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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    Champagne

    Xavier Ligot

    Congratulations to Xavier Ligot, for passing the Champagne Master Level exam with highest honors!

    About Xavier:

    I am a wine and spirit enthusiast. I have tried to formalise my knowledge over the last few years through various certificates.

    Wine embodies history, geography, science and much more making the topic fascinating to study.

    I hold a WSET 3 in Wine, CSW, FWS, CSS, WSET 3 in Sake and now ML in Champagne certificate. I have signed up for the Bourgogne Master Level.

    The Champagne ML helped deepen my understanding and appreciation of the “King of wines and wine of Kings”. The seminars, led by talented individuals, were thorough, some extremely detailed, the amount of knowledge shared was invaluable and substantial.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The seminars, led by talented individuals, were thorough, some extremely detailed, the amount of knowledge shared was invaluable and substantial.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications French Wine Scholar, WSET Level 3, CSW & CSS (Society of Wine Educators)
    Read more...

    Mona Elyafi

    Congratulations to Mona Elyafi for passing the Champagne Master Level exam with highest honors!

    About Mona:

    I am the founder & CEO of ILDK Media, an entertainment Public Relations agency expert in the realm of LGBTQ+ focused PR campaigns, Global Women Empowerment strategies & Special Events.

    As a French-Lebanese female entrepreneur, I am proud to have successfully kept the agency at the forefront of change pioneering PR campaigns that have been (and still are) enormously instrumental in making LGBTQ+ agendas move into mainstream culture, making front-page news (Forbes, LA Times, NBC.com, NY Times, Cosmopolitan, to name a few).

    When Covid happened I, like many others, had to put my business on hiatus.
    With plenty of time on my hands, I took that opportunity to focus on my passion: Champagne. Eager to learn more I researched online the Champagne Studies available.

    I knew nothing about the wine world much less about wine studies and the different certifications. But it ultimately led me to enroll in the Wine Scholar Guild Champagne Master-Level Program. I successfully completed the program in a little less than a year and a half.

    My goal now is to put my communications and PR skills to work to share my expertise and communicate my passion for Champagne (the region) & champagne (the wine). Most people know very little about champagne, and often, nothing at all about the diversity of champagne.

    As a Champagne writer/journalist at fromthevinetowine.com I want to educate people about champagne, its history and the incredible, (some quite iconic) stories encapsulated in every single bottle of champagne.

    The first curriculum I completed was the MOOC program offered by the Comité Champagne.  It absolutely was a great learning platform, but I wanted something a bit more challenging on an academic level. The WSG Champagne Master-Level is a program unlike any others. They have created the most exhaustive and extensive curriculum ever – one that fosters in-depth knowledge and expert understanding of Champagne. A laborious but elaborate study that formally builds expert status and credibility.

    For all the challenges of the pandemic, being afforded the time and opportunity to study the Champagne Master Level Program has been my silver lining. I was able to turn my passion into a valuable and prestigious education, and new professional vocation.

    I plan on doing WSET Level 2 this year to further my wine education and knowledge.  My bucket list dream is to open a Champagne Bar.

    The Master Level program has been instrumental in giving me the credibility and legitimacy to be seen as an authority on Champagne. It will give me the opportunity to hold champagne tastings and educational events. It’s already allowed me to write and do industry interviews with some of the shakers and makers in Champagne and in the sparkling world.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I was able to turn my passion into a valuable and prestigious education, and new professional vocation.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    Read more...

    Cornelius Anthony Jr

    Congratulations to Cornelius Anthony Jr for passing the Champagne Master Level exam with highest honors!

    About Cornelius:

    My wine professional journey actually began by accident. I began this journey in summer of 2016 when I became a wine steward at Krogers in the suburbs of Houston, TX. Upon taking the position, I had to learn about wine and my department and I met my mentor Mr. Jamie Deleon and he introduced me to what a “sommelier” was and what the Court of Masters were and I decided to pursue becoming a somm. I passed my intro exam in January 2017 and went on to pass my certified exam in July of 2017. I left being a wine steward to get into distribution with a local company in the Houston Area. After being with Serepedity wines for a couple of years, my true passion has always been Champagne but more so the wine bar realm of the industry was where I wanted to be. I went on to become the general manager for a small wine bar in Missouri City, TX named Vino & Vinyl. The best decision of my life! Cool wines, great people and vinyl records only playing! I was in heaven. Upon working there I began to do consultant work around the city of Houston for years with other wine bars, new restaurants as well as curating cellars for private collectors and helping some distributors in choosing good champagnes and sparkling for the Houston market.  Currently, I am the Sommelier at Caracol Mexican Coastal Kitchen. It seems so surreal being the somm there because this is where I would have a lot of my mock service exams, wine classes and blind tasting. That place has and will always have a special place in my heart.  Lastly, my aspiration is to begin my champagne and sparkling wine club, which I hope to launch in the Spring of 2022! So look out and ultimately open up a champagne / sparkling wine boutique shop with a tasting room. So stay tuned! Santi!

    I am a certified sommelier with the Court of Masters in 2017, I also am a certified champagne specialist through the CIVC the governing body of Champagne with their MOOC program, which I received in 2019.

    The Masters Program through WSG was really my light bulb moment and truly understanding, I have found my passion and joy! That is something we all strive to reach not only in life but in any profession. Champagne is truly my joy and I want to educate everyone on this great wine and the great people and stories of the region.

    The program has opened up so many avenues because I was that student who would try to reach out to all the instructors to get a better idea of things I didn’t quite understand or needed more in depth explanations to things in the webinar. They all who I was able to reach out to, were very receptive. This program will test you on every level of understanding what I like to say is the idea of Champagne! Champagne is a perfect idea! I knew I loved champagne but this program allowed me to gain an understanding of it that made me fall in love with the place just as much as the wine. The history, the stories or legends, the process of how this wine is made and the branding of this wine is like none other wine in the world! I learned things that will stay with me forever and with this I feel that this was what I needed to gain the best understanding of the terrior of Champagne. If you decide to embark on this program, I say be committed, ask all the questions, read, read, and read some more!

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I knew I loved champagne but this program allowed me to gain an understanding of it that made me fall in love with the place just as much as the wine.
    • Position Sommelier, Caracol Mexican Coastal Kitchen
    • Certifications Certified Sommelier
    Read more...

    Joanne Hobday

    Congratulations to Joanne Hobday for passing the Champagne Master Level exam with highest honors!

    About Joanne:

    My parents always let me have a small glass of wine with Sunday lunch! Later in life I became fascinated by the myriad of bottles in my local wine warehouse, where I’d pick a wine based on the label. Slowly I started to work out what I liked and disliked and then my husband suggested a holiday in Bordeaux. We spent two days at the Ecole du Vin where I truly caught the “wine bug”! I love to drink champagne and about 17 years ago I saw an advert on the Eurotunnel for the Champagne Region, saying it was “closer than you think”. We made our first visit and have visited at least once a year since!

    About three years ago I decided to turn my passion into a qualification and started to study the WSET with a wine merchant in London who also runs courses and tasting events. After Level 3 I looked around at what do do next and the Champagne Master Level seemed like a natural progression! I’m thrilled that I’ve been able to focus on my favourite region.

    I’m not sure what to do next. For now I’m keen to join WSG as a member and just dip in and out of the events that capture my interest. Although with an A Level in Geography I'm actually quite keen on the new Soil Series that’s just started.

    With travel restrictions easing I can’t wait to visit Champagne again; I’ve really missed it. I hope that now I have the Master Level it will add another dimension to my travels. When I started studying it was never my intention to share my knowledge with other wine enthusiasts, but in the past 18 months I’ve been asked to run several Wine Tasting events via Zoom for my colleagues, so perhaps Wine Educator is a future possibility.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The Champagne Master Level seemed like a natural progression! I’m thrilled that I’ve been able to focus on my favourite region.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Péter Tüű

    Congratulations to Péter Tüű, for passing the Champagne Master Level exam with highest honors!

    About Péter

    My name is Tüű Péter. (Quite unusually, in Hungary we use family name first and given name second.) Currently my primary job is as Head Sommelier in the Michelin-recommended restaurant Laurel Budapest, but I am also working as a consultant for restaurants (wine programs, wine lists, etc.) and wineries, as well as a lecturer for several wine education institutions and various wine-related courses. I also have a few recurring masterclasses, the 'Food and wine pairing in practice' being extremely popular among aficionados.

    My aspiration is to host Champagne Dinners regularly, because probably the most interesting aspect of champagne for me is pairing it with food. It is arguably the most versatile wine style when it comes to food pairing, and the little nuances and differences between the various styles and how they pair with different kinds of food really intrigue me. I also enjoy hosting events in general, I am comfortable speaking for a larger audience, seeing the happy faces of the guests after they tasted a great pairing and making sure they have a great evening, so that is really the direction I would like to go in. And since besides my native Hungarian I also speak German and English fluently, these events don't necessarily have to be in Hungary, I am also happy to explore the champagne scene in neighboring countries as well.

    The first step in my wine studies was back in the spring of 2012 when I did the WSET Intermediate Level in Zürich, Switzerland, organised by the Académie du Vin, which I passed with distinction. In the autumn of that same year I enroled in the first ever course of the Court of Master Sommeliers in continental Europe (previously they only organised courses in England and overseas). It was in Salzburg, Austria, and I passed the Certified Exam that November. Learning is essential to my well-being, so after a few years I felt the need to immerse myself more in one special field of my profession, and since champagne has been a love for me for at least a decade, it was a no-brainer that I should start the Master-Level course of the Wine Scholar Guild. In June 2021 I passed my exam with Highest Honors.

    This course is really the most comprehensive one I can imagine for a particular wine-region. My studies filled some blank spots I could not fill before, and it only increased my love for Champagne (the region) and champagne (the drink).  Since then several friends and acquaintances from the profession have asked, and I always tell them to definitely pursue the Champagne course or any other Master-Level course they are interested in, because it really will give them a depth of knowledge they can't get anywhere else.

    The program has already helped further my wine career! Since passing the Master-Level exam with Highest Honors and getting my Certificate in July there have been several industry players (restaurants, wine eduction institutes, winemakers) contacting me for masterclasses, courses, consultation, etc. The depth and breadth of knowledge the Master-Level course gave me really gives me more confidence when I serve or pour or speak about champagne (or 'méthode traditionelle' sparkling wine in general), and also the drive to pass on this knowledge as well as the love of champagne to other people, either from the industry or outside. But the next step for me is definitely a longer trip to the Champagne region itself, because the (regular!) visiting of the wine-region you love or care or want to know more about is inevitable.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The depth and breadth of knowledge the Master-Level course gave me really gives me more confidence when I serve or pour or speak about champagne.
    • Position Head Sommelier, Laurel Budapest
    • Certifications Certified Sommelier, WSET Level 2
    Read more...

    Emily Murphy

    Congratulations to Emily Murphy for passing the Champagne Master Level exam with highest honors!

    About Emily:

    I have appreciated the value of a good meal since a young age.  When I took a trip to France with my family at age 12, the only thing I wrote about (unwittingly) in the travel journal my father gave me was our meals! From a farm stand tomato to my first heavenly experience of croque monsieur, every bite was recorded. I failed, however, to address the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre.

    As I have grown up, my appreciation of wine and its role at the table has grown and grown, leading to extensive study and a desire to experience as much of the vinegrowing world as possible. In 2017, I finally earned my Diploma certification with the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET). This, combined with selling a portfolio of fine wines in Los Angeles with the Henry Wine Group, has given me an in-depth knowledge of the grape varieties, growing regions, and wine styles produced around the world. I now manage the Southern California market for Champagne Laurent-Perrier, the largest family- and female- owned Champagne house and an icon in the region. I am always striving to further educate “laypeople” about wine and encourage them to try new things because the variety of the world of wine is so vast and exciting.

    After an introductory course at Seattle Community College fanned the flames of my interest in wine, my instructor encouraged me to get involved with the WSET. After completing Level 3 with one of the nation’s top instructors, Mimi Martin in Portland, OR, I started my Diploma with another of the nation’s top instructors, Monica Marin, at the Wine House in Los Angeles. I slid the Diploma certification in right under the wire before getting pregnant with my daughter!! When I joined Laurent-Perrier, I wanted to further my understanding of the Champagne region and the producers, villages, and vineyards there, and the Champagne Master Level was an incredible course with which to do so. I have such a deep knowledge of the region now, and feel confident discussing the villages, soils, and producers on top of my existing Diploma-level knowledge of viticulture and winemaking.

    The Master-level will certainly assist me both immediately and long term with my career in wine and has encouraged a great passion in Champagne. I always enjoyed Champagne but now have such a deep appreciation for the challenges the winemakers of the region face and for the great variety of champagnes available. Career-wise, I am already appreciating the benefits of being able to discuss Laurent-Perrier’s place in the broader Champagne market as well as the incredible focus on quality and innovation at the house with my customers and with consumers. I feel confident that this course and the knowledge I’ve gained as well as the passion to continue learning about the region will only help me as my career moves forward.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I always enjoyed Champagne but now have such a deep appreciation for the challenges the winemakers of the region face and for the great variety of champagnes available.
    • Position Market Manager- Southern California, Champagne Laurent-Perrier
    • Certifications WSET Diploma
    Read more...

    Linas Kuklerius

    Congratulations to Linas Kuklerius for passing the Champagne Master Level exam with highest honors!

    About Linas

    I am a wine enthusiast and spent the last decade working as a Sommelier. Champagne was always the wine that interesed me the most. For a few years now,  I have hosted weekly Champagne tastings in Vilnius and last month started my own project for education Curlybubbles.com.  I believe this will be my tool to spread the word and educate people about the magic wines of Champagne region.

    Since I enjoyed the Champagne Master Level course, my next step will be the FWS programme. Really looking forward to getting to know French wine better, because I am sure there are a lot of hidden gems there, further from classical appellations.

    The Champagne Master Level was an incredible experience and deepened my knowledge significantly. In this programme technical information and the incredible history of the region are perfectly balanced.  I believe, that understanding Champagne is a long journey, but the Master Level course was a fantastic start!

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The Champagne Master Level was an incredible experience and deepened my knowledge significantly...technical information and the incredible history of the region are perfectly balanced.
    • Position Founder, Curlybubbles.com
    Read more...

    Frédéric Cayuela

    Congratulations to Frédéric Cayuela , for passing the Champagne Master Level exam with highest honors!

    About Frédéric:

    I am both a wine enthusiast and professional in the industry. Born in the Roussillon in the south of France, my passion for wines started very young, at 15 years old, when I did my first grape harvest for a local grower.  Now experienced in the Asian and SEA market, with 11+ years of experience in the wine industry. I lived and worked in France, but also in Taiwan for 4 years and 2 years in Singapore. Since 2 years now, I am an educator at the Academie du Vin in Tokyo where I am teaching WSET and FWS certifications, I am also an official representative of the European Grenache in collaboration with the CIVR and the European agriculture.

    I graduated in wines from Rivesaltes School of Agriculture with a 2 years Technical Sales Manager in Wines Diploma (DWS), Diploma WSET level 4 (DipWSET), Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW). Let us say I am very curious and I cannot stop discovering wine and history, and I can be very nerdy with my wine studies; I possess about 20+ certifications and diplomas related to wine fields.

    I am taking the Master of Wine Program (MW) this year, and for this reason, I was very interested in taking the Master Level from the Wine Scholar Guild as they have a very interesting and complete approach in teaching the history, the tradition and the styles behind each wine regions. I am thinking to take more Master Levels as they are to me the reference in mastering the history of the vineyards in France. I definitely loved the quality of the webinars, which provide more depth to your studies.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial Master Levels ... are to me the reference in mastering the history of the vineyards in France. I definitely loved the quality of the webinars, which provide more depth to your studies.
    • Position Instructor, Academie du Vin Tokyo
    • Certifications CSW (Society of Wine Educators), WSET Diploma, French Wine Scholar
    Read more...

    Laura Villanueva

    Many congratulations to Laura Villanueva for passing the Champagne Master Level exam with highest honors!

    About Laura:

    I am a wine enthusiast who is passionate about champagne. I started a blog about champagne and wine travel to share my passion for wine with others.

    As I have completed, this Master Level program my goal is to begin helping champagne houses and growers with their social media marketing, email marketing, and other digital marketing initiatives. I have also begun hosting private virtual champagne tastings for clients.

    I also have the WSET II and WSET III with merit in addition to the Champagne Master Level. The Champagne Master Level allowed me to tune my focus on champagne and has helped me better understand the region as a whole.

    I am currently enrolled in the French Wine Scholar Program and I plan to enroll in DipWSET before the end of the year. I am sure the Master Level Champagne program will allow me to be confident in the French Wine Scholar as well as the Sparkling course through the DipWSET.

    I hope to continue to make connections in the Champagne region and hope to visit and meet producers and growers as soon as I am able to. I hope to make my passion for champagne my full time career.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The Champagne Master Level allowed me to tune my focus on champagne and has helped me better understand the region as a whole.
    • Position Founder, Travel & Champagne
    • Certifications WSET Level 2 & 3
    Read more...

    Michael Markarian

    Congratulations to Michael Markarian, for passing the Champagne Master Level exam with highest honors!

    About Michael:

    I work as a sommelier at Chez Billy Sud, a classic French bistro in the historic Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. I previously lived and studied in Tuscany, and have a passion for Italian wine, food, and culture, in addition to French wine and cuisine.

    I am currently studying for the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Advanced Exam, and I wanted to strengthen my knowledge in certain areas, such as Champagne and Burgundy. Taking the Champagne and Bourgogne Master-Level programs helped deepen my understanding of those regions, especially in relation to house styles, producers, vintages, and winemaking and viticulture practices.

    Since I work in a French restaurant, Champagne is very important! Starting an evening with Champagne can make any day of the week feel like a celebration and a special occasion. I hope to bring in more Champagne for our guests and give them an outstanding hospitality experience.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial Taking the Champagne and Bourgogne ML programs helped deepen my understanding of those regions...house styles, producers, vintages, and winemaking and viticulture practices.
    • Position Sommelier, Chez Billy Sud
    • Certifications Bourgogne Master Level
    Read more...
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