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Gonzalo Adolfo Ríos, IWS

Congratulations to Gonzalo Adolfo Ríos, IWS for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with San Francisco Wine School!

About Gonzalo:

''I love old world culture in general and old world wine in particular, and Italian wine has always been one of my favorites.  Every week after an Italian Wine Scholar class, I would visit the local wine shops in Berkeley to explore the region we had just covered and to take a few bottles home for research.  This study has benefited me in the restaurant environment where I have been a fine dining server for a few years now.  I aspire to one day work in a café or wine shop in Europe.

Prior to taking the Italian Wine Scholar, I passed the French Wine Scholar wine certification program.  I plan to pursue the Spanish Wine Scholar and the California Appellation Wine Specialist programs in the near future.

The Italian Wine Scholar program can only strengthen my standing as a wine enthusiast and aspiring sommelier particularly when my travels take me back to Europe.''

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Jessie Hopwood, FWS

Congratulations to Jessie Hopwood, FWS for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors in Vancouver!

About Jessie:

''My enthusiasm for wine started during my years of working as a Stewardess for elite guests on yachts as well as private aviation. Serving fine wines became a common occurrence which peaked my curiosity into understanding in more detail the wines I was serving. I found that when I asked questions about wine, I always found answers but also many more questions…

Those questions started to be answered when I had completed my WSET Level 3 in Wines and Spirits in the fall of 2015. I had been seeking to further my education since but unable to commit to the time of a 2 year program (Level 4 Diploma) and when hearing about the FWS program I found this course to be the perfect fit and next step in my education. The course was so in-depth and well presented that I’m very much looking forward to continuing my education with the WSG in the near future.   

I’ve gained such valuable knowledge from the FWS program and it has already been a useful tool in my aviation career as I often share what I’ve learned with guests.  Looking down the road, I see myself becoming more involved in the wine business and the exciting path of where that might lead me. ''

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Sara Da Val Franco, FWS

Congratulations to Sara Da Val Franco, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with honors !

About Sara

"Beginning my journey as a wine enthusiast (I grew up in the Italian restaurant of my parents – but in Germany) now I’m very happy and proud to be a wine professional.

I work in our restaurant Davide e.K. as a sommelier, I’m in charge of our very big wine list – One of my favorite tasks is to recommend wines in accordance to the characters’ guest. They look at the wine list, but as it is soooooo long they prefer to rely on my knowledge.

In my wine shop I’m responsible for buying wines and spirits and obviously, to sell them. In the wine-shop my favorite job is to organize and hold regular monthly wine tastings – Sometimes we make also wine events (wineries present their wines and we pair them to a wine-menu).

By studying I got more and more fascinated – there are so many aspects to consider in a wine (political and social patterns/history/ geography and topology/ climate/ the vineyard/ the vines/ the cellar/ at the end the consumer with his tasting buds/difference of markets and many many more.

What I aspire to:

- Becoming an ultra-well-prepared expert … for Europe ! I’m always keen on learning more about wine.

- To be seen as a wine communicator. - To help wine consumers to recognize real quality of a wine

- To introduce lesser know grape varieties and wine regions

- To spread my wine knowledge (I’m living in a beer consuming region, there is still a lot to do and I often feel like a pioneer) without being dogmatic.

I’m already an Italian Wine Ambassador acknowledged by VIA (=r Vinitaly International Academy) and would like to visit more courses to go deeper in wine education.

If I would have more time (and money) for sure I dream of participating at the MW-program …

And then, I would create my own institute for wine-education !!

 

Here is the biography of my wine education:

First step in 2009: AIS (Associazione Italiana Sommelier)-certified sommelier. There I learned a lot but not enough. Correct choice of the glass to serve the wine and wine pairing very important for the service to the guest in our restaurant.

2010: opening of the wine retailer shop Vinothek Vinario e.Kfm.

2012: beginning at Geisenheim (Germany) to study for a Wein-Akademiker (title given by Wein-Akademie Rust, Austria) , which is the WSET-Diploma plus a thesis on a chosen subject. My subject was a native Italian grape from Piedmont called “Erbaluce”.

2015: participation at first edition Italian Wine Ambassador in Verona, I was among the first wine professionals to have this title. Course subject: Italian native grapes, regions and legislation of Italy

2017: participation at course class “FWS” in Bordeaux

I firmly think that the way of studying, the idea, the approach and the profound information of FWS about France are still a big enrichment for my knowledge and my wine education.

I appreciated very much the online learning program and afterwards the class lessons and wine tastings in Bordeaux at Wine Campus . These two things together for me have been perfect, very perfect ! – as at home I don’t have the time and the possibility to learn without being disturbed.

I always take the opportunity to go wine tasting events about a lot of wine regions, but never ever there is such a deep knowledge.

 

I’m very interested in Italian Wine scholar and also Spanish Wine Scholar. Honestly, I prefer the preparation at home and then I’ll follow the class course.

It will help me to be an expert for Europe and will help to collect my knowledge and experience. … this being a good base for my wine education-institute …

I’m very proud of being part of this community." 

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Garrell Keesler, FWS

Congratulations to Garrell Keesler, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with honors !

About Garrell

"I am a wine enthusiast and am particularly passionate about the intersection of food and wine and the ways each complements and changes the experience of the other. For a long time, I’ve been able to taste a wine and create a dish to complement it. With my wine studies, I am working on tasting a dish and pairing the perfect wine with it.

I am not a wine professional, though I am interested in providing wine education.


I have the WSET Advanced Certification and am a Certified Specialist of Wine. I am not currently enrolled in another program but am considering the WSET Diploma, the Certified Wine Educator, or perhaps a Level 1 Sommelier. After completing the French Wine Scholar Program, I not only have a deeper knowledge of the wines of France, I have a more comprehensive foundation for all future wine study.

Knowing the wines of the premier wine country is crucial to comprehensive wine knowledge. Knowing the growing and flavor profiles of classic French grapes on various soil types will provide insight into how these grapes develop in other locations. The FWS has provided a well-organized and methodical way to learn about other regions."  

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Sonia Hyncik Beauvarlet, FWS

Congratulations to Sonia Hyncik Beauvarlet, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with Wine Smarties in San Diego !

About Sonia: 

"I have been a wine enthusiast for many years but only recently explored a career in this field.  I presently live in San Diego and grew up in France where our family lived in Dijon, Paris, Rouen and Lyon.  So it's fair to say that I quickly developed a preference for French wines and gastronomy!  After 23 years working in the Southern California commercial real estate field, I decided to make a life change by pursuing a new career in the wine business.  I just started working at a wine store but I've also been helping out at local San Diego wineries to gain knowledge in winegrowing and winemaking.  I'm keeping my options open while I figure out which branch of this industry suits me best.  Perhaps some day I can use my business & language skills (French, English, German, Spanish) to define my future role in this field.

I started my wine studies in 2015 at San Diego State University where I earned a Certificate in the Business of Wine.  During this time, I completed my WSET level 2 which allowed me to take on the Court of Master Sommelier Level 1 Award.  These courses gave me a good background to confidently tackle the French Wine Scholar designation.  I signed up through Wine Smarties in San Diego, taught by Lindsay Pomeroy.  The course was not only an exciting challenge but also a sheer delight for a Francophile like me.  Our class was very enthusiastic and at each meeting, students brought regional cheeses, charcuterie and desserts to amplify the wine tasting experience. 

The course book was beautifully written and is something I will frequently consult.  The online Wine Scholar Guild tools also made a difference for me: thorough course modules, detailed maps, beautiful illustrations, comprehensive quizzes...   To date, the French Wine Scholar course has been the best educational experience on this journey.  I feel it has helped me become a better student and made me step out of my comfort zone when approaching new subject matter and new wines.  I am anxious to try the Italian Wine Scholar course and hope it will soon be available in San Diego.  Since achieving the FWS designation, I enrolled in the WSET 3 course.  My next challenge will be the Certified Sommelier exam and the Italian Wine Scholar course.  I really appreciate the wine knowledge and networking opportunities the program has provided for me."  

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Megan Barone, FWS

Congratulations to Megan Barone, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with honors with NorthWest Wine Academy in Seattle !

About Megan Barone

"I've been a Francophile since childhood, and a wine enthusiast since I was old enough to drink (though I grew up in the California food/wine industry, so honestly forever)! I've been with Trader Joe's for 13.5 years, and have begun to transition into the importing/distribution side of things.

The FWS was the first wine certification I pursued, and I found the program to be thorough and rigorous, yet easy to follow and absorb. I've been able to better educate my crew and customers about French wine since the course -- and have accepted a position with a boutique importer of French wines since completing the course. The education the Wine Scholar Guild provided, along with the support and expertise of the instructor, Regina Daigneault has given me the skills and confidence to pursue my growth in the wine industry.  

I am presently pursuing a degree in wine business from the Northwest Wine Academy, where I will most definitely be taking the Italian Wine Scholar course when it is offered in the spring. The FWS program was a perfect intro into the world of wine certifications for me! The format, book, and online modules were so helpful in absorbing all of the information and fully UNDERSTANDING French wine, as opposed to just memorization of facts. I can only hope that the other certification programs are this well set up. I am thankful to have had the experience, which has opened up a new world to me. I can't wait for IWS in 2018!"

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Joshua Lee, FWS

Congratulations to Joshua Lee, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with AWSEC!

About Joshua Lee: 

"I am a wine enthusiast. I was introduced to wine at university where wine was typically served with food at college hall dinners; I had minimal exposure to wines or spirits prior to that. I actually found the first few sips of wine awful but gradually acquired a taste for wines. I was hooked by the taste of wine but never had a clue about the wines I was enjoying. I knew nothing of wines apart from white, red, and rose. Things only took a more serious turn when my wife got me a Riedel wine glass set for my birthday with a wish to put them to good use. This was a key push in signing up for first wine education course. The past 3 years since then have been a fascinating journey of discovery and transformation. If I started of as simply curious prior to my wine education, then I have now been converted to an evangelist who cannot stop sharing with others about the wonders of wine. I never could have imagined that enjoying wine could be a highly intellectual activity. It hits all the right notes for an academic geek like me: a combination of history, geology, geography, and chemistry. I also enjoy formulating unusual/untested food and wine pairings, and of course the satisfaction of getting it right.

I started my wine education with the WSET Level 2 run by AWSEC in Hong Kong. I was then just a curious academic without a clue about wines. The WSET Level 2 was a fun introduction to wine for a person with no prior knowledge of wine. Having thoroughly enjoyed the course, I signed up for WSET Level 3 to both deepen and broaden my knowledge of wines (and spirits). My WSET teachers spoke positively about the FWS and I had been travelling to France for work, so I signed up for the FWS. The FWS stands in a different category from the WSET courses. While the WSET 3 provides the sheer breadth and a global perspective on wines, the FWS provides a unique focus on the country that continues to be the standard bearer that producers from other countries look to. The FWS provided me with a perspective that I could not have acquired from the WSET courses which I felt was essential to my wine education.

I have been contemplating about going for the WSET Diploma and the FWS has been an important stepping stone in my wine education towards that goal. As an outsider to the wine trade, the FWS was a gauge of how serious I was before proceeding with the diploma given my busy work schedule. The Italian Wine Scholar would also be a good complement to the FWS.

The depth of coverage on French wines offered by the FWS has strengthened my understanding of wine. As an educator, I appreciate that a strong foundation is essential when furthering studies at a more advanced level. The huge volume of facts to assimilate in the FWS course has only deepened my thirst to expand my knowledge of wines further and are a reminder that there so much to discover about the fascinating world of wines. You can simply never stop learning and never grow tired talking about wines."

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Karen Ann Sutherland, IWS

Congratulations to Karen Ann Sutherland, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with LaSalle College in Vancouver !

About Karen Ann Sutherland

"I studied for a year in Alsace France and worked for four years in Basel Switzerland, Beaune France and Breuberg Germany, enjoying the wines of each country. I came back to Canada passionate about wine, going to tastings whenever possible. A ski accident freed-up my hours dedicated to sports and resulted in getting hooked on more serious wine studies.

I would love to combine my engineering background in water and wastewater treatment with vineyard and winery management and sustainability.

I completed the French Wine Scholar with Honours before starting the WSET Level IV Diploma. The FWS prepared me for the more intense studying required for the Diploma and provided a solid foundation for the section on France during the Diploma.

I completed the Diploma in two years in June 2016 and the Italian Wine Scholar happened to be offered for the first time in September 2016. The Diploma gave me a good foundation for the IWS but having completed the FWS, I looked forward to the more in depth studying of the various regions I knew the IWS would require. In addition, I knew that Mark Shipway, our instructor at the LaSalle College in Vancouver, previously the Art Institute, would provide a great selection of all the grapes and wines, both well-known and rare.

I prefer courses which include class tastings so I do not have any wine studies on my plate for the moment. However, I am looking to advance my vineyard and winery knowledge and integrate this with my current “day job”.

I travelled to northern Italy in January 2017, just after completing the Northern section of the IWS. My recently acquired Italian wine knowledge allowed me to converse knowledgeably with locals who made my visit a trip of a life-time. I hope to travel to Southern Italy in the near future, and look forward to trying the local wines and dishes that made me salivate while I studied.

Before starting my wine studies, I shied away from Italian wines as I my knowledge was limited to the Chianti fiascos and Soaves from the 1980’s. Now, I am keen to introduce my friends and people who come to New District wine store Italian wines and hope that the wine store will expand their Italian wine selection.

Being more well-versed in Italian wines allows me to identify rare gems at tastings, which is always enjoyable."

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Lim Yee Chuin

Congratulations to Lim Yee Chuin, for passing the Champagne Master-Level exam with highest honors !

About Lim Yee Chuin

"I am a wine enthusiast, who is especially in love with champagnes. I love to read about wine history, wine business, monitor wine prices, look at wine bottles, visit wine shops, watch wine related movies… (the list goes on) It all started when I decided that I needed to “break the code” of buying wines in the supermarkets where every bottle on the shelf looked ridiculously foreign to me. I began reading up on my own and started buying different wines to try. During my undergraduate exchange at Sciences Po (Paris), I took the opportunity to travel to some popular wine regions such as Champagne, Rhone Valley, Loire Valley and Bordeaux where I got the first hand experience of talking and learning from the winemakers. When I did my Masters Programme at Oxford University, I joined the Oxford University Blind Tasting Society where I really got to polish my wine knowledge. I also competed in several wine competitions in Europe and the Oxford-Cambridge Varsity Wine Competition. Wine travels were part and parcel of my holidays – I visited Champagne 5 times during that period!

I took the WSET Intermediate and Advanced level and passed with Distinction. I decided to take the Champagne ML exam purely out of interest and felt that it could help to enhance my knowledge specifically in champagne – and it definitely did! The syllabus was well-organised and even covered sparkling wines in the world. The Certified Sommelier exam, as well as Burgundy ML and FWS are exams possibly on the horizon, and perhaps I would go into the wine industry at some point. I am glad that I made the decision to take the Champagne ML exam, which is a step forward in achieving my dream in being a champagne specialist one day!

I believe all the ML exams help to further concretise the knowledge of each specific wine region and would be useful for anyone who wishes to go more in depth in their wine learning journey."

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Gan Hong Tan, IWS

Congratulations to Gan Hong Tan, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with San Francisco Wine School!

About Gan Hong Tan: 

"Wine enthusiast - I’m curious about wine, it’s history, and the business. In particular, I’m intrigued by how differently stakeholders in the wine world view wine (winemakers, retailers, enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts), and how various labels and regions try to bridge the gap. Also love the fact the studying about wine also opens up ideas for traveling, after the IWS i’m inspired to visit regions weren’t previously on the radar, such as Emilia Romagna and Valle d’Aosta.

I’ve completed WSET Advanced before the IWS, and am currently enrolled in the WSET diploma. The IWS provided a nice foundation and summary of information that would really would haven taken a lot of research. I fully expect to use the text in the future. Also signed up for FWS later this year.

I think the IWS provided a base framework from which i can use to study wines from other regions. Along the course i’ve also learned what worked well, and what didn’t for me. Additionally I’ve found many interesting wines throughout the course."

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Alumni

Find below the list of individuals who have successfully passed one or more exams offered by the Wine Scholar Guild. You may search by name and filter by program.

Filter :
Name Passed Exams
Nancy Reynolds, FWS, IWS Rhône Master-Level with Highest Honors
Bordeaux Master-Level with Highest Honors
Bourgogne Master-Level with Highest Honors
Alsace Master-Level with Honors
French Wine Scholar with Highest Honors
Sud de France Master-Level with Highest Honors
Champagne Master-Level with Highest Honors
Provence Master-Level with Highest Honors
Italian Wine Scholar with Highest Honors
Rose-Anne St. Jean, FWS, IWS Sud de France Master-Level with Highest Honors
Bordeaux Master-Level with Highest Honors
Provence Master-Level with Highest Honors
Bourgogne Master-Level
Alsace Master-Level with Honors
French Wine Scholar with Highest Honors
Champagne Master-Level with Highest Honors
Rhône Master-Level with Highest Honors
Italian Wine Scholar with Highest Honors
Erika Frey Alsace Master-Level with Highest Honors
French Wine Scholar with Highest Honors
Champagne Master-Level with Highest Honors
Bordeaux Master-Level with Highest Honors
Bourgogne Master-Level with Highest Honors
Provence Master-Level with Highest Honors
Rhône Master-Level with Highest Honors
Sud de France Master-Level with Highest Honors
Donald McEachern
Rhône Master-Level with Highest Honors
Bordeaux Master-Level with Honors
Provence Master-Level with Highest Honors
French Wine Scholar with Highest Honors
Alsace Master-Level
Champagne Master-Level with Highest Honors
Sud de France Master-Level with Honors
Bourgogne Master-Level with Honors
Raymond O'Mara
Rhône Master-Level with Highest Honors
Sud de France Master-Level with Highest Honors
Alsace Master-Level with Honors
French Wine Scholar with Highest Honors
Champagne Master-Level with Highest Honors
Provence Master-Level with Highest Honors
Italian Wine Scholar with Highest Honors
Maggie Meroney
Rhône Master-Level with Honors
Sud de France Master-Level with Highest Honors
Bordeaux Master-Level with Honors
Provence Master-Level with Honors
Bourgogne Master-Level with Highest Honors
French Wine Scholar with Honors
Nick Hendrix, FWS Rhône Master-Level with Honors
Sud de France Master-Level
Provence Master-Level
Bourgogne Master-Level
Alsace Master-Level
French Wine Scholar
Kevin Cleary, FWS Sud de France Master-Level with Highest Honors
Bordeaux Master-Level with Highest Honors
Provence Master-Level with Highest Honors
French Wine Scholar with Highest Honors
Italian Wine Scholar with Highest Honors
Lynelle Larson-Greene Rhône Master-Level with Highest Honors
Sud de France Master-Level with Highest Honors
Bourgogne Master-Level with Highest Honors
French Wine Scholar with Highest Honors
Champagne Master-Level with Highest Honors
Mike Dutch
Sud de France Master-Level with Highest Honors
Bordeaux Master-Level with Honors
French Wine Scholar with Highest Honors
Champagne Master-Level with Highest Honors
Bourgogne Master-Level with Highest Honors
Mark Shipway Rhône Master-Level with Highest Honors
Sud de France Master-Level with Honors
Provence Master-Level with Highest Honors
French Wine Scholar with Honors
Bourgogne Master-Level with Highest Honors
Shaun Tucker, FWS Rhône Master-Level with Honors
Bordeaux Master-Level
Provence Master-Level with Highest Honors
Bourgogne Master-Level with Honors
French Wine Scholar with Highest Honors
Hood Hon, FWS Rhône Master-Level with Highest Honors
Sud de France Master-Level with Highest Honors
French Wine Scholar with Honors
Alsace Master-Level
Bourgogne Master-Level with Honors
Xu Zhang Rhône Master-Level with Honors
Sud de France Master-Level with Honors
Bordeaux Master-Level
Provence Master-Level with Highest Honors
French Wine Scholar
Showing 1 to 14 of 1597 Entries

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Wine Scholar Guild, 1777 Church Street NW Suite B Washington DC 20036 USA | Phone: 202-600-8022