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Lingua Franca LLC


Follow along as we post about our favorite recipes, share recordings of our latest webinars and team bios along with seasonal updates of what's happening in the vineyard!



Sam Schmitt
June 15, 2020 | Sam Schmitt

Wine Webinar Wednesday

Session 12 :: Understanding US and European Appellations

Wine has been a significant economic force for many regions in Europe for centuries. Since the 1930’s when the first of the modern appellation systems protecting the geographic boundaries and production methods of economically important wines were established in France, the rest of the world’s wine growing regions have adopted and refined appellation definitions to protect the “brand," the reputations of the regions and in many cases the production techniques that define the wines. However, these rules are far from uniform and can be very confusing — especially within Europe — and sometimes define little more than physical boundaries. 

In this webinar we’ll explore the various European approaches to wine appellations, how to decipher the wine labels that rely on them, and how the US AVA system compares to their European counterparts.

Time Posted: Jun 15, 2020 at 5:00 PM
Sam Schmitt
June 4, 2020 | Sam Schmitt

Wine Webinar Wednesday

The Geologic History of the Willamette Valley and its AVAs

Winegowing in the Willamette Valley began just 55 short years ago when David Lett planted the first vineyard in the nascent volcanic soils of the Dundee Hills. From these humble beginnings the Willamette Valley now boasts more than 590 wineries and over 750 vineyards with more than 24,000 acres under vine. In this time the Willamette Valley was formally established in 1984 followed by several nested AVAs in the early 2000’s with the most recent addition just last year.

In this webinar we will discuss the geologic history of the Willamette Valley, the geologic events that have shaped the area, the history of the wine region and take a tour of the nested AVAs and discuss their individual terroir characteristics and influences on the grapes and wines.

Time Posted: Jun 4, 2020 at 12:00 PM
Sam Schmitt
May 22, 2020 | Sam Schmitt

Wine Webinar Wednesday

Italy's Killer B's: Brunello, Barolo and Barbareseco

This week we’re taking a trip to Italy to explore some of the most prestigious wines in the world, wines I like to call Italy's "Killer B's" --  Brunello, Barolo, and Barbaresco.  

In this webinar we'll explore the rich and complex history of these wines, the strict Italian production laws that govern them, the production methods that make these wines so special.

Time Posted: May 22, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Sam Schmitt
May 14, 2020 | Sam Schmitt

Wine Webinar Wednesday

Tiny Bubbles: The History and Production of Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine is synonomous with celebrations and good times… but that wasn’t always the case. Originally called “Le Vin du Diable” (“The Devils Wine”), medieval monks gave it this name due to its explosive nature - literally! In fact, Champagne as we know it today was not really invented in Champagne — it was a actualy more of a “consolation prize” after losing the Paris market to its rivals in Burgundy. What a difference a few hundred years makes as today we use sparkling wine to toast to our health, prosperity and good times!

In this webinar we will explore the origins and history of sparkling wine, dispel some long standing myths about Champagne’s origins, and explain the differences between Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and a few other sparkling wines from around the world and why we can’t universally call sparkling wine Champagne.

Time Posted: May 14, 2020 at 8:00 AM
Sam Schmitt
May 8, 2020 | Sam Schmitt

Wine Webinar Wednesday

From One Grape to Many - The Pinot Family Tree

Pinot noir is one of the oldest known wine grape varieties and has a vast family tree. In this webinar we will explore the history of Pinot Noir, its "love affair" with an obscure grape known as Gouais Blanc, and the many grapes that now trace their lineage to this noble grape of Burgundy.

Time Posted: May 8, 2020 at 7:00 AM
Sam Schmitt
May 1, 2020 | Sam Schmitt

Wine Webinar Wednesday

The Renaissance of Chardonnay in the Willamette Valley

In the 1960's, the founders of the Willamette Valley imagined a new frontier for cool climate grape varieties -- in particular Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay. While Pinot Noir became a virtual overnight sensation and Riesling a wine-culture darling, Chardonnay languished and almost became a footnote in the Willamette Valley wine story, over taken by the easy going Pinot Gris. Why did Chardonnay struggle while Pinot Noir soared and what was behind its astounding revival?

This webinar explores the early history of the Willamette Valley while we uncover Chardonnay's sordid past and its triumphant comeback. Whether you are a Chardonnay fan or a practicing ABC wine enthusiast (anything but Chardonnay), this webinar will help you understand the role of terroir & clones, and how they contribute something truly unique and special to Chardonnay in the Willamette Valley.

Time Posted: May 1, 2020 at 3:00 PM
Sam Schmitt
April 24, 2020 | Sam Schmitt

Wine Webinar Wednesday

From the Grape to the Glass -- The Basic of Wine Making

In this week's webinar, we're wrapping up our foundational series on grape growing and wine making before we move into broader topics on wine history and wine regions with Sam and Thomas providing overview of the different wine making approaches for Red, White and Rosé wines.  

In this session we will explain the wine maker's choices for de-stemmed vs whole cluster fermentation, the choice of fermentation vessels from stainless steel and concrete to wooden barrels, using wild vs. commercial yeasts, exactly what are "lees" and what to they contribute to wine development, what does "reduction" mean, along with a few other mysterious-sounding winemaking techniques such as "carbonic maceration" and "saignée".

Time Posted: Apr 24, 2020 at 7:05 PM
Sam Schmitt
April 18, 2020 | Sam Schmitt

Wine Webinar Wednesday

From Bud Break to Harvest - The Lifecycle of the Grape Vine

It's Spring in the Willamette Valley, the vines are waking from their winter nap and the growing season will begin virtually any day now. We thought this would be a great time to explain the lifecycle of the grape vine and the management techniques that are used around the world to produce high quality wine grapes. We hope you can join us for this webinar on one of the most fascinating plants on earth and how they produce such diverse and amazing wines.
Time Posted: Apr 18, 2020 at 3:45 PM
Sam Schmitt
April 10, 2020 | Sam Schmitt

Wine Webinar Wednesday

Roll out the Barrel - The Role of Wood in Wine Making

In this webinar episode, we discuss the how wine barrels are used in the wine making process, where barrel wood comes from, how American and European (French) oak differ, and how barrels are made.
Time Posted: Apr 10, 2020 at 12:00 PM
Sam Schmitt
April 6, 2020 | Sam Schmitt

Wine Webinar Wednesday

A Profound Sense of Place - Understanding the Concept of Terroir

In our first Wine Wednesday Webinar, we discuss the environmental factors that make up the concept of terroir and how they influence the personality of the grape and the wines you enjoy.
Time Posted: Apr 6, 2020 at 7:03 PM
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