Congratulations to Rich Vanderheiden, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
I am Rich Vanderheiden from Scottsdale Arizona and a wine enthusiast. My wine passion and journey began in the 1970’s in the State of Nebraska where I was a bartender and wine steward while in college and law school. My travels in the last 45 years include visiting several wine regions in France, Italy, Spain and Greece as well over 300 wineries on the west coast of the United States. Upon retirement 10 years ago, I started getting more intellectual about wine and obtained credentials with the Court of Master Sommeliers ( Level 1) and Certified Specialist of Wine with the Society of Wine Educators. During the shutdown over COVID-19 in April, it seemed an ideal time to pursue the online French Wine Scholar program along with 80 others from around the world. The FWS course content and instruction was excellent and provided a challenging and rewarding wine experience. I decided to do the course not just to pass the exam but to dig deep to master all French wine regions. Now I am focused on doing a WSG immersion trip to Bordeaux as soon as possible and taking when available the new German Wine Scholar program.