Congratulations to Jessica Hammer, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with Bordeaux Wine Campus.
My passion for wine, and in particular French wine, was born during a French wine and cheese pairing workshop on a trip to Paris in 2015. The passion, the craftsmanship, the concept of terroir - that Chardonnay wasn’t just Chardonnay, it could be Chablis - was a revelation. Since then, I left my job in marketing, spent a year working as a cheesemonger and wine seller in Chicago’s finest wine, cheese, and specialty foods shop, and am now living in Toulouse, in SW France, where I will be launching a food tour company this fall.
I passed the WSET level 2 course with merit in the summer of 2017. Because my goal is to help people discover French wines through my tours, the French Wine Scholar certification was the next logical step. It allowed me to dig deeply into the major winegrowing regions of France while providing a solid base of technical knowledge of winemaking processes, geography and soil science, insight into the wine industry, and even the continuing role of climate change in winemaking. FWS gave me an organized and methodical way of fitting all of these pieces together to allow me to explore both the big picture of French wine, and also what is happening on a regional level.
In 2019, I plan to enroll in the WSET level 3 to zoom back out to a global level, and then complete some of the French regional Master-level courses, particularly those for my area of France - like the Sud de France Master for Languedoc-Roussillon. Hopefully there will also be a SW France Master course in the future!
With FWS, I’ll be using all that I’ve learned every day as a food and wine tour guide in Toulouse. The confidence and knowledge I gained through the FWS program will allow me to help people connect to French wine by cutting through the confusion and mystery and highlighting what is truly special and inspiring.