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    Forks & Corks University

    The Master Classes of Forks & Corks University are a highlight of the Festival each year!

    Those who “enroll” in a Forks & Corks University Master Class enjoy tasting and learning about diverse wines in a casual, interactive environment.  Each of the seminars are led by a panel of world-renowned wine industry professionals and winemakers delighted to share their extensive knowledge at these deliciously informative presentations. The tasting seminars are 90 minutes each and include 8-12 wine tastings. Sessions take place at Michael’s on East Ballroom, and tickets (on sale soon!) are required to attend. University admission includes wine tastings as well as a pairing plate of light bites curated to enhance the varietals by our friends at Boar’s Head.

    Master Classes for the 2025 Forks & Corks Food and Wine Festival will take place Saturday January 25, 2025.

    Tickets information not yet available.

    2024 Topics

    A World of Rhone-Style Wines | 10 to 11:30AM
    >>SOLD OUT<<

    Price: $69 per person + tax and fees 

    Description: We’ll venture beyond the traditional Rhone Valley and discover the exciting word of Rhone-style wines produced in other regions around the globe. Learn about the key grape varietals used in Rhone-style wines including Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Viognier and Roussanne, and explore their individual contributions to the final blend. 

    Moderator: Steve Harner


    • Doug Margerum Margerum Estate Vineyard, Santa Barbara, CA
    • Charl Coetzee, Babylonstoren, Simonsberg-Paarl, South Africa
    • A.D. Lewis, Tooth & Nail, Paso Robles, CA
    • Melinda Barrett, Shafer Vineyards, Stags Leap District, CA
    • Haunah Klein, European Cellars

    Coastal Classics | 10 to 11:30AM
    >>SOLD OUT<<

    Price: $69 per person + tax and fees

    Description: Guided by the expertise of renowned winemakers, we’ll hear firsthand from these leading figures in the West Coast wine industry as they share their expertise and insights into the art of crafting exceptional Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays. This exclusive class offers a unique opportunity to delve into the history, production and nuanced flavors of these iconic varietals. 

    Moderator: Gabriel Garcia


    • John Boich, Boich Family Cellar, Napa Valley
    • Harry Wetzel, Alexander Valley Vineyards, Alexander Valley, CA
    • Derrek Vipond, Walla Walla Vintners, Walla Walla Valley
    • Michael C Keenan, Keenan Winery, Napa Valley
    • Wayne Cheeseman, Vina Robles Vineyards & Winery

    The Treasures of Bordeaux | 1 to 2:30PM 
    >>SOLD OUT<<

    Price: $79 per person + tax and fees

    Description: Embark on a journey through some of Bordeaux's most esteemed vineyards and famous appellations, featuring exclusive insights from representatives of each Château - direct from France. This master class offers a rare opportunity to engage with the custodians of Bordeaux's winemaking legacy, led by one of Bordeaux's top negociants. These experts will share their knowledge and passion, illuminating the intricate processes that give Bordeaux wines their celebrated elegance, complexity, and aging potential.

    Embrace this unique chance to taste a handpicked selection of some of the region's most exquisite wines, each embodying the distinct terroir and heritage of its Château. This experience will be a gateway to understanding the prestigious world of Bordeaux wines, making it an unmissable event for connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike.

    Moderator: Dan Snook


    • Audrey Machy & Bernard Magrez, Pape Clément, Graves
    • Sylvain Menard, Château Lagrange, Saint Julien
    • Jules Coulaud, Château Saint-Pierre and Chasse-Spleen
    • Émilien Bouchab, Château Pontet-Canet, Pauillac

    Terroir to Table | 1 to 2:30PM
    >>SOLD OUT<<

    Price: $69 per person + tax and fees 

    Description: Taste the essence of the American West Coast's vineyards, exploring the unique relationship between terroir (land) and the wines it brings forth. This seminar will offer a comprehensive understanding of the dynamic interplay between soil, climate, and grape varietals that define the character and quality of West Coast Wine.

    Moderator: Julie Pepi


    • John E. Buckey, ZD Wines, Napa Valley, CA
    • Mary Joli, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Willamette Valley, OR
    • Vance Rose, Jonive, Russian River Valley
    • Susie Selby, Selby Winery, Russian River Valley, CA
    • Cary Combine, Sinegal Estate, Napa Valley
    • Adam Fox, Canard Vineyards, Paso Robles & Napa Valley, CA

    *Due to international travel and inventory limitations, class panelists or wines presented may be subject to change. Some of our featured participants are being finalized and will be updated as they confirm their participation. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I purchase tickets to a University Master Class?

    Tickets for Forks & Corks Univeristy will be availble for purchase online only.

    Your tickets will be e-mailed to you immediately after you complete your purchase. No printed tickets will be distributed, they will only be transmitted via e-mail. Please print your tickets at home or prepare to present them at check-in via your mobile device.

    Can I reserve my seats ahead of time?

    No assigned seats may be reserved in advance. Tables and seats will be filled on a first come first served basis.

    What is the Ticket Sales Policy?

    You should treat your tickets like cash. All tickets to the Forks & Corks University Master Classes are non-refundable and will not be replaced if lost or stolen. All events, prices, performances, venues, dates and times are subject to change without notice. All sales are final. Your tickets will not be replaced, refunded or exchanged for any reason whatsoever. To have 100% confidence in the validity of your ticket purchase, you should only purchase your tickets through our ticketing system. The validity of tickets purchased through other websites or resellers cannot be verified by The Sarasota-Manatee Originals prior to event day.

    Guests must be 21+ to purchase tickets to this event. No children will be admitted (even infants.) Thank you for understanding!

    Can I purchase the wine I am tasting during the event?

    Yes! The wine you are sampling will be available for purchase through an order form that will be handed out prior to your session.

    What is the Late Arrival Policy?

    Guests that arrive more than 15 minutes after the start of the panel will not be guaranteed admission to the event. Due to the nature of the tasting experience, late arrivals create disruptions for our guests and presenters. We appreciate your understanding and consideration for all of our guests!