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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    Christopher Wilson, FWS

    Congratulations Christopher Wilson, FWS for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with honors, with the Sydney Wine Academy in Australia!

    About Christopher:

    ''I am a keen wine enthusiast and not employed in the industry. My passion for wine evolves from its enjoyment and pairing with good food. Moreover it fascinates me how wine is a reflection of its origin and maker.  In other words the terroir and wine making techniques that are unique to its origins. In particular I enjoy the wines of France because of their diversity and respect to tradition.  They are true food wines.''

    Read more...

    Fanny Darrieussecq, FWS

    Congratulations Fanny Darrieussecq, FWS for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with a brilliant score of 99%. Chapeau!

    Fanny joins our International Program Provider network and is offering the French Wine Scholar Program, right from the heart of Bordeaux, France!

    About Fanny:

    Founder & Wine Educator at Bordeaux Wine Campus, France.

    ''Graduated from the OIV MSc in Wine Management I travelled around the world visiting most of the countries producing wine in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. After 10 years working as exports director for an important Spanish winery I came back to France in 2009. I founded Bordeaux Wine Campus in 2011 that quickly became the most important WSET program provider for South West France.'' The ''FWS program complemented my background as it gave me a thorough knowledge of each individual French wine region from the historical, cultural side to the legal and technical aspect.''

     

     

     

     

    Read more...

    Nicholas Poletto, CSW, CSS

    Congratulations to Nicholas Poletto, Director of Education at Kobrand Corporation, for passing the Wine Scholar Guild's Champagne Master-Level Exam!

    "I am currently in Stage 2 of the Master of Wine program.  The FWS Champagne Master-Level program will be critical in helping me towards the goal of MW certification.  To pass the MW, one must achieve depth of knowledge in not just practical, but also theory."

    1)    Please let us know more about yourself, what you do professionally, how you got there, what you aspire to…


    My parents were born and raised in Italy, which has made wine part of my life since childhood.  My cousins sell grapes to the local COOP in the Veneto and the passion for both food and wine runs deep.  Since the age of 22, I have been involved in the wine industry.  After years of selling wine in New York City, I had the fortune to make wine in New Zealand for a year, and then later teach the WSET at Johnson & Wales Culinary Institute in Rhode Island.  Currently, I work at Kobrand Corporation as their Director of Education.  My first position at Kobrand was managing the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, to then later accept the role of corporate educator.  My predecessor and mentor is the legendary Don Kinnan, who held this position for 22 years.  I travel 9 months a year, training our distributor sales teams across the country on wine education.   As I travel, I see the thirst for knowledge from both novices to enthusiasts growing greater every day.   I aspire to continue to help them along their journey.  

    2)    Please tell us more about your wine studies. What other wine certification programs have you followed and passed? If any, how do you think the ML program complemented/added to your previous wine studies?


    I am a WSET Diploma graduate and hold both CSW and CSS.  The FWS Champagne Master Level program was a fantastic program that gave me depth of knowledge on a very unique subject.  Champagne is much more than just very good sparkling wine made in a special method.  One must study the history, the culture, the organizations and the different terroirs to have complete understanding of champagne.  This Master Level class accomplished all of these goals in a detailed, systematic approach that was not only enjoyable but also clear.  This program provides each student with the knowledge and confidence on a subject that is second to none.  


    3)    Are you currently enrolled or plan to enroll in other wine certification programs? If so, how has/do you expect the ML program to complemented/contribute to your current/future wine studies?

    I am currently in Stage 2 of the Master of Wine program. The FWS Champagne Master-Level program will be critical in helping me towards the goal of MW certification.  To pass the MW, one must achieve depth of knowledge in not just practical, but also theory.  This includes understanding different rootstocks, soil nutrients, yeast strains, methods of production, commercial aspects, future trends – all of these topics are covered in this complete Champagne course.    

    4)    Please tell us how you think the Master-Level program will help you further your wine passion/carrier moving forward

    This course has given me the ability to speak fluently about one of the greatest wine categories in the world.  It has peaked my interest to further taste and study different champagne styles and production methods.  I will now be able to more effectively talk and educate students on Champagne and all its mysteries.    

    Read more...

    Ada Chan, FWS

    Congrats to Ada Chan, FWS, for passing her French Wine Scholar exam with Highest Honors at the Arts Institute of Vancouver!

    Ada currently is the Corporate Sales Manager at Legacy Liquor Store in Vancouver, Canada (www.LegacyLiquorStore.com) -- responsible for developing strategic partnerships and overseas clientele.

    "French Wine Scholar has been one of the most enjoyable curriculums I've experienced thus far - providing a challenging yet relevant level of detail and historical/cultural context that complements my studies in other programs such as the WSET Diploma"

    A few words from Ada: "I've always had an appreciation of wine - and French wine in particular... After fifteen years in the digital/advertising industry, I recently made a career switch to the wine trade and started formalizing my wine knowledge. French Wine Scholar has been one of the most enjoyable curriculums I've experienced thus far - providing a challenging yet relevant level of detail and historical/cultural context that complements my studies in other programs such as the WSET Diploma. Currently enrolled in the Champagne Master-Level course, I’m looking forward to taking further FWS Master-Level programs and connecting with other like-minded professionals and enthusiasts!"

    Read more...

    Gregory Crommen, FWS

    Hats off to Gregory Crommen, FWS for passing the French Wine Scholar Program with Highest Honors with Asia Wine Service & Education Centre (AWSEC)!
    Gregory has been studying wine for a few years now and is about to finish the WSET Diploma.

    "The FWS is a great complement to the WSET Diploma and I would recommend other students to take it between the Level 3 and the Diploma.[...] The FWS gave the perfect structure to help me finish my WSET Diploma"

    1)    Please let us know more about yourself. Tell us about your passion for wine.

    I developed my passion for wine quite late, especially for a French man, and this maturity enhanced my curiosity in all the different types of wines and grape varieties.  I’m always eager to learn more and taste new wines.

    I started to learn wine in order to understand better what I was drinking, to be more knowledgeable and also as a retirement plan by making my own wine.

    2)    Please tell us more about your wine studies. What other wine certification programs have you followed and passed? If any, how do you think the FWS program complemented/added to your previous wine studies?

    I started my wine studies with the WSET, like most people I suspect.

    The FWS is a great complement to the WSET Diploma and I would recommend other students to take it between the Level 3 and the Diploma. This will give them a good idea of the amount of work and knowledge required from them to succeed in the Diploma.

    The FWS gave the perfect structure to help me finish my WSET Diploma. As this latter forces you to do your own research, the template used by the FWS (history, geography, geology, grapes, wines) is ideally suited to the WSET Diploma and allows the students to direct and focus their research, and have a systematic approach to every wine region.


    3)    Please tell us how you think the FWS program will help you further your wine passion/carrier moving forward

    As mentioned above, the way to approach every French wine region used by the FWS is of a great help when taking up on other countries. It addresses the most important features about every wine region, helping to understand the different styles. And this is key when deciding which wine to choose!

    The FWS is a great complement to any other wine study programs and is one of the most thorough I have encountered so far.

     

    Pic: Gregory with his instructor, Jennie Mack

    Read more...

    Matt Coleman, FWS

    Congratulations Matt Coleman, FWS for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with honors! Matt Coleman is General Manager and Sommelier at Crossings Restaurant in South Pasadena, CA. Matt is pursuing his wine education with the Court of Master Sommeliers and reflects on how his French Wine Scholar studies has and will help him:

    "I feel that the Court of Master Sommeliers and Wine Scholar Guild work hand in hand. I am confident that with the preparation on French theory with FWS it will prepare me for the Court of Masters level 3 and 4"

    1)    Please let us know more about yourself and your passion for wine.

    My interest with wine sparked while working at a local steakhouse in Pasadena that had a large wine program. At the time I was an Assistant Manager and from time to time I would sit in for wine tastings at the restaurant with the General Manager. I was able to get familiar with labels and varietals at a leisurely pace.  When I became the General Manager and wine buyer I quickly realized that I had to start learning more about wine.

    2)    Please tell us more about your wine studies. What other wine certification programs have you followed and passed? If any, how do you think the FWS program complemented/added to your previous wine studies?

    So, my good friend Manny and I decided to take Level 1 with the Court of Master Sommeliers and we passed. If you ask Manny, he’d tell you I was a wreck at the end. I found it all so over whelming. We started studying right away for Level 2 with the Court of Master that’s when our soon to be good friend Elliot, joined our group. Tasting and studying with them gave me a personal goal to try and catch up to them. They were amazing!

    The big day came and we took Level 2 with Court of Masters. Once again nerves got a good hold on me. I was very lucky to have Manny and Elliot to keep me focused. We all passed and Elliot got top score of the class! I felt so privileged to have surrounded myself with two great gentlemen.

    During the study period for Level 2, I had the opportunity to help my friend, Patrick, open his own restaurant, Crossings in South Pasadena. He gave me the opportunity to have a large influence on the opening bar and wine programs. We now do the list together as a team and have fun with wine maker dinners. As I explored my studies I am able to influence the wine list at the same rate.

    Once Level 2 was complete, the wine bug had set in. There was nothing that could stop my studies. I learned about the Wine Scholar Guild from wine tasting classes at the Neptune School of Wine in Costa Mesa with Master Sommelier Peter Neptune. His class was brilliant and I was able to taste wines from many wine regions of France. Peter spoke so highly of the Wine Scholar Guild that the information couldn’t be rivaled. I completely agree! The format gives you an abundance of information without being over whelming while keeping my interest piqued the whole time!!! It was fun! I even canceled my cable TV so I could study more and not be distracted!

    Please tell us how you think the FWS program will help you further your wine passion/carrier moving forward.

    I recently passed the French Wine Scholar with honors! It took me a little longer but I am enthralled with the material. I quickly signed up for the Master-Level of Bourgogne right after. I feel that the Court of Master Sommeliers and French Wine Scholar work hand in hand. I am confident that with the preparation on French theory with FWS it will prepare me for the Court of Master Sommeliers level 3 and 4. The learning process has been so enjoyable that I don’t want it to ever stop.

    I now see that the road to Master-Level will be a long journey that can’t be rushed. I look forward to taking advantage of everything the French Wine Society has to offer on my way to Level 3 (and 4) with Court of Masters!

    Read more...

    Lana Hynd, FWS

    Congratulations to Lana Hynd, FWS for having passed the French Wine Scholar exam with honors, with the Sydney Wine Academy.

    About Lana:

    ''I really enjoyed the French Wine Scholar program…it was a great way to brush-up on and expand my knowledge of French wine. I own my own wine business, Vin Culture www.vinculture.com.au based in Sydney, Australia. Vin Culture is designed to educate, entertain and make wine approachable and intriguing for both novices and aficionados alike.  We host bespoke wine events, provide cellar advice and alcoholic beverage stocking services for corporate clients.   One of my favourite event themes is hosting a tour of French wine and cheese.  I had an opportunity to spend a few months making wine in Puligny-Montrachet and have had an endless love of French wine (and cheese) ever since and love to share this passion with our clients.''

    Read more...

    Benjamin Broidy

    Congratulations to Benjamin Broidy, from California, for being the 2015 WORLD SECOND TOP EXAM SCORER for the BORDEAUX MASTER-LEVEL PROGRAM.

    Benjamin is import manager for Regal Wine Company in California, USA.

    About Benjamin:

    ''I am in charge of the import education, supplier relations, helping to manage inventory, pricing, programming, and purchasing for my company.  I hold the Diploma for the Wine and Spirits Education Trust and the Certified Wine Educator title through the Society of Wine Educators.  I am also a Master of Wine Candidate through the Institute of Masters of Wine (just took the exam and waiting for results).''

    Read more...

    Gareth Wyatt, FWS

    Congratulations Gareth Wyatt, FWS for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors! Gareth has followed the French Wine Scholar study program with Premier Wine Training in Dublin, Ireland.

    About Gareth:

    I'm currently (and very happily) looking after and exploring all Business Development opportunities in Dublin, Ireland and the surrounding counties for The French Market Ltd - an established wine merchant, specialising in and distributing the Wines and Food of France to some of the best Restaurants and Hotels in Ireland.  

    Redundancy in 2009, gave me the opportunity to turn a passion for wine into a wonderful career and I have never looked back!  I was very quick to realise in all my WSET studies that France, still sets the benchmark for winemakers and wine lovers all over the world.  The French Wine Scholar program was the obvious choice in furthering and enhancing my knowledge and passion for this rich and diverse country.  I am proud to carry the FWS title and look forward to furthering my studies with the Master Level Programs.

    Read more...

    Christopher Ruhland

    Congratulations to Christopher Ruhland, from California, for being the 2015 WORLD TOP EXAM SCORER for the RHONE MASTER-LEVEL PROGRAM.

     

    Here is a picture of Christopher, taken in Ventoux.

    A few words from Chris:

    ''I am not a wine professional.  But I am passionate -- some might say obsessive -- about wine, particularly French wine.  I am a big fan of the French Wine Society (now the Wine Scholar Guild).   I think the teaching programs are excellent tools for anyone who wants to better understand and appreciate what is in the glass.''

    Read more...

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