Annual Conference Created and Hosted by Award-Winning Author and Master Sommelier John Szabo, and Volcanic Wines International

 NEW YORK, NY, December 17, 2018 – John Szabo, Master Sommelier and award-winning author, and Volcanic Wines International (VWI) are proud to announce the 2nd annual ‘International Volcanic Wine Conference (IVWC)’, to be held in New York City on June 5th, 2019.  The event follows the highly successful inaugural conference, held in March of this year, and Szabo’s acclaimed book on the subject, ‘Volcanic Wines: Salt, Grit and Power,’ published in 2016. 

The IVWC, in its second year, aims to continue its mission of establishing a volcanic wine movement, and to provide educational and promotional opportunities for volcanic wine producers internationally.  The conference acts as a catalyst and facilitator to eventually bring together all of the world’s volcanic regions and wines, that while incredibly diverse, represent a unique category of wines produced under some of the most extreme viticultural conditions on the planet.  The annual conference also aims to help establish the ‘volcanic wine classification’ as a premium category of high quality, terroir-driven wines with a true sense of place.

“This year’s inaugural conference was wildly successful, exceeding all expectations,” says John Szabo. “Guests were able to taste quality wines from diverse volcanic soils and learn from leading winemakers and experts about the unique characteristics that make these wines special.”

A first of its kind, the 2018 conference brought together producers from all over the world, helping raise the profile of volcanic wines; exclusively for qualifying wine trade and media, 300 industry professionals attended the event. During the conference, guests were able to sample wines from over 50 wineries from 16 different volcanic wine regions and engage with some of the world’s leading volcanic wine experts.

“The Soave Consortium has always believed in the need of creating a specific category to identify volcanic wines and their unique characteristics”, says Sandro Gini, Soave Consortium President. “The event in New York in March 2018 brought us much satisfaction, especially by seeing a strong interest in these wines’ peculiarities by wine professionals and writers.”

Educational seminars included “Volcanic Italy… as seen through Aglianico and Garganega,” sponsored by LLS, a member of The Winebow Group, “Soave: A Never-ending Volcanic Wine Story,” sponsored by the Consorzio Tutela Vino Soave, “The Volcanic Wines of Santorini: 3700 years in the making,” organized by Wines from Santorini & Wines of Greece and “Extreme Cabernet from Lake County’s Extreme Volcanic Terroir,” sponsored by the Lake County Winegrape Commission & Lake County Winery Association. The seminars explored what differentiates volcanic wines in the world of wine, and what unites them. It also gave participants an unprecedented opportunity to taste a vast collection of volcanic wines under a single roof, with producers at hand to further explain their unique attributes.

“We were thrilled to support this unique opportunity to delve into a compelling and important topic that goes beyond any one specific region to foster a broader understanding of soil and geology, and its impact on winegrowing and winemaking,” said Ian Downey, Executive Vice President of Winebow Imports. “The high level of enthusiasm, questions, and dialogue surrounding the conference indicates that the discussion is far from over and we look forward to future initiatives.”

Producers from regions around the world such as Sicily, Soave, Campania, Santorini, Tokaj, Badacsony, Somló, Washington State and many more will be participating in the second annual conference. Winemakers, academics and journalists will be presenting in-depth educational seminars during breakout tasting sessions on various aspects of volcanic wines. 

“I am excited for what’s to come. Next year’s conference will give us the opportunity to present new volcanic regions and new research and continue our mission to define and elevate the volcanic wine category in the eyes, and palates, of industry professionals and wine lovers,” says Szabo.

Additional details regarding the conference, including confirmed participants and seminar schedules, will be announced in the following months.

For more information and latest updates, be sure to visit the Volcanic Wines International official website, as well as following the VWI’s Facebook (Volcanic Wines International) and Instagram (@volcanicwines_intl) pages.

About John Szabo

John Szabo is a Toronto-based author and wine critic, and in 2004 was the first Canadian to add the Master Sommelier credential to his name.  He was named ‘Canada’s best-known sommelier’ in Meininger’s Wine Business International, and he is a partner and a wine critic for and freelances widely. In addition to Volcanic Wines, Salt, Grit and Power, his book titles include Pairing Food and Wine for Dummies and Sommelier Management. John also works as a restaurant consultant, and speaks and judges internationally, when he’s not making a few dozen bottles of wine from his vineyard in Eger, Hungary.

About Volcanic Wines International (VWI)

The mission of Volcanic Wines International is to take the leading role in defining and establishing a Volcanic Wine Movement, and to provide educational and promotional opportunities for volcanic wine producers internationally. Volcanic Wines International also plans to establish the volcanic wine brand as a premium category of high-quality wines with a true sense of place.

About Colangelo & Partners

Colangelo & Partners specializes in premium food, wine and spirits brands, and has long-established relationships with the key press that drive these business categories and help determine the industry leaders. Agency principals have years of experience in retail and distribution as well as communications, a rare combination that gives Colangelo & Partners invaluable insights into consumer purchasing behavior. The agency focuses on “closing the loop” between creative communications programs, distribution, promotion, publicity, and the consumer in order to maximize the efficiency of its communications programs and deliver measurable results. Founded in 2006, Colangelo & Partners was honored as one of the year’s top integrated communications firms at the 2013 Agency Elite Awards and for one of the best digital marketing campaigns at the 2014 Digital PR Awards.