Congratulations to Nikki Erpelding, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
My passion for wine developed as a byproduct of the Hospitality Industry and blossomed into Wholesale, Retail, Educator and Supplier roles. My current role is Territory Manager for Winebow Imports, specifically the Italian wine portfolio, Leonardo LoCascio Selections. I educate my distributors in 5 states about the portfolio I represent. I loved seeing lots of brands I work with in the book! I also co-own a wine school, as an educator this certification gives me credibility.
I gained my first Wine Pro certification at Saint Paul College and now I teach the 14 week program. I also wear the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines & Spirits pin with pride. I started down the WSET Diploma and plan to finish it in the near future. I know the Wine Scholar programs will enhance the Diploma program. I would also like to take the VIA Academy program at VinItaly next year. My goal is to take the Spanish and French Wine Scholar programs very soon. I think that will keep me pretty busy!
Consumers and representatives of the trade love to hear about these programs and I am not shy about talking about the benefits and encouraging them to participate.