The Wine Scholar Guild is excited to announce the list of 2016 top exam scorers from around the world! Bravo!
French Wine Scholar Program
1. Lillian Lim (California, USA) - Score: 100%
''My certifications include: Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, Certified Specialist of Wines with the Society of Wine Educators (currently pursuing the Certified Wine Educator, too) and California Wine Appellation Specialist.
Although the CMS and SWE programs covered a wide breadth of knowledge, the FWS program gave me the opportunity to pursue my passion for French wines. It provided me with a deeper understanding of the historical, sociological and geological factors that have contributed to the development of French wines. I learned about the early civilizations that first produced wine in each region, how events such as war or changes of nationality impact the community around the wine, the geological history of the soils, the soil and climate conditions in which certain grapes thrive and the relationship of wine to local cuisine. Through my studies with the FWS program, I felt as if I had taken a tour of France over thousands of years." READ MORE
1. Katharine (Kate) Hall (Great Britain) - Score: 100%
''Previously, I had also passed WSET level 3. I liked that the French Wine Scholar course concentrates on just one country and it was possible to learn about its wines in much more depth.
It was enjoyable to see how the comprehensive and detailed information on the course, plus the French language, history and geography I learned in school, and my travels around France, came together to explain today's French wines.
It has also made me much more adventurous in my choice of wines, and more confident in selecting a wine from one of the lesser known regions..." READ MORE
1. Flavio Lorenzilli (California, USA) - Score: 100%
''I have been taking WSET classes. The latest one was WSET Advanced, which I passed with distinction. I am planning to move on to the WSET diploma, if my own work schedule permits.
I am currently enrolled in the Italian Wine Scholar Unit 1. I would really enjoy continuing on to IWS Unit 2 and the Spanish Wine Scholar course, when they are available. Because I do have a full-time job and also teach college courses at UCLA, my time is limited, but I do intend to continue my wine education.
The FWS program has been extremely interesting and it has complemented my knowledge about French wines tremendously. I think that the course was very well organized and extremely informative. This is what convinced me to enroll in the Italian Wine Scholar program." READ MORE
1. Shawn McVay (California, USA) - Score: 100%
"As much as I enjoy the studying and selling aspects of wine, I feel my calling is to craft with my hands. I just resigned from my previous position as a wine director and bartender at a great restaurant in order to pursue my winemaking goals. I plan on focusing on my studies for a while and interning at local wineries until I have enough experience to establish my own place.
So far, I have completed the WSET Level 2 & 3, the Court of Master Sommeliers Introductory Level 1, and the FWS. I am currently enrolled to take the Certified Sommelier exam in March of this year.
Regarding longer-term educational goals, I plan on moving forward with my WSET Diploma as well as the Advanced Sommelier certification. And in the meantime I look forward to taking the Italian Wine Scholar and other supplemental educational workshops and programs." READ MORE
Bourgogne Master-Level Program
1. Kari Dawson (Noth Carolina, USA) - Score 97%
"I am a dedicated wine enthusiast who has traveled to wine producing areas throughout the United States, France and Italy.
I hold a WSET Level 3 (advanced) certification and am a Certified Specialist of Wine and Certified Specialist of Spirits.
The Master-Level program allowed me to take a more general understanding of wine and focus on a specific area and type of wine.
I love understanding how the history, natural attributes and culture of a given place shape its wines."
Bordeaux Master-Level Program
1. Jamie Tiy Bowton (California, USA) - Score 99%
"I have been in the WSET program as well, and am still studying for my diploma.
At this point, I’m not sure where I am going – I love sharing and teaching people about wine.
The French Wine Scholar Guild study programs have really helped solidify and expand my knowledge of French wine and wine in general.
Materials are so well written and organized and I have used them as an adjunct to my other studies."
1. Erika Frey, FWS (Massachusetts, USA) - Score 99%
"I hold the Diploma from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, and I am a Certified Wine Educator with the Society of Wine Educators.
I also completed the Wine Studies Certificate at Boston University. I've done some wine studies at Cornell University and UC Davis as well.
I also hold the California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS) and Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS) certifications in addition to my FWS and Alsace and Champagne Master Levels. I just completed a WSET course in Sake."
Champagne Master-Level Program
1. Heather Dougherty, FWS (Pennsylvania, USA) - Score 97%
"I run wine tastings and events for a wide range of consumers and for the wine trade. I am a member of the Circle of Wine Writers and am the current Chairman of the Association of Wine Educators. Wine is something that turned from a hobby to a profession for me. I’ve been educating people about wine for the last twelve years and feel incredibly lucky to be doing something I love for a living.
I hold the WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits. Champagne has been an abiding interest through numerous visits/study tours to the region over the years, but the Champagne ML programme has taken my knowledge and appreciation to a new level. Last year I was a UK finalist in the European Champagne Ambassador competition and I would love to go one better in the future"
Sud de France Master-Level Program
1. Joanna Mackie (France) - Score 98%
"I consider myself a wine enthusiast. It’s primarily a hobby that has taken me from boutique wine tastings, wine dinners and regional and international tours to some serious study – WSET wine courses, French wine scholar program and more recently undertaking the Master Level program with the Wine Scholar Guild.
So what is it about wine that inspires me to learn more?
Wine encompasses ancient civilizations, history, culture, science, geography and more importantly a sense of place. I believe wine is made in the vineyard and it is that interaction of geology, climate and vine that creates that unique substance in the glass. Like learning a new language, it takes almost a lifetime to master." READ MORE
Provence Master-Level Program
1. Erika Frey, FWS (Massachusetts, USA) - Score 98%
''I hold the Diploma from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, and I am a Certified Wine Educator with the Society of Wine Educators. I also completed the Wine Studies Certificate at Boston University. I've done some wine studies at Cornell University and UC Davis as well. I also hold the California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS) and Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS) certifications in addition to my FWS and Alsace and Champagne Master Levels. I just completed a WSET course in Sake.
Most of the other programs I have done have been overview courses which really only allow students to touch upon each regions. With the Master Levels, I have enjoyed focusing on one area and really digging deep into the history, people, process, etc. Not only do you learn what sets a particular region apart from others, but you also learn many valuable concepts that can be applied to many other regions."
Alsace Master-Level Program
1. Danielle St-Jules, FWS (California, USA) - Score 93%
''I have always been interested in the Alsace wine region since I really enjoy the wine that I’ve tasted from that area of France.
After taking the French Wine Scholar program and learning more about the Master-Level programs that were available, I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn more about Alsace.
The detail of the program guide and the informative webinars were excellent and have really inspired me to continue learning more about French wine." READ MORE