Wine Sense Wine WSET Level 1 Course With Emily O'Hare

This is a five-day (four night) residential course held in a beautifully restored medieval Tuscan castle at Castello di Potentino. 

Learn the essentials about wine with a special focus on the wines of Italy, following the globally recognised WSET approach. Eat simple meals in the dining room of the castle prepared using locally sourced ingredients and vegetables from Potentino's vegetable garden- celebrate the end of the course with a meal at Il Silene, cooked by Michelin-starred local chef Roberto Rossi. 

Participate in morning food and wine pairing workshops. 

Drink responsibly. People under the age of 18 will not be allowed to participate in the tastings.

    Helena Attlee’s latest book Lev’s Violin: An Italian adventure was published last year and broadcast as BBC Radio 4’s ‘Book of the Week’. Her bestselling The Land Where Lemons Grow: The story of Italy and its citrus fruit has been translated into several languages and won the Guild of Food Writers’ Book of the Year 2015.

    Julian Evans is the author of the acclaimed biography Semi-Invisible Man: The life of Norman Lewis and Transit of Venus: Travels in the Pacific. He has presented radio and TV documentaries, reported from central Europe and written about the war in Ukraine from the frontline.

    Saturday 10 September

    Arrive in good time to settle in before meeting the tutors and other writers for an aperitivo followed by dinner

    Sunday 11 September

    Using our senses as a way of expressing experiences and connecting to readers, we explore rooting our writing in the physical
    world to bring it alive

    Activity: Walking the Potentino valley with a local botanist

    Sensory writing Aperitivo and dinner at castle

    Monday 12 September

    Today is about building skills to commit real people to the page, using their appearance, body language, behaviour and other closely observed details

    Activity: Visit to the local market

    Free time for lunch in local town

    Workshop: Writing people, their settings and voices

    Aperitivo and dinner at castle

    Tuesday 13 September

    We focus on framing a process or an event to make it interesting to anyone, even to those not specifically interested in it

    Activity: Local shepherds making ricotta cheese, followed by cheese tasting

    Workshop: Finding the universal strand

    Tasting the wines of Potentino with Charlotte Horton, followed by dinner with Rachel Roddy

    Wednesday 14 September

    Today is led by Rachel Roddy, acclaimed author, Italian food expert and Guardian columnist

    Activity: Learning to make pasta with Rachel in Potentino’s 13th-century kitchen

    Lunch is home-made pasta –
    of course!

    Workshop: Armed with our
    flour-covered notes and thoughts, we will talk and do three generative
    exercises. We’ll also look at strategies for writing about food and practical tips for recipe writing, and to conclude will talk about how to find a sustainable, enjoyable writing process and how to balance messy creativity with structure, form – and dinner

    Feedback session with Rachel, Helena and Julian

    Aperitivo and ‘Getting published’, a question-and-answer session with Derek Johns, drawing on his career as an editor, publisher and leading
    literary agent

    Dinner at castle

    Thursday 15 September

    On the final day we take you through a series of invaluable techniques for revising and polishing your work

    Workshop: Ultimate editing: putting it all together


    Free time to work on your writing

    Celebration and sharing of your work

    Dinner at a local restaurant

    Friday 16 September


    [We reserve the right to make changes to this timetable if necessary]

    “Julian and Helena worked beautifully together in creating a transformative learning experience. Taking part has raised my standard of what I expect from my writing dramatically”

    “I came to Potentino without an agenda, but I leave Potentino inspired to share my stories”

    “Thank you both so much for a wonderful experience. I appreciate all your knowledge, generosity and hard work”

    Board and lodging at Castello di Potentino

    All sessions with Julian and Helena

    Pasta-making Workshop and talk with Rachel Roddy

    "Behind the scenes in publishing" discussion with Derek Johns

    Trips for planned excursions

    Last night's dinner at a local restaurant

    What's not included


    Transfers to and from Potentino (can be booked as an extra)

    Meals on planned excursions


    Prices vary by room choice and number of guests sharing the room.

    A single person is € 2315.

    Two people sharing a room is € 2000 per person.

    Three people sharing a room is €1895 per person.

    Please note

    If you would like to pay a deposit

    The payment system asks for payment in full. If you would rather pay a non-refundable 25% deposit at the time of booking, please enter the code DEPOSIT25 at checkout. The final payment will be due one month before the start of the course.

    If you have any issues booking

    Sometimes, it takes a few attempts to clear the cart if you need to make any changes to your room selection etc.

    If you have any issues at all, please contact Alexander Greene

    Wine Sense Wine WSET Level 1 Course With Emily O'Hare

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