Congratulations to Nikki Erpelding, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar with highest honors!
I caught the wine bug while managing restaurants in my former career. Writing the wine list in several upscale restaurants made me want to level up my wine knowledge. It was from there that I tackled various wine positions, including, wine instructor, retail management, boutique wholesale and supplier territory management. I started Vine Lab Wine & Spirits Academy to bring global certifications to Minnesota.
My first certification was The Wine Professional Certificate at Saint Paul College. If I would have stayed in the hospitality-sector I probably would have stayed with the Court of Master Sommeliers but because I transitioned to business-based wine jobs, I went the WSET route. Someday, I plan on finishing my Diploma. Italian Wine Scholar was my first certification with The Wine Scholar Guild. It was exactly what I was looking for, because at the time I was representing 70 Italian producers in my supplier portfolio.
My Current full-time position is representing numerous French producers from Bordeaux, Loire, Champagne, Rhone, Provence and Bourgogne so taking the French Wine Scholar was essential and confidence boosting! I hope to take the Master-level programs as time allows.
I am very excited to offer the Wine Scholar Guild programs to Vine Lab Wine & Spirits Academy students.