To become an Italian Wine Scholar and receive the IWS credential candidates need to pass the exams for Unit 1 and Unit 2 with a composite score of 75% The scores from both exams are added together and averaged for final assessment.
Students with a composite score of 85-90.5 pass with HONORS. Candidates scoring 91-100 pass with HIGHEST HONORS.
Passing the exam for unit 1 or unit 2 alone does not confer the Italian Wine Scholar credential.
Preparing for the exam:
In order to prepare properly for the exam, you must read and study the manual carefully. At first, it may seem a daunting body of knowledge to tackle…but we would like to give you a few tips.
What is important?
- Pay close attention to superlatives (biggest, smallest, highest, lowest, newest, oldest, youngest). Note the facts associated with words such as “first” and “last.” They make for good exam questions.
- Learn the Italian wine terms and their English equivalents.
- Know your soils, geography, mountains and rivers.
- Know your grapes and their synonyms.
- Become conversant in Italy’s DOC(G)s and the primary grape(s) grown within their confines.
- Know your history and the key individuals who have figured prominently in the development of the wine culture of any given region.
- Study the specifics of wine production for white, rosé, red, sparkling, late-harvest, and passitos.
- Study your maps. You need to know where the wine regions and their DOC(G)s are located.
- Pay attention to the need-to-know icons.
The exam is comprehensive. It will cover all the wine regions of Italy. This means you must study everything!