Hidden Menu

Program Overview

French Wine Scholar™ Study & Certification Program

The French Wine Scholar™ Study and Certification program provides current, accurate and in-depth information on the wines and wine regions of France. 

Developed and administrated by the Wine Scholar Guild with the support of the French Ministry of Agriculture, this specialization program is designed for advanced students of wine, whether professionals or serious wine hobbyists.

Students who follow this in-depth curriculum and pass the exam will earn the French Wine Scholar™ (FWS) post-nominal (e.g. John Smith, FWS).

There are two paths to the FWS post-nominal: in classroom or online via instructor-led or independent study formats.

Endorsed by:




Industry Testimonials

  • Gerard Basset MS MW

    Gerard Basset MS MW

    "The teaching is superb and the quality of the material brilliant"
    Read More
  • David Glancy MS

    David Glancy MS

    "Their various Master programs are insanely challenging. I cannot think of a better way to dive in deep on the
    Read More
  • Jay Youmans MW

    Jay Youmans MW

    "The French Wine Scholar Program is the industry's most comprehensive, in-depth course on the wines of France"
    Read More
  • Xavier Barlier

    Xavier Barlier

    "The Wine Scholar Guild’s French Study Manual provides a 360 guide that will take the student on an unparalleled journey
    Read More

View all industry testimonials


Earn the French Wine Scholar™ (FWS) post-nominal online via the independent study format or enroll in the 14-week instructor-led format with 8 live webinars. 

Each format includes a comprehensive study manual, interactive online study modules and online exam sit. The instructor-led format additionally offers professional instructor support with acclaimed wine educators Sharon Mclean, DIPWSET, FWS and Lisa M. Airey, CWE, FWS

Online learning eliminates travel and parking issues and all the costs associated with them. Study when you want, at your own pace, at home, at the office or while traveling.

"The French Wine Scholar is a very serious wine program but fun and very enjoyable to follow. The teaching is superb and the quality of the material brilliant."
GERARD BASSET, MW, MS, Best Sommelier in the World 2010

The French Wine scholar™ online learning format includes:


  • A suggested schedule of study with learning objectives for each region
  • Online quizzes and learning games for self-evaluation
  • Downloadable maps of all French wine regions
  • Pronunciation exercises to boosts your credibility
  • A list of recommended wines to sample on your own or in a tasting group hosted by students enrolled in the online program
  • A comprehensive series of webinars on regional wine styles with suggested wine list presented by Jay Youmans, Master of Wine

Pricing for the online study formats:

Independent study format

Price: $595 


14-week instructor-led format
starting on October 24th 2017

Price: $790 


Click here to see the difference between instructor-led vs independent study format.

Industry Testimonials

  • Nicholas Poletto

    Nicholas Poletto

    "The French Wine Scholar manual has once again proven why the Wine Scholar Guild is one of the best wine
    Read More
  • Martin Sinkoff

    Martin Sinkoff

    "Indispensable for any wine trade professional who works with French wine.  Bravo!”    
    Read More
  • Peter Neptune MS

    Peter Neptune MS

    "The level of detail and quality of the materials make this program a must-do for any serious student of wine"
    Read More
  • Peter Marks MW

    Peter Marks MW

    "I only wish I had this book when I began studying French wine!"
    Read More

View all industry testimonials


French Wine Scholar™ classes are offered by licensed program providers and delivered by an approved FWS instructor.  This study format includes:

All FWS program providers teach from the same Wine Scholar Guild-developed Powerpoint presentations and are supplied with uniform teaching materials.

Naturally, each instructor has a unique teaching style, the wine selection will vary by market, the class length and class structure (weekly, biweekly, weekends etc.) will vary from location to location, but the content will be the same no matter where you take the class. For many, the classroom experience helps to hammer home the theory; a tutored tasting component brings each region to life. Many students find the set “schedule” helpful in keeping on top of their studies.

There are 51 French Wine Scholar program providers in the USA, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Shanghai, UK, Ireland, France, Colombia and Brazil.


"If you are a professional in the wine business looking to enhance your career, this is the program for you. Great instructors, easy-to-follow study guide and 24-hour internet access." Ronald Plunkett, FWS, Sommelier at Hakkasan in San Francisco 

Who teaches for the Wine Scholar Guild? Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wine and masterful instructors!

  • Masters of Wine including: Jay Youmans MW, Matthew Stubbs MW, Mark Pygott MW
  • Master Sommeliers including: David Glancy MS, Peter Neptune MS
  • Highly regarded industry professionals and educators including: Sheral Schowe M.Ed., Sharon Mclean DipWSET, Mark Shipway DipWSET, Fanny Darrieussecq, Monica Marin DipWSET, FWS
Jay Youmans MW, FWS Mark Pygott MW, FWS Sheral Schowe, M.Ed., FWS
David Glancy MS, CWE, FWS

Sharon Mclean, DIPWSET, FWS

Mark Shipway DipWSET, FWS Peter Neptune MS Matthew Stubbs MW, FWS 





#1 FWS Study Manual (updated in 2017):

The 270-page, full-color study manual (6th Edition) provides all the information from which the test questions are derived. You do not need to research you own study materials; everything you need to know is in the manual.

Comprehensive coverage of France’s 14 distinct wine regions is presented in the following manner:

  • Viticultural history, wine culture and traditions
  • Location and climate and their effects on viticulture and wine style
  • Topography, geography and soils and their impact on the vine
  • Grape varieties and their organoleptic profiles
  • Viticulture and winemaking practices
  • Wine industry trends and economics
  • All AOCs with their regulations, wine styles and specificities

Regions covered: Alsace, Champagne, Bourgogne, Beaujolais, Jura, Savoie, Loire, Bordeaux, Southwest, Languedoc, Roussillon, Rhône, Provence, Corsica

Plus: A Foundation Unit covering: French wine law, grape varieties, viticulture, viniculture and a discussion of Old World vs. New World wine styles

French Wine Scholar™ study manual features:

"The manual is very well laid out with pertinent information that goes beautifully hand-in-hand with the online program. Highly recommended for both newcomers and well-seasoned wine students alike." BRIAN CHRIST, FWS

#2 FWS Online Study Modules (updated in 2017):

The FWS online study modules offer interactive presentations that are put into a measurable, meaningful format designed for maximum retention of content and ease of use. Each region of France is covered and dovetails nicely with the French Wine Scholar study manual. Study materials are available 24/7. If you’ve got a laptop and an internet connection, you’ve got a classroom!

French Wine Scholar™ online study modules features:

  • Quizzes and learning games for self-evaluation
  • Full audio narration to offer new insight and keep you engaged
  • Your place is automatically bookmarked/saved to resume where you left off 
  • A progress bar tracks your accomplishments

#3 Professional Instructor Support

  • Online Independent Study: via the Q&A forum answered by Lisa M. Airey, WSG Education Director
  • Online Instructor-led Format: via the Q&A forum plus email and live chat with instructors Sharon McLean and Lisa M. Airey
  • In classroom: via a local, certified instructor
"I feel that the Court of Master Sommeliers and Wine Scholar Guild work hand in hand. I am confident that with the preparation on French theory with FWS it will prepare me for the Court of Masters level 3 and 4" Matt Coleman, General Manager & Sommelier @ Crossings Restaurant in South Passadena.
Full Interview



Subscribe Today

Subscribe to receive weekly original stories about the wines of France, Italy and Spain

Providers Map

Stay Informed

Sign up to receive our latest updates *