Congratulations to Seana Yee, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
I’m Seana Yee, from Portland, Oregon. I worked in the industry with boutique wineries helping with production and as a tasting room associate. This led eventually to working as a Communications Director and Event Planner for ENSO Winery. I enjoyed writing their monthly newsletter and managing all social media marketing.
Meanwhile, in 2013 I went to Jerez de la Frontera in Andalucía Spain for flamenco and discovered sherry. This inspired my passion to truly understand its production from vineyard to consumption. I created my blog Sherry Sips to share about my repeat travel experiences to the Sherry Triangle.
It was in Jerez where I was encouraged to pursue formal wine education, not only to strengthen my foundational knowledge, but to also reach a broader audience with my passion for fortified wines.
As I followed advice to seek formal wine education, I started with WSET (Wine and Spirit Educational Trust). I’ve passed level two with merit. I took level three, but did not pass the theory exam. I intend to retake that exam before the end of the year. I also passed the Introduction course to the Court of Master Sommeliers. However, as my focus is on education rather than tableside service, I did not continue with their program.
In 2016, I was accepted to participate in the Certified Sherry Educator course through the Consejo Regulador in Jerez de la Frontera. I am one of two Certified Sherry Educators in the state of Oregon. Similarly, I participated in the Certified Sherry Wine Specialist course offered through Lustau allover the United States.
The SWS course did an amazing job at summarizing the history of Spain, as well as explaining sherry production simply without losing any vital details. I was very impressed and learned so much; I want to travel the entire country for hands-on experience!
Having passed SWS with Highest Honors furthers my passion beyond fortified wines. Ever since I was a little girl, I always loved Spain. My Bachelor of Arts degree is in Spanish and I lived four months in Sevilla, Spain, where I fell in love with the culture, the history, flamenco and tapas. My love for Spanish wine came much later.
Having received this diploma, my hope is to become a Spanish Wine educator. Once travel bans are lifted, I desire to travel the wine regions of Spain from north to south, learning more of the rich history, and continue writing about the people I meet along the way who touch these wines from grape to glass.