Congratulations to Maria Piazza, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
I am for sure a big wine enthusiast! I have a deep-rooted inherited passion for wine from my father and his family from Grotte, Sicily where I visited their vineyard many years ago. Watching the harvest and winemaking process enlighten me and ignited my passion. I am not a professional in the industry, I personally share my experiences and knowledge with family and friends to host and help wine tasting, fun and experiential events.
My formal wine studies started in 2017 with getting my Court of Master Sommeliers, Introductory Course Certificate. The course was given to me as a birthday gift from someone who knew my passion, but also knew I needed help getting started. I was not sure where it would take me. But my interests grew which had me planning a 2-week self-directed wine journey through France before taking and passing my French Wine Scholar (FWS) course and exam in 2019. We tasted wine and visited many wineries in Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Beaujolais, Jura, Champagne and later in Alsace. My Italian roots prevailed, and then I planned a 3-week self-directed wine journey through Italy. We tasted wine and visited friends and family in Piemonte, Lombardia, Emilia-Romagna, Baslicata, Campania and Sicily. This had me prepared to start my Italian Wine Scholar Guild studies in 2020 for which I passed the final exam in December 2020. What’s next? Not sure, but my thirst for learning continues.
My FWS course was a combined in-class instruction and online tools for which I wasn’t sure how the full-online IWS courses would compare. But I just loved the IWS online courses, I couldn’t attend the live online webinars, but they were all recorded which allowed me to go at my own pace and ask questions via forums. The diversity of learning tools, book, maps, recorded-live instruction, online chapter reviews, quizzes, etc. were all excellent sources of content. Big thank you to Alan Tardi and Andrea Eby for a great IWS course!