Program Overview

French Wine Scholar™ Study & Certification Program

French Wine Scholar™ Study & Certification Program

The 6th Edition of the French Wine Scholar program has just been released! Learn more about the 6th Edition

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 of wine who follow this in-depth curriculum and pass the exam will earn the French Wine Scholar™ (FWS) post-nominal.

Set yourself apart from your peers. Specialize in the wines of France!

Become a French Wine Scholar™!

The French Wine Scholar™ Program covers French wine law, grape varieties, viticulture, winemaking and all of the French wine regions including Jura, Savoie and Corsica.

This core body of knowledge is important whether you sell wine, buy wine or teach about wine.

"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

Why Study French Wine?

  • France vies with Italy as the #1 wine producing country in the world.
  • The most popular commercially produced grape varieties (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah) are all native to France!
  • When it comes to wine culture, France is the historic benchmark!

There are two paths to the FWS post-nominal: distance learning or classroom learning.

"I am very pleased to have earned the French Wine Scholar designation.   After completing my WSET Advanced studies, the FWS curriculum allowed me to increase my knowledge of France and their superb wines" Kirsten Strand, FWS
Full Testimonial

Distance Learning:

The French Wine Scholar™ curriculum via distance learning offers an interactive program that is put into a measurable, meaningful format designed for maximum retention of content and ease of use.
There are three main components: the French Wine Scholar Study Manual, an E-learning Package and the Exam.

FWS Study Manual:

The 280-page, full-color study manual 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.

FWS E-learning Package:

To complement the manual, there are 10 multimedia E-learning modules with full audio narration plus…

  • A comprehensive series of webinars on regional wine styles with suggested wine list presented by Jay Youmans, Master of Wine  
  • Review quizzes for self-evaluation
  • Instructor Q&A forum for personal assistance
  • Student forum for community interaction
  • Downloadable maps


You can track your progress. Need to leave an online module before finishing it? Your place is automatically bookmarked for you and opens to where you left it when you return. 

Online quizzes are scored immediately giving you feedback on the level of your proficiency. Need to retake a quiz? The questions shuffle to keep things fresh.

"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

FWS Online Exam:

When you are ready to sit the exam, simply contact WSG Office Manager, Celine Camus, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 4 weeks in advance to schedule an online exam sit.  Candidates will need a computer with internet hook up, a webcam and a microphone.  The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions; passing score is 75.

Distance 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.
Study materials are available 24/7. If you’ve got a laptop and an internet connection, you’ve got a classroom! Registration is for one full year with an option to extend for a nominal fee.

"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

Classroom Learning:

French Wine Scholar™ Classes are offered by licensed program providers and delivered by an approved FWS instructor. The live classroom study format includes:


  • Manual
  • Tutored Tastings  
  • Access to the complete FWS E-Learning Package*
  • Exam Sit
"The FWS is a great complement to the WSET Diploma and I would recommend other students to take it between the Level 3 and the Diploma.[...] The FWS gave the perfect structure to help me finish my WSET Diploma" Gregory Crommen, WSET Diploma
Full Interview

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.

*FWS E-Learning Package:

To complement the manual and class instruction, there are 20 multimedia E-learning modules with full audio narration plus…

  • A comprehensive series of recorded webinars on regional wine styles with suggested wine list
  • Review quizzes for self-evaluation
  • Instructor Q&A forum for personal assistance
  • Student forum for community interaction
  • Downloadable maps


For many, the classroom experience helps to hammer home the theory; a tutored tasting component brings each region to life. Additionally, there is interaction in a live classroom environment that distance-learning lacks; many students find the set “schedule” helpful in keeping on top of their studies.

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

"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



"The FWS program has been a great way for me to revisit the classic regions, and to further explore the heritage and value offered by lesser known areas. It has added depth and breadth of knowledge of industry trends and changes in French wine law. It certainly will be beneficial to my ongoing WSET Diploma studies." Florent Desaintpaul, FWS, Hong Kong


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