Hidden Menu

  • Tuscany Wine Tour (May 2019)
  • Burgundy Wine Tour (June 2019 - FULL)
  • Champagne Wine Tour (June 2019 - FULL)
  • Southwest France Wine Tour (Oct 2016)
  • Rioja Wine Tour (tba)
  • Jura Wine Tour (Oct. 2017)
  • Home
  • French Wine Scholar Guild
  • Italian Wine Scholar Guild
  • Spanish Wine Scholar Guild
  • Trip Evaluation
  • Reservation Form
  • Reservation Form Special
  • My Membership
  • Webinar-Evaluation
  • Private Trips Reservation Form
  • Notify me when Flash Player bug is fixed
  • Our Recent Top Exam Scorers
  • Guest membership
  • Top Exam Scorer
  • 3-Month Guest Membership
  • Latest newsletter
  • Latest News Archive
  • Newsletter Signup
  • Program Providers
  • Application Submission Form
  • Free 6 Month Membership
  • Thank you for your submission
  • Acymailing Modify Subscription
  • Update Newsletter Profile
  • Preferences saved
  • Italian Wine Scholar - Unit 1 - Study Manual
  • IWS test page
  • Study Trips for Sommeliers
  • Master-Level Online Programs for Wine Educators
  • Membership for Wine Educators
  • Master-Level Programs for Wine Enthusiasts
  • Membership for Wine Enthusiasts
  • Loire Valley Pronuncitation Module
  • WSG Membership for Sommeliers
  • Master-Level Online Programs for Sommeliers
  • Wine Study Trips for Sommeliers
  • Wine Study Tours for Wine Educators
  • Self-Enrollment in FWS v5.2
  • Study Tours for Wine Enthusiasts
  • FWS V6 Upgrade
  • chronoform users-edit
  • Private trips
  • Cru Artisan College 2017
  • French Wine Scholar™ online | Independent Study Format
  • French Wine Scholar™ online | 14-week Instructor-Led Format
  • Membership for wine professionals and enthusiasts
  • Private trips
  • French Wine Scholar™ online | 14-week Instructor-Led Format UPGRADE
  • French Wine Scholar™ online | 14-week Instructor-Led Format UPGRADE (from previous versions)
  • Community Dashboard
  • wine study and tasting groups faq
  • Italian Wine Scholar™ Unit 1 online | 14-week Instructor-Led Format
  • Italian Wine Scholar™
  • Italian Wine Scholar™ Unit 2 online | 15-week Instructor-Led Format
  • Rhône Wine Tour (June 2018)
  • Champagne Master-Level - Excerpt 1
  • Champagne Master-Level - Excerpts 2
  • Louis Roederer Scholarship for the Champagne Master-Level Program
  • Laurent Perrier Scholarship for Guild of Sommeliers Members
  • Champagne ML Preview
  • Reservation form for Bourgogne intensive
  • Tuscany (May 2019)
  • Thanks for your submission
  • Search FAQs
  • Wine Tasting
  • Membership Demo
  • Certified Sherry Wine Specialist VIP pre-launch
  • Register Menu

    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    Kathy Merchant, IWS

    Kathy Merchant, IWS
    Italy is the country I love most in the world of wine, so it was almost a guilty pleasure to pursue IWS certification!
    Kathy Merchant, IWS, Principal, Kathy Merchant LLC, dba Vino Ventures
    Other certifications: WSET Level 3, WSET Diploma, Certified Specialist of Wine CSW, French Wine Scholar

    Congratulations to Kathy Merchant, IWS for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Kathy:

    I fell in love with the experience of wine 25 years ago on my first visit to Napa Valley. From then on, I have organized most of my international travel around opportunities to learn more about wine. In 2008, even though I was still working as the CEO of a charitable community foundation, I decided to get serious about wine studies and enrolled in WSET. Upon graduation with a Diploma in 2011, I created a four-part wine business strategy based in Cincinnati that includes education, events, travel, and writing. My wine blog, international in scope, is www.vinoventurescincinnati.com.

    My wine certifications include WSET Level III Award and Level IV Diploma in Wine & Spirits; Certified Specialist of Wine from the Society of Wine Educators; and both the French Wine Scholar and Italian Wine Scholar from Wine Scholar Guild.

    I found the FWS and IWS programs to be highly beneficial deep-dives into two of the world’s most important wine regions. I think of France as the “mother ship” of all wines, especially in the New World where indigenous wine grapes are rare. Understanding France helps you understand the world. Italy is the glorious and complex opposite, endlessly fascinating because it offers so many ancient and traditional grapes unique to that country. Italy is the country I love most in the world of wine, so it was almost a guilty pleasure to pursue IWS certification!

    I find that my target audiences – wine enthusiasts who want to experience a broad range of wines without being intimidated by the vastness of the product – get the same type of satisfaction from learning about Italian (and French) wines that fuels my joy for those regions. Whether I am providing fun events such as a bridal shower, more formal education, writing about wine, or guiding wine tours, the IWS program provides a strong foundation.

    WSG thanks the following organizations for their support:


    Sign up to receive our latest updates