The SOMM Journal Geographical Digest Virtual Series

  • Deadline

    June 8, 2021, 09:00 AM (Pacific)

  • Sponsors

    The SOMM Journal, National Geographic Books, The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia


Join SommFoundation and The SOMM Journal for a 12-month virtual educational webinar series.

This Geographical Digest educational webinar series, sponsored by The SOMM Journal, will take place monthly, starting in May of 2021 through April of 2022. This series was inspired by a desire to help wine professionals explore global wine regions despite ongoing travel limitations brought on by the pandemic. The sessions will feature deep-dives into wineries, vineyards, geography, and history of some of the world’s most important wine regions. Each session will include a random drawing for eight recipients of SommFoundation’s SommGeo, scholarship essay competitions for awards ranging from $400 -$1000 and a copy of the New Southeby’s Wine Encyclopedia to the top scorer.

The second session of this series is: “Aroma Therapy: The Lure of White Wine Scents-ability” on June 8th at 9am PST, co-hosted by Master Sommelier, Andrea Robinson, and Lars Leicht, VP of Education, The SOMM Journal. Science describes aromatics as organic compounds, a special type of hydrocarbon which produces polymers. Merriam-Webster defines aromatic as an adjective for a noticeable and pleasant smell. Wine experts call aromatics the foreplay of wine appreciation. Ethereal or heady, subtle or blunt, aromas often elude precise description yet conjure personal sentiments and unmistakable impressions. Our panel of wine producers will walk us through the factors and components behind the distinct aromatic profiles of their select white wines to help us “know it when we smell it.

Panelists will include representatives from seven global wineries & regions, including Weed Cellars, Ca Maiol, Cantina Mesa, Banfi, Vinho Verde, FIOL Prosecco, and Marques de Murrieta.

Scholarship information and eligibility:

  • Access to SommGeo will be given to eight attendees per session, selected by a random drawing
  • The person with the highest score on each monthly scholarship essay competition will receive the latest edition of the New Southeby’s Wine Encyclopedia
  • One $400 scholarship will be awarded to the best essay written for each of the May, June, July, August, Sept, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, and March sessions.
  • Two $1000 “Grand Awards” will be granted to the best essay written for the October and April sessions – this essay prompt may ask you to incorporate information from the five previous sessions, so if you’d like to compete for this award, we encourage you to attend all sessions to be best prepared.
  • Scholarship awards are available to qualified beverage professionals only -you must currently be working in the food and beverage industry, or must have been doing so prior to the March 2020 Covid shutdown.
  • Current or past employment may be verified
  • Essay competitions will be scored by SommFoundation


The series is scheduled as follows, all sessions begin at 9am Pacific/12pm Eastern:

May 11th- Pinot Noir: Aspects from Delicacy to Durability – view the recorded session here

June 8th – Aroma Therapy: The Lure of White Wine Scents-ability

July 13th – Phenolics: Color, Tannins, and Taste

August 10th – Estate of Mind: Fruit from an Exceptional Source

September 14th – Balancing Act: Chardonnay at its Best

October 12th – Big Reds: Old World vs New World

November 9th – Southern Hemisphere: Location is Key, but Elevation can be Pivotal

December 14th – Iconic Grapes: Distinctive Regions

January -April TBD


SommGeo is a first-of-its-kind 3D experience developed by Greg Van Wagner. Born out of the concept that everything in the world of wine, beer, sake, and spirits originated from a physical place, SommGeo brings wine regions to life through its virtual tours of wineries and vineyards, offering the next best thing to visiting in person. Using its unique 3D platform, SommGeo allows participants to view an entire region or zoom in on a single vineyard, then delve into such details as climate, production techniques, soils, history, varietals, and bottlings. “SommGeo started as a way to help bring people closer to the wine they drink and to build a more modernized option for wine education. The platform took over three years to make and is continually evolving,” explained Van Wagner. “With all the great work the SommFoundation does for the wine community, I knew it’d be best as a benefit to donors.”

ABOUT The SOMM Journal

The SOMM Journal is written by and for wine and beverage industry professionals. Owned by Meridith May, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, The SOMM Journal broadens both emerging and veteran industry professionals’ understanding of the business. Departments cover top restaurants’ wine and mixology programs; in-depth profiles of the world’s wine regions; industry trends and technology; and exploration of current issues that most concern sommeliers. The SOMM Journal is available digitally online and the print edition, which is free to trade, is distributed nationally.