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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    IWS

    Gonzalo Adolfo Ríos, IWS

    Congratulations to Gonzalo Adolfo Ríos, IWS for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with San Francisco Wine School!

    About Gonzalo:

    ''I love old world culture in general and old world wine in particular, and Italian wine has always been one of my favorites.  Every week after an Italian Wine Scholar class, I would visit the local wine shops in Berkeley to explore the region we had just covered and to take a few bottles home for research.  This study has benefited me in the restaurant environment where I have been a fine dining server for a few years now.  I aspire to one day work in a café or wine shop in Europe.

    Prior to taking the Italian Wine Scholar, I passed the French Wine Scholar wine certification program.  I plan to pursue the Spanish Wine Scholar and the California Appellation Wine Specialist programs in the near future.

    The Italian Wine Scholar program can only strengthen my standing as a wine enthusiast and aspiring sommelier particularly when my travels take me back to Europe.''

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The Italian Wine Scholar program can only strengthen my standing as a wine enthusiast and aspiring sommelier particularly when my travels take me back to Europe.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast in San Francisco
    • Certifications French Wine Scholar
    Read more...

    Gan Hong Tan, IWS

    Congratulations to Gan Hong Tan, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with San Francisco Wine School!

    About Gan Hong Tan: 

    "Wine enthusiast - I’m curious about wine, it’s history, and the business. In particular, I’m intrigued by how differently stakeholders in the wine world view wine (winemakers, retailers, enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts), and how various labels and regions try to bridge the gap. Also love the fact the studying about wine also opens up ideas for traveling, after the IWS i’m inspired to visit regions weren’t previously on the radar, such as Emilia Romagna and Valle d’Aosta.

    I’ve completed WSET Advanced before the IWS, and am currently enrolled in the WSET diploma. The IWS provided a nice foundation and summary of information that would really have taken a lot of research. I fully expect to use the text in the future. Also signed up for FWS later this year.

    I think the IWS provided a base framework from which i can use to study wines from other regions. Along the course i’ve also learned what worked well, and what didn’t for me. Additionally I’ve found many interesting wines throughout the course."

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I’ve completed WSET Advanced before the IWS, and am currently enrolled in the WSET diploma. The IWS provided [...] information that would really have taken a lot of research.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast in Hong Kong
    • Certifications WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Peggy Baudon, IWS

    Congratulations to Peggy Baudon, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with Cru Consultancy in Victoria, BC!

    About Peggy

    "I am relatively new to wine, having stumbled into it by default. I recently returned to bartending after a stretch of years teaching then followed by having two children. Bartending in the food/wine industry offered the chance to re-enter the work world in the evenings while allowing time to be with children in the day. The opportunity to work with wine again sparked a curiosity and an itch to learn more and more about it. Although I intended bartending to be a stop-gap measure of a job until I could return to full-time classroom teaching, the realization occurred that the food and wine industry is a pursuit where complete satisfaction could be gained by pouring wine and making people incredibly happy. Thoughts of starting to build a new career in wine began to percolate.

    When people look back on their lives, one common regret is not having done the things we wish we had. And with a window of a handful of years until I had planned to return to the teaching profession, the decision to change course and take a leap into the wine world was joyfully made.

    The Italian Wine Scholar program was the first course I had taken (after a general introductory course) and, after getting over the shock of the depth and breadth of material, it was complete nirvana being immersed in the world of Italian wine.

    After completing the IWS Part 1, I enrolled in the WSET 3 program. The IWS more than prepares students for the Italy portion of the course (kind of like training for a marathon in order to run three kilometers), and I was gratefully surprised that the IWS had laid a foundation to better absorb the viticulture and vinification components of the WSET 3 program.

    I will soon begin the WSET diploma program (online) and have noticed that the Italian wines component does not present any material outside the IWS scope for still or sparkling wines. This gladly frees up studying time for other wines of the world.

    The organizational structure of the IWS program is something I am carrying into my preparation for the diploma; the IWS program structure lays out the cultural and historical foundation on which appellations and grapes are firmly attached. And since any new learning needs to be attached to an existing framework of prior knowledge, my IWS strategy was to learn the recommended history and topography information first before tackling appellations or grapes of a new region. My approach to the diploma will be the same even though this structure of learning is not part of that program.

    My interests in wine include natural wine, education and educational models for learning – but my passion for wine writing is at the forefront of my mind.

    Career aspirations include the prospect of writing about Italian wine. The IWS program outlines how the diversity of Italian wine is linked to the country’s diverse culture and history. This has led to ideas about wine writing that celebrate this distinct lack of homogeneity. The IWS program has also reinforced observations about how the nature of wine reflects our human nature in so many ways – a subject I’d love to write about.

    But for now, the pleasure of making people happy for a living and learning as much as I can about wine is very satisfying.

    Gracie!"

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial It was complete nirvana being immersed in the world of Italian wine.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    Read more...

    Karin Kallio, IWS

    Congratulations to Karin Kallio, IWS,  for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with Cru Consultancy in Victoria BC!

    About Karin:

    "I suppose you could say I am both a wine professional and a wine enthusiast. After earning a degree in sales I took a job as sales professional in the wine industry and have continued on that path in various roles for the past 20 years. Along the way, what was once a job has turned into a passion because of the culture that is inherent in the wine industry and also because of the great people I have met along the way. Working in different provinces across Canada, as well as living overseas I have had the opportunity to learn about the different markets. I aspire to be a leader within the wine industry and to share my knowledge with others.

    I hold a WSET Level 3 certification, French Wine Scholar, Canadian Wine Scholar and now the Italian Wine Scholar.

    The Italian Wine Scholar opened up the vast world of Italian wine. The history, culture, traditions and wines of Italy are fascinating and having a dedicated class to understand this beautiful country and its wine has been an incredible experience. It has given me confidence to better sell Italian wine.

    In the near future, I would absolutely love to study the Champagne Master Class and Spain! The Italian Wine Scholar has undoubtedly improved my knowledge of old world Italian wines and has, thus, boosted my confidence to sell Italian wine. Every wine has a story and with this newly acquired education I can better articulate to customers the technique and history behind some of the best wines in the world."

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The Italian Wine Scholar opened up the vast world of Italian wine. It has given me confidence to better sell Italian wine.
    • Position Sales professional in the wine industry
    • Certifications WSET Level 3, French Wine Scholar
    Read more...

    Ann Brydle, IWS

    Congratulations to Ann Brydle, IWS for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with Cru Consultancy in Victoria BC !

    About Ann: 

    "I consider myself both a wine enthusiast and professional! I’ve been managing liquor stores for a few years now, which really sparked a passion in me to learn everything I can about wine. I started with ISG, moved on to Court of Master Sommeliers and WSET, and am now rounding out my education with Wine Scholar Guild. There’s seems to be no end in sight for my desire to learn more about wine. It’s a passion that brings me a lot of joy and that I have a lot of fun sharing with colleagues, friends, customers, and really anyone who will listen to me.

    I am a Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers, a Certified Sherry Specialist, and I hold my FWS and now IWS designations. I’ve also successfully taken ISG level 1 and 2 as well as WSET 3. I thoroughly enjoyed the Italian Wine Scholar course as it really gave me a deep understanding of Italian wine that I hadn’t achieved in previous courses. The online content was especially helpful and integral to my success. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming Spanish Wine Scholar and have plans to start delving in to the master-level programs in the near future.

    Both IWS and FWS have given me so much confidence in my wine knowledge. I’m better able to choose an interesting wine selection for my store, better able to help my guests choose the right wine, and better able to educate my staff. I look forward to more Wine Scholar Guild courses so I can continue to develop my knowledge and see where it can take me in the future."

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I thoroughly enjoyed the IWS course as it really gave me a deep understanding of Italian wine that I hadn’t achieved in previous courses.
    • Position GM at Cascadia Liquor in Canada
    • Certifications WSET Level 3, Certified Sommelier (CMS), French Wine Scholar
    Read more...

    Matthew Landry, IWS

    Congratulations to Matthew Landry, IWS for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with LaSalle College in Vancouver!

    About Matthew: 

    "I’m originally from St Catharines, Ontario and my first serving jobs were in the heart of Niagara wine country, nervously pouring things I couldn’t pronounce and that hopefully came under screw cap. Some years ago, I got the chance to take over a list I had no business running at a now defunct restaurant in Toronto and since then, what started as a curious obligation has evolved into a genuine passion. 

    I have already passed CMS Certified, WSET 3, French Wine Scholar, Currently enrolled in Bordeaux and Burgundy Master Programs.

    I’ve especially enjoyed IWS program for its inclusion of the historical and cultural elements that surround Italian wine. Anchoring the myriad details of DOC/G law within a larger, more interesting context, helps both my personal understanding and my ability to generate curiosity amongst my customers and staff."

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I’ve especially enjoyed IWS program for its inclusion of the historical and cultural elements that surround Italian wine.
    • Position GM at The Stable House Bistro in Vancouver
    • Certifications WSET Level 3, CMS Certified Sommelier, FWS
    Read more...

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