Vail Symposium goes Beyond the Bottle with the Chiara Boschis on July 11 | VailDaily.com

Vail Symposium goes Beyond the Bottle with the Chiara Boschis on July 11

Katie Coakley
Special to the Daily
Chiara Boschis among the vines will be at the Vail Symposium's Beyond the Bottle event on July 11 to talk about what it's like to be a winemaker.
Elisabetta Vacchetto | Special to the Daily |

If you go …

What: Vail Symposium presents Beyond the Bottle.

Who: Barolo winemaker Chiara Boschis; moderated by Suzanne Hoffman, author of “Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte.”

Where: Edwards Interfaith Chapel.

When: Tuesday, July 11; 6:30 p.m. doors open, 7 p.m. presentation.

Cost: $25 online before 2 p.m. on the day of the event, $35 at the door, $10 students and teachers.

More information: Visit www.VailSymposium.org or call 970-476-0954 to register. Attendees should utilize public parking structures. Summer parking is free in the Vail and Lionshead parking structures.

VAIL — There are few liquids more complex than wine. Each bottle of wine is unique, reflecting the terroir in which it was grown, the process in which it was made and the people who watched over it every step of the way.

On Tuesday, guests will be able to go beyond the story that is told on the wine label and hear, firsthand, from Chiara Boschis, one of the Piemonte region’s most fascinating winemakers.

Barolo winemaker Boschis’ family history is as deep and rich as the soil in which her grapes grow. It includes a riveting story involving the German invasion of Piemonte, Italy, during World War II and, later, the exchange of young prisoners from Barolo for an entire vintage of a precious wine.

‘labor of love’

Suzanne Hoffman, author of “Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte,” has come to know Boschis well through the writing of her book and her visits to the region. As Hoffman leads the conversation, Boschis will talk about the deep history of her family, her winery and her own growth as a farmer, a defender of nature, a winemaker and a daughter. This is a rare opportunity to have a very personalized interaction with one of the leading vintners in the world.

“Personally, I want people to see a real winemaker, a farmer as she delights in saying, not a pop culture version that we see on TV and in magazines,” Hoffman said. “I want people to hear directly from this vibrant, passionate woman what it takes to balance the demands of the global wine market, which means traveling frequently and also welcoming clients to Barolo; the day-to-day operations of the winery cellar and the vineyards; and the job she loves the most, caring for her 90-year-old father, revered Barolo vintner, Franco Boschis.”

Boschis is widely recognized as one of the first women producers in Barolo, although she comes from eight generations of winemakers. In 1981, the Boschis family acquired the E. Pira e Figli estate, occupying some of the most prestigious land in Barolo. In 1990, Chiara Boschis took control of the operation on her own, bringing dedication, charm, patience and determination to every aspect of production in order to raise the quality and image of the winery to that which it enjoys today. In 2010, her younger brother Giorgio joined her, contributing a wealth of experience both in the vineyards as well as in the cellar.

‘hard work and manual labor’

“My goal is to introduce Chiara through my Q-and-A with her, but then to open up the floor for questions from the audience,” Hoffman said. “She can talk the legs off a coffee table — people hang on to every word, she says — and she will love interacting with the audience. People will not want this to end. I also want people to leave with a deep appreciation of the hard work and manual labor that goes into producing a bottle of wine.”

As a winemaker, Boschis is a master of balance, crafting finessed and sophisticated wines that are some of the most aromatically dynamic expressions of Barolo today. But she is a farmer first, dedicating herself to the philosophy that quality begins in the vineyard where her impact on the environment is greatest.

“This program provides a wonderful opportunity for our community to get up close and personal with Chiara and hear her story,” said Kris Sabel, executive director of the Vail Symposium. “So often these events are wine tasting dinners which, while satisfying, can be quite expensive and focus more on the individual wines and food pairings than on the personal story of the winemaker, her love of the land and history of the people who have been creating amazing wine for centuries.”

The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and feature a reception where attendees can purchase and sample Boschis’s wine. After the program, Boschis and Hoffman will be signing copies of Hoffman’s award-winning book, “Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte,” which will be on sale at a special price of $48 (regular retail price is $55) plus tax with $5 of every purchase benefiting the Vail Symposium.