Wine Department Profile: Coordinator Livia LeDivelec
Livia LeDivelec has joined the wine department as Academic Coordinator. Her background in Italian enology and specialization in Chianti offers a vision of respecting tradition and promoting progress through education.
How was your new coordination role changed your perspective of the Wine Studies departments?
My perspective has completely changed. I started out as a wine professor so my initial goals were 100% trained on my class and students. Coordinating academics has expanded my focus and attention to every detail, from big to small, of the department. Different activities and professors needing my guidance, for example. I’m learning to be interactive with everybody from a single student to the owners of wineries.
What are some key concepts of Italian wine culture that you wish to share with each student who takes wine courses?
First and foremost, history, because history is culture and it is extremely important in order to appreciate and understand the different methods of production. For production, we must have a wide knowledge of the territories. Secondly, the concept of moderation – using our minds and thinking about culture when consuming alcoholic beverages. I also love to discuss with my students the difference between the words “taste” and “drink.” And lastly, the magical world of pairing food and wine and how the concept is important to the idea of “Made in Italy.”
Some exciting opportunities in the Spring 2012 semester for students to interact with the local (Florentine/Tuscan) wine world?
Obviously our extracurricular activities organized by the wine departent at Ganzo (Wine Corner to meet and chat with real producers and Wine Club, where department students educate the public on Italian wines). Our field trips to different wineries in Tuscany allow for a better appreciation of the micro-areas in this fabulous region. And last but not least, the events organized throughout all of Tuscany, the “Anteprime” or previews of products from wine denominations in territories such as Montepulciano, Montalcino, Sangimignano ect.
What does wine represent to you personally and what are some of your favorite wines?
Wine to me means “life,” wine is a person. You can appreciate or not appreciate a specific wine, and your reaction hints at how a bottle of wine speaks to the individual. Wine tells you something, it recounts its personal history and characteristics. Think about the history and folklore behind a glass of Chianti Classico as well as the specific technicalities of the “classic method” that goes into creating the effervescence in a bottle of sparkling wine. If you go back a few centuries in order to find out how the first bottle of sparkling wine was produced, you will be fascinated. Guaranteed.
Your vision for future growth at the department?
I have high hopes for our certificate program in Wine Expertise. The program is extremely unique for the opportunity offered to students, they literally touch (through wine harvesting, for example) every single aspect of wine culture in Italy and go beyond mere wine appreciation – the academics allow for students to instill technical and cultural appreciation in others by “being equipped” with the right skills.