Congratulations to François Bélisle, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
I have been a wine enthusiast all my life. I am particularly passionate about French wines because of their variety and quality, but also because I am a Canadian of French descent (my ancestors came to Canada in the early 1600s from the Loire Valley).
I have been involved in hundreds of wine education activities over the years, in particular as founder and president of different wine societies and as a wine judge. While the main focus of the Canadian and Latin American Wine Society, which I started some fifteen years ago, we also cover all the other wine regions of the world so the additional knowledge from the Wine Scholar Guild’s courses comes in very handy.
As a Certified Wine Judge, I have judged at many wine competitions, including the All Canadian Wine Championship, Les Selections Mondiales des Vins, and the U.S. Northeast Gold Wine Competition.
In addition to a being a French Wine Scholar, I’m a Spanish Wine Scholar which I did in an instructor-led classroom format. I’m also a graduate of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET Level 3 Award in Wines). I’m proud to have been awarded the highest level of distinction in each of these four professional designations.
In the coming months I will be taking my Italian Wine Scholar designation. That will complete the Wine Scholar Guild’s “trio” of country specializations.
I do hope that the Wine Scholar Guild will eventually add more country designations. I would be particularly interested in taking California (or the United States, more broadly), Australia and New Zealand, as well as Chile and Argentina.
Lifelong learning is important to me. We should always strive to learn more, and at the pace the wine industry is changing, it’s essential to stay current.
It’s been a great pleasure taking the French Wine Scholar course. Though I already had a solid base of knowledge on French wines, I learned a lot. I have been recommending the FWS and SWS programs to others.
As a wine educator running the largest and most active wine society in Canada’s national capital (well… that was pre-Covid; now trying to get back to our usual activities), what I learned from my Wine Scholar Guild programs I can now share with my members , and this makes our events even more informative and interesting.
I have also been recently approved by the Wine Scholar Guild to teach both programs – FWS and SWS – at Vendange Institute in Ottawa, which I look forward to doing once Covid-related face-to-face classroom restrictions are lifted.