Somm360 Congress unveils full programme

Promising to be one of the biggest weeks of wine education in Canada, The Somm360 Congress has unveiled its preliminary programme between 25-27 November in Montreal.

Due to welcome 300 wine professionals at Le Grand Quai in Montreal’s Old Port, the congress is designed to help sommeliers obtain the MS (Master Sommelier), MW (Master of Wine) or WSET (Wine and Spirits Education Trust) certifications.

Below is the first detailed look at the programme:


Theme of the day:Rhône Valley Vineyards Tasted by its geology” presented by Rhône Valley wines

Speaker: Christophe Tassan, MOF, Rhône Valley Wine ambassador

Follow one of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France, Christophe Tassan, in a journey to highlight Rhône Valley vineyards diversified geology through a blind tasting of different flights of wine. This seminar will be followed by a lunch with a Rhône influence.


Austria off the beaten path” presented on Monday by Austrian Wine

Speakers: Christian Zechmeister, Managing Director of Wine Burgenland & Katja Scharnagl, Chef Sommelier at Le Bernardin in NYC

This masterclass will present a deeper look into Austria’s diversity of wine styles. In addition to Grüner Veltliner, this will consider other white varieties such as Neuburger, Rotgipfler, Zierfandler and Roter Veltliner – as well as the red varieties Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, Sankt Laurent and Blauer Wildbacher.


The unique specificities of the heartland of Garnacha” presented on Monday by Alto Moncayo

Speakers: Chris Ringland, Winemaker & José Miguel Sanmartín, General Manager & Íñigo Alberto, Sales director

The masterclass will cover the unique specificities of Garnacha from Campo de Borja including the Cierzo and geographic influences as well as the impact of the age of vines on wine quality.


Theme of the day:Blind taste the difference” presented by Wines of Portugal

Speaker: Sofia Salvador, Wine Educator, ViniPortugal

This masterclass will showcase a blind tasting of 4 flights of 4 wines each. In each flight, three wines reflect the most typical style and one wine is an “intruder” that will have to be discovered by the participants. The last flight is about an out-of-the-box selection. This seminar will be followed by a lunch with a Portuguese influence and a special tasting activity to discover a wide range of Portuguese wine.


Oceans, altitudes & attitudes: contemporary, cool climate Australian chardonnay + pinot noir” presented on Tuesday by Wine Australia

Speakers: Mark Davidson, Market Development Manager, Wine Australia & Michelle Bouffard, Sommelier, Author & Educator

This presentation will highlight premium, cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The wines will be from regions that produce distinctive and expressive versions of these varieties. A focus on cool climate regions throughout Australia, as well as the various clone types and vine plantings, will be highlighted. The history and evolution of wine style and production will also be a topic of discussion.

Specific industry sessions

All participants will be able to partake in a particular industry session series called “A glass with…or a coffee with…” offering a behind the scenes look into the world of sommeliers. The following sommeliers will be among the presenters:

Paul Grieco, a Canadian born sommelier, James Beard Award winner, and restaurateur, living and working in New York City, will present his one-of-kind topic: “A wine list that is only a list of wine, sucks!”

Guillermo Cruz, Wine Director at Mugaritz (ranked #9 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list), will present for the first time in North America details about how he created one of the most unique food & wine pairing programs in the world.

Rajat Parr, three-time James Beard Award-winning author, sommelier, and winemaker will present for the first time in Canada his new book “The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste” offering a fresh take into blind tasting region-by-region.

The other half of the detailed program will be released soon, but the full preliminary program of the 3-day Congress is available online here:

Tickets for industry professionals are available for a special early-bird rate of $199 ($399 regular) as long as quantities last, by clicking here.

(This includes masterclasses, tastings, wine bars, one cocktail dinner reception, two lunches, and networking.)

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