GENERAL QUESTIONS MASTER-LEVEL PROGRAMS
No. These are certificate programs.
No, but students typically get more out of any Master-Level program if they are already conversant in French wine.
No. The Master Level programs are available in a distance-learning format only. This format enables students from all over the world to learn directly from renowned regional experts (including winemakers, MW, MS…) imparting their specialized knowledge via a series of webinars.
Students are encouraged to purchase wine and work their way through the optional tasting assignments. A Coravin is highly recommended; this way multiple bottles can be tasted without “opening them.” (Ex: A Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc can thus be compared to a similar product from Bordeaux weeks later.)
• E-learning is flexible and available “on demand.” The programming is delivered to the student’s computer at their convenience.
• E-learning makes the world smaller! By going online, this program allows students to have access to a pool of talented educators from around the world.
• E-learning is accessible, convenient, and affordable. No traffic jams. No travel. No parking costs.
A strong wine background is suggested. Students interested in Master Level programs are recommended to read the WSG Wine Education Path for more information: https://www.winescholarguild.org/wine-education-path. This said, preparatory reading and e-learning modules are immediately accessible upon enrollment for those who need to brush up. Students will be provided with all the materials required to enter the program from a position of strength including:
• The French Wine Scholar Study Manual’s relevant regional chapter
• Online access to the French Wine Scholar’s relevant regional e-learning module and review quiz
Anyone who wishes to understand a specific French wine region from the ground up:
• Aspiring wine professionals looking to enter the wine industry with serious knowledge on the wines of France, and/or Italy and/or Spain.
• Advanced wine professionals hoping to specialize in the wines of France, Italy or Spain
• Individuals with a deep passion for the countries and wines of France, Italy or Spain
Our Master-Level programs go a step further than the Wine Scholar programs by focusing on a single wine region. This focus gives advanced students the opportunity to develop an area of specialization and expertise. At this time, students can study Master-Level programs for the following regions: Loire, Bordeaux, Bourgogne, and Champagne.
The student has a full year of online access to webinars and review quizzes (from date of registration). Candidates should sit the exam when they are confident of a pass. Most students study for at least four to six months…with study time squeezed into evenings and weekends. The Bourgogne ML requires closer to 12 months of such study.
Study the maps! Students will be asked to identify landforms, rivers, cities/towns, appellations and special terroirs. Blank practice maps are provided on the course homepage. These same maps are used in the map identification exercises.
Know the facts! The 50 multiple-choice questions will have the standard four answer options from which to choose.
Understand the material! The four essay questions will test the student’s working knowledge of the material. Use facts. Avoid broad generalizations whose vacuousness hints of little or no knowledge. (Ex: Petit Verdot is making a comeback in Bordeaux as this late-ripening grape is finally achieving consistent ripeness most years thanks to Global Warming and rising temperatures. As opposed to: Petit Verdot is becoming increasingly popular these days.)
Use bullet points to express key points, but remember…this is an essay. Work facts into the argument.
Less can be more. Students are encouraged to be concise. Don’t take four paragraphs to say what can be said in one. Avoid editorializing. Be logical, methodical, and clear.
It is suggested that students review the preparatory information then read the study manual in its entirety before beginning active study. This helps to establish “big picture” themes before diving deep into details. Then, after the first read through, begin to work through each chapter and watch the corresponding webinar. (Note: Some webinars will not correspond directly to a specific chapter…these are even deeper dives into a specific issue/challenge/topic.) Use a highlighter. Underline key information. Work through the review quizzes. Make sure you understand a chapter before moving on to the next. Re-watch the webinars. Lastly, do a final read through the entire manual before your exam. You should be able to fly through it at this point! Sit your exam when you are confident of a passing score.
The student’s knowledge of the region should include the following: soils; geography; topography; the grapes and their synonyms; AOCs and the primary grape(s) grown within their confines; history and key individuals; wine styles and key production facts.
The Master Level exams demand a working knowledge of the material and a true understanding of the inner workings of the region and an ability to put this into historical context.
The exam is comprehensive. It will cover everything...even the technical bits.