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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    Inhu Ko, IWS

    Congratulations to Inhu Ko, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with WSA Academy, Seoul.

    About Inhu Ko:

    As a traveler and gourmet myself, I was destined to love wines. Especially when I travel to European countries, wine plays a great role in enjoying every dining. I was fascinated by wines naturally. I dropped by Montalcino as I was heading to Assisi and went to Douro during my stay in Portugal. I slowly developed the interests in wines. It was when I started studying wines that I came to the point that I had to learn to fully appreciate my wine collections from all over the world. I personally think that it is important to keep the balance between studying wines and accumulate the actual wine tasting experience. Since I have just finished the program, I might be enjoying Italian wines for a while before I take the dive into the ocean of French and Spanish wines.

    It has been a year since I started studying wines in a serious way. I jumped to a course of WSET Level3 award in wines, skipping level 1 and 2. After I finished the course with distinction, I was eager to learn more about specific places of wine production. It was when I found the IWS courses. As an Italian wine lover myself, the IWS program was a perfect step for developing wine knowledge. It helped me to expand the world of Italian wines from Valle d’Aosta to Sicily. For me, it was only about Prosecco and Chianti Classico before the IWS program. I found myself enjoying Italian wines more than ever.

    Achieving the IWS diploma is the easiest way to show people that one is an expert in Italian wines. With this self-confidence, I would like to keep pursuing wine studies of France and Spain.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The IWS helped me to expand the world of Italian wines from Valle d’Aosta to Sicily....I found myself enjoying Italian wines more than ever.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Renée Munro, FWS

    Congratulations to Renée Munro, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with Vine Lab Wine & Spirits Academy, Minnesota.

    About Renée:

    Two years ago, I started casually reading about wine and quickly developed a minor obsession with learning everything I could about the multi-faceted world of wine culture and history, terroir, viticulture, viniculture, and especially the unique characteristics of each wine region. The subject is wide and deep, and the more I learn, the more I want to dig into the stories behind each glass.  

    In addition to the French Wine Scholar program, I’ve also earned the Bordeaux Master-Level certification with honors, as well as the Wine Professional Certification, which is an industry overview course offered by St. Paul College. I’m currently taking an online tasting course through Napa Valley Wine Academy.

    I would like to build on my knowledge from the FWS program to dive into more of the master-level courses, as well as the Italian and Spanish Wine Scholar programs. So, eventually, all the WSG courses! I also plan to take the WSET Level 3 within the next year or so.

    I appreciated how the FWS program breaks down this very complex subject into digestible segments that illustrate the unique qualities of each region, all framed within a historical context.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I appreciated how the FWS program breaks down this very complex subject into digestible segments that illustrate the unique qualities of each region...
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications Bordeaux Master Level
    Read more...

    Giuseppina Andreacchio, FWS

    Congratulations to Giuseppina Andreacchio, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with the West London Wine School.

    About Giuseppina

    I started working in the wine trade in 2006 as a wine broker. I then moved onto the on-trade sales of wine as an Italian specialist for many years with some of the iconic wineries of Italy, such as Sassicaia, Ornellaia, Gaja and Giacosa. Two years ago, I opened my own consultancy company. I work with Italian wineries helping them to find the right partner around the globe. I also run master classes for consumers because I enjoy teaching about wines in general, and Italian wines in particular. I am currently enrolled in the Italian Wine Scholar course and I will probably embark on the Spanish Wine Scholar too. I equally love selling and teaching about wines and I am currently in the process of opening my own wine school.

    In 2012 I passed the WSET Diploma and recently I also passed the Italian AIS (Association of Italian Sommeliers) Certificate. The FWS has helped me to further improve my knowledge of French Wines which was covered by the WSET curriculum, but I believe the FWS is focusing, in a more specific way, on the analysis and description of the smaller appellations and it also goes into more details when it comes to showing lesser known wines. The FWS also covers the history of the single wine regions of France which is not covered by other courses. I also liked the idea of tasting wines from small, artisanal boutique wineries chosen carefully by the FWS tutors.

    I am currently enrolled in the online IWS and, having passed the FWS, I feel more confident in my studies. Although, of course, the subject is different, the approach to the course is the same so I will definitely benefit from having attended the FWS before.

    Being an Italian, sometimes I can find French wines a bit intimidating because of the difficult appellations, the wine styles and historical references.  Therefore, I think that the FWS program has helped me to understand the differences between the two countries better. Also, knowing French wines in a very detailed way will surely be an important enrichment to my wine knowledge and, last but not least, will be an important comparison material for my Italian wine background.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial ...I also liked the idea of tasting wines from small, artisanal boutique wineries chosen carefully by the FWS tutors.
    • Position Owner, Giusy Wine Consultancy
    • Certifications WSET Diploma
    Read more...

    Mike Bennett, FWS

    Congratulations to Mike Bennett, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with the Yorkshire Wine School, Leeds.

    About Mike:

    I work as a medical academic but have been interested in wine for a long time. My father used to make his own wine when I was growing up and he introduced me to this fascinating world of aromas and flavours. My holidays are always centred on visiting wine areas in Europe or further afield and I love understanding the environment in which their wines are made.

    I have studied for many years with Laura Kent who leads Yorkshire Wine School based in Leeds. I’ve completed WSET 2 and 3, both with distinction, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the French Wine Scholar course which complements WSET very well. I especially enjoyed discovering more of the historical and cultural context to each of the main wine areas that is a feature of FWS, as well as a real in-depth knowledge of the wines and wine making. I’m already booked onto the Spanish Wine Scholar course and I would very much like to study Italian Wine Scholar.

    FWS has provided me with a real confidence and deep knowledge of French wines and I think combined with SWS and maybe IWS, these will help me progress to the WSET Diploma of Wine which I hope to start in 2022. I retire from work this year to devote more time to wine and would love to find a role in the wine trade somehow!      

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial FWS has provided me with a real confidence and deep knowledge of French wines.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 2, WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Renato Nahas Batista, IWS

    Congratulations to Renato Nahas Batista, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors! 

    About Renato:

    Above all I am a wine enthusiast. But recently I became a Wine Educator at Brazilian Association of Sommeliers-SP.

    After 25 years playing different roles on a multi billion dollar Beverage Company in Brazil, Europe and US, on Commercial, Finance, Distribution and IT, I decided to dedicate my time to my real passion: wine education.

    In order to get prepared for this new challenge, I got the Sommelier Certification at Brazilian Association of Sommelier (affiliated to ASI) where I became a Wine Educator. After this I’ve been looking for international certifications in order to perform with excellence my new role.

    Since then, I got the Bourgogne Master Level, FWS and IWS at Wine Scholar Guild, where I am also enrolled to Spanish Wine Scholar (SWS) and Bordeaux Master Level. In addition, I also got the WSET 3 and the CWS (Society Wine Educator).

    Moving forward, I’ve plans to enroll for the other regions Master Level Programs at WSG and to the WSET Diploma.

    Italy is a fragmented wine country with an incredible diversity of grapes, styles and regions. IWS enabled me to understand the full Italian wine picture. The Study Manual is clear and updated, with a good and balanced level of details. On my journey to get the IWS certification I figured out an amazing number of grapes and regions I’ve never had any contact before. I feel now much more prepared to teach Italian Wines. And, on top of this, better enjoy them.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial IWS enabled me to understand the full Italian wine picture...I feel now much more prepared to teach Italian Wines.
    • Position Wine Educator, Brazilian Association of Sommeliers-SP, Campinas
    • Certifications Bourgogne Master Level, French Wine Scholar, Certified Sommelier, CSW (Society of Wine Educators), WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Alex Gapinski, FWS

    Congratulations to Alex Gapinski, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with Vine Lab Wine & Spirits Academy, Minnesota!

    About Alex:

    I have been interested in food for a long time which led me to working in restaurants throughout my college years studying chemistry and food science. My interest in wine began after a trip to France in the summer of 2014 with my food science program. After graduating, I had the opportunity to take culinary and wine courses at St. Paul College in Minnesota. This really opened my eyes to possibilities that would combine my work experience, formal scientific schooling, and passion for food and wine. WIth these at the core, wine has also provided a framework to learn about language, culture, art, history, geology, agriculture, and many other subjects that I would not have otherwise pursued. I can’t wait to keep learning and expanding my understanding of this fun and complicated subject!

    My first wine course was a semester-long Certified Wine Professional course at St. Paul College in Minnesota. I now hold the WSET level 3 Award and FWS. I would like to continue with the WSET Diploma program and eventually pursue the Master of Wine certification. The FWS program gave me a taste of how organized and well-presented the material will be for their other courses which drives me to complete SWS and IWS as soon as I can. FWS has also provided a deeper and broader understanding of French wine that was outside the scope of WSET level 3, but I hope it will aid my studies as I continue with the WSET Diploma program.  I am also following the Science of Wine Tasting series with the WSG which has complimented and expanded my food science foundation along with several books that I have read on the topics discussed.  

    Working through the FWS program immediately gave me a better understanding of what is on my store’s shelves which in turn helps me make better recommendations to my customers. Also, I now have a list of lesser known French wines to seek out as I continue my journey!

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial Working through the FWS program immediately gave me a better understanding of what is on my store’s shelves which in turn helps me make better recommendations to my customers.
    • Position Wine Lead, Top Ten Liquors
    • Certifications WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Rebecca Richardson, FWS

    Congratulations to Rebecca Richardson, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar with highest honors with IWEG, Toronto!

    About Rebecca

    I have always been a lover of wine and trying new varieties or regions. However, it wasn’t until 4 or 5 years ago that I took that love further and decided to learn and study wine. I started by taking some evening wine courses as a hobby, which then turned into me taking my Sommelier and continuing with my French Wine Scholar. I love that the world of wine is ever changing but has a solid foundation in history and tradition which is reflected in every bottle. With that being said, there is always a new region or variety for me to try, keeping my hunger for learning alive.

    I am currently enrolled in the Italian Wine Scholar Unit 1 (IWS), also through IWEG, which is mainly due to how much I enjoyed the FWS Program. Since this is my second course with the Wine Scholar Guild, I hopefully will have a better understanding of what’s expected on the final exam, as well as week to week.

    As of recent I have started my own Wine Blog and Online Tastings, which I don’t think would have happened without taking my FWS. It has given me the confidence to share my knowledge not only with friends and family but with a broader audience.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The FWS has given me the confidence to share my knowledge not only with friends and family but with a broader audience.
    • Position Founder and Content Creator, Weekend Winedown (https://wwinedown.blogspot.com)
    • Certifications Certified Sommelier
    Read more...

    Sun Young Myung, IWS

    Congratulations to Sun Young Myung, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with the WSA Wine Academy in Seoul!

    About Sun Young

    I am not a wine professional, but I have a lot of friends who buy and taste good wine from around the world. While casually drinking with my friends, I eventually became fascinated with the different aspects of wine: the aroma which changed through time and the distinct color each bottle had. My longing to answer the mysteries hidden behind the different aromas and visual sparkle of wine motivated me to study it in a more official capacity.

    I’m not sure if I have the best sense of taste and smell in the world — I still cannot recognize some specific aromas that more seasoned veterans can recognize. However, studying details about grape species and wine production through senses such as taste and smell gave me a better grasp of my wine studies.

    I started to study wine with WSET Level 2 to solve the mysteries of wine aromas. I continued to study wine with WSET Level 3, because Level 2 did not quite quench my curiosity. After passing both examinations with distinction, I thought I knew some of the basics of growing vines and making wine around the world. However, even after these tests, I was still not able to guess the aroma and taste of wine while looking solely at the labels. Italian Wine Scholar program gave insights of vine growing and wine making of each state of Italy, as the program covers history, geography, geology, climate, as well as ampelography and vinification of all 20 states in Italy. It was not an easy program, because I had to memorize a myriad of grape varieties and blending details of DOCs and DOCGs. However, after studying the differences of wine production in the northern, central, and southern states of Italy, I was very happy to organize my knowledge of Italian wine. Now I can guess the aroma and taste of wines in Italy while looking at the labels on a basic level. Thank you for the amazing program!

    I plan to enroll in French Wine Scholar and Spanish Wine Scholar provided that the WSA wine academy continues to provide the programs in the future. I believe that these programs will give insights on wines across various areas in France and Spain, just as the Italian Wine Scholar program did.

    I think that the IWS program will allow me to substantially build upon my wine knowledge and help me create a mind map where I can organize future truths about wine — It will guide and enrich my wine experience. I don’t know where it will lead me to in the future, but I know that my curiosity and studies will carry me to greater heights.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I think that the IWS program will allow me to substantially build upon my wine knowledge...It will guide and enrich my wine experience.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Levels 2 & 3
    Read more...

    Bertrand de Cabarrus, FWS

    Congratulations to Bertrand de Cabarrus, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Bertrand

    My first encounter with the world of wine started when I was 2 years old by spending holidays with my grandparents in Villie Morgon where they owned a vineyard ..
    My first real appreciation of wines started in Singapore several years ago as I embarked into a wine education journey taking various wine exams.. and with the FWS being the latest one.. I also discovered the joy of sharing my knowledge with others and have created a Wine club and organize on a regular basis wine tastings for my office as well as for a French association in Singapore.

    I have passed the WSET 1-2-3, the CSW and now the FWS. I studied the IWS North but never took the exam. I enjoyed the depth of knowledge that the FWS brings.. I find it very complementary with other multi region diplomas such as WSET or CSW as those will bring the solid foundations to understand vini/viticulture and the country specific diplomas like FWS build upon those foundations.

    The FWS has given me an extensive and deep knowledge of French wines, grapes, regions and I find that anyone willing to go deep into the wine industry should have a strong grasp of historical producing countries like France or Italy.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I enjoyed the depth of knowledge that the FWS brings.. I find it very complementary with other multi region diplomas such as WSET or CSW.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications CSW (Society of Wine Educators); WSET Levels 1, 2 & 3
    Read more...

    Jamie Evans, FWS

    Congratulations to Jamie Evans, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar with highest honors with the San Francisco Wine School!

    About Jamie

    My name is Jamie Evans and I’m the founder of The Herb Somm, a cannabis blog and lifestyle brand that focuses on the gourmet side of the industry. I’m probably best known for my wine and cannabis educational events in California, but I am also the author of two published books, The Ultimate Guide to CBD and Cannabis Drinks releasing in April 2021.  

    Alongside my work in the cannabis industry, I’m a Certified Specialist of Wine (and most recently a French Wine Scholar!) with over a decade of wine industry experience. Throughout my wine career, I’ve been very lucky to work with some of the world’s top winemaking families and companies including Folio Fine Wine Partners, Jackson Family Wines, JAX Vineyards, and the Napa Valley Grapegrowers. I also had the opportunity to work in many diverse roles in the wine industry, which has contributed to the work that I am doing today as an entrepreneur.
    As a thought leader, I was named as one of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers in 2018 and as a 2018 Innovator by SevenFifty Daily. Since launching my business, I continue to look for ways to collaborate in both the wine and cannabis space and help bridge the gap between the two industries.

    My passion for wine began at the young age of 18 while studying Wine & Viticulture at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. This 4-year Bachelor degree program provided me with an in-depth understanding of the wine industry, sensory evaluation, viticulture, and winemaking. In addition, during my sophomore and junior year, I was selected to study wine abroad in Australia, Italy, France, and Switzerland to gain international wine experience. After returning, I graduated with a Wine Business degree and quickly began working full-time in the industry.

    The amazing thing about wine is there is so much to learn! To continue my studies, I decided to pursue the Certified Specialist of Wine Program at the San Francisco Wine School. I was excited to learn more about the international wine world, particularly France, Italy, and Spain since I grew very fond of these wine-producing regions while studying abroad. After I passed the CSW exam in April 2019, I wanted to continue learning, which led me to the French Wine Scholar program.

    With a love for French wines, I decided to pursue this exciting program in the fall of 2020 with the San Francisco Wine School. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, my entire program was hosted online, but I was very impressed with how the course was conducted virtually. My instructors were incredibly knowledgeable and the wines that were selected for each session helped bring each French wine region and terroir to life.

    In the future, I plan to take additional Wine Scholar Guild programs and perhaps explore the Master-Level sessions that are offered for France since it’s my favorite wine region.

    I truly loved taking the FWS course. It was a fantastic way to refresh my knowledge about French wine as well as deepen my appreciation and love for each of the special French winemaking regions. While my trip to France this year has been postponed due to covid-19, I am planning a wine excursion in 2022, which will compliment everything that I’ve learned in this course. This program has also given me the knowledge to navigate any wine list featuring French wines and I can happily order or recommend these wines with confidence. Santé!

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial This program has also given me the knowledge to navigate any wine list featuring French wines and I can happily order or recommend these wines with confidence.
    • Position Founder and Author, The Herb Somm
    • Certifications CSW (Society of Wine Educators)
    Read more...
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