Italian Wine Scholar™

Italian Wine Scholar™ Study & Certification Program

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"The Wine Scholar Guild has created an impressive and comprehensive curriculum in the ever-changing and always complicated world of Italian wine."
Alfonso Cevola, Corporate Director for Italian Wines for Southern Glazers. Author of the award-winning blog “On the Wine Trail in Italy”

About the Italian Wine Scholar™ program:

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 course is composed of two separate units:

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

Student Testimonials:

  • Liza Nivillac
    on Dec 1, 2022
    "I enjoyed the Italian Wine Scholar Program very much. I consider it one of the most detailed and comprehensive programs to learn about Italian wines. I highly recommend it. Saluti!"
  • Julia Lea
    on Nov 30, 2022
    "This is my first experience of WSG and I was pleasantly surprised how in depth the manuals were and how much I have learnt. the ability to taste as well put into context what I was learning. "
  • Jacqui Martin
    on Nov 30, 2022
    "For the ultimate study challenge - consider The Italian Wine Scholar. Immerse yourself in every region's best expression of their terroir through the grape varieties they choose to champion and why. Discover the passion behind the Italian Wine Industry. Delight in its attention to every detail - from vineyard to bottle and of course, to your glass. Open the manual and enjoy! "
  • David Lane
    on Nov 30, 2022
    "Having already completed the Spanish and French Wine Scholar courses, I was looking forward to the Italian course. I was not disappointed with Unit One and am now looking forward to Unit Two."
  • David Lane
    on Nov 30, 2022
    "Having already completed the Spanish and French Wine Scholar courses, I was looking forward to the Italian course. I was not disappointed with Unit One and am now looking forward to Unit Two."
  • Alejandro Espinoza
    on Oct 28, 2022
    "This programme gave me the tools to finally understand Italian wine with its grapes and different appellations, good job!"
  • Kandace E Faidley
    on Oct 8, 2022
    "I love Wine Scholar Guild programs. They are a comprehensive look at the history, people, grapes, terroir, and food that go into the amazing wines of the world."
  • Felipe Andres Avendano Callinir
    on Oct 1, 2022
    "In my opinion it helped me in my work, where we work only Italian wines, the maps help a lot, easy to use the website from the cell phone and the book is very complete, the only thing missing is to suggest some DOCG producers that you have to taste."
  • Jose Renato Camilotti
    on Sep 29, 2022
    "The IWS is by far the most comprehensive program about Italian wines. The rich material is designed to be logical, presenting key points of history, geography and climate, linked all those elements to grapes and traditions to each region. A truly delightful journey of culture, knowledge and learning about the fantastic world of wine. I highly recommend the IWS program. Congratulations to the WSG team! "
  • Antonio Giustacchini
    on Sep 18, 2022
    "With WSC I discovered and understood dynamics about Italian wine that are hard to find in other programs, depens into the history, geography, traditions of each individual region as a starting point to describe the grape varieties used and the different denominations of origin. Not only can you get to know Italian wine in depth, but discover the whole Italy! "
  • Jason Burns
    on Sep 6, 2022
    "The Italian Wine Scholar program is very clear and easy to understand and learn. I loved being able to study at my own pace with no pressure or deadlines. "
  • Jessica Anne Tan
    on Sep 1, 2022
    "I loved the IWS program (U1 and U2) because it gave a good overview and somewhat in depth look into Italy's many DOC and DOCGs and their grapes. It was a good challenge to conquer the history and appellations of the 20 regions. Now, I feel almost complete (I still need to taste all the native grapes ;)) in my Italian wine studies, or have I only started. After completing the IWS and VIA certifications, I can say my journey into Italy has only begun, proper! I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to learn Italy without being overwhelmed."
  • Stephanie Ketron
    on Aug 20, 2022
    "I highly recommend IWS for anyone who wants/needs to become more versed in the complicated, highly diverse world of Italian Wines."
  • Stephen Dominic Peter Walsh
    on Aug 6, 2022
    "The IWS Italian Wine Scholar Unit 1 opened my mind and eyes to parts of Italy I knew nothing about and provided me with in-depth knowledge on the wines from Northern Italy regions. I now read the whole wine menu in Italian restaurants and look for wines I learned about. I have chosen Vermintino and Barbara recently instead of the standard Soave or Chianti and had the pleasure to introduce and explain to my friends.The course is well structured and very well run."
  • KiJung Kim
    on Jul 29, 2022
    "IWS program is absolutely great. Thanks for your service."



Earn the Italian Wine Scholar™ (IWS) post-nominal via the online, independent study format or enroll in the 10-week, instructor-led online format including live review webinars.

The online learning format includes for each unit: 

  • A suggested schedule of study with learning objectives for each region
  • Live review webinars with acclaimed wine educators and Italian Programs Director Andrea Eby (*instructor-led format only)
  • Online quizzes and learning games for self-evaluation
  • Downloadable maps of all Italian 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
"I have devoured the Italian Wine Scholar manual and found it incredibly well written, precise and comprehensive"
Ciro Pirone, Italian Wines Director at Horizon Beverage Group



The Italian Wine Scholar™ program is offered by WSG Approved Program Providers, now including 90 wine schools in 30 countries and 5 continents.

 Each unit of the Italian Wine Scholar™ is offered by licensed program providers and delivered by an approved IWS instructor. This study format includes:

  • Classroom instruction with tutored tastings
  • A copy of the IWS study manual
  • Access to the IWS online study modules & quizzes for class prep & review
  • In-classroom exam sit

All IWS program providers teach from the same Wine Scholar Guild-developed presentations and are supplied with uniform teaching materials.

IWS Testimonials

  • "I have devoured the Italian Wine Scholar manual and found it incredibly well written"
    Ciro Pirone
    Director Italian Wines at Horizon Beverage Group (Boston, MA)
  • "I am very impressed with the first edition of the Italian Wine Scholar Unit 1 study manual."
    Jeannie Cho Lee MW
    First Asian Master of Wine and award-winning author, wine critic and educator. Contributing Editor for Decanter
  • "Committed students of wine will love the Italian Wine Scholar manual..."
    Peter Marks MW
    Vice President of Education at Constellation Academy of Wine
  • "In one word, the first edition of Italian Wine Scholar Unit 1 study manual is “Exceptional”!"
    Pam Kindel Connors
    Human Resources Business Partner Director, Glazer's Louisiana
  • "The information is comprehensive, the writing is engaging and the format is easy to follow. Congratulations!"
    Craig Locascio
    South Atlantic Director of Education and Sales Training, Breakthru Beverage Group
  • "It is tightly edited and focused, with a great collection of maps and other graphics as well.”
    Paul Wagner
    Balzac Communication & Italian Wine Marketing specialist
  • "It’s a superb resource to study and dig deep into the wines of Northern Italy"
    Gregory Doody
    President & CEO at Vineyard Brands
  • " invaluable tool vital to a student’s success in learning about the world’s most diverse wine country"
    Tim Gaiser MS
    Renowned wine expert and Master Sommelier
  • "Invaluable for both the wine professional and dedicated enthusiast alike"
    Susan Hulme MW
    Wine educator and consultant, judge for Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) and Italian wine expert
  • "a scholarly work that is amazingly approachable and accessible, especially considering its comprehensive, encylopedic nature"
    Len Presutti CWE
    Corporate Wine Educator at Martignetti Companies
  • "The first edition of the Italian Wine Scholar Unit 1 study manual is rich in details and a great read"
    Chris So
    Founder of WINELIST.HK, a wine media, education and consultancy company in Hong Kong
  • “Italian wine is a complicated topic and your fine work cuts through what could be an overwhelming course of study and makes it very approachable”
    Timothy C. Clark
    National Wine Educator at Terlato Wines
  • "Through the comprehensive IWS manuals, the student of Italian wine is able to dive deeply into the diverse world of the wines of Italy"
    Gianmaria Trenti
    Winemaker at Edmund Mach Foundation in Trentino