Castello di Potentino
Feet First! Wine making & WSET Level 2 Course With Emily O'Hare (September 2021)
Starts on: Saturday, September 25, 2021
Ends on: Friday, October 1, 2021
Price: Starting from €1.900,00 - €5.200,00 based on available rooms and number of guests, fill out the form for total price.
The best way to learn about wine is to participate in a harvest - Join us for our harvest this year - and feel the chapters of the WSET Level 2 study book come to life.
At Castello di Potentino students of the WSET Level 2 residential course get out in the vineyard for a morning’s grape picking. And then head either into the winery to get involved in the pressing of the fruit, or head to the nearby Etruscan wine stones to foot press the grapes - students learn both the ancient and modern methods for winemaking.
This is a five-day (six-night) residential course during which you will study and sit the WSET level 2 examination while enjoying everything Tuscany has to offer. The course follows on from WSET level 1 (which is not essential).
The WSET course will be led by Decanter Italian wine writer and VIA Italian Wine Ambassador, Emily O’Hare - previously Head Sommelier and Wine Buyer at The River Café.
For WSET Level 2 we look at where the principal grapes and other important varieties grow best in the world and what factors contribute to making those grapes grow so beautifully... and why those wines might have a higher price-tag. Wine labels will never be a problem again!
We also take an in-depth look at the methods used to make sparkling, sweet and fortified wines.
Level 1 is not obligatory - a willingness to know more about wine (and to taste a lot of it) is all that is required of the level 2 student. Each class is very interactive-we taste at least 10 wines per day-the practical element is crucial. We will try Chablis, Chateauneuf du Pape, Barolo, Rioja and many more to understand what makes these wines great and whether they are to our personal liking-so that you will finish the course confident about what wines you like and why that is so. It will be quite a week!
We will also explore the best of the local region, tasting olive oil, watching sheep's milk being transformed into cheese right before your eyes, and visiting a best-in-class Montalcino winery.
Drink responsibly. People under the age of 18 will not be allowed to participate in the tastings.
In 2014 Emily left her position as Head Sommelier and Wine Buyer at London’s River Cafe to teach the WSET wine qualifications in Tuscany and to continue to write on Italian wine for “Decanter” magazine. Emily is now based in Siena organising wine tours and tastings and teaching the WSET wine certificates.
WSET Course materials will be charged at the time of booking and will be sent to you by Emily directly. These cost €200.
The remaining fees will be charged 8 weeks before the event.
- Full board including all wines and lodging at the castle for six nights
- Yoga practice
- Daily wine tastings and classes with Emily O’Hare
- All WSET Level 2 course material (covered above), exam paper and tasting of over 50 wines from around the world including Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundy with an added emphasis on the wines of Italy
- An interactive cheesemaking masterclass with local shepherds and cheesemakers at Caseificio Murceti, who only use milk from their own flock
- Pasta making session with the team at Potentino
- A visit and wine tasting to a top Brunello estate
Transfers, optional Italian classes (for all levels), Massages, personal fitness can be organised upon request for a supplement.
We can help you advise on local airports and can help organise transfers if you would prefer not to drive. Please note, we recommend flights that are in the afternoon for the day of departure to allow for travel time of two or more hours and check-in time.
If you have any questions before booking do not hesitate to get in touch via email. Alexander will be available to help you with all your needs.
There will be a minimum of 6 participants for this course and a maximum of 12.
Prices below include fees for the WSET course which will be paid on your behalf to Emily O'Hare. €200 will be charged when you book on top of the fees for the course materials and registration.
The WSET course costs €500 for the teaching and wines, and €200 for the course materials. When you book, the course materials will be automatically added to your cart. Once you have booked Emily O'Hare will be in touch to arrange their delivery.
The rest of your payment will be due in full eight weeks before your arrival (in August).
Because of the pandemic, Potentino is not taking a deposit on your booking. Please make sure that if you need to cancel for any reason to let us know immediately as we will be unable to fill your place otherwise.
Day 1 – Saturday 25th September
Welcome aperitivo and Wine Tasting with Charlotte Horton, Castello di Potentino’s owner and winemaker who will guide you through the castle’s award-winning wines.
Dinner prepared in the kitchens at Potentino using local meats and vegetables from our vegetable garden.
Day 2 – Sunday 26th September
Breakfast and the WSET course begins with The Factors Influencing Wine Styles, Quality and Price.
Lunch under the loggia in the courtyard or in the grand dining room at Potentino
Cheese making display with the team at Caseifico Murceti using raw milk from their flock of sheep. You will learn about the different types of cheese made locally from sheep's-milk including pecorino and ricotta as well as learn about the local traditions. Tuscan wines matched to each cheese.
A light dinner in the grand dining room.
Day 3 – Monday 27th September
WSET course continues in the classroom: Workshop on Tasting Technique and Food and Wine pairing. And The Principal Grape Varieties.
A trip to a top Brunello maker to see their vineyards and taste their wine followed by dinner in Montalcino.
Day 4 – Tuesday 28th September
Breakfast and an early morning start in the vineyard before the sun gets too hot, and the grapes too warm. Followed by foot pressing of the grapes in the Etruscan wine stones.
Lunch at the Castle under the loggia or in the grand dining room at Potentino followed by free time to relax or take a walk to nearby town of Seggiano.
WSET course continues in the classroom: The Principal Grape Varieties
Evening meal at Potentino.
Day 5 - Wednesday 29th September
Optional yoga, breakfast and WSET course: Regionally Important Grape Varieties - Style and Quality
Lunch at the Castle
Afternoon to relax at the castle.
Day 6 - Thursday 30th September
Breakfast and WSET Course - Production and Style: Sparkling, Sweet and Fortified wines
Lunch at the Castle and free time to relax by the pool, or in the castle libraries or take a walk to nearby Seggiano.
Exam followed by cocktails - Aperitivo using Potentino’s own distilled Gin and Vermouth.
Dinner at the castle.
Day 7 Friday 1st October
Morning yoga, breakfast