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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    Nicolas Quillé, SWS

    Congratulations to Nicolas Quillé, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Nicolas:

    Nicolas Quillé MW was born in Lyon, France, into a family with three generations working in the wine business. Nicolas holds a master's in enology from the University of Dijon in Burgundy, a postgraduate degree in sparkling winery management from the University of Reims in Champagne, an MBA from the University of Washington in Seattle and is a member of the prestigious Institute of Masters of Wine. Nicolas has worked for wineries in Burgundy, Provence, Champagne, the Rhône valley, the Douro valley, Oregon, Washington and California.

    Nicolas has more than 25 years of experience in the wine industry with an emphasis on viticulture, winemaking, quality control, wine business management, wine portfolio management and merger and acquisitions. He has judged at numerous wine competitions and is speaking at wine conferences on a regular basis. Currently Nicolas is the Chief Winemaking and Operations Officer for the Crimson Wine Group based in Napa, California.  He is currently also teaching and wanted to teach the Spanish Wine Scholar program, prompting him to go through the curriculum.


    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The study program is excellent and I have learned plenty. It will prove very valuable in teaching the material to students.
    • Position Chief Winemaker and Operation’s Officer, Crimson Wine Group
    Read more...

    Luis Alejandro Perez, FWS

    Congratulations to Luis Alejandro Perez, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Luis:

    I was born in Santiago de Chile and I worked in the Financial Market for 20 years.

    In 2001 I came to live in Brazil and I started to work in wines in 2005.
    I already worked as a sommelier in some restaurants, wine shops sales and as wine educator.

    I currently work as a Brand Ambassador of a Chilean winery, but my passion for wine and wine-making lead me to learn even further about Old World wines and their culture, mainly the French wines. I’m an enthusiast of the regions of Champagne and Bourgogne, as well as other amazing regions of France.

    I really appreciated the format and the content of the course, as well as the course support material, it was pretty clear and accurate, as well as the extra activities available on the website.

    I’m confident that this prestigious certification will give an extra boost to my career and I expect it to add new opportunities and open new paths for my professional development.

    My interest is to take the Italian Wines course.  In my opinion, learning is an ongoing and never-ending process. I intend to learn even further both for my professional and personal development.

    I intend to make the most of the knowledge acquired about French wines and their culture, as well as their rich history and cuisine. I hope that my passion for wine will propel me to engage in learning about this beautiful country and its vocation for producing fantastic wines.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I’m confident that this prestigious certification will give an extra boost to my career and I expect it to add new opportunities and open new paths for my professional development.
    • Position Brand Ambassador, Santa Rita Estates Winery
    • Certifications WSET Level 3, Certified Sommelier
    Read more...

    David Emes, FWS

    Congratulations to David Emes, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About David

    I work full-time in private equity investments, based in Singapore, completely unrelated to wine. I have been a keen wine enthusiast for many years, going all the way back to university. My knowledge and taste for wine has developed over time having travelled extensively for business and pleasure, taking me to many different places. For instance, I worked for a French insurance company that even owned its own vineyards (and still does).

    I began studying wine only relatively recently in Abu Dhabi, of all places, in 2015. The WSET level 2 was on offer and I thought it would be interesting as I was looking for something to keep my brain engaged outside of work. It was a good course and I achieved a distinction but level 3 was not available there and it wasn’t until I came to Singapore to work that I continued my studies.

    I have completed three wine courses this year including the French Wine Scholar. The other two are the WSET level 3 (Distinction) and the Certified Specialist of Wine (Distinction), from the Society of Wine Educators.

    The FWS has complemented my studies well, helping me to enrich my knowledge of French wines and to fill in some gaps I had relating to the more obscure regions in France. I am currently enrolled in the WSET Diploma program, which is online.

    My ultimate dream (and one I intend to fulfil) is to own a vineyard and I am planning to establish one in the UK, my home. I intend to keep my knowledge up and this will include completing the diploma and the other courses that FWS is offering (Spain and Italy), and potentially other courses in viticulture.

     

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The FWS has complemented my studies well, helping me to enrich my knowledge of French wines and to fill in some gaps I had relating to the more obscure regions in France.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 2, WSET Level 3, Certified Specialist of Wine
    Read more...

    Juan Lo Bello, FWS

    Congratulations to Juan Lo Bello, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Juan Lo Bello:

    My passion for wine started in Mendoza, Argentina, close to the original “Juan” (my grandfather), who introduced me to the world of wine.

    I continued my professional career in the UK, where I finished my WSET Level 4 Diploma in 2008. I worked for 15 years in international management roles focusing on sales and marketing. I have experienced the world of wine from every angle: producers, distributors/ importers, markets, brand development and consumers.

    In 2016, we moved with my family from London to Alsace to continue my wine career once again closer to a wine region. I founded the Wine Guru on Wheels in Basel (just next door to Alsace) to provide personalized wine experiences and wine education to private individuals and corporate business customers. This venture lead to becoming a WSET Certified Wine Educator to teach WSET courses.

    Teaching quickly evolved into a second passion of mine. Hence my current enthusiasm to introduce French Wine Scholar education in Switzerland for the first time. 

    My ultimate purpose is to reach curious wine drinkers to improve their wine appreciation and understanding. I would love everyone to feel more comfortable, confident and independent around wines.

    I finished my WSET Diploma in London in 2008 and completed and passed the WSET Wine Educator program in 2017. I always compare the WSET studies with a GP (General Practitioner) doctor. WSET studies give you a broad and comprehensive overview of the wine world. You know a little of everything but you are not a specialist. That’s why I have enjoyed the French Scholar studies and I am excited about teaching it because I can add detail and new knowledge to the base I had with the WSET.  France is the benchmark country that many others have followed, either by replanting its native grape varieties in new origins, using consultants for winemaking knowledge or importing French wine technology. After studying the FWS  it is more evident how much France has influenced the wine world.

    On a more personal note, since I moved to Alsace, French wines are more present on my table. It is great to have now a much wider understanding of France and more choice to enjoy! 

    The FWS has provided me with an excellent base to communicate France better, it has also enhanced vastly my own knowledge about French wines. It is a great beginning, I am now very keen to follow up with the Spanish and Italian program. 

     

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The FWS has provided me with an excellent base to communicate France better, it has also enhanced vastly my own knowledge about French wines.
    • Position Founder, Wine Guru on Wheels
    • Certifications WSET Diploma, Certified Wine Educator
    Read more...

    Irving So, IWS

    Congratulations to Irving So, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Irving:

    I am an instructor at Académie du Vin Tokyo teaching WSET Level 2 and Level 3 courses.  As a wine consultant too, I help local wineries in exporting their wines, and I have held masterclasses for various Consorzios (e.g. Lugana, Valpolicella) in Tokyo starting 2017.  Before 2013, I had another life as a senior executive in the finance industry.  Wine is my passion.  I obtained my DipWSET in 2006 and Wine MBA (Kedge Business School) in 2012.  Since then, I decided to quit my "salary-man" job and devote myself to teaching wine.  I hooked on Italian wines after attending the Wine Ambassador course organised by Vinitaly International Academy (VIA) in Verona in 2016.  Last month, I achieved my Italian Wine Expert (VIA) qualification, shared by only 15 people in the world.  I am planning to offer various Italian wine courses at my school starting 2020.

    Apart from DipWSET, Wine MBA (Kedge) and Italian Wine Expert (VIA), I am a first edition Langhe Wine's Ambassador (2019, Barolo & Barbaresco Academy) and a second edition Valpolicella Wine Specialist (2019, Corsorzio Tutela Vini Valpolicella).  Of all of these qualifications, the Italian Wine Expert was most challenging, it demands detailed knowledge of native grape varieties, soils and geology, appellations and the wines.  The IWS course has helped me tremendously in passing the exam.  At the WSG, I currently have signed up for other Master Level courses as well as SWS.  The Master level courses (Alsace, Champagne etc) have provided me with excellent detailed information of the wines and the regions, which helps me in my daily teaching.  I am aiming at SWS next.  I would like to teach SWS in my school in 2020 too.

    The IWS has really helped tremendously in my studies towards the Italian Wine Expert qualification.  I certainly would like to teach IWS too at my school next year.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The IWS has really helped tremendously in my studies towards the Italian Wine Expert qualification. I certainly would like to teach IWS too at my school next year.
    • Position Instructor, Académie du Vin Tokyo
    • Certifications WSET Diploma
    Read more...

    Jade Yu Han, FWS

    Congratulations to Jade Yu Han, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Jade:

    My journey into wine started when I stumbled into the wine collection room at Sotheby’s auction house while I was studying at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York Summer 2015. Deeply fascinated by the beautifully organized wine shelves and seemingly esoteric wine labels, I was intrigued and felt an urge to learn more about this art in flavor and aroma, a different sensory experience from visual arts that I was more familiar with.

    So I enrolled in WSET program knowing that appreciation for wine is no different from art, acquiring systematic knowledge and exposure to diverse portfolio would enhance the experience in folds. After passing WSET Level 2 and 3, as my passion for wine grew, I enrolled in the French Wine Scholar program, wishing to refine my understanding of this complex region that epitomizes old world wine style.

    To me, tasting a wine is like reading a book or travel without stepping out of the door, from the glass we get to experience a different part of the world miles away. Wine learning programs like French Wine Scholar enable me to maximize the joy I get from that glass. It’s no longer just grape juice, you get to ponder over the haunting history, the unique terroir, what occurred in that specific vintage and why one variety thrived on that soil/slope or why a chosen fermentation method really makes it sparkle. You unleash one of a kind memory sealed in each bottle. With wine education, the compounded joy makes every seemingly ordinary day’s dinner become extraordinary.

    The weekly French Wine Scholar class was my get away night. The quality and depth of the program is unmatched, it breaks down the complex French wine regions and highlights the nuances between various terroirs and grape varieties, which helped me immensely in becoming a more confident player in the deductive blind tasting game. Enjoying the wealth of knowledge presented in the FWS program, I plan to continue my journey by enrolling in Italian Wine Scholar soon and eventually pursue WSET diploma.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The weekly French Wine Scholar class was my get away night. The quality and depth of the program is unmatched.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 2, WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Dori Baker, FWS

    Congratulations to Dori Baker, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Dori:

    I work for a family owned, independent, beverage distribution company that services the entire state of Vermont. I live and work in the Burlington city area, which for our tiny state, is the most important city with a developing food, beer and wine scene, which I love! Aside from selling wine in my day-to-day life, I spend the rest of my free time outside; hiking, running, snowshoeing, you name it! Educating myself has always been a strong value of mine and I am constantly reading and delving into multiple topics.

    When I started working in the distribution channel as a sales representative 6 years ago, I had virtually no wine experience and I learned a lot along the way! As I was introduced to more wines and regions from all over the world, I truly developed an appreciation for the craft. I was particularly drawn to the wines of France, right away. After two years of self-study on the job, I had an opportunity to take the WSET-III course. This course was great for my developing wine knowledge and it strengthened the foundation of my career as a wine professional.

    This year, I was looking for a new challenge that would help me develop my wine studies even further. Taking the French Wine Scholar course was the obvious choice for me not only because of my own personal interest in French wine, but also because France is truly the benchmark for wine producers all over the world. I really enjoyed the independent study format because that suits my learning style more than a traditional class and it also allowed me to work at my own pace. I found myself incorporating my studies into my job and got my customers involved as I learned. It was really a lot of fun! I look forward to taking other Wine Scholar Guild programs in the future and will hopefully be working toward the WSET Diploma some day!

    In completing the French Wine Scholar course, I have gained a significant edge in my career. As a wholesale sales representative, it can be very competitive! The knowledge I have gained from this course is incredibly valuable in my presentation and sampling of wines with my customers and that will help me stay on top. The depth and extent of the material far exceed my expectations. I now have a more intimate understanding of my own portfolio from being able to explore wines from the lesser known regions in France as well as strengthen my understanding of the wines from more benchmark regions. Having “FWS” in my title certainly adds to my credentials and I feel it will help advance my career in the future.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial In completing the French Wine Scholar course, I have gained a significant edge in my career. The knowledge I have gained from this course is incredibly valuable in my presentation and sampling of wines with my customers.
    • Position Sales Representative, Farrell Distributing Corporation
    • Certifications WEST Level 3
    Read more...

    Emmeli Erséus, FWS

    Congratulations to Emmeli Erséus, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Emmeli:

    Wine tasting has been a hobby for many years. As a member of the wine association “Munskänkarna” I’ve had the opportunity to join many different wine tastings over the years and also take courses to learn more about wine. The wine interest has increased every year since then. My husband and I share this interest and a few months ago we decided to start our own company, Sour & Wine AB. The focus is wine import, wine consultation and tastings.

    When my wine interest started about 10 years ago I jumped right into the courses provided by “Munskänkarna”.  About a year ago I decided that it was time to take my wine interest one step further by studying to become a certified sommelier. I took my exam at Vinkällan, Stockholm, in January 2019 and received a scholarship which gave me some wonderful days at the winery Monterosola in Tuscany together with other former sommelier students where we learnt more about harvest and wine production.

    I have always been a big fan of France and French wines so when the opportunity to take the French Wine Scholar course came up I wasn’t late to sign up.

    I have just started to import Champagne from two different producers and I’m about to search for other French wine producers to introduce to the Swedish market. The FWS program has been a perfect guide to help me decide which areas I want to search in. 

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The FWS program has been a perfect guide to help me decide which areas I want to search in....to introduce other French wine producers to the Swedish market.
    • Position CEO, Sour and Wine AB
    • Certifications Certified Sommelier
    Read more...

    Harnil Mathur, FWS

    Congratulations to Harnil Mathur, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Harnil:

    I am a Sommelier from the Dry State (Alcohol Prohibited), Gujarat, India and currently residing at Hyderabad, Telangana.

    My journey for wines started in 2016, during my 2nd year of Hotel Management studies at Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition Hyderabad, one of the top ranked institutes in India. Mr. Mithun Bhadekar, from the Faculty for Food and Beverage Service enlightened me in developing an interest towards Wines. Later during our educational visit to a winery in Nashik, India, he gave me an opportunity to taste few wines and apprised me about viticulture and vinification techniques.

    My keen interest in wines escorted me to The Court of Master Sommeliers, during their maiden visit to India in 2018, to discover Sommeliers in the fastest growing Indian wine market. I am honored to become India’s Youngest Certified Sommelier at the age of 20, by passing both the Introductory Sommelier Exam and Certified Sommelier exam. I am grateful to Mr. Viraj Sawant, Advanced Sommelier, who helped me in processing my candidature and guiding me for assessment.

    Currently, I am promoting wines at ITC Hotels at ITC Kohenur, The Luxury Collection, Hyderabad as Sommelier for the hotel.

    The moment of pride, was when I was named in India’s Top 6 Sommeliers at the Indian Sommelier Championship 2019, organized by Institute of Wine and Beverage Studies.

    I completed my Introductory Sommelier Exam and Certified Sommelier Exam at the first attempt which was a result of lot of hard work and some serious wine studies. I would like to thank Sommelier Cherian Sonker who helped me and pushed me the most to prepare for the Certified Sommelier exam as well as the French Wine Scholar Certification.  I believe in remembering things by making Flashcards and also by making a lot of notes.  I aspire to be a Master Sommelier and currently I’m preparing for my Advanced Sommelier Certification by the Court of Master Sommeliers.

    The French Wine Scholar is a course which is an intense and deep study on each and every region of France and it has simplified the understanding for one of the toughest subjects in Wine Studies. It has helped me now to talk confidently on French Wines and also prepared me well for my Advanced Sommelier Exam.  The French Wine Scholar Course has really introduced me to so many different wines, different aspects of wines and also help to gain and cement the knowledge for French Wines. I am very interested in studying the IWS and SWS Courses. The quality and depth of the program is unmatched. I always have emotional attachment with wines because whatever I am today is because of wines and I would Thank God for whatever he has given me and my parents for supporting me to carry on my passion for Wines.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial It has helped me now to talk confidently on French Wines and also prepared me well for my Advanced Sommelier Exam. The quality and depth of the program is unmatched.
    • Position Sommelier, ITC Kohenur, The Luxury Collection Hyderabad
    • Certifications Court of Master Sommelier Introductory Certificate & Certified Sommelier
    Read more...

    Tim Kenneally, FWS

    Congratulations to Tim Kenneally, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Timothy:

    I would classify myself as both a wine enthusiast, who is fortunate enough to also work in the wine industry. I grew up in Sonoma County and had an early exposure to the wine industry. I also developed an appreciation for all of the other agricultural products from the area and ultimately an appreciation for the Culinary Arts. This lead to a short career in the Fine Dining side of the restaurant industry including responsibility for a restaurant's wine program. An opportunity presented itself to join Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits in its On-Premise Division. I worked as a Sales Consultant in the Oakland market, a Wine Manager in the city of San Francisco and as a Sales Manager in the Sacramento area, where I still work today.  Regardless of where I have worked in the company during the last twenty-five years. Wine sales has been a major focus of my responsibilities. As the wine industry has expanded, it has become necessary to expand my skills and wine knowledge along with it. My ultimate goal is to run a major wine division or portfolio and to share my enthusiasm and knowledge with both consumers and customers.

    I have passed both the Certified Wine Specialist and Certified Spirits Specialist exams given by the Society of Wine Educators. I am a Certified Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers. I have passed the Italian Wine Specialist, Rioja Wine Specialist and California Appellation Specialty exams. I have passed the WSET 2 and 3 examinations.

    All of these tests have helped prepare me for the Certified Wine Educator exam from the Society of Wine Educators and the WSET Diploma exams, which I am currently preparing for. All of these programs, including and especially the French Wine Scholar exam, help to build on my total knowledge base and allow for study in a specific area of knowledge. There is a great deal of detailed information and the French Wine Scholar exam helped focus my studies on very relevant information and has increased my appreciation of French wines.

    While passing the test, and achieving the accreditation is rewarding, it is the work that we do to fine tune and acquire additional knowledge that for me is the real prize. The knowledge leads to better appreciations of French wine tastings, which leads to being able to better discuss French wines, which leads to more credibility with buyers and better conversations with suppliers. I have the unique challenge of needing to sell imported wine in California. There is interest and opportunity but the product knowledge of French wine and the industry overall are both very important to ultimate success.
    Accreditations are one way we can demonstrate our passion for wine and separate ourselves from all of the other wine professionals that are in the market today.

     

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial There is a great deal of detailed information and the French Wine Scholar exam helped focus my studies on very relevant information and has increased my appreciation of French wines.
    • Position Regional Sales Director- Sacramento Valley North, Coastal Pacific Wines & Spirits (a Division of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits)
    • Certifications CSW & CSS Society of Wine Educators, Certified Sommelier, WSET Level 2, WSET Level 3
    Read more...

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