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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    Khem Rai, FWS

    Congratulations to Khem Rai, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Khem:

    I am an avid wine drinker.  I am told my first sip of wine was when I was around 4 years of age but of course I do not remember what I drank!

    After working for 12 years in the financial solutions industry, I decided I wanted to do something different with my life and took a career break. While figuring out what to do next, I started to study wine as I wanted to understand more about what I was drinking and the process that went into making wine.

    I have completed WSET level 2, WSET level 3, French Wine Scholar and Barossa Master level. I am currently a WSET Diploma, Italian Wine Scholar and Sud de France Master level student.  Studying French Wine Scholar and Italian Wine Scholar has allowed me to break down these complex wine regions into individual areas which are then easier to study and understand.  I plan to study Spanish Wine Scholar and also join some of the Wine Scholar Guild study trips in the future.  I believe visiting wine regions provides students with knowledge and perspective that cannot be gained through reading books alone.

    I like to collect wines from around the world. Studying wine allows me to make an educated decision on what to buy, collect or drink.  I think wine should be fun, it connects people from different walks of life and it is meant for sharing.  I just wish studying wine was as easy as drinking it!!

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial Studying the French Wine Scholar has allowed me to break down these complex wine regions... I just wish studying wine was as easy as drinking it!!
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 2, WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Diego Arrebola, FWS

    Congratulations to Diego Arrebola, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Diego:

    I’ve been working with wine and beverages for 15 years now, specifically as a consultor and an educator for 8 years. Wine is day by day more and more important for a great number of businesses and also as a crucial part of people’s social life. This understanding is what took me to look at this market as both a career and a challenge, considering that Brazil isn’t exactly a wine drinking country. I see wine education as the best way to change that, to show consumers better wines and, even more, take them to better understand the wines they’re drinking and so make better choices. My ultimate goal is to help as many people as possible to achieve this.

    I’m a Professional Sommelier, certified by ASI (Association de la Sommellerie Internationale), by the Brazilian Sommelier Association (ABS) and by the Italian Sommelier Association (AIS), I’m a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers, a WSET Level 3 in Wines and Spirits and a WSET certified educator. After many years of “general” studies, with courses and certifications covering the wine world as a whole, I’ve felt it was time to go one step further and look for in depth courses focused in single countries and/or regions. Nothing better than starting with the best one, the FWS!

    Besides the fact that I can now teach the FWS courses in Eno Cultura, it makes me more comfortable to talk about French wines. The most important of all the wine producing countries deserves that we talk and teach about it with proper authority, and the FWS certification provides me with a great deal of that.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The most important of all the wine producing countries deserves that we talk and teach about it with proper authority, and the FWS certification provides me with a great deal of that.
    • Position Owner, EntreCopos Consulting
    • Certifications Certified Sommelier, WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Azra Moiz, FWS

    Congratualations to Azra Moiz, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

     

    About Azra:

    Since I first discovered the most sublime white and red Burgundies almost 20 years ago, I have been fascinated by how a plain old grape could transform into something so amazing. I’ve been an enthusiast since… I don’t have any intention of going into the wine trade as just the fun of learning about wines without any work commitment is just fine for me!

    I have done the WSET Level 3 qualification in the UK which gave me a good foundation in wine knowledge. However I always wanted to do more of a “deep dive” into the wine giants of Europe – France of course, and also Italy and Spain. So this year I did the Italian Wine Scholar Part 1 and then the French Wine Scholar.

    Doing the FWS was really insightful because we spent time studying the regions, appellations and sub-regions in depth, and I learnt more than I ever have before about French wines. The tastings during the course were particularly valuable as the wines were chosen with care and discernment.

    Studying for the exams turned out to be a pleasure because the course content was so motivating. In fact I think I studied harder for these wine exams that I did for my law degree.

    I don’t plan to work in the wine industry so doing the FWS was just for my own personal enjoyment… and I did enjoy it immensely. Going for weekly classes was the highlight of my week, and in fact after it was over I felt a sense of loss…  Thursday nights felt so dull without the FWS.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial Doing the FWS was really insightful because we spent time studying the regions, appellations and sub-regions in depth, and I learnt more than I ever have before about French wines.
    • Position Director, ASense Consulting
    • Certifications WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Liz Palmer, SWS

    Congratulations to Liz Palmer, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Liz:

    Liz is an avid learner and has amassed four graduate level degrees (including both a JD and LLM) as well as a number of certifications (including a CPA).

    Liz recently combined her love of learning with her love of wine, and now holds the WSET Diploma, Bourgogne Ambassador, California Wine Appellation Specialist, Certified Rioja Educator, Certified Specialist of Wine, French Wine Scholar, Italian Wine Scholar, Spanish Wine Scholar, Italian Wine Professional Certifications.

    In 2014, Liz joined the Texas Wine School to manage day-to-day operations. She became a partner in 2015, assumed control of the school in 2016, spun it into a non-profit corporation in 2019 and now serves as the Executive Director. She also runs a wine storage facility in Houston. Together, these activities have allowed her to build a wine community in Houston, where professionals and consumers can come together with an open mind and share their love for wine. 'The conversation that begins over a single glass of wine can spark greater appreciation as well as deeper connections.'

    About the SWS program, Liz writes:  'The SWS program fills an important gap in wine education.  As one of the top three wine producing regions in the world, Spain cannot be dismissed as irrelevant or unimportant. But all too often in the world of wine education, we spend a lot of time covering France and even Italy, while Spain gets only cursory attention – primarily with respect to Cava, Rioja and Sherry. But there is so much more! The SWS’s comprehensive approach to the country provides cultural and historical background that helps put these (and many more!) quality wine regions into global perspective, while also delving into the signature grapes and wine styles of each region, all of which offer wine consumers tremendous bang for their buck. And of course the program offers excellent resources, both in print and online. The book will serve as a terrific resource for years to come.'

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The program offers excellent resources, both in print and online. The book will serve as a terrific resource for years to come.
    • Position Executive Director, Texas Wine School
    • Certifications WSET Diploma, Certified Specialist of Wine, French Wine Scholar, Italian Wine Scholar
    Read more...

    Yvonne Ou, IWS

    Congratulations to Yvonne Ou, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar program with highest honors!

    About Yvonne:

    I wished I had embarked on wine courses in my University days - it would have been so much more fun and I would have had more knowledge about what I was drinking! Taking WSET courses really helped me recognize the different wine regions around the world and now I take pleasure in discovering new areas, different wine makers and spreading this knowledge to others!

    Having completed the WSET Diploma, I embarked on wine education and more in-depth pursuits into specific wine regions. I have always had a soft spot for Italy and the IWS program has given me further understanding into the various Italian wine regions, as well as some insight into their food and culture.

    The way this course is presented makes it very approachable and easy to assimilate and I find your online presentation and flashcards really helpful to consolidate the masses of information. The maps are great and really contribute to the overall understanding and Maurizio is always so helpful to all the students around the world when questions arise, and overall this course is friendly, supportive and helpful.

    I went on a Wine Scholar Guild study tour in Tuscany and had a great time tasting the wines, but more importantly listening to the oenologists as to what they were doing, as well as honing what I have learnt on the IWS course.

    I enjoy being a wine educator and having the opportunity to engage other wine lovers about different wine regions but specifically Italian regions. I plan to travel more to Italy beyond the most popular Piemonte and Toscana and to see for myself how the amazing Italian wines can pair with the local food and to experience the culture and  beautiful scenery and then spread the knowledge when I get home.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The way this course is presented makes it very approachable and easy to assimilate and I find your online presentation and flashcards really helpful to consolidate the masses of information.
    • Position Doctor and part-time Wine Educator
    • Certifications WSET Diploma
    Read more...

    Diccon Westworth, SWS

    Congratulations to Diccon Westworth, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Diccon:

    I am a wine enthusiast and collect fine wines from all around the world. I now also teach part-time at the Napa Valley Wine Academy. I am also a wine advisor at Courtier Wines.

    I am deeply passionate about learning more about the intriguing world of wine whether it be the history, geology, agromony/viticulture/vinification or the culture and people of the region. I also love to hear shared memories of wine travel or tasting wine. Wine brings people together and can foster lasting relationships; my best friends I met studying/tasting wine.
     
    I have also completed the French Wine Scholar, WSET level 3, WSET diploma, and the Certified Specialist of Wine. I am currently completing the 2-year wine making program at UC Davis. I also hope to complete the Italian Wine Scholar and the Bourgogne Master-level (WSG) program. Eventually I hope to be admitted into the Master of Wine Program.

    The SWS provided great depth of knowledge following on from the building blocks provided by previous studies. My knowledge of Spanish wine is now much more complete and comprehensive. Rick Fisher’s webinars add great stories and bring to life the region. I am looking forward to visiting northern Spain next year and putting my new knowledge to good use. Already the beautiful maps and history have given me an instant travel guide! It will also provide me with a fantastic resource to refer back to, just like the other WSG manuals have.  

    As an instructor the depth and breadth of information and fantastic materials provided by the SWS allows me to now pass on that knowledge and teach the material with confidence. As a wine advisor it also provides deep understanding to the region and provides a solid foundation on which to build knowledge of producers and the wines of each region as they evolve year on year. The material is presented wonderfully in the manual so that I can continue to refer to the essentials and specifics.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial Already the beautiful maps and history have given me an instant travel guide! The material is presented wonderfully in the manual so that I can continue to refer to the essentials and specifics.
    • Position Instructor, Napa Valley Wine Academy; Wine Advisor, Courtier Fine Wines
    • Certifications French Wine Scholar, WSET Level 3, WSET Diploma, Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW)
    Read more...

    Elias Bally, IWS

    Congratulations to Elias Bally, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Elias:

    I owned and ran several restaurants for 12 years where I developed the passion for wine.  When I became a dad I decided to change my life and got a job as a wine seller for Coop, the main retailer of wine in Switzerland. It gives me more time for my family and also to keep studying.  I am also vice-president for Geneva of the ASSP (the Professionnal Swiss Sommelier Association).  I also like to participate in sommelier competitions. I had the opportunity to compete for the Best Sommelier of Switzerland, the Ruinart Challenge and the Gaggenau Sommelier Award.  I wish I could help Swiss sommellerie to keep growing. Swiss celebrity Paolo Basso who won the best sommelier of the World 2013 is a model for every Swiss sommelier.

    In 2015, I got, with highest honours, the Federal Diploma of Sommelier with Higher Education.  Since then, I passed the WSET 3 (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) and later on the IWS. For the IWS, it took me about 10 months to pass both exams. I have to admit, I found it quite hard but still very interesting.  I just started learning for the CSW, the Certified Specialist of Wine (from the Specialist of Wine Educator). In the future I wish I could take the Diploma,  WSET 4.

    The IWS was an immersion into every region of Italy, how passionate it was to learn about the history, the soils, the topography of its region!  I consider it a step forward and a motivation to keep learning.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The IWS was an immersion into every region of Italy.....to learn about the history, the soils, the topography of its region!
    • Position Wine Seller, Coop Blandonnet, Geneva
    • Certifications WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Jörg Philipp, SWS

    Congratulations to Jörg Philipp, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Jörg:

    I am a wine professional.  Starting my wine career many years ago with Spanish wine, I was delighted to finally find a program dedicated to it. Working in wine shops, for importers and opening my own company for wine education and consulting, 2007 I decided to visit Spain and all its wine regions.  In 2008 I spent one year visiting all existing DOs and travelling throughout Spain to understand the culture, people, growing conditions and winemaking in each region.


    Vinoria Wine Education was founded 2003 and came out of the wish to share wine knowledge with wine lovers. With the time and increasing knowledge I started to educate employees of wine shops, restaurants and wine enthusiasts. Today Vinoria is specialized in educating employees from wine importers, wine retailers and supermarkets.  Our special feature is to offer courses about Chinese wine and organize wine tours to this unknown wine giant.

    Other certifications:
    Certified Wine Business Consultant (IHK)
    Certified Wine Evaluation Specialist by PAR®
    WSET Level 2 Pass with Distinction
    Certified consultant for German Wine (DWI)
    Certified consultant for Portuguese Wine
    South Africa Wine Education Course

    Finally, I found an education system in the Spanish Wine Scholar, combining all aspects of Spanish wine and bringing them into a clear structure. I never saw anything similar, being so complete, covering all regions and providing detailed maps. I am looking forward to starting to teach the Spanish Wine Scholar in Germany and China.

    Right now, my plans are to take the French Wine Scholar to structure and consolidate my French wine knowledge.

    Spanish wine is my passion and the SWS program provides all the needed materials to share this passion with German and Chinese wine lovers. The plan is to increase the education part of the company again significantly and the SWS program will definitely be the base to do so.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial Finally, I found an education system in the Spanish Wine Scholar, combining all aspects of Spanish wine and bringing them into a clear structure.....so complete, covering all regions and providing detailed maps.
    • Position Degustar / Vinoria Wine Education
    • Certifications WSET Level 2
    Read more...

    Jane Owen

    Congratulations to Jane Owen for passing the Champagne Master Level exam with highest honors!

    About Jane:

    As a mother of three children that have recently ventured out on their own, I have found myself relishing more "me" time. I have always enjoyed and have been interested in learning more about wine, but only recently have I found the time to really indulge in the passion of wine.

    Passion is an interesting word with so many connotations. To me having a passion for wine is more than just the enjoyment of a beverage with dinner. It means an interest and intensity that goes well beyond wine itself. The study of wine can transport you to another place and time. History, location, viticulture, geology, the people and cuisine are really what wine is about. The further you study, the more interesting it becomes; and the more passionate you become in every way.

    I do not consider myself a professional in any way when it comes to wine. My public soirée into the wine world was quite happenstance. My excitement about studies in wine, champagne in particular, became known within my community. Several friends asked if I would share this knowledge in some way with them. This request evolved into an event that started as a casual tasting among friends. I now offer guided educational tastings of sparkling wines and champagne for groups as a charity event for non-profit organizations in our area. To date "Bubbly & Blade" has raised several thousand dollars for worthy causes in the Southern Indiana area.

    Once you start wine studies, does it every really stop?

    I am a Sabreur member of the Confrérie du Sabre D'or, however I'm embarrassed to say (or not; the study of anything has to begin somewhere) that the WSG Champagne ML course and exam is my first wine certification. I love taking on new challenges. I have found that studies with WSG; with it's distance learning, live webinars and study trips are a perfect fit and a tremendous opportunity.

    I am currently enrolled in the Bourgogne ML course with the WSG as well as studying the coursework for the Certified Specialist of Wine with the Society of Wine Educators.

    I have found that the WSG offers an all-encompassing educational wine experience. I was fortunate enough to experience one of the wine study trips to the Champagne region offered by the WSG after I completed the online instructor-led course. It was truly a capstone to the program that helped bring the information from this intensive study course to life. I look forward to future study courses and trips with this wonderful wine school.

     

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I have found that the WSG offers an all-encompassing educational wine experience....one of the wine study trips to the Champagne region offered by the WSG...was truly a capstone to the program that helped bring the information from this intensive study course to life.
    • Position Owner / Educator, Bubbly & Blade
    Read more...

    Noelle Harman

    Congratulations to Noelle Harman for passing the Bordeaux Master Level program with highest honors!

    About Noelle:

    After a 10 year career as a tax attorney, I came to the decision that life was too short to continue in a career that I wasn’t passionate about.  (Thankfully, I have a very supportive spouse too!)  I’m now a full-time wine academic and wine blogger.  My blog, Outwines, focuses primarily on wine study and education – using study habits that I developed in law school (outlines for wine . . . Outwines).

    I’m planning to professionally teach or write about wine – ideally a combination of both.  Last summer, I began teaching WSET Level 2 classes and the Italian Wine Scholar course.  Currently, I am working to establish the Italian Wine Scholar course program in southern California.  

    In 2014, I enrolled in the FWS course with a wonderful instructor, Regina Daigneault.  I credit the FWS program for kickstarting my serious interest in wine - I had no idea that there was so much to learn and appreciate about wine beyond just what’s in the glass!  History, geography, soil, climate, laws, viticulture, etc.  After earning highest honors on the FWS exam, I was hooked on the pursuit of further wine education.

    Since then, I’ve passed WSET Level 3 with distinction and have taken the Rhône Master Level course through the Wine Scholar Guild.  I also recently passed the Italian Wine Scholar course with highest honors.

    I’m currently a WSET Diploma candidate with the Neptune School of Wine.  In the past, I struggled to wrap my brain around Bordeaux.  I knew I needed to have a better grasp of the region if I was going to be successful with my Diploma studies.  And there’s no better in-depth course of study then the Wine Scholar Guild’s Master Level programs.

    After completing the ML Bordeaux program, I have a much better understanding of the region and anticipate that this will help me greatly with the rest of my Diploma – and any further studies.

    In addition to learning more about Bordeaux, the ML program has also helped me better appreciate the wines from this region.  Thanks to the amazing webinars that are part of the program, I now know where to look for better value wines from this region too!  Overall, the Bordeaux ML program has given me the confidence to challenge myself more frequently and dig deeper when studying some of these great wine regions of the world.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial There’s no better in-depth course of study than the Wine Scholar Guild’s Master Level programs.
    • Position Wine Blogger, outwines.blog
    • Certifications WSET Level 3, FWS with highest honors, IWS with highest honors, Rhone Master Level
    Read more...

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