Day two - 15 June 2018

RiojaForum in Logroño, Calle San Millán, 23-25, 26004


0800 Power breakfast - optional, informal sessions

Families in wine - triumphs and tribulations
With Brian CroserMichael Hill Smith MWPaul Symington and Rob Symington


Spain as the rising star in the world of wine
With Rafael del Rey

Everything you wanted to know about the MW study programme
With Olivier Chapman


0930 Panel discussion

The secret life of microbes

What the moderator says:
Dubbed ‘the hidden half of nature’ (Montgomery & Biklé), microbes, the most abundant and widely distributed organisms on earth, are essential to viticulture, winemaking and thus the taste of wine. We will look at the way the physical and chemical characteristics of a vineyard directly structure the microbial population of the site, how this microbiome affects plant growth, how populations vary, and their mediatory role in the expression of specific sites. We will discuss the way the vineyard microbiome, including yeasts, may be specific to regions or estates, their role in spontaneous fermentation, and the influence of the vineyard and winery microbiome on wine styles and flavours.


Michael Brajkovich MW (Kumeu River, New Zealand)
Professor Dario Cantù (UC Davis, California, USA)
Dr Laura Catena (Catena Zapata, Mendoza, Argentina)

Julia Harding MW

1100 Break


1120 Tasting and panel discussion

Discovering new terroirs throughout the world

What the moderator says:
Great wine terroir is not limited to the historic, favoured regions of Europe. Recent decades have seen the development of magical sites around the world which are becoming synonymous with compelling new interpretations of specific grape varieties. So where next? What styles? Which grapes? Our panel explores some emerging modern classics from wildly different locations. The winemakers will introduce us to their unique regions and show their wines, while Jean-Baptiste Ancelot delivers a whistle stop tour of some exceptionally unlikely locations for commercial wine growing around the world.

Jean-Baptise Ancelot (Wine Explorers)
Maxence Dulou (Ao Yun, China)
Miyuki Katori (Japan)
Ian Kellett (Hambledon Vineyard, UK)
Shigeyuki Kusunoki (Kusunoki Winery, Nagano, Japan)
Pedro Parra (Gualtallary region, Argentina)

Jasper Morris MW



Wines of Argentina lunchwines-of-argentina-logo.jpg

The ritual of gathering with friends around a table on Fridays, while eating their favourite dishes and pouring some wines into their glasses, is a deep-rooted Argentinian tradition. Wines of Argentina invites you to enjoy a selection of captivating – and terroir driven – Argentine white and red wines served up with a choice of stuffed pasta and delicious beef. The perfect pairing to appreciate all Argentina has to offer. You may be far from the Andes, but this lunch will take you to the mountains, and help you dream of your next trip to Argentina and the promise of delicious meals and wine.


1430 Panel discussion

Fraud and fiction: battling counterfeit and traceability

What the moderator says:
Just how much fake fine wine is circulating the market? What impact does counterfeiting have on the trade? And how can producers protect against fraud? As the prices for the wine world’s most collectable brands continues to rise, our panel considers the extent of wine fraud, the threat to the trade, and the range of solutions for every part of the supply chain, from the bottler to the retailer and collector. Featuring secondary market trading guru James Miles, and fearless fine wine authentication expert Maureen Downey, this session will bring fresh insights and hard facts to the murky world of faking wine, while revealing the latest techniques to tackle counterfeiting. With an estimated $3 billion worth of counterfeit fine wine circulating the market, wine fraud is far from a niche problem for the careless collector, but a pressing issue for one of the most valuable and profitable parts of the drinks business.


Maureen Downey (
James Miles (Liv-ex)

Patrick Schmitt MW


1545 Break


1615 Panel discussion

Futurewise: wine's roles and responsibilities in a changing world climate

What the moderator says:
That the world’s climate is changing is now widely accepted – but what can be done about it remains uncertain. Alternative approaches to established methods of viticulture have been demonstrated as conducive both to high quality and environmental sustainability. The panel of experts, led by veteran environmentalist Jonathon Porritt, will discuss the present and future importance of organic and biodynamic practice, as well as considering the role of alternative varieties, carbon neutrality and life cycle assessment. Could the wine industry become an exemplar of how to respect the natural world in these increasingly unstable times?

Ted Lemon (Littorai, USA)
Mardi Longbottom (Australian Wine Research Institute, Australia)
Jonathan Porritt (Forum for the Future)
Dr José Vouillamoz (Switzerland)

Neil Hadley MW


1730 Depart for dinner - buses provided, depart from the front of Riojaforum

Dinner at home with the Rioja winemakers 

Wineries from around the Rioja region will host you with a bespoke programme of tours, tastings and dinner. A Symposium surprise - you will find out which winery you will be visiting on the day (places are non-transferable).

Return buses will be provided, with several drop off points in and around Logro
ño, last bus departs 2300

>Day three - 16 June 2018