The 2022 conference will take place September 29 – October 1 at Lake Garda in Lombardy in northern Italy. Please take a few minutes to read our new Safety Procedures with COVID-19.
2022 Wine Media Conference Agenda
All sessions will take place at Acquaviva Hotel in the Main Meeting Room unless otherwise indicated.
Tuesday – Wednesday, September 27 – 28
Pre-Conference Excursions: In 2022, we will be offering a number of optional pre-conference excursions. There will be a small additional registration cost and attendees are responsible for their own hotel but winery visits, tastings, and most meals are included.
- Consorzio Tutela Valcalepio & Consorzio Tutela Moscato di Scanzo (September 27)
- Consorzio Tutela Lugana DOC (September 28)
- Consorzio Valtènesi (September 28)
Thursday, September 29
Breakfast on Your Own
1:30 – 8:00 PM Registration
2:00 – 3:00 PM Consorzio del Sannio DOP Discovery Session: Experience southern Italy with Consorzio del Sannio DOP. Join them for an interesting look and taste of the wine region with with Laura Donadoni
3:00 – 3:30 PM Break
3:30 – 4:30 PM Le Donne del Vino: women wine stories of creativity. Blind Tasting Discovery Session with sponsor Ascovilo and moderator Laura Donadoni. Our panelists are Donatella Cinelli Colombini, President of Le Donne Del Vino (via video), Cristina Scarpellini of Tenuta Scerscé, President of Fondazione ProVinea, and Francesca Pagnoncelli Folcieri of Cantina Pagnoncelli Folcieri, President of Consorzio del Moscato di Scanzo.
4:30 – 5:00 PM Break
5:00- 6:00 PM Vignaioli Indipendenti: paths of life and wine production. Vertical Tasting Discovery Session with Ascovilo and moderator Luciana Rota from Oltrepò Pavese Consortium. Our panelists include Matilde Poggi, President of CEVI(Confédération Européenne des Vignerons Indépendants) and past President of FIVI (Federazione Italiana Vignaioli Indipendenti); Davide Lazzari, Organic winegrower at Lazzari in Capriano del Colle; Alessio Brandolini of Azienda Agricola Brandolini in Oltrepò Pavese; and Paolo Pasini of Pasini San Giovanni, Vice President of Consorzio Valtenesi and of Consorzio Tutela Lugana Doc.
6:00 – 8:00 PM Welcome Reception with small bites sponsored by Garda DOC & Piave DOP
- Bites and finger food included:
- Mixed puff pastries
- Small sandwiches with salmon
- Cous cous salad with vegetables and feta
- Deep fried seaweed
- Burrata and tomato jelly with fresh basil
- Small vegetables strudel
- Mixed stuffed sandwiches
- Cassolet pudding with parmesan fondue
- Tataki seared tuna with soy vegetables
- Vegetable omelettes
- Cuttlefish with mixed vegetables
- Smoked swordfish carpaccio with mixed salad, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and olives
- Bean salad with fresh tomato concassé, red onion and basil
- Basmati rice with curry chicken strips
- Gazpacho with vegetables
- Mixed fruit skewers
- Piave DOP cheese
Friday, September 30
Breakfast on Your Own
8:45 AM – 5:30 PM Registration
9:15 – 9:35 AM Official Conference Opening with Allan Wright and Giovanna Prandini
9:35 – 10:40 AM Introduction to Lombardy as a Wine Region with Laura Donadoni
10:40 – 11:010 AM What Italian Wines Can Teach Us About Building Authentic Creator Brands: Italian wines have had a lot of past perceptions to overcome – the straw basket red wine, the bubbly served “on ice, that’s nice,” the overserved white lacking character. Today, we know Chianti can be inspiring, Lambrusco can be dry, and Pinot Grigio can be complex and wonderful. While some of these altered perceptions can be attributed to winemaking changes, they are also due to regions creating genuine messages that celebrate indigenous grapes. In this session, Diane Letulle will talk about how content creators can build their own memorable, authentic brands – and we’ll take inspiration from Italian wine success stories!
11:10 – 11:20 AM Break
11:20 AM – 12:20 PM White Wines of Bordeaux Discovery Session with Emma Baudry
12:20 PM – 1:20 PM Lunch sponsored by Bertani: Dedicated to continuing a style finessed over 150 years, Bertani is the benchmark for Veneto winemaking and an icon for authentic Amarone. Join Andrea Lonardi, Director of Operations and Winemaking, for Bertani over lunch with a special tasting featuring three wines from Bertani’s portfolio, including its flagship wine, Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2011. An Italian treasure, genuine Amarone takes patience and respect, of which Bertani—established in 1857 in neighboring Valpantena—exemplifies. Taste and learn from the master himself about Bertani’s tradition of the messa a riposo style and how Bertani stays faithful to its roots while looking to the future, never compromising its exceptional standard of authenticity and quality.
- Antipasti: Mozzarella di bufala con bruschetta al pomodoro fresco e olive – Buffalo mozzarella and bruschetta with fresh tomato and olives
- Primi: Risotto ai frutti di mare – Risotto with seafood
- Secondi: Sliced beef steak with butter “Cafè de Paris” and potatoes – Sliced beef steak with butter “Cafè de Paris” and potatoes
1:20 – 1:50 Do wine podcasts work?: Are podcasts effective? Effective podcasting means different things to different people but often its ethos is to break the barriers in wine, steer it away from the undesired pitfalls of the past or to educate. To measure success we could use stats, engagement and expansion as a yard stick and moreover, what did the Covid period teach us about podcast listenership? Does it pay to podcast and what does this have to do with success in this medium? In this vein, success is relative, podcasting is a personal investment that goes beyond simply accruing listenership for the sake of monetary gain. Stevie Kim, founder of Italian Wine Podcast gives her take on the ups and downs of delivering a successful podcast and what the medium means for the future of wine communications.
1:50 – 2:30 PM A Conversation With Attendees: This is your opportunity to talk at the conference. We will have a roundtable discussion in a rectactanguar room. How have your been the past three years? What has COVID done to your wine writing? Are you changing careers? Come prepared to contribute!
2:30 – 3:00 PM Break
3:00 – 4:00 PM Discovery Session with Consorzio Valtellina
4:00 – 5:00 PM Live Wine Social – White/Rosé: Live Wine Social (previously Live Wine Blogging) is the signature event of the conference, in which wineries each have five minutes to pour one wine for a table of attendees. Bloggers, writers, and influencers taste, analyze, and write about the wine or winery on the spot. Wineries then move to a new table in a speed-dating format. Check out the participating wineries below:
- Winery: Cobue
- Wine: San Martino della Battaglia DOC “Monte Olivi” (Still White)
- Winery: La Travaglina
- Wine: Oltrepò Pavese DOCG Metodo Classico Pinot Nero Rosé Millesimo 2011 (Sparkling Rosé)
- Winery: Lazzari
- Wine: Capriano del Colle DOC Bianco 2021 “Fausto” (Still White)
- Winery: Ricchi
- Wine: Garda DOC Chardonnay 2021 “Meridiano” (Still White)
- Winery: Costaripa
- Wine: Valtènesi Riviera del Garda Classico DOC 2021 “Rosamara” (Still Rosé)
- Winery: Perla del Garda
- Wine: Garda DOC Millesimo 2009 (Sparkling White, Magnum)
- Winery: Montonale
- Wine: Lugana DOC 2020 “Orestilla” (Still White)
- Winery: Vanzini
- Wine: Oltrepò Pavese DOCG Metodo Classico Pinot Nero “Aiace” (Sparkling White)
- Winery: Citari
- Wine: Lugana DOC 2021 “Conchiglia” (Still White)
5:00 – 5:30 PM Live Wine Social: Meet the Wineries: Stick around after Live Wine Social to spend time with our wineries, have a second taste of your favorites, and mingle before we depart for this evening’s main event.
6:00 – 9:30 PM Dinner Excursions (Offsite) at Museo Rambotti in Desenzano: Start the night with a short visit of the museum famous for Lavagnone plough, the oldest agricultural machine, represented a real revolution in the relationship between man and agriculture, and was the tool which started the essential seasonal cycle of sowing, growing and harvesting. The night will continue with a Lombardy wine tasting in combination with Grana Padano, tasting, and dinner in the open-air Cloister.
Saturday, October 1
Breakfast on Your Own
8:30 AM – 6:00 PM Registration
9:00 – 9:45 AM Death and Rebirth of Wine Writing: Not long ago, you could read about wine—and even write about it!—in general interest publications, such as House & Garden and Forbes FYI, not to mention upscale food magazines like Gourmet. These days, not only are the wine stories gone, many of the magazines are too. Bruce Schoenfeld will discuss how wine writing has been forced to reinvent itself and what challenges and opportunities have emerged as a result.
9:45 – 10:30 AM Out With the Same ‘Ol: The Time is NOW to Shine the Spotlight on the Weird and Wonderful, Lesser-Known Grape Varieties Out There with Devin Parr: There are literally thousands of wine grape varieties grown all over the world, and yet head into any grocery store, restaurant, or retailer, and the selection is dominated by the usual suspects – Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc. The “industry” will tell us that it is this way because that’s what consumers want. But, consumers don’t know what they don’t know! How can they demand new and different options if they aren’t regularly exposed to them? It’s a chicken or egg question, and one that this session will aim to unpack. The goal of this session is to show the how and why of writing about offbeat grape varieties and how, in doing so, we as an industry and community of writers can start to change the face of the wine business as a whole. Participants will hopefully leave the session with the following takeaways: 1) An understanding of the unseen forces that pressure industry decision makers to perpetually focus on the big six wine grapes. 2) Why it’s important now more than ever to start to tell the stories of unique and indigenous wine grapes. 3) Inspiration for uncovering the stories of these grapes. 4) Greater confidence in taking the road less traveled when it comes to writing about offbeat wines, and/or pitching them for coverage.
10:30 – 10:45 AM Break
10:45 – 11:30 AM Panel – An Introduction to Italy’s Slow Food and Slow Wine Movements: In the name of productivity, the ‘fast life’ has changed our lifestyle and now threatens our environment,” wrote Carlo Petrini in the Slow Food Manifesto. Join Slow Food Italy‘s Carmen Wallace, winemakers Luca Formentini of Podere Selva Capuzza in Lugana, Antonella Manuli of F
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM A Detailed Look at the Garda DOC & Piave DOP: Join four experts who will talk about the Garda DOC, the local wine area of our conference which extends along the shores of the lake from Valtenesi to Valpolicella. The session will cover a variety of topics including results of an agro-climate study of the area, a presentation of the local biodiversity, and the 1144 Project (which you cannot Google for more information). Our speakers include Alberto Panont, Director of Garda Consortium; Chiara Brandalise, Director of Formaggio Piave DOP Consortium); and Professor Mariani/Failla from the University of Milan.
12:30 AM – 1:45 PM Lunch sponsored by Italian Wine Brands
- Antipasti: Flan di spinaci con vellutata di patate al timo – Spinach flan with potatoes and thyme pureed soup
- Primi: Gnocchetti sardi con verdurine di stagione e pecorino fresco – Gnocchetti pasta with vegetables and Pecorino cheese
- Secondi: Trancio di branzino con patate al prezzemolo e olio al limone – Seabass slice with potatoes an lemon oil
1:45 – 2:45 PM Trebbiano d’Abruzzo doc, una grande bianco italiano “A great Italian wine” Discovery Session with Davide Acerra and co-presenter Robert V. Camuto
2:45 – 3:30 PM Panel – Innovations in Sustainability: Leading Italian Wineries in Trentino, Tuscany and Sicily: This panel discussion will follow Marcello Lunelli of Ferrari Trento,Michele Manelli of Salcheto and Alberto Tasca of Tasca d’Almerita as they discuss the sustainability practices, collaborations and adaptations of three wineries across Italy: Ferrari Trento in Trentino, Salcheto in Tuscany, and Tasca d’Almerita in Sicily. Each winery has taken a leadership position in driving innovations in sustainable and collaborative practices. This panel, moderated by Erica Nonni of Nonni Strategic Marketing, will explore how each winery is doing something interesting and different in sustainability that works for its particular location, mission and local community.
3:30 – 3:45 PM Break
3:45 – 4:45 PM Discovery Session with Lugana DOC: The Lugana Consortium has developed a new format for the Discovery Session. You can not miss this 360 ° degree experience, studied in detail to create an unforgettable tasting. Get ready to discover the 5 types of Lugana in a completely new way.
4:45 – 5:30 PM Reporting Re-Examined: Why We as Wine Writers Should Step Up Our Sourcing: We all know that the wine industry has long been dominated by white men—both author and source—and that it’s their opinions that have shaped the general public’s interpretations of the industry for, well, as long as the printing press has been around. The problem here is that this mouthpiece, as it currently stands, is neither representative of the actual wine writing community nor its reader base, and it’s about time we change that. This interactive talk will examine how we got here, and most importantly, how we as members of the media can start to fix it. Speaker: Celine Bossart.
5:30 – 5:35 PM Conference Wrap-up & Thank-yous
5:35 – 6:30 PM Live Wine Social – Red: Live Wine Social (previously Live Wine Blogging) is the signature event of the conference, in which wineries each have five minutes to pour one wine for a table of attendees. Bloggers, writers, and influencers taste, analyze, and write about the wine or winery on the spot. Wineries then move to a new table in a speed-dating format. Check out the participating wineries below:
- Winery: Rocche dei Vignali
- Wine: Valcamonica IGT Rosso 2017 “Camunnorum” (Still Red)
- Winery: Maggi Francesco
- Wine: Buttafuoco dell’Oltrepò Pavese DOC 2018 “Vigna Costera” (Still Red)
- Winery: Magri Sereno
- Wine: Moscato di Scanzo DOCG (Still Red, Passito)
- Winery: Quistello
- Wine: Quistello IGT Lambrusco Rosso “80 Vendemmie” (Sparkling Red)
Winery: San Michele
Wine: Capriano del Colle DOC Marzemino 2020 (Still Red)
- Winery: Cantina Sociale Bergamasca
- Wine: Valcalepio DOC Rosso (Still Red)
- Winery: Cantina Sociale Bergamasca
- Wine: Valcalepio DOC Rosso Riserva (Still Red)
- Winery: Gozzi
- Wine: Garda DOC Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 (Still Red)
6:30 – 7:00 PM Live Wine Social: Meet the Wineries: Stick around after Live Wine Social to spend time with our wineries, have a second taste of your favorites, and mingle before we officially close this year’s conference.
7:00 – 9:00 PM Dinner in the Castle of Desenzano: The protagonists will be the wines of the Lugana and Valtenesi Consortia
Sunday – Monday, October 2 – 3
Post-Conference Excursions: In 2022, we will be offering a number of optional post-conference excursions. There will be a small additional registration cost and attendees are responsible for their own hotel but winery visits, tastings, and most meals are included.