Vail Wine Ink column: Meet true pioneer at Vail Symposium event July 11 |

Vail Wine Ink column: Meet true pioneer at Vail Symposium event July 11

Kelly J. Hayes
Wine Ink
Chiara Boschis is a pioneer of wines in Italy's revered Piemonte wine region. On Tuesday, July 11, she'll tell her story and answer questions as part of the Vail Symposium event.
Special to the Daily |

If you go ...

What: Beyond the Bottle with Chiara Boschis.

Where: Edwards Interfaith Chapel, Edwards.

When: Tuesday, July 11, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Cost: $25 in advance; $35 at the door; $10 for students and teachers as well as Vail Resorts and Eagle County employees.

More information: Visit

It’s not often that you have a chance to meet a true pioneer.

But Tuesday, July 11, at 7 p.m., in the Edwards Interfaith Chapel, Chiara Boschis, a pioneer of wines in Italy’s revered Piemonte wine region, will be featured in a Vail Symposium event. Titled “Beyond the Bottle,” Boschis will be interviewed by valley author Suzanne Hoffman about her wines, her role as an innovator and how she has boldly made an impact in the beautiful region of her birth.

For those who know the story of Boschis, Piemonte and the wines of the Barolo, this is a must-see event. For those who don’t, it’s even more so.

Throughout the past three decades, Piemonte, and particularly Barolo where Boschis is based, has become revered as a cradle for some of the most beguiling and sought after wines on earth. One of the first female winemakers in Barolo, Boschis was a key figure in a 1990s winemaking revolution that brought a then moribund wine region to the forefront of the contemporary wine world.

As the only female member of the “Barolo Boys,” depicted in a 2014 documentary of the same name, Boschis introduced modern winemaking techniques and sustainable growing practices to the region. The result was an alchemy that produced wines of power and balance, making her name, and that of the wines of E. Pira & Figli, her winery, synonymous with Barolo.

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STRIVING FOR Authenticity

But beyond her role as a maker of fine wines, Boschis’ story is one of vision and persistence, exemplified by her emergence as a force in a male-dominated world.

“Not only is Chiara a great winemaker,” Hoffman said, “she is also an example of a woman who balances work and life, always striving for authenticity.”

Hoffman first met Boschis when she traveled to Italy for research on her book, “Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte.” Hoffman plans to show clips from the “Barolo Boys” documentary, interview Boschis about her life as a winemaker and then open the discussion for questions from the audience.

“Beyond the Bottle” is a special presentation of the Vail Symposium that takes the subject of wine to a different level.

“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,” said Kris Sabel, executive director of the Vail Symposium.

In the spirit of the event, Boschis’ wines will be offered for purchase by the glass; Steve Lewis of Boulder’s Giuliana Imports will present a selection of Italian olive oils; and Zino Ristorante will be providing ciabatta bread. In addition, “Labor of Love: Wine Family Women of Piemonte,” Hoffman’s book, will be available at a discount, with $5 of every purchase benefiting the Vail Symposium.

The night is sure to be a tasty and informative evening for all.

Kelly J. Hayes lives in the soon-to-be-designated appellation of Old Snowmass. He can be reached at

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