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Tuesday, 30 July 2019 10:12

Discover our newest study & certification program

After nearly two years of hard work, we are thrilled to present the Wine Scholar Guild’s latest certification course…

The Spanish Wine Scholar™ (SWS) Program!

The program officially launches in October of 2019, but it is already garnering significant attention around the globe.

Recognizing the exceptional depth and accuracy of the program, Wines from Spain (ICEX - Spain's Trade & Investment Government Agency) has officially endorsed the program!

"Wines from Spain is pleased to have had the opportunity to witness and consult on the development of this much needed and important Spanish Wine Scholar program since its inception. The program showcases the richness of Spanish wines - their authenticity, huge diversity and premium quality - combined with the rich culture and history that gave rise to their origins. The program offers a great opportunity for those who want to widen their knowledge of the wines from Spain."
Alfonso Janeiro Diez, Head of Wines From Spain (Madrid)

Meet the Spanish Wine Scholar™ Team:

1) Rick Fisher – Program Developer/Education Director

Rick’s Spanish heritage has created an unquenchable fire within him for all things Spain – in particular, Spanish wine; he was a natural fit to lead the development of the Spanish Wine Scholar™ program. In early 2017, he left a successful 20-year career in banking to devote himself full-time to the creation of the program. Rick (literally) took the bull by the horns and worked tirelessly to get this project ready for you! He has spent the past two years traveling Spain, meticulously researching, and writing to ensure SWS is the most up-to-date and accurate resource available for the wines of Spain.

2) Quentin Sadler - Cartographer

Good wine maps speak volumes and expert cartographer and wine educator, Quentin Sadler, had a lot to say when it came to creating our Spanish wine maps! The decision to work with Quentin was easy – his maps are amazing and he, too, has a passion for Spain. For SWS, he created 21 meticulously researched national and regional maps. Together, Rick and Quentin are committed to making Spanish Wine Scholar™ the “Gold Standard” in Spanish wine education.

3) Lisa Airey, Kirra Barnes & Kate Hall – Editorial Staff

A project like Spanish Wine Scholar™ does not get accomplished without the diligent help of a team of professionals; and we have some of the best! Lisa, the WSG Education Director, worked alongside Rick and guided him throughout the arduous process of program development, while Kirra and Kate proofed and edited! This project would not have been possible without the help of these three extremely talented ladies.

4) Jonas Tofterup – Copy Editor

We were extremely fortunate to have collaborated with Jonas, Master of Wine and founder of the Iberian Wine Academy in Málaga, on this project. Jonas’s insights to each chapter are enhanced by his vast expertise on Spanish wine. We are excited to have him on board!

5) Alexandra Gauthier, Roselin Martinez Jimenez & Natalia Araque – E-learning Team

The Spanish Wine Scholar™ program features a full array of e-learning modules skillfully crafted by Alexandra, Roselin, and Natalia and narrated by Rick. These modules serve to enhance your experience by offering fun and interactive components to your learning.

6) The Rest…

A project of such undertaking would not be possible without the partnership of others. In the development of SWS, numerous organizations assisted with verifying information and providing statistics, charts, and maps. While it is difficult to thank everyone here we would like to send a special “Thank You” to the folks at Wines from Spain as well as the numerous Consejos Reguladores who all happily contributed to and supported the project. 

A special “¡Muchas Gracias!” goes out to the 120+ wine educators from around the world who have been participating in the Spanish Wine Scholar™ pre-launch since January 2019. Their regular feedback was invaluable in getting this program ready for all of you! A number of these folks have since passed their exams and are excitedly preparing to teach SWS classes later this year! 

Listen to what a few of them have to say about the Spanish Wine Scholar™ study and certification program:


 Jimmy Smith, FWS, IWS, SWS, DipWSET

 Owner & Head Tutor at West London Wine School

 "The in-depth SWS programme is a wonderful immersion of study through the history, culture and romance of the vinous nation of Spain. Expertly crafted by the   SWS maestro Rick Fisher, the detailed and comprehensive textbook expertly guides you through all the regions of Spain including lesser-   known areas such as   the Canary and Balearic Islands. From the Albillo to Zalema grape varieties there is thorough and meticulous information including geological, geographical,   topographical and meteorological and how these disciplines combine to shape the mouth-watering wines of Spain.

The SWS course is an absolute must for anyone who wishes to master vinous Spain and sits proudly in its vigour and depth alongside the FWS and IWS.”


 Monica Marin, DipWSET, SWS

 Director of Education Programs, The Wine House – Los Angeles

  “The Spanish Wine Scholar Program is the industry’s most up-to date and  in-depth course on the wines of Spain. The level of detail and quality of the materials make this program a mandatory course for any serious student of wine. Viva España!”



 Lisa Lehar, CSW, CSS, SWS

 Owner & Educator at Vine Lab Wine & Spirits Academy of Minnesota

 “I was thrilled to be part of the pilot program for the Spanish Wine Scholar. The program was comprehensive, a deep dive into all of the areas that produce wine in Spain. The best thing about the program is that it pulls in many facets that make wine fascinating to me and a lot of other students of the vine - history, food, geography, grapes, culture.”


Why Study Spanish Wine?

  • Spain has more land under vine than any other country and ranks third in production (behind Italy and France).
  • Indigenous Spanish grapes such as Tempranillo, Garnacha, Monastrell, Verdejo, and Albariño have become increasingly popular on the world wine stage.
  • Spain has been making wine for more than 3,000 years; as a classic wine region that is commercially significant today, it merits study.


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