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2014 Symposium Schedule

February 18-21, 2014

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2014 Program

February 18-21, 2014



Tuesday, February 18, Meadowood Napa Valley

9 AM to 5 PM

Check In, Meadowood Reception Lodge


10 AM to NOON

Coaching Sessions*


Noon - 1 PM

Rookie-Only Orientation    Woodside Room

(Lunch provided for first-time attendees and speakers. RSVP*)


Repeating attendees and speakers lunch on their own


1:15 to 4 PM

Down & Dirty Winery Experiences*    Meadowood Reception Lodge

Small-group, hands-on winery visits to one of 15 fellowship-sponsoring wineries


4:15 to 6:15 PM

Coaching Sessions*


6:30 PM

Welcome Reception    Woodside Room

Featuring wines from limited production (less than 2,500 cases per year) Napa Valley brands


7:15 PM

Welcome Dinner    Vintners Room

Dinner and introductions, featuring wines from limited production (less than 2,500 cases per year) Napa Valley brands


9 - 11 PM    Woodside Room

After-party featuring wines from brands established in 2005 (the same year as the first Symposium)



Wednesday, February 19, Meadowood Napa Valley

7:30 AM

Breakfast, Vintners Room


8:15 AM

Welcome    Vintners Room

Linda Reiff, president Napa Valley Vintners


8:30 - 9:30 AM

Keynote Session and Q & A with Robert M. Parker Jr.


9:30 - 10:45 AM

State of the Wine Industry

Panel discussion moderated by Jim Gordon of Wines & Vines; with John Gillespie of Wine Opinions, Rob McMillan of Silicon Valley Bank, Bill Cascio of Glazer’s distributors


10:45 AM - 11 AM



11 AM - Noon

Shades of Green: Understanding Environmental Standards

Panel discussion moderated by Sara Schneider, wine editor of Sunset, with Laurel Marcus of Fish Friendly Farming, Whole Foods wine buyer Roger Fawcett, and Mark Neal of Jack Neal & Son, viticultural consultant and vineyard manager.


12:15 - 1:15 PM

Lunch, Woodside Room

Featuring Wines from Napa Green Producers


1:30 - 2:30 PM

Breakout Sessions*

A. The Multiple Personalities of Chardonnay    Vintners Room

Blind tasting exercise with Karen MacNeil, chairman of the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at The Culinary Institute of America, and Ray Isle, executive wine editor, Food & Wine magazine

B. Write Better Pitches & Get Your Stories Placed    Woodside Room

With Alison Clare Steingold, senior editor, C Magazine; David White, founder


3 to 4 PM

Breakout Sessions*

C. Identifying Wine Sensory Attributes and Flaws    Vintners Room

Tasting with Lisa Perrotti-Brown, editor-in-chief, Wine Advocate; Eric Herve, Ph.D., ETS Laboratories

D. Enhance Your Writing With Visual Images    Woodside Room

Improve your photography and videography skills in a hands-on workshop, with Bonjwing Lee, founder, Ulterior Epicure; Kaethy Kennedy and Alan Kropf of Mutineer magazine


4:30 - 7 PM

Coaching Sessions*


5 - 6 PM    Reception Lodge

Grab and go wine pickup for BYOB dining



Dine Around

Evening free to enjoy Napa Valley dining. Sign ups available for informal groups



Thursday, February 20, The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

7:10 AM, 7:40 AM

Two shuttles depart for CIA     Meadowood Reception Lodge

7:30 AM

Breakfast    CIA Teaching Kitchen

(Attendees must wear their name badges, and keep to safe aisles in the Teaching Kitchen)

8:15 AM

Welcome       EcoLab Theatre

Tom Bensel, managing director, The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

Karen MacNeil, chairman, Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies


8:30 - 9:45 AM

Unexpected Napa Valley Wines

Tasting and writing exercise with Eric Asimov, chief wine critic, The New York Times; Jon Bonné, wine editor, San Francisco Chronicle


9:45 - 10:30 AM

Facts vs. Fiction with Jay McInerney in conversation with Ted Loos

Jay is a noted author and wine columnist for The Wall Street Journal. Ted is a freelance writer who has covered wine extensively for Town & Country, Departures, Bon Appetit and Epicurious


10:30 - 10:45 AM



10:45 - 11:45 AM

What Luxury/Lifestyle Editors Want and Don’t Want

Panel with moderator Richard Bradley, editor, Worth; Jacqueline Gifford, senior editor, Travel + Leisure; Alison Clare Steingold, senior editor, C; Ted Loos, freelance writer, New York Times, Vogue, Vanity Fair


11:45 AM  - 12:30 PM

Lunch    Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant

Featuring unexpected Napa Valley white and red wines


12:45 - 1:45 PM

Breakout Sessions*

E. Story Pitching, Speed-Dating Style     Ventura Center

Pitch your best story ideas to these potential assigning editors in five minutes with each: Talia Baiocchi of Punch, Richard Bradley of Worth, Jacqueline Gifford of Travel + Leisure, Alan Kropf of Mutineer, Alison Clare Steingold of C, Sara Schneider of Sunset and David White of

F. Wine Tasting for Critical Review       EcoLab Theatre

Taste along with accomplished critics to learn in detail how they taste when reviewing. With moderator Alder Yarrow of Vinography, Ray Isle, executive wine editor, Food & Wine; Lisa Perrotti-Brown, editor-in-chief, Wine Advocate


2 - 3:15 PM

Tell Me a Story: Make Good Writing Great        EcoLab Theatre

Lecture and writing exercise with Michael Shapiro, non-fiction author and Columbia University journalism professor


3:15 - 4 PM

The Crucial Importance of Point of View

Why self evaluation and a recognition of one’s preferences and abilities are vital for wine writers, with The New York Times chief wine critic, Eric Asimov


4 - 5 PM

Coaching Sessions* / Free time at CIA


4:30 PM, 5 PM

Two shuttles return to Meadowood


6 PM    Woodside Room

Reception featuring Napa Valley sparkling wine


7 PM    Vintners Room

Fellowship Dinner

An elegant dinner honoring fellowship winners, with top-class wines from sponsor wineries, this year featuring wines from the 2004 vintage to mark the 10th annual symposium


10 PM    Woodside Room

After Party featuring dessert and fortified wines



Friday, February 21, The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

7:45 - 8:30 AM

Checkout, coffee and pastries   Meadowood Reception Lodge


8:15 AM, 8:45 AM

Two shuttles to the CIA Greystone   from Meadowood Reception Lodge


9 – 10:45 AM

Vintage Perspective and Retrospective Tasting      CIA Rudd Center

Symposium attendees participate in a walk-around blind tasting for media and trade of current and aged wines as part of Premiere Napa Valley auction activities


11 AM – NOON

Final Session: Success Stories   CIA Greystone Ventura Center

Take-home lessons and to-do’s from our distinguished speakers and attendees. Learn about and recent successes in career paths, writing accomplishments, new publishing opportunities, and more.



Symposium adjourns


12:15 PM, 12:45 PM

Two shuttles to Meadowood     Outside main CIA entrance




(Symposium attendees may apply for media credentials in advance,

Friday Afternoon and Evening       

Open houses and winery events throughout Napa Valley

Saturday, February 22, The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

9:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Premiere Napa Valley Barrel Tasting

11 AM to 1 PM

Lunch in the CIA Teaching Kitchen

1 PM to 4 PM

Premiere Napa Valley Live Auction



*Requires advance signup: