4) A unique local school called the Odyssey Wine Academy, which for the past few years has been offering wine education classes here in Healdsburg, is now teaching classes in Spanish. Odyssey is reportedly the only place in Sonoma County where you can get your “Wine & Spirit Education Trust” (WSET) certification in person — a must for ambitious winemakers. The woman behind Odyssey, Julie Rothberg, is also the president of Medlock Ames winery; both her school and her tasting room are located inside the giant Bacchus Landing wine tasting collective on Westside Road, next to the animal shelter. “My goal was to offer classes in Spanish so vineyard workers could better understand the end product of what they’re working with,” she tells the Press Democrat. “By building awareness, I could create more access and opportunity for them in their careers.” And Medlock Ames co-founder Ames Morison says: “Our vineyard team has such incredible site knowledge. They understand every idiosyncrasy of the vineyard and how that influences the fruit. But they didn’t have a lot of knowledge about wine itself. I wanted to help them understand how their hard work was contributing to the final wine through the WSET’s universally recognized training.” More from the story: “This past August, Medlock Ames’ vineyard team became the first to complete Odyssey Wine Academy’s first WSET Level 1 course in Spanish. Agustin Santiago, a vineyard manager who has worked at Medlock Ames for 24 years, was one of the first to complete the six-hour program. ‘The class helped me learn how to taste wine and understand the flavors,’ said Santiago. ‘It also helped me understand the aromas in the wine and what techniques I can use in the vineyard to improve those aromas. It will help me in my career because it improved my understanding of wine and opened my mind to new opportunities.'” Odyssey’s offerings in Spanish this year will reportedly include a “more accessible course for vineyard workers” that doesn’t include quite as rigorous of a WSET exam, in late spring or early summer — and then, come June 1, the full-on, all-day WSET Level 1 course. A seat at the table costs $385. You can find more info and sign up on Odyssey’s website. (Source: Odyssey Wine Academy & Press Democrat)

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Simone Wilson was born and raised in Healdsburg, CA, where she was the editor of the Healdsburg High School Hound's Bark. She has since worked as a local journalist for publications in San Diego, Los Angeles, New York City and the Middle East. Simone is now a senior product manager and staff writer for the Healdsburg Tribune.


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