (WEA). The four-day intensive that began on Sunday evening August 22 concluded August 26, and not only showcased the renowned wine region and its wines, but provided tools for these wine educators to teach students in a variety of settings--from distributor sales trainings and elective college wine courses to professional studies wine and culinary educators--to tell the story and effectively teach students about the Napa Valley.
Along the way these educators received one-on-one experiences in the vineyard and winery with the NVV's self-titled "Down and Dirty."
"Many who teach about and influence wine lovers have never had the chance to be in a working vineyard or winery and this facet of the program gave them a unique hands-on experience which is priceless to the enhancement of their teaching skills. Additionally they learned right from the winemakers what inspires them to make wine, care for the land and more. We are thrilled to offer these behind-the-scenes opportunities to these key educators so that they can more fully tell the story of the region and its wines to their students. We continue to be honored with the program's success and the great partnership we have created with The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone on WEA," said Linda Reiff, executive director of the Napa Valley Vintners.
The framework of the program was crafted by renowned wine writer and educator Karen MacNeil, author of the Wine Bible and chairman of the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St Helena. Student educators were guided through tastings of not only Cabernet Sauvignon, but aromatic white wines, Chardonnay and lighter-bodied red wines as well to paint the full picture of Napa Valley's wines.
Each attendee departed with a "Napa Valley Rocks" interactive toolkit. "Napa Valley Rocks" includes a one-of-a-kind, multi-media educational presentation the NVV has developed as the go-to resource on Napa Valley.
"Our vintners have been very focused on appellation education as all research, and everything we see out in the country, tells us that wine lovers of all ages and all backgrounds are keenly interested in knowing more about how wine is made. We also know they want the information demystified, and that's why this outreach to wine educators is so important," said Russ Weis of Silverado Vineyards, and chair of the NVV's Marketing and Promotions Committee.
The attendees were also able to participate as the only outside guests at the NVV's annual Harvest Kick-Off Dinner on August 24, and found themselves surrounded by a bounty of library wines to be poured nowhere else in such abundance, as older vintages was the theme of this year's dinner wines.
As part of the partnership with The CIA, the attendees will receive continuing education credits that help fulfill some of the advance wine certificate requirements.
More than 80 candidates applied for the program with 30 accepted. The course fees were $395 per person which covered all conference fees, meals and the "Napa Valley Rocks" kit. There were 8 scholarships from NVV member wineries to cover the conference fees. The scholarships were awarded based on the submission of unique, innovative and well-developed teaching methods that could be shared with other attendees to enhance the overall program and content.
Scholarships Providers and 2010 recipients
• Lucia Miltenberger of the International Culinary Institute at Art Institute of Colorado, sponsored by Cakebread Cellars
• Sarah Malik of Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, NC, sponsored by Clos Pegase
• James King of the Texas Wine School, sponsored by Continuum
• Carolyn Dougharty of Whole Foods in San Diego, CA, sponsored by Franciscan Estate
• Edward Korry of Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI, sponsored by Napa Cellars
• Alexis Kahn of the French Culinary Institute in New York City, sponsored by Peju Winery
• Jaime Malloy of Winebow in New Jersey, sponsored by Pine Ridge Vineyards
• Marc Demarchena of Johnson and Wales University in Covington, RI, sponsored by Silverado Vineyards
About The CIA
The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in the Napa Valley (CIA) is a private, not-for-profit college dedicated to providing the world's best professional culinary and wine education. Excellence, leadership, professionalism, ethics, and respect for diversity are the core values that guide our efforts. We teach our students the general knowledge and specific skills necessary to live successful lives and to grow into positions of influence and leadership in their chosen profession.
About the NVV
The Napa Valley Vintners is the non-profit trade association responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley appellation as the premier winegrowing region. From seven founding members in 1944, today the association represents nearly 400 Napa Valley wineries and collectively is a leader in the world-wide wine industry.
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