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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    Bourgogne

    Jake Skakun, Bourgogne ML


    Congratulations to Jake Skakun for passing the Bourgogne Master Level exam with highest honors!

    About Jake:


    I've been working in wine-focused restaurants for the last 15 years and I currently buy wine for a few spots in Toronto including Grey Gardens where I work as the General Manager. I'd love to keep creating relevant wine programs and opening new restaurants.



    I've completed the Wine & Spirits Education Trust Diploma and the International Sommelier Guild Diploma. Even with in-depth wine certifications that take years to finish, you don't get the opportunity to spend months in one specific region. Bourgogne is so complex, but so worth the deep dive.  



    This program has given me the confidence to sell, buy, and discuss wines from a region that most seasoned wine professionals find intimidating. It would take a lifetime to become an expert, but this program sets the framework.  


    Additional Info

    • Testimonial This program has given me the confidence to sell, buy, and discuss wines from a region that most seasoned wine professionals find intimidating
    • Position Grey Gardens 
General Manager, Wine Director
    • Certifications WSET Diploma, International Sommelier Guild Diploma
    Read more...

    Ettore Donadeo, Bourgogne ML

    Congratulations to Ettore Donadeo, Bourgogne ML, for passing the Bourgogne ML exam  with highest honors!

    About Ettore:
    I work in a wine school in Tokyo, a long way from Italy. I came here through a long and winding road, but I’ll try to be brief!
    I first came to Japan in 2008 after having graduated in Japanese Language and I started working for a small IT company as programmer. However that was not what I really wanted to: I was already studying wine at the time and already dreaming a career in the field. Wine for me was (and still is) a way to reconnect with my own Country, 10.000 km far from home.
    So, in 2012 I took the big leap and started to work in a wine shop in Osaka. At that point I already had the WSET Level 3 (taken in New Zealand), but I kept studying and got other certifications while “warming up” for the real challenge, that is the WSET Diploma. In 2017 I finally graduated and I was offered the chance to work in the wine school where I had studied before. And here I am! I work in the office, I look after the wine stock, I teach, I write a wine column in Japanese: much fun!


    Studying is also a bit of a hobby for me, so besides the WSET Diploma I also have the Japan Sommelier Association Wine Expert certification and other certifications on German wines, cheese and beer.
    The Bourgogne ML program has been great: normally with “general” wine courses you learn a lot, but you do not have the chance to go very deep on each region (it would be too much). With this program I finally feel I have a good understanding of Bourgogne, its history, geography, the stylistic differences between the villages.
     
    At present I am enrolled in the Italian Wine Scholar! Being Italian I think the time has come to take a certification specifically on Italian wine. I already have some knowledge on the topic, but there is always something to learn. This program is very extensive and contains informations that normally are not easy to find, even for an Italian. After that I will probably also enroll in the Spanish and French Wine Scholar, but let’s do one thing at a time.
    Of course when you get the WSET Diploma people will start asking you if you are going for the Master of Wine, but that is really something I am not planning in the immediate future. In case, I am sure that the knowledge gained in the Master-Level program will be very useful.
    I am planning to teach a classroom course on Burgundy wine from October, here in Tokyo. Probably it won’t be as deep as the Master-Level program, but Japanese people really like these wines, which also fit well with their cuisine. There will be much to learn and taste, I am sure it will be fun!

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial With this program I finally feel I have a good understanding of Bourgogne, its history, geography, the stylistic differences between the villages.
    • Position Wine teacher at Caplan Wine Academy
    • Certifications WSET Diploma, Japan Sommelier Association Wine Expert certification
    Read more...

    Claes-Peter Stoldt, Bourgogne ML

             
    Congratulations to Claes-Peter for passing the Bourgogne Master-Level exam with highest honors!


    About Claes-Peter:
    My passion for wine started  traveling across Europe during holidays.  Somehow all roads on the way to the final destination “happened”  to pass  through various wine districts. Since then I am a wine enthusiast enjoying to constantly gain & refine my knowledge, in theory & practice, about wine.
    Initially my focus was on the classic French wine regions Bordeaux, Rhône & Bourgogne. My interest for wine then took me further to discover “all” other fantastic wine regions & varieties of wine all around the world.  However the  last years my greatest focus is back to France & especially to Bourgogne. I love spending time at local Domains, to walk the wine yards & talk with the winegrowers.  
    Some would perhaps say I´m obsessed about wine (maybe they are right). However to me experience, insights & proficiency does give additional dimensions when drinking a wine by enhancing & refining my enjoyment of a wine! I share my interest in wine with my wife, who is a sommelier. We often challenge each other by choosing wine, tasting it blind & than deciding to cook the food going with the wine. My interest for wine is driven by passion & pleasure!
    My professional life is kind of dual doing financial consultancy of various forms & mixing with start-up of wine related business.       

      

My theoretical wine studies have mostly been performed by reading all literature & magazines I come across. In my early days  I have participated in local wine club educations. Last years I have as well gained a lot of knowledge by attending various master classes, fairs & traveling the wine districts. Consequently my wine studies are somewhat “unstructured” leading to broad as well as deep knowledge but missing lots of pieces here & there.
    By joining the WSG Bourgogne Master Level Program I wanted to gain a deeper knowledge & to fill in the missing pieces of my understanding of Bourgogne. The program inspired me to enhance my studies & to get more order into it.
    To gain the real high level of knowledge you need to study a lot of literature. Doing that it´s easy to get a little bit lost in all details. For me the impressively complete & well structured master level study manual has served as an excellent core/hub.   
    The webinars with several world class Bourgogne authorities is a great source of inspiration & precious knowledge! The webinars was as well a strong contributing reasons for catching my attention to WSG Bourgogne Master Level program.


    My overall objective with the Bourgogne master level program was  “crack the code” to the various styles of Bourgogne wines & to what is behind the great wines of Bourgogne. Knowing from the start this is like chasing the “Holy Grail” the master level program did for sure take me to much higher ground & inspire me to continue to enhance my knowledge.     



    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The webinars with several world class Bourgogne authorities is a great source of inspiration & precious knowledge
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    Read more...

    Tanya Morning Star Darling


    Congratulations to Tanya Morning Star Darling, for passing the Bourgogne ML exam with highest honors

     About Tanya:


    I was first exposed to wine as a young woman during my studies in France, and in New York City over 20 years ago. It was through these early travels and work experiences that I became fascinated by the interplay between wine, food, history, and cultural identity, which have driven my work & studies ever since. I have been faculty at the Northwest Wine Academy, and have been teaching WSET coursework since 2012.  In addition to WSET coursework, I also teach: Wine History Level I and Level II, Introduction to Wines of the World, as well as both the French Wine Scholar, and Italian Wine Scholar programs.
    
These days I aspire to become more intimately connected to the cultures and the wines of my favorite regions in France, and Italy, and have my sights set on continued scholarly achievement.  I am also passionate about helping my students to achieve their goals, as scholars of wine.
    I completed the WSET Diploma coursework in 2003, and in 2017 became an approved instructor of both the French and Italian Wine Scholar certification programs. I also hold the Society of Wine Educator’s Certified Specialist of Wine, and plan to sit the Certified Wine Educator exam later this year. I feel that the in-depth format of the Master Level curriculums as well as the format of the exams are an excellent preparation for the CWE exam, and in general, are a superb accompaniment to any higher-level certification program.
    I am currently enrolled in the Provence Master Level program, and plan to pursue other Master Level programs as well…next up, Champagne!
    At this point in my career, master level specialization is deeply rewarding. Fortunately for me, I feel that my journey with Bourgogne wines has only just begun, and that I have a lifetime of study & exploration yet ahead of me. This May I have been invited by the BIVB to attend an educator’s trip and become a Bourgogne Ambassador. The Bourgogne Master Level Program helped open that door to me, and has deeply fanned the flame of my passion for the nuance and detail of Bourgogne wines.
    The master level programs in general make me a better teacher, and I hope will translate into more success for my students in not just the French Wine Scholar courses, but in all the classes I teach!





    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The master level programs in general make me a better teacher, and I hope will translate into more success for my students in not just the French Wine Scholar courses, but in all the classes I teach.
    • Position Faculty at Northwest Wine Academy at South Seattle College
    • Certifications WSET Diploma, FWS, IWS, Certified Specialist of Wine CSW
    Read more...

    Kari Dawson

    Congratulations Kari Dawson for passing the Bourgogne Master-level Program with the highest honors.

    About Kari:

    "I am a dedicated wine enthusiast who has traveled to wine producing areas throughout the United States, France and Italy.

    I hold a WSET Level 3 (advanced) certification and am a Certified Specialist of Wine and Certified Specialist of Spirits.  The Master-Level program allowed me to take a more general understanding of wine and focus on a specific area and type of wine.  I love understanding how the history, natural attributes and culture of a given place shape its wines.

    I am currently enrolled in the Alsace Master-Level course."

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The Master-Level program allowed me to take a more general understanding of wine and focus on a specific area and type of wine. I love understanding how the history, natural attributes and culture of a given place shape its wines.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 3, Certified Specialist of Wine CSW, Certified Specialist of Spirits
    Read more...

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