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The Lure of the Loire

April 25, 2019 6pm

Last year, WFFT established a Somm Support Program by granting 20 Austin wine professionals with scholarships for education, certification and travel expenses. In February, Chris Kelly and Rania Zayyat of Vintel, an Austin-based wine consulting and branding business, used their travel scholarship to visit the Loire Valley, where they attended four large wine fairs, including La Dive Bouteille, the largest "natural wine" fair in the world. During their time, they also visited six very important producers, a few of which are leaders in their respective towns and the region as a whole, to discuss the prevalence and importance of low-intervention wines and environmentally sound farming practices in the region. Join us as we taste six of their favorite red, white and sparkling wines from the trip!

Reminder: This class will start promptly at 6pm. If you arrive late we'll do our best to accommodate you, but we cannot guarantee that you will be served all of the wines.

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About the Instructors:

Rania is an Advanced Sommelier and wine educator advocating gender equality and transparency in wine. Her experiences in a male-dominated wine culture during her formative years led her to create change in the wine industry by drawing more positive attention to female leaders. She hosted a sold out Wonder Women of Wine Class in early 2018, highlighting the successes and revolutionary achievements of ten female winemakers from around the world, and showcased six female winemakers for WFFT this winter. Rania went on to establish the inagural Wonder Women of Wine conference this past March, bringing together respected industry leaders from across the globe.

Chris is a Colorado native who spent his formative years skiing and attending art school in the summers, where sommelier culture began to pique his interest. Chris went on to work at a wine bar in Chicago at age 21 and become certified as a sommelier in 2012 after moving to Austin in 2010. While testing and wine scores led his early career, Chris developed the mantra "wine is not a competition," and has become a chief advocate of low-intervention wines for their accessibility. Chris has written the Lenoir wine list since 2013, and founded his own consulting, branding and design firm, Vintel, with partner Rania Zayyat. Chris currently consults and designs for beverage companies in the beer, wine, and CBD industries while teaching seasonal wine classes that focus on transparency in the wine world.