martes, 23 de diciembre de 2014

Pedro Benito Sáez Urbina - The Winemaker's Hand: Conversations on Talent, Technique, and Terroir


- Publication Date: June 2014
- ISBN: 9780231167567
- Author: Natalie Berkowitz
- Pages: 336; Illustrations: 43; Format: Hardcover
- Average Price: $27.95

In these fascinating interviews, winemakers from the United States and abroad clarify the complex process of converting grapes into wine, with more than forty vintners candidly discussing how a combination of talent, passion, and experience shape the outcome of their individual wines.

Each winemaker details their personal approach to the various steps required to convert grapes into wine. Natalie Berkowitz speaks to winemakers from different backgrounds who work in diverse wine-producing regions, including Chile, England, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, and the United States.

They talk about familiar and unfamiliar grape varietals, their struggles with local terroirs, and the vagaries of Mother Nature. Some represent small family wineries with limited production while others work for corporations producing hundreds of thousands of bottles. Each individual offers rare insight into how new technologies are revolutionizing historic winemaking practices. The interviews are supplemented with personal recipes and maps of winemaking regions. An aroma wheel captures the vast array of wine's complex flavors and aromas.


Natalie Berkowitz is a wine, food, and lifestyle writer. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Spectator, and many other publications. She is also the author of the wine blog Winealicious and formerly taught a wine appreciation course to seniors at Barnard College and Columbia University.


Pedro Urbina Sáez owes his perfect English to the five years he lived in Mendocino, California. The winemaker’s graduation from Ukiah High School was followed by a degree in business administration at San Francisco State. He attended viticulture classes and worked part time at the  Frey Vineyards for a year. Frey Vineyards is a small family own winery, the first to be certified organic and biodynamic in the States.

When I was young, I wasn’t interested in making viticulture my career. But once I began, I enjoyed dealing with the world’s oldest beverage. Winemaking is all about history and nature. Every new day is an adventure, and the constant contact with nature captivates me. Working with nature is like a religious experience. I tell everyone to pay attention to nature. Horses in a stable lose their instinct and are different from wild horses. Humans, like horses, need to use their instincts and common sense to deal with nature.

No one knows where and how humans first drank wine. Perhaps they were encouraged by watching animals get drunk on ripe grapes. We do know that Spanish wines have been famous since Roman times. Phylloxera sapped the vigor of French vines in the late nineteenth century and practically destroyed the industry in France. Many bankrupted French vignerons emigrated to Spain. They settled in Rioja and had a profound influence on Spanish winemaking. Before then, Spanish vintners picked grapes well before ripening and often blended red and white grapes together. Old traditions gave way to new techniques that raised the level of Spanish wines.


- Personal details:

Date of birth: 31 Jan 1979. 

Marital status: Single

- Personal statement:
I am self-motivated and hardworking. I have initiative and can work as part of a team. I have excellent communication and leadership skills and I am good at solving problems.

- Education:
2004-2005 Technician in wine making: I.E.S Duques de Najera, Logroño (La Rioja - Spain)
1999-2003 BS Business Administration / Marketing - Business Studies (San Jose State University, San Jose, USA)
1998-1999 Ukiah High School, USA

- Professional Experience:
2014 Appointed new member of the "Cofradía del Vino de Rioja".
2012 Partner of the "Diario La Rioja". Spreading  the culture of wine, with a full page every week. Seventh oldest newspaper in Spain that publishes and distributes since 1889, with a current circulation of about 16,000 copies a day.
2010 Appointed member of the "Association of sommeliers from Rioja".
2009 Nominated Golden Nose of La Rioja (The most prestigious sommelier competition in Spain): Over 400 working professionals attend each year to become the new Golden Nose.
2006 Appointed member of the Committees Tasting the Regulatory Council of the Denomination of Origin Rioja.
2005-2014 Bodegas Urbina (La Rioja - Spain): Head of Sales; Development and production of wine; Maintenance of the vineyard.
2003-2004 Frey Vineyards (California - USA): Organization and presentation of wine tastings; Representative at trade shows; Winemaking and wine production; Maintenance Vineyard

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