Second semester of Wine University begins Saturday in Vail | VailDaily.com

Second semester of Wine University begins Saturday in Vail

Vail Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail Daily/Kevin FurtadoOlivier Humbrecht (on bicycle) takes Vail sommeliers to the vineyards.
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VAIL, Colorado “-Larkspur Restaurant in Vail, Colorado will begin Wine University this week with a special guest from France. Olivier Humbrecht is a 12th generation winemaker from the Alsace region and is the first Frenchman to qualify for the prestigious award known as Master of Wine.

Larkspur’s wine director, Kevin Furtado, just spent two weeks in France, where he was awed by Humbrecht.

“Olivier is one of the great wine talents of the universe,” Furtado said. “The tasting at his vineyards was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. We are so fortunate that he will join us at Larkspur to begin our summer classes.”

The first Wine University class is Saturday. Last summer the Wine U series covered a variety of topics and allowed students to taste and compare selected wines within each week’s theme. This summer’s schedule will continue on Thursday evenings through August.

The steep hillside vineyards of Domaine Zind-Humbrecht produce world-class aromatic white wines, such as Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Pinot Gris. Characteristically, the wines have high acidity and varying dryness. They complement food, especially seafood or pork that are slightly spicy.

The Zind-Humbrecht vineyards are now 100 percent biodynamic. In 1990, when Humbrecht joined his father in operations, he began transitioning each vineyard to become a self-sustaining system.

“Since I started adapting biodynamic viticulture to our vineyards, the micro-organisms have increased in the soil, better developing the root systems, leaves and flowers,” Humbrecht said.

The biodynamic methods include low impact farming, organic composting and restricted yields so flavors are concentrated.

Humbrecht will pour and discuss six of his wines at the class on Saturday night. The welcome reception, and a chance for students to personally meet Humbrecht, begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by class from 6 to 7 p.m. The cost is $40 per person.

For details on the entire Wine University syllabus, visit http://www.larkspurvail.com/documents/WineUschedule_000.pdf. For reservations, call 970-754-8050.