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    Unit 1 | Northern Italy | Italian Wine Scholar Online Course

    The Italian Wine Scholar™ program is the industry's most respected certification course on the wines of Italy.

    The Italian Wine Scholar™ education program is the most advanced, comprehensive, and up-to-date Italian wine course available. The syllabus takes a regional approach and discusses all italian 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.

    It was created with the support of the Italian wine DOC/G consortia.

    The Italian Trade Commission (ITA) endorsed the program in recognition of its exceptional level of depth, accuracy, detail, and academic rigor.

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

    The Italian Wine Scholar course is composed of two separate units:

    • Unit 1: The Wines of Northern Italy
    • Unit 2: The Wines of Central & Southern Italy 

    Students of wine who follow this in-depth curriculum and pass the exam for Unit 1 and Unit 2 will earn the Italian Wine Scholar™ (IWS) post-nominal.


    The Italian Wine Scholar ™ Unit 1 (Northern Italy) online | Independent Study Format includes: 



    • The Italian Wine Scholar™ online exam for Unit 1
    • A suggested schedule of study with learning objectives for each region
    • Online quizzes and learning games for self-evaluation
    • Downloadable maps
    • A list of of recommended wines to sample on your own or in a tasting group hosted by students enrolled in the online program

    Price for Unit 1 (Northern Italy): $595 


    *IWS Unit 1 online exam: You have one year from your registration date to take your exam (extension possible for a nominal fee). If you are registered for an online exam-sit and ready to schedule it, you may contact one month in advance WSG office manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to check availabilities. Online exam candidates shall be equipped with a PC or Mac Desktop or laptop computer with working microphone, speakers and webcam and possess a good internet connection. The exam cannot be taken from a tablet, nor a mobile phone or Chromebook.

    Alternately, the IWS Unit 1 program is available in a instructor-led online format with professional instructor support from with acclaimed wine educators 

    "I am impressed by the thoroughness of research that has gone into the Italian Wine Scholar study manual, and by the clear way it is laid out"
    Nicolas Belfrage Master of Wine, author of the acclaimed books “Barolo to Valpolicella: the Wines of Northern Italy” and “Brunello to Zibibbo: the Wines of Tuscany, Central and Southern Italy”

    Study materials: 



    The 260-page, full-color study manual 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.

    A comprehensive cover of Italy’s 9 distinct northern wine regions in the following manner:

    • History, culture and traditions
    • Location and climate with their effects on viticulture and wines
    • Topography, geography and soils
    • Grape varieties and their organoleptic profiles
    • Viticulture and winemaking
    • Wine industry trends and economics
    • All DOCs and DOCGs with their regulations, wine styles and specificities

    REGIONS COVERED: Valle d’Aosta, Lombardia, Piemonte, Trentino, Alto Adige, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna

    Italian Wine Scholar™ study manual features:


    A Foundation Unit provides an overview which pulls all of Italy and its wines into perspective.

    "Committed students of wine will love the Italian Wine Scholar manual. It’s exhaustive coverage of Italy’s regions, grape varieties and wine styles will only make you thirsty."
    Peter Marks, Master of Wine, Vice President of Education at Constellation Academy of Wine

    #2 IWS Online Study Modules:

    The IWS 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 Italy are covered and dovetails nicely with the Italian 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!

    Italian 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 Italian Wine Programs Coordinator Andrea Eby
    • Online Instructor-led Format: via the Q&A forum plus email and live chat with acclaimed wine educators 
    • In Classroom: via a local, certified instructor

    8 reasons why you should consider becoming an Italian Wine Scholar:

    1. To drink and speak like an Italian by learning about the iconic grapes, and appellations as well as hidden gems that only Italian knows.

    2. To Specialize! Many in the industry have general wine credentials. The Italian Wine Scholar program allows you to set yourself apart by acquiring an advanced-level, focused skill set.

    3. To enhance your working knowledge of Italian wine by understanding the impact of history, the significance of geological events, the importance of topographical markers and the influence of climatic factors on the wine in the glass.

    4. To become more confident at buying and cellaring Italian wines by studying how the wines are made and labeled.

    5. To tackle challenging theory exams from WSET, Society of Wine Educators and Court of Master Sommeliers.

    6. To start your vinous exploration if you are considering working in the wine industry. Many reference France and Italy as the benchmark for wine production.

    7. To enhance your value to your employer! Wine professionals that invest in professional development tend to perform better at their job and get recognized for it.

    8. To join a vibrant community of Italian Wine lovers who consider this program, the benchmark for Italian wine education

    "I am very impressed with the first edition of the Italian Wine Scholar Unit 1 study manual which is well researched and thoughtfully laid out."
    Jeannie Cho Lee, Master of Wine


    What information is covered in the course/study manuals?

    The manuals structure the study of each of Italy’s 20 distinct wine regions in the following manner:

    • History, culture and traditions
    • Location and climate with their effects on viticulture and wines
    • Topography, geography and soils
    • Grape varieties and their organoleptic profiles
    • Viticulture and winemaking
    • Wine industry trends and economics
    • All DOCs and DOCGs with their regulations, wine styles and specificities

    Why is advanced Italian Wine Study so complex?

    Although an Old World country, Italy is younger than the United States. Unification of the Italian peninsula occurred in 1861. In the centuries prior to Italian unification, Italy was divided into a plethora of small kingdoms and city-states. Each of these political entities shaped the history, people and culture of their region; for this reason, studying Italy is akin to studying the wine production of 20 different countries--each one with its own grapes, wines, food and traditions.

    Are there any pre-requisites to enter this program?

    While not a pre-requisite, we recommend that students have successfully completed, at a minimum, one of the following programs before enrolling in the Italian Wine Scholar program: WSET level 2, Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) or Court of Master Sommelier’s Introductory Sommelier Certificate (Level 1).

    Why invest in certification ?


    The era of self-professed wine experts is long over. Professionals need credentials.
    Certification is resume-building, validates competency and serves as a point of distinction midst trade and peers alike.

    The era of self-professed wine experts is long over. Professionals need credentials.

    Certification is resume-building, validates competency and serves as a point of distinction midst trade and peers alike.

    Why study Italian wine with us?

    The IWS study manual has already received many words of praise by wine professionals including Nicolas Belfrage MW, Ciro Pirone, Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Craig Locascio, Paul Wagner, Peter Marks MW. 

    Maurizio Broggi, DWS and creator of the Italian Wine Scholar program, brought his academic acumen to the Wine Scholar Guild to build the IWS program.  He achieved the highest score in the world for WSET level 2 and was also one of the top scorers for Diploma level.

    Wine Scholar Guild (WSG) study programs have been taught internationally to over 10,000 of students of wine!

    WSG student evaluations have been very positive; students love learning with our innovative and multi-faceted educational tools.

    In the 10 years since its inception, the Wine Scholar Guild has become the world leader in specialization programs on the wines of France. We aim to do the same for Italy!

    How does this wine study program compare to other certification programs?

    The Italian Wine Scholar program is a great resource and supplement for students of wine moving toward advanced general wine study programs such as WSET Diploma (level 4), Master of Wine, Court of Master Sommeliers’ Advanced Sommelier (level 3 and up) or Society of Wine Educator’s Certified Wine Educator (CWE). 

    Many of these programs ask their students to do extensive independent research in order to study for their exam. To this end, the Italian Wine Scholar program serves as an advanced and comprehensive study supplement to help them master the complex wines of Italy.

    What are the benefits of the program?

    The program deepens and strengthens the student’s knowledge of Italian wine. 

    Successful completion of the program confers the Italian Wine Scholar title. This may be incorporated into a professional signature and added to the resumé. For individuals hoping to start a second career in wine, this credential provides a strong knowledge base enabling a job applicant to enter the industry from a position of strength.

    Who endorses the program?


    The Wine Scholar Guild’s Italian Wine Scholar Program received official endorsement from the Italian Trade Commission (ITA).

    The Italian Trade Commission is a governmental body whose role is to promote the internationalization of Italian companies in line with the strategies of the Italian Ministry for Economic Development. It identifies and connects Italian and foreign businesses and provides support and advice to both.

    The program has also received endorsments from several regional wine consortia as well as testimonials from high-profile industry professionals.

    See all Endorsments and Testimonials

    How was the Italian Wine Scholar program created?

    The Italian Wine Scholar program was created by the Wine Scholar Guild educational team including Maurizio Broggi, Education Director for Italy; Lisa M. Airey, Director of Education and Kirra Barnes, Editorial Assistant. 

    We would also like to extend our appreciation to the following organizations for sharing their resources and extending their support: Federdoc, Regione Piemonte – Dip. Agricoltura, Consorzio di Tutela Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe e Roero & Andrea Ferrero, Consorzio Barbera d'Asti Docg e Vini del Monferrato & Daniele Becchi, Azienda Agricola G. Ricci Curbastro e Figli, Cave du Vin Blanc de Morgex et La Salle, Casa Vinicola Aldo Rainoldi, La Brugherata, Ramoino & Fabiana Ramoino, Elio Ottin,  Consorzio Tutela Vini d'Acqui, Enoteca Regionale Gattinara & Roberto Sella, Consorzio Tutela Vini Caluso Carema Canavese, Consorzio Tutela del Roero & Francesco Monchiero, Azienda Agricola Vezzoli Giuseppe, Consorzio Tutela del Gavi, Cantina Comunale "I Sorì di Diano", Tim Holmes & Aosta Valley Representation (UK), Cantina Favaro, Consorzio Vini Alto Adige & Werner Waldboth, Consorzio Vini del Trentino - Trentino Marketing & Graziano Molon & Valentina Voltolini, Augustiner Chorherrenstift Neustift - Abbazia di Novacella, Cantina Conte Vistarino, Giorgi di F.lli Giorgi, Terre Bianche & Filippo Rondelli, Enoteca Grazia di Sestri Levante, Consorzio Tutela del Franciacorta, Consorzio Tutela Bardolino Doc, Consorzio Tutela Vino Custoza, Consorzio Tutela Vini Valpolicella, Tommaso Bussola, Tommasi Viticoltori, Consorzio Tutela del Soave, Gravner,  Consorzio Tutela Vini Collio, Roncus, Mauro Businaro, Francesco Bonini, Consorzio Tutela del Vino Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco, Consorzio per la tutela del Prosecco Doc, Consorzio Tutela Vini Doc Friuli Grave, Consorzio Tutela Vini Friuli Colli Orientali, Consorzio Tutela Vini Doc Friuli Isonzo, Cantina Mario Schiopetto, Gdmtech & Graziano De Maio.


    What is the Italian Wine Scholar program?

    The Italian Wine Scholar Certification Program is a course of study on the wines and wine regions of Italy. It is an advanced curriculum tailored to the wine trade and to serious wine hobbyists.

    Questions about the exam?

    Read this page to learn more about the exam