Instructor-led format

French Wine Scholar™ Online | Instructor-Led Format


Earn the French Wine Scholar™ (FWS) post-nominal through self-paced study fully supported by a comprehensive study manual, interactive e-learning modules for each region, and 15 on-demand webinars let by your instructors

This format provides the convenience and flexibility of an online study program with structured and ongoing support you need to get you over the finish line. Join the 15 on-demand webinars from any location with an internet connection, at any time that suits your busy schedule. Connect with your instructors and fellow classmates during the live online Monthly Meet-Ups and anytime via the online classroom forums. 

WSG provides stellar instruction from world renowned instructors, a flexible schedule of study designed for busy professionals, and all the necessary tools to master French wines.

Instructor-Led Format

Next session starts April 20

Price: $950

Register Now 

The French Wine Scholar™ Online | Instructor-Led Format Includes

  • A comprehensive 330-page study manual with illustrations, maps, and graphics, available in print + e-book formats
  • Classroom camaraderie during themed Monthly Meet-Ups with your instructors and fellow classmates
  • 1-year access to our interactive and user-friendly e-learning platform including online learning modulespronunciation exercisesquizzes and flashcards
  • 15 on-demand webinars with acclaimed wine educators that can be watched at any time during your learning journey
  • Live, online thematic Monthly Meet-ups with your instructors
  • suggested schedule of study with learning objectives that provide detailed assessment criteria for mastery
  • A list of recommended wines to sample on your own or in a tasting group 
  • An online exam sit (100 multiple choice questions), to be scheduled at a time that suits you, when you're ready for the exam

Price: $950

We've recently released a brand new and fully updated version of the French Wine Scholar program (the 7th edition)! Register today to get your FWS certification!

Start today and gain instant access to all the study materials. You can join a class anytime. Registration is now open!

Meet your instructors

Sharon Mclean

Sharon McLean, CS, DipWSET, FWS, IWS

  • Certified Sommelier through the International Sommelier Guild
  • Authorized educator of WSG programs and Certified Educator of WSET courses on Vancouver Island
  • WSET Diploma with the highest marks in Canada
  • An accredited Bordeaux instructor

Lisa M. Airey, CWE, FWS

  • Director of Education at Wine Scholar Guild since 2009
  • 24 years of experience in the wine industry
  • Knighted by the French government for the FWS program’s significant contribution to the French wine industry
  • Accredited International Bordeaux Tutor, Certified Burgundy Instructor, Certified Rhône Valley Educator

How does it work?

  • Register now and gain instant access to all of the online study materials including an e-book version of the study manual.
  • Your full-color, 330-page French Wine Scholar study manual will arrive by mail shortly afterwards for independent reading and study. Work through the material when you have time in your schedule. 
  • You are provided access to online study modules and review quizzes corresponding to the course content found in the manual. These are available to you 24/7!
  • Watch the 15 on-demand webinars, available anywhere, anytime on your computer, tablet or phone. These are available to you on-demand and can be rewatched anytime during your year-long registration period.
  • Join optional Monthly Meet-Ups with your instructors and fellow classmates. We offer two distinct time zone options each month to make it easy for you to join! Monthly Meet-Ups are casual opportunity to exchange with your instructors and fellow students on thematic topics pertaining to your course material, with optional wine!
  • Have a question after watching a recorded webinar? Contact your instructors via and Instructor Q&A forum or email them directly.
  • Track your progress through the course curriculum via our online tracking system.
  • You have one year from your registration date to take your final exam. The test consists of 100 multiple choice questions. There is no tasting component. All you need is a laptop equipped with microphone and webcam and an internet connection.
  • We have structured the curriculum into a four-month program to keep you focused and disciplined in your study. But you have a full year to sit the exam…just in case life gets in the way.

Instructor-Led Format

Next session starts April 20

Price: $950 

Register Now 


What's Included How it works Why this format? Study Materials

Why this format?

It is manageable

The program is designed to keep you on track…but it is also flexible enough to enable you to catch up should your schedule get interrupted…or even to suspend it should you get derailed. It is designed to accommodate the needs of a busy professional.

You have real human support

Sharon and Lisa are available for questions via the Q&A forum and via direct email. There is also a student forum should you wish to create a study group/tasting group in your area or just interact with your fellow students. You can be as interactive or as independent as you want to be.

Classroom camaraderie during "Monthly Meet-Ups"

Enjoy the energy of the live classroom during the monthly thematic Monthly Meet-Ups with your instructor and fellow students! A pre-defined theme pertaining to your course material will be shared in advance and you're welcome to come with wine in hand! These are informal occasions to ask questions and gain additional help reviewing for your exam.

You are part of a global student community

Your classmates will hail from every segment of the wine industry from all over the globe and offer very different insights and points of view. The intellectual ferment adds to the depth of your learning.

Your classroom is mobile

If you have a computer, cell phone or tablet, you have a classroom.

Study Materials

We offer all the necessary tools & support to master the wines of France!

FWS Study Manual in print + e-book formats

The 330-page study manual (NEW 7th 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:

  • 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
  • A Fundamentals Unit covering the history of France, its political geography, physical geography, climate, soils, grapes, training systems, and viticultural & vinicultural practices…plus an important piece on how AOCs are counted and why different sources quote different figures.
  • Special focus on current regional trends and challenges
  • Pie charts of pertinent AOC production numbers and area under vine by wine region
  • Learning objectives that provide detailed assessment criteria for mastery

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

Monthly FWS Meet-ups with Your Instructor and Classmates

Each month, we give you two distinct times to connect with your instructors during our themed Monthly Meet-Ups! This is an informal time to round-table a specific theme as it pertains to your FWS studies. Here's an idea of past and future topics that will be covered. Wine is optional, but recommended! 

1. Thinking Pink

The world of French rosé is a study in pink and partridge eye. This roundtable will discuss why there is such diversity within this wine category and what color can tell you.

2. Champagne: From Flaw to Fantastic

Bubbles in wine were not always well-received. This roundtable will discuss the serendipitous set of circumstances that gave rise to one of the world’s most popular luxury goods.

3. Vines of the 21st Century: Hot and Bothered!

This roundtable discussion will tackle the extremely unpredictable weather events challenging the vignerons of France. Climate change is impacting vit/vini practices from Alsace to Rhône. How does this affect the wine in our glass?

4. Chenin Blanc: Flying High Under the Radar

Chenin Blanc has a cult following among the wine cognoscenti. This roundtable will discuss Chenin in terms of extract and aromatics.

5. The Evolution of the Red Bordeaux Blend

The red Bordeaux blend has changed enormously over the past 200 years. Join the roundtable to discuss the underpinnings of its success. Is it the grapes or is it the terroir?

6. France in your Glass

Join a philosophical discussion on what constitutes the quintessential French wine region! What wine is most closely associated with France, French history, and French culture.

7. Riesling: Straddling the Border

Historically, Alsace Riesling has been structurally different from its German counterpart. Are those differences beginning to blur? Join the discussion as we look at this grape on both sides of the border.

8. There’s Something in the Cellar

What happens when a wine ages? Are these changes always positive?  This roundtable will discuss the pros and cons of starting a wine cellar.

9. Books and Beyond

Have you read a French wine book has taken you beyond the printed word to change your thought processes, wine buying habits, or vacation destination? This roundtable will discuss those terrific tomes…so bring a title to share.

10. The Many Facets of Pinot

Pinot Noir is an unstable grape that is prone to mutation, yet it has turned out to be a very reliable “barometer of the soil.” This roundtable will discuss the many facets of the grape, particularly as it expresses itself in Bourgogne.

11. Late Harvest, Botrytis, Passerillage, Vin Doux Naturel

Consumer preferences are changing. How do sweet wines fit in? This roundtable will discuss sweet wine styles and the ways to showcase them to best advantage.

12. Off the Beaten Track

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find a wine from an off-the-beaten-track French appellation and tell us about it! Let’s go “off-road” and find some hidden treasure.

FWS Online Study Modules

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
  • Educational graphics, videos and pronunciation exercises 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

Instructor-Led Format

Next session starts April 20

Price: $950

Register Now 

About the Program

The French Wine Scholar™ education program is the most advanced, comprehensive, and up-to-date French wine course available. The syllabus takes a regional approach and discusses all French wine appellations and the factors that shape their identities.

The program provides committed students of wine with an unparalleled set of study tools that are designed to maximize learning and boost knowledge retention.

The French Wine Scholar study and certification program confers a post-nominal to wine professionals and enthusiasts who successfully pass the certification exam (Ex: John Smith, FWS). With a school network encompassing 30 countries on 5 continents, the FWS credential has true international recognition.

It was created by WSG Education Director, Lisa M. Airey CWE, with the support of the French Ministry of Agriculture which knighted her in recognition of the program's exceptional level of depth, accuracy, detail, and academic rigor as well as its impact on the global wine industry.

Student Testimonials:

  • David Nelson
    on Mar 10, 2023
    "The FWS course did an excellent job of weaving together the history, geology, climate and the particulars of viticulture and winemaking for the various wine districts and did leave me with a good and basic understanding of wines of France. The instructors were extremely knowledgeable, responsive and attentive. The materials were extensive and plentiful, if a bit overwhelming. "
  • Tim Patrick
    on Jan 29, 2023
    "The combination of instructor-led sessions, an excellent study manual and top-notch e-learning modules made this a great experience. My comprehension of wine articles and my confidence when selecting French wines have both improved enormously."
  • Vince Truong
    on Jan 21, 2023
    "As someone who has sat multiple wine exams now, I believe the WSG content is the best that I have seen in the wine education world, especially with regards to their use of technology (for online modules, practice exams, flashcards) and multiple formats and styles of learning. Because of that, they help you learn more deeply no matter what your learning style is. They're also simply more interesting to study and the information is more current and relevant."
  • Doug Homoky
    on Jan 7, 2023
    "Loved the course. I thought I had a pretty good understanding of French wine, but I learned so much! I would recommend for any wine lover. "
  • Doug Homoky
    on Jan 7, 2023
    "Loved the course. I thought I had a pretty good understanding of French wine, but I learned so much! I would recommend for any wine lover. "
  • Reynald NICOLAS
    on Jan 6, 2023
    "Not usually a fan of online training, I have to admit that I really enjoyed the instructor-led program format, combined with an outstanding study manual. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone wishing to deepen his knowledge of French wines. "
  • Dustin Truscio
    on Dec 2, 2022
    "This was a fantastic course that really elevated my knowledge of France, it’s regions and their wine. It was very well instructed and I enjoyed all the online extra learning."
  • Nilu Afshar
    on Oct 1, 2022
    "The overall Experience was great from administration answering questions to instructors explaining very clearly. I enjoyed it even though it was a lot of information and for me about 7 months of study time. "
  • Nilu Afshar
    on Oct 1, 2022
    "The overall Experience was great from administration answering questions to instructors explaining very clearly. I enjoyed it even though it was a lot of information and for me about 7 months of study time. "
  • Gary Carter
    on Sep 4, 2022
    "Although I have already obtained a WSET Dioloma, I was keen to “deep dive” into French wine history and culture, plus fill in gaps that aren’t part of the WSET diploma syllabus. The course delivered on all these objectives and more. The materials are excellently laid out and the teaching was engaging and knowledgeable. What really stood out for me was the online teaching and revision materials, videos, flashcards and quizzes that made exam preparation straightforward. I would thoroughly recommend this course to anyone interested in understanding the breadth of French wine."
  • Federica Cazzaniga
    on Jun 30, 2022
    "I took the FWS course after passing my WSET 3, in preparation for DipSet. Great content and great insights that gave me a strong understanding of the variety and complexity of France and its wine regions. "
  • Martin Feldman
    on Jun 29, 2022
    "I highly recommend the FWS course. As a long time wine lover, I have often been intimdated by French wine. Not any more! The FWS has provided a comprehesive understanding of French wine and terrior. Lisa and Sharon share their incredible knowledge in a fun classroom atmosphere. The manual is a phenomenal reference, and the online learning tools, especially the videos make it all work."
  • Nathalie Brien
    on Jun 17, 2022
    "Great way to learn about French wines and geography even if you visited the country 20 times! Discover grape varieties you never heard about through videos, live sessions and a great book. I totally recommand this program with WSG."
  • Sarah Lewis
    on Apr 20, 2022
    "The program was excellent with a harmonious balance of historical context, growing environment, winemaking practices, and of course the wines themselves. In particular, I think the FWS has a focus on delivering materials that enhance the student's success in understanding and appreciation of all that the wines of France have to offer."
  • David Kamm
    on Apr 13, 2022
    "The French Wine Scholar program provides an in-depth exploration of every wine region in France. It is an invaluable aid in grasping the nuances of the different regions, their soil, geography and other environmental influences, going far being the grape and viticulture. It is very detailed, however, and not for the faint of heart, but more geared to the serious wine student. Clearly, even without taking the exam, one's knowledge of the French wine regions will be boosted by the course. "



Disclaimer: WSG offers wine study courses that are targeted to both beginners and those more experienced in the wine industry. While WSG has received many accolades, awards, and testimonials, WSG is not an accredited institution or school. WSG does not guarantee or warrant that any employer or school will recognize WSG wine study courses. While WSG knows that it is a well-recognized institution within the multi-national wine community, it cannot guarantee anyone success in their profession or vocation.

Sign up to receive our latest updates