Congratulations to Bruno Vianna, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
I’m a wine professional, Executive Director at the Brazilian Society of Sommeliers (SBSomm). I was a founder in 2002 and acted as its president for 14 years. I’m professor and Program Coordinator at the Professional Sommelier Course. French wine knowledge is among the most important skills demanded in my activities, such as teaching, lecturing and tastings. I organize and guide study trips to wine regions around the world for Sommeliers and students; we enjoyed more than fifty trips so far. I also write study material for many tasting groups.
As a professional wine journalist, I have worked as editor and columnist in specialized magazines and I presented for six years a weekly TV program on wine & food pairing. Now I write regularly for newspapers, magazines and blogs.
Traveling was so frequent in my daily life that I’m feeling overly static at pandemic times, only partly mitigated by spending some energy online. Judging is one of the activities that demand lots of traveling. I’m honored to be invited to judge twice a year at Tastevinage, in Clos de Vougeot, and also at other important events, more often for French, Italian and Brazilian wines. In summary these are my main activities today.
How I got there? I’m an Electronics Engineer and I had a previous career as executive in the Telecom and IT industries, but wine was dominating so much my life as a second career that I decided to make it my single career. I thought I would have plenty of free time for myself, but it turned out to be the opposite, with so many activities in the wine world filling up rapidly all the gaps!
I started my self-studies in the 1980’s, as a wine lover, then since 1998 I took several formal wine courses and, in 2002, I started to work as a wine professional. More recently, I passed the following certification programs:
• WSET Diploma
• WSET Wine Educator
• Italian Wine Ambassador (Vinitaly International Academy)
• Italian Wine Educator (3iC)
• Valpolicella Wine Specialist (Consorzio Valpolicella and University of Verona)
• French Wine Scholar (WSG)
I’m glad I followed the FWS program, since no previous study was so complete in addressing the complexity of French wine.
Yes, motivated by the high quality of the FWS program, I now enrolled in the IWS program, expecting to enjoy it as much as I enjoyed FWS.
I got my WSET Diploma 4 years ago and I’m planning to apply for the MW program in the middle of this year. I’m confident that the FWS learnings will be of precious value at this level.
All my professional activities require frequent research and follow-up on what’s new in all French regions. I look at books, key websites and I subscribe to magazines. There is information everywhere, but not always very accurate or up-to-date. I found the FWS program so comprehensive that I adopted it as my reference for French wines. I wish I had this opportunity earlier, what could have saved me hundreds of hours searching for reliable information and cross-checking different sources.
I recommend to students to take advantage of the full FWS toolset, including e-learning lessons and quizzes, all very informative and helpful. Beyond FWS, I learned as well to enjoy the WSG webinars, addressing different themes with knowledgeable lecturers.