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Rhône Master

Rhône Master-Level Program


The Rhône Master-Level program is an official course of study designed for wine trade and serious students of wine. It has been created by the Wine Scholar Guild and is endorsed by Inter-Rhône.

A dream team of producers and Rhône experts from all over the world is providing a unique and dynamic learning experience via web-based teaching technology coupled with an optional immersion trip to the region itself.


Rhone ML Graduate Testimonials

  • The ML programme allowed me to focus more specifically on one region and delve deeper into the particulars of a single wine-producing region. The webinars were an especially helpful and enjoyable part of the course – the breadth of experience that is shared by the presenters was a definite highlight.
    Simone Madden-Grey
    Wine Educator of WSET classes in Melbourne
    WSET Diploma
  • The Master-Level program, together with the study trip, put my previous wine’s experience and knowledge into deeper perspective, connecting the dots.
    Carina Heather Tang
    Wine Enthusiast
    WSET Level 3, French Wine Scholar
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Learn from a prestigious panel of guest instructors including:

  • Christophe Tassan
    Rhône native; Sommelier at The Battery in San Francisco; Meilleur Ouvrier de France 2004
  • Victor Coulon
    8th generation winemaker of Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s Domaine du Beaurenard; organic and biodynamic farmer
  • Louis Barruol
    14th generation Gigondas winemaker
  • Paul Amsellem
    3rd generation producer; champion for the Condrieu AOC
  • Olivier Hickman
    Rhône resident and educational Rhône wine guide; owner of Wine-Uncovered
  • Charles Curtis
    Master of Wine; former head of Christie’s America and Christie’s Asia
  • Elizabeth Gabay
    Master of Wine, wine writer and consultant; resident of southeast France
  • Lisa Granik
    Master of Wine, doctorate from Yale Law School, judge, award-wining author and teacher for 10 years with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), the American Sommelier Association and the Institute of Masters of Wine
  • Barbara Philip
    Master of Wine, Category Manager for BC Liquor Stores, international presenter, journalist and judge
  • Special Guest Randall Grahm

Learn more about the program's instructors

Enjoy a Complete Set of Study Materials

The online study package includes:

  • Preparatory reading assignment and online review quiz
  • A comprehensive series of eleven recorded webinars by our expert instructors
  • A copy of the fully updated Rhône Master-Level Study Manual
  • Reading and tasting assignments to accompany each lecture
  • Online review quizzes
  • Access to instructors via the Q&A forum
  • Online, proctored exam sit

Optional (Additional fees apply):

Immersion trip to the Rhône


Tuition is $430,00 and includes study manual, online study program and online exam sit. Registration is valid for a full year from date of registration.


Online Program Webinar Topics:

 Explore the Rhône Valley from the comfort of your own office or home

  • 01: The Viticultural History of the Rhône Valley: Veni, Vidi, Vino with Louis Barruol 

  • 02: The Natural Setting: Geology, Topography, Soils and Macroclimate with Olivier Hickman

  • 03: Grapes & Winemaking: Nature and Nurture with Lisa Granik Master of Wine

  • 04: Terroirs of the Northern Rhône I: Saint-Joseph, Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Cornas and Saint-Péray with Barbara Philip Master of Wine
  • 05: Terroirs of the Northern Rhône II: Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, Château Grillet and the Vins de Vienne with Paul Amsellem
  • 06: Rock Stars of the Southern Rhône: The Crus with Victor Coulon

  • 07: Non-Crus AOCs of the Southern Rhône: The Fascinating Appellations on the Fringe with Elizabeth Gabay Master of Wine

  • 08: Rhône vs. Rhône Rangers: An Old World/New World Comparison with Elizabeth Gabay, Master of Wine & Special Guest Randall Grahm

  • 09: Le Rhône à Table: The Food Culture of the Rhône Valley with sommelier, Christophe Tassan
  • 10: Rhône Collectables: icon wines and cuvees, investing & cellaring… with Charles Curtis Master of Wine

  • 11: Tradition & Transition: Rhône Practices, Economics, Wine Styles, and Biodynamics with Lisa Granik Master of Wine

    Want to learn more? Read the detailed abstracts for all 11 thematic lectures

All webinars have been recorded as a video and mp3 podcast and become available for on-demand replay!



Learning Objectives:

This is, in scope and design, the most comprehensive wine study program on Rhône Valley wines bar none.

Through this program, students will acquire a profound knowledge of the region and develop a greater sensory understanding of its wines.

A passing score of 75 on the final exam validates mastery of the course content. This exam can be taken online. For proctoring purposes, you will need access to a computer equipped with microphone and webcam.

Students have a full-calendar year of access to the online study materials and a full year within which they may sit for the exam.


Why study Rhône wines?

The Rhône is France’s second largest producer of AOC wines (after Bordeaux). Its viticultural history dates back to the Romans who sculpted its terraced topography and introduced the vine.

The river itself links to the Rhine, Seine and Loire through a network of canals and waterways effectively connecting the Mediterranean with the rest of northern Europe. As a principal trade route, this region has long been the cultural nexus between Burgundy and the colder climes to the north and Provence and the warmer regions to the south.

In the Rhône, a continental climate meets up with a Mediterranean one and this collision of north and south finds manifest expression in the local food culture. Lyon is the culinary heart of France. Here the cuisine au beurre (butter) mixes with the cuisine à l’huile (olive oil). There are more Michelin-starred restaurants in this French city than in any other (outside of Paris)!

It is in the Rhône where east also meets west. The granite and schist of the Massif Central (west) collide with the sedimentary soils of the Alps and its foothills (east).

The wines of this region are as powerful as the geology, topography and cultural history that has shaped it. The wines themselves are living legacies. There is no place like Rhône. 



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