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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    IWS

    Sharmian Duke, IWS

    Congratulations to Sharmian Duke, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Sharmian:

    I am presently a wine enthusiast but have plans to transition into the wine industry in the new year.  I am presently in Health Care but my husband and I are moving to the Okanagan Valley soon. It is a beautiful wine region in BC. I hope to become an assistant winemaker and then who knows.

    I have been studying for about 4 years now, starting with WSET (to level 3) and UC Davis Winemaking. While waiting to start my WSET Diploma in July, I have completed the FWS and IWS and I am currently doing the SWS. I believe that these will all help to prepare me for it. I have also completed WSET level 2 Spirits and I’m starting the WSET level 3 Spirits in January.

    I have always loved Italian wines and wanted a deeper understanding of them. In my future career in winemaking I would like to experiment a little with some of the Italian methods such as for Amarone or Ripasso styles.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I have always loved Italian wines and wanted a deeper understanding of them.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 3, French Wine Scholar
    Read more...

    Krista Mailey, IWS

    Many congratulations to Krista Mailey, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Krista:

    I am a wine enthusiast from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.   After traveling to Tuscany in 2012 I decided that I wanted to learn more about wine.  I had taken a few beginner courses with Andrea Eby who inspired and mentored me along my journey with Italian wines. The most exciting and appealing thing about studying Italian wine is the quality and diversity of Italian grapes.

    I appreciated the IWS program as it is comprehensive and engaging, and it covers in-depth knowledge of everything you need to know about Italian grapes, wine, history, geography, tradition and culture. I couldn’t get enough of it. I loved the additional resources, such as; webinars, maps, wine lists, flashcards, and vocabulary.

    I am now studying the Italian language in preparation for my future travels to Italy which were put on hold due to COVID.  

    This course has enhanced my love of great Italian wine paired with my favorite Italian food. I hope to one day have the opportunity to work at an Italian winery and be immersed into the community and culture.

    Certification:
    I have the following certifications: WSET Level 2 (2013), WSET Level 3 (2014)
    To add to my knowledge base, I plan to enroll in the Spanish Wine Scholar Program
    Cheers!

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial This course has enhanced my love of great Italian wine paired with my favorite Italian food.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 2, WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Christopher Jon Pares, IWS

    Congratulations to Christopher Jon Pares, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Christopher:

    I’m a native New Yorker, and a server in Manhattan restaurants since 2008. In 2011, I met a Sommelier at work for the first time—it was a job I didn’t know existed—and that changed my life. I wanted to get there myself, but I didn’t know how. I didn’t get a chance to start studying wine formally until 2015 while working at The Modern; there I met an MS for the first time, and his wine team guided us towards the Court of Master Sommeliers, thus starting my formal training in wine.

    Thanks to the The Modern’s fantastic staff training, I passed the Court’s Introductory exam in 2015 without any formal study—but I was so busy at work that three years went by before I took the Certified! In 2018 I took the Intensive Sommelier Training course with Scott Carney, MS, arming myself with the skills necessary to quickly pass the Certified level and immediately take a job as a sommelier at Oceana Restaurant in Midtown Manhattan.

    Finally working as a sommelier on the floor, I quickly discovered where my weaknesses were. This led me to the Wine Scholar Guild courses, which allow me to advance my knowledge while studying on my own schedule. Italy in particular was a weak point of mine and now, because of IWS, it’s more of a strength.

    I also recently passed FWS with highest honors, which filled in my knowledge of unfamiliar regions of France and furthered my understanding of familiar regions. I look forward to doing the same with SWS. I’m now interested in WSG master-level programs as well, which I believe will be a great help towards studying for the Advanced exam with the Court, which is an important goal of mine.

    Italy was my weakest point, and now it’s my favorite wine country! As a direct result of IWS I’ve already done private Italian wine consultations for a couple of collectors. I also can’t wait to work with a more Italian-focused wine list in the future, something I was afraid to do before IWS. Essentially, whatever makes me a better somm is something I’m interested in, and deeper knowledge has never hurt me on the floor in my experience.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial Italy was my weakest point, and now it’s my favorite wine country! I also can’t wait to work with a more Italian-focused wine list.
    • Position Sommelier, Oceana
    • Certifications Certified Sommelier, French Wine Scholar
    Read more...

    Sally Roberts Pasquali, IWS

    Congratulations to Sally Roberts Pasquali for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Sally:

    I own and operate Slice of Tuscany, a boutique travel agency planning custom, private trips all over Italy. I started Slice of Tuscany while living in Florence and working as a food and wine tour guide. The food and wine, local culture, the people...I fell in love with it all and wanted to share my experiences with others. I plan unique insider experiences with my network of local experts and guides – no lines and no groups.

    I met my husband, Matt, in Florence in 2014. He is American (with the last name of Pasquali, go figure) and was working in Puglia with the Italian Navy at the time. We got engaged in Positano in 2015, then moved back to the US in 2016 where we were married. We currently live outside of DC with our two dogs, Lily and Max, and aside from 2020, I usually spend 3-6 months a year in Italy with my clients or on research trips.

    I am WSET L3 certified (2018). I feel that is a great base for diving even more into the Italian wines. I really enjoyed the IWS course! Though I was familiar with a lot of Tuscan wines, I took real pleasure in studying all the regions and finding new grapes, towns, and wineries that I am now dying to taste and to visit. I loved the deep dive into all of Italy and concentrating on one country at a time, as compared to the overview style of other courses. I'm thinking of taking the Spanish and French courses now too.

    My goal is to continue to deepen and broaden my knowledge in all things Italy – wine, travel, and otherwise.  However, in addition, I am also interested in taking more courses and becoming a wine educator.  Who knows what the future holds, but I would love to eventually split time between Italy and my home town of Kansas City, which does not currently have a local wine school. Maybe I could open the first some day.  I'll consider myself extremely lucky if I can somehow continue to share my passions of both Italy and wine with others.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I took real pleasure in studying all the regions and finding new grapes, towns, and wineries that I am now dying to taste and to visit.
    • Position Owner, Slice of Italy
    • Certifications WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Sunny Jongsaritwang, IWS

    Congratulations to Sunny Jongsaritwang, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Sunny:

    I’m a wine enthusiast. I work as a VP in corporate finance / mergers & acquisitions area for a public company. In 2008, the company relocated me to live in Switzerland right in the middle of Europe for ten years. While there, I played badminton competitively in multiple tournaments across Europe. These events gave me opportunities not only to make new friends, but also to visit wine regions and try their wines across Europe. This is how I became passionate about European culture and wine, and hence started my wine education journey.

    My completed certifications are:
    •    Italian Wine Scholar (Highest Honors, score 100)
    •    Spanish Wine Scholar (Highest Honors, score 100)
    •    French Wine Scholar (Highest Honors, score 98)
    •    WSET Level 2 and Level 3 (WSET, London, Pass with Distinction, 98%)
    •    California Wine Appellation Specialist (San Francisco Wine School, Honors, 100%)
    •    Mastering Australian Wine Certificate (Sydney Wine Academy TAFE NSW, Australia, Distinction, 100 scores)
    •    Certificate of Bordeaux Wine and Grands Crus Level (Bordeaux L’Ecole du Vin, France)
    •    Champagne Wine Certificate (Comite Champagne MOOC, France)

    I am currently enrolled in:
    •    WSET Diploma Level 4
    •    Certified Specialist of Wine (Society of Wine Educators)
    The IWS program (as well as FWS and SWS) tremendously helps me prepare for the WSET Diploma study as it provides deep-dive knowledge into the wine regions of the top 3 countries.

    The IWS program strikes a great balance between depth and breadth in studying Italian wine regions not found in other programs. The ability to go through key aspects of wine regions and grape varieties while also tasting these obscure wines alongside helps bring theory and tasting knowledge together in one sitting. Moreover, Maurizio Broggi has an amazing knowledge and insights verified by the Consorzio and is definitely one of the best Italian wine educators in the industry.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The IWS program strikes a great balance between depth and breadth in studying Italian wine regions not found in other programs.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 2, WSET Level 3, French Wine Scholar, Spanish Wine Scholar
    Read more...

    Michael Palij, IWS

    Congratulations to Michael Palij, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Michael:

    Michael Palij is a teacher, an author, an entrepreneur, and the world’s leading specialist on emerging Italian fine wines.  A Canadian, Michael emigrated to the UK in 1989 after reading English and Philosophy at the University of Toronto and began his career in the British wine trade.  His first position with the legendary retailer, Oddbins, kindled an interest that would see him admitted to the Institute of Masters of Wine in 1995 at the age of just 29.  Soon after Michael was appointed buyer for a chain of independent shops and made his first visit to Italy the same year.  He promptly fell in love with both the country and its wines and in 1997 established the independent import agency, Winetraders, which continues to import Italian wines from more than a dozen regions although its success has prompted expansion into both Spain and Germany.

    Michael’s detailed knowledge of what is arguably the wine world’s most complicated producer combined with his passionate and humorous style led to requests for tastings from wine societies, wine schools and corporations around the world.  Such was demand that in 1994 Michael established his own wine school, Winematters, which continues to operate from Oxford and is fully accredited with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) up to and including L4.  Michael is published through Dorling Kindersley and contributes the Italian section to many of their publications.

    A member of Who’s Who, Michael was also the founding fund manager for the Institute of Masters of Wine Endowment Fund.  He is a keen cyclist, runner and mountaineer.  He lives in Oxfordshire with his wife and two children.

    Michael's thoughts on the IWS program:  The Italian Wine Scholar programme is both comprehensive and up-to-date.  The maps are first class and the historical background that accompanies each region is invaluable in helping frame the current viticulture panorama.  To either the keen amateur or the WSET Diploma student, the IWS should prove of great value.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The maps are first class and the historical background that accompanies each region is invaluable.
    • Position Founder and Educator, Winematters, Oxford
    • Certifications WSET Diploma, Master of Wine
    Read more...

    Sachiko Kaitsuka, IWS

    Congratulations to Sachiko Kaitsuka, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Sachiko:

    I’m not a professional,but just a wine lover.  The more I know about wine, the more fun it is to drink wine.  I enjoy reading books about wine, watching TV, and searching the internet. Of course, it's fun to drink a wine of interest and talk about it with a friend who likes wine. Someday, I would like to visit the wine region in Italy.

    I have the following certifications:
    ・Wset Level 3
    ・Wine Expert(Japan Sommelier Association)
    It was very interesting to study the History of the Italia and about soils.

    Through studying IWS, I got the motivation to study more. I also like Italy and Italian wine more.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial Through studying IWS, I got the motivation to study more.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Patrick Kelly, IWS

    Congratulations to Patrick Kelly, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar with highest honors!

    About Patrick:

    I started my wine career kind of by accident. I took an intro wine class, knowing nothing about wine (like, I thought Burgundy was a colour…) to try and break into fine dining as a server. I fell in love with the endless possibilities of the wine world (apparently there’s so much more than just drinking red to keep you warm by the fire) and decided to take another class. I really hit it off with the prof, and she brought me on her team at the Toronto restaurant, Bacchanal. With her guidance, I started my journey to become certified through the Court of Master Sommeliers. Throughout the process, I built more and more contacts, eventually bringing me to my Assistant Sommelier position at Buca.

    My work at Buca gave me the ‘oh crap! Italian wine is way more than Chianti and Barolo’ kind of feels, which led me to the Wine Scholar Guild, and more specifically, the Italian Wine Scholar course. With the comprehensive learning modules and wealth of knowledge the textbook had to offer, I was able to uncover a depth of learning about the Italian wine world like never before. This experience helped me elevate the work I was doing at Buca, not only in wine buying, but also confidence with guest relations. Cue Global Pandemic…..     

    Like most of us in the service industry, I found myself facing uncertainty about the future. So, what’s next? Of course, more studying. I’m currently taking my French Wine Scholar to continue my journey in this world we all love.  Most importantly, this pause in the industry led me to start an Instagram wine blog focusing on making wine fun and accessible. No more wine suggestions that are out of reach for the average young person. Or anyone trying to make ends meet in a pandemic. Or food pairings that aren’t achievable by the home cook.  Look, Chef Boyardee needs wine too! Follow me on Instagram @patcbkell and let’s explore wine with class, but also lots of sass.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I was able to uncover a depth of learning about the Italian wine world like never before.
    • Position Assistant Sommelier, Buca Osteria & Bar
    Read more...

    Tom Martin, IWS

    Congratulations to Tom Martin, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Tom:

    I am an enthusiast and former “Professor” at the Fox School of Wine in Park City, Utah. Google it.

    When the Coronavirus pandemic spread across the US, I decided to enroll in the intensive IWS2 course led by Alan Tardi. I had already passed IWS1. With little else to do, I had plenty of time to read and reread the booklet and attend the webinars. I used the Learning Objectives (LO) templates to cull information from the manual and webinars and used my completed LO documents intensively for review. I sat the IWS2 exam in early June and learned that the Wine Scholar Guild has awarded me certification with highest honors! Very exciting!

    Then, in early July my wife and I sold our home and moved to Maryland to stay safe from Coronavirus in our camper trailer on the farm of a friend. You’ll see in the attached photo a Western hat and Eastern plow as I proudly display my certificate. It is emblematic of my past and present.
    What’s next depends on how soon the pandemic subsides and opportunities to work in the trade arise. Oh, and my wife and I need to find a home before winter locks us into our trailer!

    My certifications include WSET3; FWS, IWS and Alsace Advanced Study. The WSET program got me deep into understanding wine, appellations, vineyard management techniques, and vinification techniques. The study and certifications with the Wine Scholar Guild have broadened my knowledge.

    As for what comes next, I hope to resume study for the Advanced Program for Champagne that I suspended a while ago. I am also keen to take the Spanish Wine Scholar program.

    The IWS, with two parts and many appellations and grape varieties, presented a challenge to learn and remember so much. It gave me the skill to learn and retain both basic and curious facts about geology, history, and culture. That skill will benefit me as I continue to explore the world of wine.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial It gave me the skill to learn and retain both basic and curious facts about geology, history, and culture.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 3, French Wine Scholar, Alsace Master Level
    Read more...

    Andrea Forbicioni, IWS

    Congratulations to Andrea Forbicioni, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Andrea:

    Hi, I am Andrea Forbicioni DipWSET, IWS. I live in Perth, Australia.

    I am a wine enthusiast, I am not a wine professional...yet. I work in IT right now but I wish to share my passion for wines (especially from less known grapes) and teach in an interactive way so that wine can be appreciated by everyone and not only by people with a certain level of experience or certification  I feel the wine lovers and consumers all over the world need to know more about wines coming from non-international grapes, as there is a sense of uniqueness and tipicity in them that needs to be rediscovered. In that sense, I'd like to become an ambassador for less common grapes, as there is a wide heritage of lost grapes to preserve.

    I obtained the WSET Diploma last March through the Sydney Wine Academy. That gave me a great overview on all the world's wine regions and a structured tasting approach.  At the same time, I felt I wanted to deepen my knowledge of specific countries, especially countries like Italy that are unique in terms of indigenous grapes.
    The IWS program helped me to extend my knowledge and made me aware of all the necessary information needed to understand Italian wines deeply, thanks to a 360-degree outlook on the Italian world of grapes and wines. I feel everyone that wants to become a wine expert needs to have a good knowledge of the Italian wine world, and the IWS program is a very useful tool to gain that precious knowledge. I am also thinking about enrolling to the SWS (Spanish Wine Scholar) program, to complement and deepen my knowledge gained through WSET and IWS. In a similar way to Italy, Spain is home to unique indigenous grapes, which need to be valued more than what they are currently.

    In a world where everyone uses social media to talk and post about wines, it is important to have certification(s) as a stand out point, and the IWS will certainly help me to be recognized to the outside world as an Italian Wine Scholar.  My Instagram and youtube channels are @vinomagister so please follow me as a start!
     

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The IWS program..made me aware of all the necessary information...thanks to a 360-degree outlook on the Italian world of grapes and wines.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Diploma
    Read more...
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