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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    FWS

    Ulf Sundelin, FWS

    Congratulations to Ulf Sundelin, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Ulf:

    My background is in the IT-business where I have cofounded and been a part of the executive board of a NASDAQ-listed consultancy company for seventeen years. As we now have sold the company, I have decided to make a fresh start within the wine business.

    I’m an entrepreneur at heart and always follow my passion. And one of them has always been wine.

    After I quit my job, I started studying to become a certified sommelier at Vinkällan in Stockholm. I graduated summa cum laude and that whet my appetite for more knowledge. I felt the urge to delve deeper. What better ocean to dive into than the motherland of wine itself?

    The FWS education was exactly what I was looking for. Large in scope and thorough in its material.

    Now I feel more than ready to launch my own import company Nåjd Wines. The aspiration going forward is to bring more quality wine into the Swedish market thus connecting passionate producers with equally passionate consumers.
    I have completed the Vinkällan Sommelier Program (summa cum laude), which is an education that theoretically hovers somewhere between WSET3 and WSET4, adding practical elements as well.

    The FWS complemented my previous studies perfectly. As it delved deeper into the French wine world than my previous studies had, it added depth and a more thorough understanding of French wines than I had before.

    Right now, I am focusing on my company, but I am pretty convinced that I will continue to gather knowledge about wine, and the Wine Scholar Guild has a lot of interesting courses that I probably will enroll in later on.


    Education is always inspirational. FWS will make me more knowledgeable when I visit producers, thus increasing my chances of finding excellent wines for my company. When producers and customers notice that you know what you are talking about, they are a lot more likely to want to work with, or purchase your products.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The FWS education was exactly what I was looking for. Large in scope and thorough in its material.
    • Position Founder and Owner, Nåjd Wines
    • Certifications Certified Sommelier
    Read more...

    Kévin Faure-Lagorce, FWS

    Congratulations to Kévin Faure-Lagorce, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Kévin:

    Hello, my name is Kevin, I am 28 years old, born and still living in France. More precisely, in Charente, the French region where the “Cognac” is indigenous. The art of making wine is very new for me. Indeed, I’ve been working in the car industry for a long time and at some point, I was really determined to discover something really noble where I could find pride to be part of. Something and somewhere, human beings and nature would work along to deliver the best expression of their mutual love and respect.

    My interest in wine really started a few Christmases ago when my cousin offered me a set of books about wine: grape, appellations, terroirs, storage, etc. In order for a book to get my attention, it is usually a challenge where many have failed in the past, but these books really got me into it. And as I was reading, page after page, I began to feel something growing in my heart. It was the birth of what is today a great passion and the beginning of a new journey !

    After finishing reading my many books about wine, I registered in a wine school in order to learn more about oenology and the subtle way of wine tasting. I learned a lot and had the opportunity to taste many different and very good wine. I also had the chance to be a jury member at the national Bordeaux’s wine contest. An amazing experience I will never forget.

    I decided to pursue my studying with the WSET 2 in February of this year, because I wanted to know more about the world’s most famous production and what was others wine making countries’ philosophy. The program really encouraged me to go further in my studies. Then the school where I passed my exam told me about the FWS, since my dream was to look for a program where I could literally dive into the French wine regions and finally be a very good representative of my country, the FWS program made my dream come true.

    Next year, I will be traveling and working in Japan. I have a 1-year visa, so I would like to enjoy that time to discover the Japanese culture and exchange with the locals about the French culture also. Thanks to the FWS, I feel now very confident about talking and explaining to others why wine is one of France’s most beautiful treasures.

    The program already encouraged me to travel through France. This summer, I’ve been working in several vineyards in South of France (Provence and Languedoc) and soon I’ll be heading to Pommard for the “vendanges”. And the journey is just beginning, I can’t wait to see what’s next.

    “Un grand merci” to all the FWS team for the amazing work you do and for your unswerving support for the young students like me. Hope to work again with you soon or later.
    A bientôt

     

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I now feel very confident about talking and explaining to others why wine is one of France’s most beautiful treasures.
    • Certifications WSET Level 2
    Read more...

    Emma Foster, IWS

    Congratulations to Emma Foster, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Emma:

    I fell into studying wine almost by accident – although I have always enjoyed a glass of wine with dinner, it was just out of curiosity and at the recommendation of a friend that I took my first wine qualification.  I have never worked in the wine trade, but I am fortunate to have found myself on the Wine Committee of my Club, alongside a Master of Wine and a group of people with real knowledge and experience in the subject.  It has been a real privilege, and an amazing opportunity to learn.

    I passed WSET Levels 2 and 3 in Wine, which really showed me the benefit studying the subject properly.  On the one hand, it gave me a structure within which to understand wine and the ability to recognise and place a much greater range of wines, grapes, and regions.  On the other hand, the additional knowledge has enabled and encouraged me to become a lot more adventurous about my own wine choices and much more appreciative of opportunities to try a really different or very special wine.  Despite that, as a non-professional, I didn’t feel able to commit the time required to continue my studies with the Level 4 Diploma – and that was the point at which I discovered the Wine Scholar Guild.  The Italian Wine Scholar course provides so much more detail and depth of information than my previous wine studies, but in more convenient and approachable 8 week sections.  Throughout the course I have been able to try wines, often carefully sourced from small or little-known appellations, that I might never otherwise have come across – but always in the context of a logical structure that has really enabled me to enhance my knowledge of the region.  In addition, it has been a real pleasure studying with the West London Wine School – Jimmy presents all of the material and the wines with such enthusiasm and enjoyment that it cannot help but bring the subject to life.

    At this point I probably know more about Italian wine than I had ever imagined – but that just adds to the enjoyment of finding an unusual or interesting Italian wine to try.  Having spent so much time studying each area of Italy, I would love to put some of that education into context by visiting some of the country’s wine regions – perhaps Piemonte, Friuli, or Puglia.

    In the meantime, the rest of the world is still to discover, and I am looking forward to continuing my studies with the French Wine Scholar or Spanish Wine Scholar later in the year.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The Italian Wine Scholar course provides so much more detail and depth of information than my previous wine studies.
    • Certifications WSET Level2, WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Tomás Castro, FWS

    Congratulations to Tomás Castro, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Tomás:

    I have been a wine enthusiast for about 3 years. I had never been interested in this magnificent world until I tasted fines wines. It was then that my interest in knowing about regions and wine-making began. I am always interested in knowing what I am drinking. I love knowing the different regions of the wine and seeing how each strain behaves in a different place.

    I have passed the WSET level 2 program (with distinction). I am currently preparing to pass the WSET level 3 in a few more months. The FWS program is a detailed look at France that perfectly complements my higher studies in wine.

    In a few more months, I intend to take the Rhone Master-Level and Bourgogne Master-Level programs. Having the FWS program approved, allows me to have a solid foundation for my future studies in French wine.

    The FWS program allows me to have confidence and security in the next challenges ahead. I intend to continue my studies of world wines, emphasizing French wine. The FWS program delivers all the tools for a specialization.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The FWS program is a detailed look at France that perfectly complements my higher studies in wine.
    • Position Financial Analyst, Santander Bank
    • Certifications WSET Level 2, WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Tim Killeen, FWS

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

    About Tim:

    After college, my appreciation for wine grew slowly but it really became a true passion after my wife and I spent a week in Mendoza, Argentina. We were there as harvest was wrapping up and we had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people and winemakers. I was in love with the vineyards, the winemaking, and of course the wine and decided I wanted to learn as much as I could about the world of wine. Even though I am just an enthusiast now, I hope to be able to transition into the wine profession.

    After I knew I wanted to get serious about wine education, I signed up for Wine & Spirit Education Trust classes. I have completed levels 2 and 3 and am currently working toward my WSET Diploma. The French Wine Scholar program was a fantastic compliment to WSET as it provided me with a very solid, in-depth foundation of knowledge of French wine.

    I also plan to enroll in additional Wine Scholar Guild programs in the future, especially the Italian Wine Scholar. I am endlessly fascinated by Italian wine.

    As I continue my wine education and eventually transition into the wine profession, FWS will be incredibly valuable. Prior to the FWS program, I was less familiar with French wine than other regions. The course really opened my eyes to AOCs and styles of French wine that I knew little about and created a passion to learn and drink more.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The course really opened my eyes to AOCs and styles of French wine .. and created a passion to learn and drink more.
    • Position Senior Vice President, Definers Public Affairs
    • Certifications WSET Level 2, WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Cecilia Torres, FWS

    Congratulations to Cecilia Torres, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Cecilia:

    A graduate in Agricultural Sciences and Winemaking, I spent 36 years of my career working as a winemaker at Santa Rita winery (Chile) and as a wine consultant for medium size wine cellars and grape farmers in Chile. Currently I spend my time travelling for pleasure and for passion to the wine, most of the time in France.

    Other wine studies include Agricultural Sciences and Winemaking at Universidad de Chile. Abroad, I´ve participated in the harvest season and cellaring in Australia and in the US (California) and participated in diverse technical travels in Bordeaux, Burgundy, Tuscany, South Africa, New Zealand, Argentina, etc. FWS was my first international certificate, which inspired me to take formal French language classes and to take further specialization in France and its regions and wines. I will spend 2 months this year in France visiting cellars and vineyards!

    Yes, for me it has a huge value to continue studying different wines countries and regions. In Chile is hard to find wines from other countries, so it is a great opportunity to keep training and get deep understanding.

    I´ve enjoyed the FWS program a lot. I would like to enroll myself in the Italy program and more specific French regions (Burgundy, South of France, Champagne, etc).

     

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial FWS was my first international certificate, which inspired me to take formal French language classes.
    • Position Self Employed, Consultant / Advisor
    Read more...

    Crystal Us, FWS

    Congratulations to Crystal Us, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Crystal:

    I am currently a Food Server at a family owned restaurant in Venice, CA. My passion for wine began at an early age...really early. I think I was around ten years old when I had my first glass of wine. My grandfather was European, and I assume that is why he thought it was perfectly fine to serve me wine with my dinner. My first instinct was to smell it. My Grandfather shook his finger at me, and told me to “drink it, don’t smell it.”  I smile as I remember this because, with all due respect to my Stara Ata, my first instinct was correct.

    My Grandfather was a farmer in Slovenia before fleeing the county during WWII. He and my Grandmother - and their fifteen children  - spent ten years in refugee camps in Austria before they immigrated to the United States in 1953. With only a small house instead of a large farm, he planted an impressive garden in his backyard and built a pergola where he grew grapes for the wine he made in his cellar. This was my introduction to wine.  I have been a Food Server my entire life. However, it was what I did to support other pursuits. I have a B.S. in Business Administration from Southern Connecticut State University and an M.F.A. in Film Production from UCLA. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I am most at home in a restaurant and that my heart lies in the vine.

    I have also passed the Introductory Sommelier Course, the WSET 2 and the WSET 3 (both with distinction). I am currently preparing for the Certified Sommelier Examination. I also hope to take the WSET Level 4 Diploma next summer. I intentionally took the FWS program to help prepare me for the Certified Sommelier Examination. I hope to take the Italian Wine Scholar next!

    It is my goal to obtain a Sommelier position in a French restaurant. I love French wine and the FWS Program was an important step in obtaining the knowledge, as well as credibility, in order to achieve this goal.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The FWS Program was an important step in obtaining the knowledge, as well as credibility, in order to achieve my goal.
    • Position Food Server, 26 Beach Restaurant, Los Angeles
    • Certifications WSET 2, WSET 3, Introductory Sommelier Course
    Read more...

    Bryn Mohr, FWS

    Congratulations to Bryn Mohr, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Bryn:

    In 2016, I gave up my restaurant marketing business to move to Sweden for my husband’s work. Without full time work for the first time in my adult life, I had an opportunity to study something new that interested me. I chose wine. The French Wine Scholar program intrigued me because I have always loved France, plus the program looked so comprehensive and challenging.

    To prepare for French Wine Scholar, I studied WSET Levels 2 and 3, which I passed with distinction. The combination of Level 3, with its emphasis on global wine regions, winemaking and tasting, together with FWS that goes so deep into French terroir, varietals, wine styles and appellations, is a powerhouse of wine education. The FWS program was very challenging, but so rewarding. It left me hungry for more. I am considering some of the Wine Scholar Guild master level programs such as Loire Valley, Champagne and Bourgogne.
    When we move back to the US soon, I look forward to working in a wine-related position, for which I am now well-qualified thanks to FWS.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The FWS program was very challenging, but so rewarding.
    • Certifications WSET Level 2, WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Vanessa Simpson, FWS

    Congratulations to Vanessa Simpson, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Vanessa:

    I became a wine enthusiast many years ago while travelling around several wine regions across Australia. It didn’t take long before friends were handing me the restaurant menu, tasked with the job of choosing our wines and talking with the sommelier. Lucky for me they still do! In 2017 I decided to take the plunge and embark on my own journey to become a sommelier. The world of wine is a fascinating one to me, and the more I learn about it the more I want to know and share with other people.

    I first did an Introductory Sommelier course with the Sydney Wine Academy then completed WSET Levels 2 and 3. These are great courses of study, but I wanted to delve deeper into the wine regions of Europe and felt I hadn’t fully scratched the surface yet. The FWS program was the perfect complement to my previous wine studies. The opportunity to focus on key wine regions of France across a range of topics, from the history, topography and soils of the region, its grape varietals, individual appellations and wine styles was a very rewarding experience and helped to consolidate my studies of French wine so far. I also plan to enrol in the Italian Wine Scholar program and am considering taking the next big plunge into WSET Level 4. I feel certain that the vast knowledge I’ve gained from the FWS program will put me in good stead to undertake other advanced studies.

    To have received the title of French Wine Scholar is a great stepping stone for my career. I’ve already been able to use the knowledge I’ve acquired in wine tasting groups, when writing about wine on social media and in my conversations with others in the wine industry. I’ll be travelling to Champagne, Bourgogne and the Northern Rhone in July this year when I look forward to building on my learnings from the FWS program.  

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The title of French Wine Scholar is a great stepping stone for my career.
    • Certifications WSET Level 2, WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Flora Leung, FWS

    Congratulations to Flora Leung, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Flora:

    Being a full-time lawyer, I have developed a curiosity for wines and thirst for wine knowledge to enrich my life.  I enjoy visiting wineries, speaking to winemakers and learning from professionals in the trade.  I love to share my wine passion and tasting experiences with fellow enthusiasts and friends.

    I have completed the WSET Level 2, Level 3 and Diploma in Wines and Spirits (Pass with Merit) before embarking on the FWS program.  With the solid theory and tasting skills I have obtained from the WSET studies, the FWS course has helped to reinforce my knowledge and enhance my appreciation of French wines.

    I am currently enrolled in the WSET Wine Educator Training Program.  I would also like to pursue the IWS program to broaden and deepen my understanding of the wines and wine regions of Italy.  
     
    The FWS program has been a very enjoyable and rewarding experience.  Not only has it increased my understanding of French wines, it has also aroused my interest in the histories, cultures and foods of wine producing regions.  Plus, I am thrilled to have passed the examination with a score of 100!  I am excited to keep on learning as I continue my journey of wine education!   

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial It has aroused my interest in the histories, cultures and foods of wine producing regions
    • Position Part-time Wine Educator, Asia Wine Service and Eduation Centre (Hong Kong)
    • Certifications WSET Level 2, WSET Level 3, WSET Diploma
    Read more...
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