D6 is a different module in the WSET Level 4 program because you cannot prepare this exam. You aren’t actually studying as you would for a normal WSET exam.
The unit D6 Independent Research Assignment is a 3000 word research paper, not counting the references, bibliography and so on. You must answer the questions and focus on what they ask. Each question has assigned number off points, which is important to take into account.
Each year there are two wine-related topics. On August 1st two new topics are announced. One must be submitted on January 31st and the second end of July 31.
The topic for July 2022 was “Sustainability”.
Sustainability is a new winemaking trend, it is a popular topic in the wine industry. I found this subject interesting and I decided to writing about it. And I am very happy because I liked very much to find sources and read arguments about sustainability.
I had been collecting information through the internet, interviews and the book “Social Sustainability in the Global Wine Industry”. The internet was full of interesting sources talking about sustainability!
I kept the information, quotes, references and data in one place, which helped me a lot. After my research I combined the text and information together and created my paper.
I really learned something new. More winemakers are starting to embrace sustainable farming methods, besides organic. The sustainable wine bottle is becoming more popular!
Grade D6 exam
It took me a few months to write the final paper. It wasn’t easy at all. Some find it easier than the other parts of the Diploma exams.
But I am proud that my paper was good enough for a PASS grade. Happy me 🙂
Module D5 Fortified Wines
Now I am studying for the WSET D5 exam Fortified Wines. In November I go to Portugal to taste some fabulous port wines. I can’t wait to visit the Douro valley and some wineries: Graham’s Lodge and Quinta do Bomfim.
Prowein in Düsseldorf is a hot spot full of “wine” inspiration. It is one of the most important wine and spirits fair in Central Europe. Prowein always takes place on 3 days from Sunday till Tuesday.
After two years of cancellation in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID pandemic, ProWein returned to Düsseldorf on 15-17 May, 2022.
This year I have decided to visit the international wine fair again. I only had one day of the fair to spend. It was an intense day and perhaps not enough to do everything, but I enjoyed it very much.
Personally, Prowein gives me the opportunity to discover different wines and wineries of the world. For me, tasting as much as possible is fun and it the best way to learn about wines.
I started tasting wines from Trentino and I ended up with Tempranillo and Verdejo wines from Casilla y Léon. I cannot remember exactly how much different wines I have tasted but the ones I remember were wines from the New World, Italy, Spain, Portugal and France.
Powerful dry wines with high tannin levels, high alcohol and fruit concentration such as Barolo and Médoc were one of my favorites!
And here are some of my favorite images I took while visiting ProWein:
Outstanding wines from Chilean Cabernet Sauvignons.
Interesting to try different California Chardonnay’s aged with oak chips in stainless steel. One Chardonnay tasted different from the next. From apples, lemons to something sweeter.
Having the opportunity to taste many Champagnes is amazing. Vintage Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2006. A Champagne only made from Chardonnay grapes. Cheers!
Sicilian wines! Grillo is a widely planted Sicilian white grape. The grape is well suited to hot and dry climates. Grillo is used commonly in a variety of still white wines.
The Nero d’Avola instead is a renowned indigenous red grape variety in Sicily. The grape is also known as “Calabrese”. This grape loves heat as well, just like the Grillo. The wine has character. It is a strong and medium to full bodied red wine.
Wines from the PIWI grape varieties. Ever heard of it? I didn’t, until I met Enrico from Cantina Terre di Ger in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy. PIWI grapes are fungal resistant. The wines taste good or even excellent.
The Verdejo wines from Rueda in the Castilla Y León region (Spain) are popular white wines around the world. I explored some nice wines from an organic and unique bodega.
The atmosphere at ProWein is welcoming, personable and educative. It is a great opportunity to meet new people and to talk about wine and business.
See you next year!
We are at the end of the online course DipWSET4 – D1.
It were intense weeks with lots of posts, research, questions, wine tastings and group activities.
Many projects required a lot of effort!
In the first week of our course we needed to work alone on our vineyard establishment proposal. I choose for the wine area Bolgheri in Tuscany. This is my proposal I have submitted in the first week of our wine course.
I choose the territory of Bolgheri (Livorno) along the Etruscan coast, at the foot of the gentle Tuscan hills and a few miles from the sea.
The climate along the coast in Tuscany is more maritime than central Tuscany. The summers are dry, sunny and breezy. The weather is influenced by the sea. Temperatures in winter time are around 8-10 degrees, and reach rarely zero or less.
The sea and Apennine mountains moderate the temperatures in summer period. The driest months in Tuscany are July and August.
Bolgheri Rosso DOC
Bolgheri Rosso DOC is a blend of black grape varieties. The red wine can be made in different styles. I will plant the following grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese.
The black grape varieties need sunlight and heat to ripen fully. The grapes do not ripen at the same time. Merlot ripens earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese for instance. The harvest of the grapes is spread out.
Vine training system black grape varieties: cane pruned (single guyot), cordon trained. The vine’s cane and shoots are tied to the trellis for light and air circulation. Summer pruning will hardly take place as the leaves protect the berries from sunburn in (warm) summer conditions.
The soil is calcareous and contains a mix of rocks. There is a good drainage, which is important for grape growing. The altitude of the vineyards are about 100 – 400 m above sea level and the slopes are facing southwest.
The wine is full bodied with ripe red and black fruits, medium-high tannin, high acidity and high alcohol. Long aftertaste.
Suited for aging.
Super Tuscan wines have gained popularity in Italy and abroad since the 20th century. Especially the red wines. The wines are prestigious and sometimes also very expensive.
The average price for this wine is Euro 25.00*.
*average price of Sylvia Italy’s Rosso wine – not available in my shop.
Bolgheri Rosato DOC
The black grape varieties used for the rosé are Syrah, Merlot and Sangiovese. This wine is a blend and pairs good with fish dishes. For example with the local cacciucco from Livorno.
Bolgheri Bianco DOC
For a white wine from the region I will plant Vermentino grapes. Vermentino is often vinified as a single variety but can also be blended with other white grape varieties such as Trebbiano Toscano.
The vine training system for the Vermentino grapes are cane pruned (guyot). The sea has a positive influence and gives Vermentino a mineral and aromatic character.
The Vermentino wine is an appetizer wine and pairs excellent with local fish dishes.
For both young wines the average price per bottle is Euro 13.00-15.00*.
*average price of Sylvia Italy’s Bianco wine – not available in my shop.
Super Tuscan wines are produced also in other places in Tuscany, but Bolgheri is the birthplace of this wonderful wine.