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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    Robert William Atkinson, FWS

    Robert William Atkinson, FWS
    When I now drink wine I think of not only whether I like the wine or not but also why it might taste a certain way...FWS taught me to think about terroir and its effects on what is in the glass.
    Robert William Atkinson, FWS, Wine Enthusiast
    Other certifications: WSET Level 1

    Congratulations to Robert William Atkinson, FWS, for achieving highest honors in the French Wine Scholar exam with Vitis House, North Carolina. 

    About Robert:

    I have been a wine enthusiast since my introduction to wine when I was JYA in Montpellier, France in the 1970s. Especially since the 1990s I have regularly read the wine press and bought (quite a lot!) of wine from France as well as from the US to sample. I soon discovered Italian wine (Nebbiolo in particular) which led me to focus on learning about Italian wine for the better part of a decade. Given my extensive academic background in the history of France, however,  I thought that the Wine Scholar Guild  program on France would be the best place for me to start actually learning about wine from the experts. I plan to begin the IWS course in the near future and also add the WSET 2&3 classes. It is amazing how much I can focus on wine education given my retirement a couple of years ago!

    Prior to the FWS program I had passed the WSET Level One class. It supplemented this introductory class by focusing in depth on one country and its wine culture. My understanding and appreciation for areas such as Champagne and Alsace has dramatically increased. When I now drink wine I think of not only whether I like the wine or not  but also why it might taste a certain way because of soil, climate, etc. In other words, FWS taught me to think about terroir and  its effects on what is in the glass.   I do feel that I now need classes on how to taste wine because I don’t know the language to use to describe what I am tasting.

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