An oenophile’s Italian odyssey

Indulge like Bacchus at a gathering on the lakes

Villa d’Este hotel will play host to the Wine Symposium
Villa d’Este hotel will play host to the Wine Symposium

The shores of Lake Como set the stunning scene for the 10th annual Villa d’Este Wine Symposium, which takes place from November 8 to 11 at the storied hotel. Guests at this year’s event, which is intriguingly entitled How It Was, How It Is, How It May Be, will be immersed in all things wine and, in particular, the country of Georgia – thought to be the birthplace of winemaking – to explore its role in production today.

There are 250 places at the four-day event, which includes a hotel stay, seminars, workshops, gourmet food and multiple wine tastings
There are 250 places at the four-day event, which includes a hotel stay, seminars, workshops, gourmet food and multiple wine tastings
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Hotel guests will stay in rooms with views of the lake and surrounding gardens (packages from €4,270 to €6,100, based on single or double occupancy), and enjoy gourmet food, seminars and workshops, concerts by award-winning pianist Maurizio Baglini and, of course, multiple wine tastings guided by experts who will share insights into some of the world’s finest vintages.

The rooms offer views of Lake Como and the surrounding gardens
The rooms offer views of Lake Como and the surrounding gardens
Tasting sessions will include a Dom Pérignon session overseen by cellar master Richard Geoffroy
Tasting sessions will include a Dom Pérignon session overseen by cellar master Richard Geoffroy

The topics covered during the four-day event will begin with an in-depth look at the history of Georgia by eminent anthropologist and archaeologist David Lordkipanidze. The second seminar delves into the world of winemaking today through the lens of commerce, culture and agriculture, in the company of author Jean-Robert Pitte, while the third and final instalment offers a roundtable discussion on the future of winemaking. The closing workshop, presented by LVMH – owner of Krug, Moët & Chandon and Château d’Yquem – will provide insight into the brand’s latest venture in the Chinese vineyards of Ao Yun.

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Prestige tastings will also be offered for up to 50 participants, with a blind Cabernet Sauvignon tasting (€500 per person) and a Dom Pérignon tasting (€1,200) overseen by cellar master Richard Geoffroy that will include champagnes ranging between 1973 and 2009. Last but certainly not least, there will be a comparative wine tasting of Romanée-Saint-Vivant and Romanée-Conti (€2,400), with side-by-side vintages from 2009, 1999, 1990 and 1980, as well as a rare 1971.

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