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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    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...

    Anton Vamplew, FWS

    Congratulations to Anton Vamplew, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar program with highest honors!

    About Anton:

    In what seems like a previous existence, I made a living as an amateur astronomer (I am coming to the wine), which came from when, as a young lad, I used to gaze out at the starry skies with a great desire to know what I was looking at. As I found out, you can never know everything about the stars, planets and the universe, as there is so much to learn. Plus, new information rolls in all the time, which means you are always learning - and it is this gaining of knowledge that I really enjoy. So, when a friend encouraged me to join him on his wine studying adventure, I thought I’d give it a go. Little did I know how fascinating this subject is, to the point that I am now considering future working opportunities in the world of wine.

    My wine journey started with WSET 2 in February 2018, followed later that year by WSET 3. I hesitated momentarily after this. I knew I wanted to continue studying, but I wasn’t sure if I had enough of a knowledge-base for the WSET Diploma. But, if you don’t give it a go… and in April 2019 I entered this full-on educational existence.  Year 1 of the two-year Diploma course came to a successful end in March this year, and while I waited to commence Year 2 in August, I thought I’d fit in some more studying with the French Wine Scholar Course. It fitted in perfectly, as it not only provided revision for the French section of the WSET unit that I had just studied, but also the ‘learning’ (or filling in the blanks) that I enjoy, especially around grape growing and winemaking.

    The fact the FWS course was provided with a good quality book and online material (with quizzes) were a few of the reasons I took this course. I am a very visual learner, so for me these resources made it an enjoyable learning experience, and I am looking forward - even more now I know what to expect - to continuing my wine studies.  Having joined the WSG too, it is clear there is a wealth of information available online, including great seminars, that will help as I continue to explore all the landscapes of wine..

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I am a very visual learner, so for me these resources made it an enjoyable learning experience... having joined the WSG too, it is clear there is a wealth of information available online, including great seminars.
    • Position Freelance Graphic Artist
    • Certifications WSET Level 2, WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Eugene O'Brien, IWS

    Congratulations to Eugene O'Brien, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

     

    About Eugene:

    I am a wine enthusiast. I used to entertain clients a lot and always struggled when it came to the wine list. About 10 years ago I started taking wine appreciation classes at LCA Wine, a local wine store in Southern California, and have continued studying and exploring wines ever since!

    Besides passing the IWS course, I have also passed the WSET Level III course and the FWS course. I really enjoy learning about the geography, geology, culture and history of the different wine regions. The study of wine is very deep, like learning to navigate and sail a boat on the ocean, and the IWS program, with its detailed and professional course, has helped to broaden my understanding of the origins of wines and prepared me for my next wine adventure!  

    I am now currently enrolled in the SWS course. I am really looking forward to learning more about Spanish wines. I believe that studying the different regions, like the IWS course, helps to prepare me for the next course as you begin to understand the various wine cultures and historical overlaps.

    Someday, I would like to return to Japan where I lived for 12 years and get involved in the international wine trade!

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial ...the IWS program, with its detailed and professional course, has helped to broaden my understanding of the origins of wines and prepared me for my next wine adventure!
    • Position President, Clover Wealth Management, Ltd.
    • Certifications WSET Level 3, French Wine Scholar
    Read more...

    Andrew Belcher

    Congratulations to Andrew Belcher for passing the Rhône Master Level exam with highest honors!

    About Andrew:

    I am a wine enthusiast.  The UK being such a vibrant market from a wine perspective does provide me access to a vast array of styles and varieties from multiple countries. I regularly attend tastings in London whether with wine schools or those set-up by regional bodies.  I have travelled to a number of wine regions not only in Europe, but also in Australia and USA. Looking to visit New Zealand in the next couple of years.

    I passed the WSET Diploma is 2016 and this year at the West London Wine School took the Level 1 Sake course.  Since getting the Diploma, I have taken both the French and Italian Wine Scholar courses at West London Wine School and later this year will be taking the Spanish course with them. I have also taken the Champagne and Bordeaux Master Level courses.  Post the Spanish course, I am considering the new Level 3 WSET Spirits course.


    The Wine Scholar courses complement the WSET courses as they allow more focus on a particular country or region such as Bordeaux. The Wine Scholar courses delve into parts of France that the WSET courses by their nature do not have the time to explore.

    The wine tasting suggestions within the Master-Level program do help with understanding the differences in the specific regions and also encourage you to go out and try different producers and styles of wines.  Having visited the Rhone Valley does allow for a better context of the area, walking up the Hermitage Hill is clearly a highlight. The historical references are also very useful in putting everything in perspective.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The wine tasting suggestions ... help with understanding the differences in the specific regions and also encourage you to go out and try different producers and styles of wines.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Diploma, Champagne Master Level, Bordeaux Master Level, French Wine Scholar, Italian Wine Scholar
    Read more...

    Daniel Schlachet, SWS

    Congratulations to Daniel Schlachet, SWS for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Daniel:

    My background is in culinary with over ten years working in kitchens. I discovered wine after working for Bitto bistro as their kitchen manager and started taking WSET courses. I quickly fell down the rabbit hole of wine and developed a new found passion for learning and teaching about wine. I am now the GM at Bitto Bistro and an instructor for the Wine Education Institute.

    I have successfully completed WSET Level 1-3, achieving merit on my level 3. I have also successfully completed IWS and SWS through Wine Scholar Guild achieving highest honors on both.
    I am going to be testing for WSET level 2 in Spirits shortly and plan to continue my education, most likely taking the FWS in the near future.

    The SWS has given me a deeper appreciation for Spanish wine and their culture overall. The amount of grapes and styles being produced at a high quality level is amazing and inspires me to share them with my students. The SWS has made me a better teacher allowing me to give my students a more thorough understanding of the world of wine. Overall it drives me to continue learning and searching for the rare gems in wine so I can then share them!

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The SWS has made me a better teacher allowing me to give my students a more thorough understanding of the world of wine.
    • Position General manager at Bitto Bistro wine bar and instructor for Wine Education Institute, Colorado
    • Certifications WSET Levels 1, 2 & 3, Italian Wine Scholar with Highest Honors
    Read more...

    Mari Osada, FWS

    Congratulations to Mari Osada, FWS for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Mari:

    My wine journey started 4 years ago. I wished I knew how to choose a bottle of wine at the liquor store or what’s written on the wine list at the restaurants. Back then, at various wine tasting occasions, I could only tell if I liked the wine or not. I wanted to have the ability of analyzing and describing wines, its background and origin.

    As a mom of two young children, it was hard for me to find time in between kids schedules. I decided to enrol myself to WSET course with IWEG, Toronto, sparing a couple of hours of studying daily. I was excited when I found out the flexibility of WSG’s online courses with webinars.

    FWS’s approach to wine from a historical and geographical perspective is intriguing and led me to a deeper understanding of French wines. I was able to understand what, why and how each wine region produces wines with unique characteristics. In the end, thanks to experienced and knowledgeable teachers, I figured what I learned in the course all connects dots from each wine region to overall French wines - historically, geographically and grapes and wine making methods and more!

    The more I studied, my interests for wine grew and it became my passion. Now with WSET Level 3 and FWS, I can not only enjoy wine shopping and selecting a bottle from wine lists, but also I can talk about wines confidently to others at different occasions. The world of wine is profound and limitless. My next step is SWS and IWS. Eventually I want to complete WSET diploma course.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial FWS’s approach to wine from a historical and geographical perspective is intriguing and led me to a deeper understanding of French wines.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Gill Sykes, FWS

    Congratulations to Gill Sykes, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Gill:

    I am the General Manager, Chief Wine buyer and founder of our highly successful wine events and education centre under the Wine House brand. I sell premium wine in a dedicated shop in Melbourne and online all over Australia and South East Asia. I have worked at Wine House for 10 years building up the business and expanding our range of wines and wine event / educational offerings.

    In addition to the French Wine Scholar qualification I also hold the WSET Diploma. The French Wine Scholar Guild complements my qualification with WSET as it is a more detailed look into one country.

    The FWS program will assist me in my selection of French wine for Wine House to sell. It will enable me to run more French wine focused events. But most importantly for me it will enable me to run FWS courses at Wine House. 

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The FWS program will enable me to run more French wine focused events. But most importantly for me it will enable me to run FWS courses at Wine House.
    • Position Manager, Wine House, Melbourne, Australia
    • Certifications WSET Diploma
    Read more...

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