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Spanish Wine Scholar™

Spanish Wine Scholar™ Study & Certification Program

The Spanish Wine Scholar™ program is the most advanced and comprehensive certification course on the wines of Spain.

The syllabus takes a regional approach and discusses all Spanish wine appellations and the factors that shape their identities. It provides committed students of wine with an unparalleled set of study tools designed to maximize learning and boost knowledge retention.

The program was created by Spanish wine specialist Rick Fisher, SWS, Spanish Programs Director at Wine Scholar Guild.

Wines from Spain (ICEX - Spain's Trade & Investment Government Agency) has endorsed the program in recognition of its exceptional depth, accuracy, detail, and academic rigor.

The Spanish Wine Scholar study and certification program confers a post-nominal to wine professionals and enthusiasts who successfully pass the certification exam (Ex: John Smith, SWS). With a school network encompassing 30 countries on five continents, the SWS credential has true international recognition.



Earn the Spanish Wine Scholar™ (SWS) post-nominal online via the independent study format or enroll in the 10-week instructor-led format with 10 live review webinars.

The Spanish Wine scholar™ distance-learning formats include:


      • A suggested schedule of study with learning objectives for each region
      • Live review webinars with Rick Fisher, SWS Education Director (*instructor-led format only)
      • Online quizzes and learning games for self-evaluation
      • Downloadable maps of all Spanish wine regions designed by Quentin Sadler
      • Pronunciation exercises to boosts your credibility
      • A list of recommended wines to sample on your own or in a tasting group hosted by students enrolled in the online program



On-demand, start anytime

Price: $595



Next session starts on October 18, 2022

Price: $790




Compare the two formats



WSG offers the Spanish Wine Scholar™ program through their Approved Program Providers, now including 80 wine schools in 30 countries and five continents.

            • Classroom instruction with extensive tutored tastings
            • A copy of the SWS study manual
            • Access to the SWS online study modules & quizzes for class prep & review
            • In-classroom exam sit

All SWS program providers teach from the same Wine Scholar Guild-developed presentations and are supplied with uniform teaching materials. For many, the classroom experience helps to reinforce the theory; a tutored tasting component brings each region to life. In addition, many students find the set "schedule" helpful in keeping up with their studies.






Modeled after the French Wine Scholar™ program, Spanish Wine Scholar™ students will receive the same complete study materials.


The Spanish Wine Scholar™ manual is the most comprehensive and current coverage of the wines of Spain and follows a regional approach with strong tie-ins to terroir.

Each chapter is designed for maximum content retention and utilizes a systematic approach, allowing the student to compare and contrast each wine region of Spain.

Manuals are current and discuss the most recent trends. They are printed in full color, are rich in imagery, and peppered with the iconic wine labels of each region.

Every Spanish wine appellation is discussed (vs. just mentioned) and triaged by "need-to-know" icons. Emphasis is given to the flavor and structure profiles of the wines.

A Fundamentals Chapter provides an overview that puts all of Spain and its wines into perspective.

#2 SWS Online Study Program:

The SWS online study program offers interactive e-learning modules that are put into a measurable, meaningful format designed for maximum content retention and ease of use.

Each region of Spain is covered and dovetails nicely with the Spanish Wine Scholar™ study manual. Study materials are available online 24/7. If you've got a laptop and an internet connection, you've got a classroom!

Spanish Wine Scholar™ online study modules features: 

  • E-learning modules loaded with videos and learning games to keep you engaged
  • Automatic bookmarks to resume where you left off
  • Quizzes and learning games for self-evaluation
  • Hundreds of online flashcards
  • Pronunciation exercises
  • You earn badges to track your accomplishments

#3 Detailed Spanish Wine Maps:

Your study manual will be packed with beautiful wine maps, which have been designed for this program by Quentin Sadler. Electronic versions of these maps and blank practice maps are also available for download on the online course page.

#4 Professional Instructor Support:

  • Online Independent Study: via the Q&A forum answered by Rick Fisher, SWS Education Director
  • Online Instructor-led Format: via the Q&A forum plus email and live chat with instructors
  • In Classroom: via a local, certified instructor


The Spanish Wine Scholar™ course is composed of 10 chapters:

            • Chapter One - Fundamentals
            • Chapter Two - Green Spain
            • Chapter Three - The Duero River Valley
            • Chapter Four - La Rioja
            • Chapter Five - The Ebro River Valley
            • Chapter Six - Cataluña
            • Chapter Seven - The Central Mediterranean Coast
            • Chapter Eight - The Meseta
            • Chapter Nine - Andalucía
            • Chapter Ten - The Islands

The detailed Curriculum is available here



Individuals who follow this in-depth Spanish wine course and pass the exam earn the Spanish Wine Scholar™ title and SWS post-nominal, which may be incorporated into a professional signature (e.g., John Smith, SWS).

The exam is composed of 100 multiple-choice questions. Candidates need a score of 75% to receive the credential.

Students with a composite score of 85-90.5 pass with HONORS. Candidates who score 91-100 pass with HIGHEST HONORS.

More information about the exam

Student Testimonials:

  • Kim Kunchick
    on Oct 5, 2022
    "Love the instructor he focused on key need to know while highlighting extra material and dropping fun info about Spain outside of testing material. It was a well rounded course. He’s so passionate about Spain and Spanish wine and it came through. The information was presented so well it sets you up for sucess in passing the test and gaining Spanish wine knowledge. "
  • Kim Kunchick
    on Oct 5, 2022
    "Love the instructor he focused on key need to know while highlighting extra material and dropping fun info about Spain outside of testing material. It was a well rounded course. He’s so passionate about Spain and Spanish wine and it came thur. The information was presented so well it sets you up for sucess in passing the test and gaining Spanish wine knowledge. "
  • Beryl Carew
    on Oct 4, 2022
    "I recently completed the Spanish Wine Scholar exam and passed with highest honors. I attribute this to Rick Fisher, the instructor and author of the study manual, and to the plethora of high quality study aids including flashcards, quizzes, learning objectives, online webinars with associated pdfs of webinar slides made available during and following the online course. I was not able to take the exam in the time provided for the course but was easily able to extend my time and access to all study materials. I highly recommend this course to anyone wanting to get an in-depth understanding of the wines and wine-producing areas of Spain. "
  • Mario Roma
    on Sep 16, 2022
    "A fabulous journey through Spain vineyards and history what's a real privilege. SWS brought me the smells and flavours of the same wines which a thirsty Don Quijote has drunk celebrating his victories besides Sancho; the deep ruby that hipnotyzed Pablo Picasso or Salvador Dalí; the life and death of vines as centuries of war and conquest pass by. Finally, a lovely kind of no wayback intimacy with the next glass. Thank you for all."
  • Franco Cirelli
    on Sep 15, 2022
    "The Spanish Wine Scholar program encourages students to not only learn about Spanish wines but relish the experience of tasting them. It leaves students wanting to sample more Spanish wines and travel to the areas where they are produced. Students who complete this course gain a fantastic appreciation for Spanish wines, culture, history and many individual communities and regions. "
  • Zhenqi Han
    on Aug 29, 2022
    "A detailed explanation of Wines from Spain, with very interesting points of history and wine cultures. "
  • Ying Ying Chen
    on Aug 24, 2022
    "Before SWS, I didn't know there are so many interesting wines and cultural high lights in Spain. Makes me want to visit Spain again. I did an online program, and didn't find all the wines mentioned in the program, but I'll keep referring to it and will expand my wine tasting experience as I go."
  • Jennifer Lordan
    on Jul 31, 2022
    "This is an excellent and truly challenging program!"
  • Jennifer Lordan
    on Jul 31, 2022
    "This is an excellent and truly challenging program!"
  • Jennifer Lordan
    on Jul 31, 2022
    "This is an excellent and truly challenging program!"
  • Graham Walter SWS
    on Jul 2, 2022
    "The SWS program had everything I was looking for. The content, structure, and practical approach were all fantastic and it was presented in an easy to understand and logical way. Outside of the world of wine, I am a practicing physician with a schedule that made the online independent study format perfect. I would highly recommend this course to anyone with a general interest in wine or an interest in Spain in particular. Hopefully, Spanish master classes are coming to the scholar guild soon!"
  • Louise Boutin
    on Jun 29, 2022
    "Loved the Spanish Wine Scholar Program! Rick and Sasha are fantastic and very engaging instructors who truly know what they are talking about. I now have such a greater appreciation for Spanish wines and the history of Spain. I highly recommend the instructor led program!"
  • Rusk Elatassi
    on Jun 29, 2022
    "Truly enjoyed the course . The material , overall was coherent , easy to follow and just enough information without going too in depth. The wines tasted were specific to the regions as expected . "
  • Laura Norena
    on Jun 19, 2022
    "Both Rick and Sasha were great at explaining each lesson and helping with our doubts. Really enjoyed taking this course with both of them. "
  • Lyndsey Wylie
    on Jun 13, 2022
    "I enjoyed the Spanish Wine Scholar programme very much. I was not as familiar with the wines of Spain compared to other regions and it was fun to learn about the breadth and depth of a new country. The materials were great to follow and tutoring excellent. "


Disclaimer: WSG offers wine study courses that are targeted to both beginners and those more experienced in the wine industry. While WSG has received many accolades, awards, and testimonials, WSG is not an accredited institution or school. WSG does not guarantee or warrant that any employer or school will recognize WSG wine study courses. While WSG knows that it is a well-recognized institution within the multi-national wine community, it cannot guarantee anyone success in their profession or vocation.

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