Congratulations to Elias Bally, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
I owned and ran several restaurants for 12 years where I developed the passion for wine. When I became a dad I decided to change my life and got a job as a wine seller for Coop, the main retailer of wine in Switzerland. It gives me more time for my family and also to keep studying. I am also vice-president for Geneva of the ASSP (the Professionnal Swiss Sommelier Association). I also like to participate in sommelier competitions. I had the opportunity to compete for the Best Sommelier of Switzerland, the Ruinart Challenge and the Gaggenau Sommelier Award. I wish I could help Swiss sommellerie to keep growing. Swiss celebrity Paolo Basso who won the best sommelier of the World 2013 is a model for every Swiss sommelier.
In 2015, I got, with highest honours, the Federal Diploma of Sommelier with Higher Education. Since then, I passed the WSET 3 (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) and later on the IWS. For the IWS, it took me about 10 months to pass both exams. I have to admit, I found it quite hard but still very interesting. I just started learning for the CSW, the Certified Specialist of Wine (from the Specialist of Wine Educator). In the future I wish I could take the Diploma, WSET 4.
The IWS was an immersion into every region of Italy, how passionate it was to learn about the history, the soils, the topography of its region! I consider it a step forward and a motivation to keep learning.