WSET 2 FEET FIRST! SEPT 15-22, 2019

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WSET 2 FEET FIRST! SEPT 15-22, 2019

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CASTLE WINE WORKSHOP WSET 2- This is an eight-day (seven night) residential course held in a beautifully restored medieval Tuscan castle at Castello di Potentino. 

Learn the essentials about wine during this unique interactive wine course. We will live the pages of our study books with early morning grape picking, and afternoons spent pressing grapes to make wine. Join us at Castello di Potentino to take part in the harvest 2019, and contribute to the making of Potentino’s award winning wines whilst gaining by doing, all the information you need to sit the WSET Level 2 qualification. We will also place a special focus on the wines of Italy, following the globally recognised WSET approach. Celebrate the end of the course with a meal at Il Silene, cooked by Michelin-starred local chef Roberto Rossi. 

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DETAILS

The Wine Course

To take the WSET Level 2 course a willingness to learn about wine and taste a LOT of it is all that is required. Level 1 is incorporated into the Level 2 course so it is not obligatory to have sat Level 1. At Level 2 'Place' takes precedence, the student will look at where the Noble Grapes grow best (in Champagne, Barolo, Rioja and many more) and what factors contribute to making these grapes grow so beautifully...and why those wines might have a higher price tag. We also get involved this year, in the grape harvest and the pressing of the grapes.

What You Will Learn

  • How wine is made

  • What factors influence wine style

  • The key white and black grape varieties and their characteristics

  • The important wine-producing regions of the world in which these grapes are grown

  • The production of sparkling, sweet, and fortified wines

The Castle

Castello di Potentino is set on Mount Amiata in the south of Tuscany, itis a working organic farm that produces award-winning wines and olive oil. Its grounds include a private chapel and beautiful garden. Built on an Etruscan site Castello di Potentino lies in a secret valley in one of the last undiscovered corners of Tuscany – Monte Amiata.  The medieval building is surrounded by unspoilt countryside, dotted with the vines and the ancient olive trees used for the estate’s small production of high quality wine, grappa and oil.

The first document to mention the Castello di Potentino is dated 1042. However, the original foundations are probably Etruscan. Over the centuries the property passed through the hands of many well-known Tuscan families of noble descent - the Tolomei, the Bonsignori, and the the Salimbeni, whom in the company of Contessa Bianchina, received Saint Catherine of Siena as a guest at the castle. At the end of the 16th Century it became a centre for the charitable works of the hospital order of Santa Maria della Scala.

After this period of religious activity, the Medici Duke Ferdinando I conceded the estate to Marchese Giovan Battista Bourbon del Monte, famous commander-in-chief of the infantry of the Venetian Republic. His descendants finally sold the castle to a gentleman from Switzerland, Antonio Hemmeler, in 1906. Recently it was purchased and restored by the Greene family, who have given new life to the ancient traditions of the building. The castle has eight luxurious bedrooms. The rooms all have different designs, some with wood beams and others with frescoes on the ceiling. Each one has antique furniture and plenty of old world charm.

Agriculture and viticulture are about growing and living, so eating and drinking well are an important element in the Potentino ethos which is concerned with the sustainability of how we inhabit a place and relate to it physically and mentally. The castle has its own vineyards, olive groves and vegetable garden.


 

LOCATION

Castello di Potentino lies in a secret valley nestled in one of the last undiscovered corners of Tuscany - the Amiata.

Airports: Nearest airports are Pisa (2hrs 15 minutes), Florence Peretola (2hrs 30 minutes), Perugia (2hrs 15 minutes, but difficult driving) Rome Fiumicino (3hrs) and Rome Ciampino (3 hrs 30 minutes)

By Car: We recommend that people coming to Potentino come by car as it gives the maximum amount of freedom and there are no local taxi services on Monte Amiata.

Coordinates: 42.924265, 11.543227

Train Stations: Grosseto is the nearest mainline station (50 minutes by car) although Chiusi/Chianciano Terme is also an option. There are also nearer stations at Buonconvento and Paganico but the trains are infrequent and transport can be difficult to arrange from there. Train timetables are available here.

Taxis And Private Cars: There are usually taxis available at Grosseto station. They should cost about €100-€120. If you would like us to organise a private car, we can do so.

Buses: Buses can be found to our local towns Seggiano and Castel del Piano from Grosseto train station. The timetable is available at Tiemme SPA.

Electric Vehicles: We have two chargers for Electric Vehicles, one for Teslas and one for other cars which are free to use.


SAMPLE ITINERARY

Day 1 - Sunday 22 September
Welcome aperitivo and Wine Tasting with Charlotte Horton, Castello di Potentino’s owner and winemaker who will guide you through the castle’s award-winning wines. Dinner prepared in the kitchens at Potentino using local meats and vegetables from our vegetable garden.  

Day 2 - Monday 23 September
Breakfast and the WSET course begins with an early morning start in the vineyard before the sun gets too hot, and the grapes too warm. Followed by foot pressing of the grapes in the Etruscan wine stones.

Lunch under the loggia in the courtyard or in the grand dining room at Potentino

WSET course continues in the classroom: The Factors Influencing Wine Styles, Quality and Price.

Cheese making display by Lorenzo and Francesca of Caseifico Murceti using raw milk from their flock of sheep. You will learn about the different types of cheese made locally from sheeps-milk including pecorino and ricotta as well as learn about the local traditions.

A light dinner in the grand dining room. 

Day 3 - Tuesday 24 September
Yoga session by the pool or in the granary/studio, and Breakfast. WSET course continues in the classroom: Workshop on Tasting Technique and Food and Wine pairing. And The Principal Grape Varieties.

Lunch under the loggia in the courtyard or in the grand dining room at Potentino

A trip to a top Brunello maker to see their vineyards and taste their wine followed by dinner in Montalcino.

Day 4 – Wednesday 25 September

Daily yoga, breakfast, WSET course continues: The Principal Grape Varieties

Lunch at the Castle under the loggia or in the grand dining room at Potentino followed by free time to relax or take a walk to nearby town of Seggiano

Evening meal at Potentino

Day 5 - Thursday 26 September

Daily yoga, breakfast and WSET course: Regionally Important Grape Varieties - Style and Quality

Lunch at the Castle

A wine tasting at a top Montepulciano vineyard followed by time to wander the streets of Montepulciano and a meal at a fabulous trattoria in Montepulciano.

Day 6 - Friday 27 September

Daily yoga, Breakfast and WSET Course- Production and Style:Sparkling, Sweet and Fortified wines

Lunch at the Castle and free time to relax by the pool, or in the castle libraries or take a walk to nearby Seggiano

Early Evening WSET Spirits Session followed by Cocktail Aperitivo using Potentino’s own distilled Gin.

Dinner at the castle 


Day 7 Saturday 28 September

Yoga, Breakfast and WSET Course - Revision Session and Exam

Lunch at the Castle and Free time to relax by the pool, or in the castle libraries or take a walk to nearby Seggiano

Early evening pasta Masterclass at Ristorante Il Silene with Roberto Rossi followed by a meal at the restaurant.
 
Day 8 Sunday 29 September

Morning yoga and breakfast

Transfer to Rome Airport