Congratulations to Jenny Polack, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
Falling into the wine industry over 30 years ago, after leaving a music education course, I began with no wine knowledge at all. It has been an amazing learning journey.
Although teaching is my passion, I did not want to be a teacher with no industry experience so I have worked in most areas of the wine industry. The strongest experience is in the retail sector but I have worked in bars, restaurants, cellar doors, wholesaling wine, running my own wine bar, two vintages (Portugal and South Australia), picking grapes and consulting to restaurants and wineries in the sales, marketing and training areas.
In 2016, I was very proud to gain the WCA Best Wine Educator Award thus recognizing my successful abilities of my passion. I was also a finalist in 2019 and 2015.
Now, I am lucky to be following my passion and being an owner/operator of a wine education business. Although most of our courses are the WSET wine courses, we are expanding to include our own courses, the WSET spirits courses, the Barossa Wine school courses, and .. hopefully the French Wine Scholar!
I still do a little consulting under wine whitch and some volunteer wine training for Scarf Hospitality training – a not-for-profit organization which gives young people seeking protection, and those from refugee and migrant backgrounds, skills in the hospitality industry.
I probably appear to be a serial student!
I began by taking short beginner courses and then a few industry specific courses. These included:
• Liquor Studies for Industry Personnel (Topped Class) and Advanced Wine Course at William Angliss College, Melbourne, Australia
• Basic Liquor Course (Topped Class) run by the Retail Liquor Stores Association of Victoria, Australia
• Sales - Representatives and Retail Staff at Holmesglen College of TAFE, Melbourne, Australia
My major studies include:
• Associate Diploma of Wine Marketing at the University of Adelaide - Roseworthy, South Australia. I graduated with Market Research prize
• OIV Master of Science in Wine Management – completed in eleven countries around the world.
• WSET Levels 1, 2 3 in Wine and Diploma in Wine and Spirits.
Other courses include:
• West Australian Wine Course at WA Wine Education Centre, Perth, Australia
• Australian Wine Research Institute - Advanced Wine Assessment Short Course in Adelaide, South Australia
• California Wine Appellation Specialist Course at San Francisco Wine School, USA
• WSET Level 1 in Sake
• Certificate IV in Workplace Assessment and Training, TAFE, Melbourne, Australia
I have completed both the WSET Educator Approval Course – Levels 1, 2 and 3 and the Barossa Wine School Educator Course.
My present studies, having now completed the French Wine Scholar is the WSET Level 3 in Spirits. After this, I need to make the major decision to study either the Italian Wine Scholar or Spanish Wine Scholar! Hmmm……
The French Wine Scholar program has already improved my WSET teaching. To be able to talk about the history, geology and cultural aspects into my teaching helps the students gain more understanding. It, also, covered off wine regions that my understanding was minimal in.
As the most part of my OIV MSc in Wine Management course was undertaken in France, I have had a quiet love affair with the country and its wines since then. The French Wine Scholar course has updated and deepened my knowledge brilliantly, preparing me to be able to teach more about French wines either via my own courses or the French Wine Scholar.