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    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:






    Earn the French Wine Scholar™ (FWS) post-nominal online via the independent study format or enroll in the 15-week instructor-led format with 8 live webinars. 

    "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 

    The French Wine scholar™ online learning format includes:


    • A suggested schedule of study with learning objectives for each region
    • Live review webinars with acclaimed wine educators Sharon Mclean, DIPWSET, FWS and Lisa M. Airey, CWE, FWS*
    • 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

      *Instructor-led format only

    Pricing for the online study formats:

    Independent study format

    On-demand, start anytime

    Price: $595 


    15-week instructor-led format

    Next session starts Dec. 2nd 2019

    Price: $790 


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


    French Wine Scholar™ classes will be offered by approved program providers.  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 over 60+ WSG program providers in 25 countries on 5 continents.


    "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

    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
    • 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.



    Industry Testimonials

    • "The French Wine Scholar manual has once again proven why the Wine Scholar Guild is one of the best wine
      Nicholas Poletto
      Director of Education at Kobrand Corporation
    • "Indispensable for any wine trade professional who works with French wine.  Bravo!”    
      Martin Sinkoff
      VP and Director of Marketing, Frederick Wildman And Sons
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    • With FWS, I’ll be using all that I’ve learned every day as a food and wine tour guide in Toulouse.
      Jessica Hammer, FWS
      Founder of Taste of Toulouse
      WSET Level 2
    • FWS, and the whole Wine Scholar Guild, will keep me updated…..and being updated is just the best thing you can do in the wine world if you want to succeed!!
      José Luiz Ferrazzo Neto, FWS
      Commercial Manager at Portus Importer - Wine Educator with Oenocultura
      WSET Diploma
    • I use what I’ve learned in the FWS on a daily basis, and I would highly recommend the FWS to those of whom want a comprehensive knowledge of the most important region in the world.
      Kathy Phillips, FWS
      Server at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
      Introductory Sommelier Certificate (CMS)
    • I would be interested in becoming a certified FWS wine educator to further pursue my wine passion.
      Zhiyong Zhou, FWS
      Wine Enthusiast
      WSET Level 3

    Where to Study

    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.

    WSG thanks the following organizations for their support:


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