Wine Wednesday: Two new wine schools launch in Loudoun
For the kids, school's out for summer; but for the adults, wine school is just arriving.
Loudoun County recently became home to two new wine education centers, with the National Conference Center in Lansdowne launching the West Belmont Wine Institute and Breaux Vineyards in Purcellville initiating the Virginia School of Wine. The West Belmont Wine Institute will feature tastings, tours of some of the region's top vineyards and play host to a fall festival, and Breaux's Virginia School of Wine endeavors to offer vin insight (VINSIGHT!) to all levels of wine lovers.
National Conference Center officials announced in late June that Mary Watson-DeLauder, a respected local sommelier with three decades of experience in the wine industry, will lead the institute. A certified sommelier and wine specialist who has been featured at the illustrious James Beard House in New York City six times, Watson-DeLauder previously held stints at Lansdowne Resort and Cookology in Sterling.
Phillip Saims, NCC's director of sales and marketing, commented, “Mary’s contacts in the community will allow us to include special behind-the-scenes tours and tastings to area wineries as well as wine events on our beautiful property.”
Breaux's Virginia School of Wine, meanwhile, aims to “educate on the basics of wine and spread knowledge about Virginia wine” by offering Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) classes, Virginia wine courses, hobbyist seminars and industry training courses, according to its Facebook page.
Jennifer Breaux Blosser, director of sales and marketing at Breaux, said the wine school is part of her father's vision for the winery. Breaux's father Paul founded the vineyard in 1997.
“He's always been a huge advocate for education, and this is just an extension of that,” Blosser said, speaking of her dad and the new school. “This is something that can educate not only our staff, but other people in the industry and anyone interested in knowing more about wine.”
Blosser and her team plan for the school at Breaux to be fully operational in October, which will coordinate with Virginia Wine Month and the opening of Breaux's most recent structural expansion.
Breaux hosted its first class, dubbed “How to Taste Wine Like a Pro,” in May. The school will offer something for all levels of wine enthusiasts, Breaux said.
“There are so many knowledgeable and interesting people around the region in the wine industry,” she said. “We're looking forward to tasting with them and learning from them.”
As am I, Jennifer. As am I.
Check out recent Wine Wednesdays below:
-"Wine Wednesday: What we talk about when we talk about estate" -- June 4
-"Wine Wednesday: Sipping for a cause in Loudoun wine country" -- May 7
-"Wine Wednesday: Local sparklers arrive just in time for warmer weather" -- April 2
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