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Studying wine is no task, especially when it comes to studying and really knowing Italian wine! I took a deep dive into Italian wine with Vinitaly International Academy and spent a full week learning about the history, grapes, wines and more. I have studied wine and specifically studied Italian wine in the past but this course proved so much more. To really master Italian wine, it is a life's worth of study, not just a week of classes. But, taking this course was interesting, educational, inspiring and has me thinking about trying the course again if time permits. Want to know more about studying Italian wine and Vinitaly International, check out the story below that I wrote in the Napa Valley Register.
Studying wine is a lofty task. For the wine professional, or for the passionate wine enthusiast, there are the most well-known certifications through The Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and The Court of Master Sommeliers.
There are also the Society of Wine Educators certifications. Each of these programs provide an in-depth study of wine from around the world. And, while Italian wine is a part of each of these programs, the reality is that none of them take a deep dive into the world of Italian wine. And, that is a world unto itself.
I traveled across the country from Los Angeles to New York, only to end up at a restaurant inspired by California cuisine! What does that mean? It means seasonal produce, lots of vegetables and fruits and lean meats and seafood. And that is what Upland NYC is serving in the center of Manhattan. Upland NYC is built around a California-inspired philosophy that takes heavy cues from the seasons. Chef Justin Smillie was born in rural California and raised in rural New Jersey. His menu honors his background while also showcasing the culinary influences of Tuscany and other places. Upland NYC is a warm and modern open space with large jars of pickling vegetables that line the walls, as well as wine bottles. The kitchen is open but set back a bit from the dining room. As a diner, you can see the kitchen but it is not dominating the space.  
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