Chapeau to Stefanie Köhler for having successfully passed the Champagne Master-Level exam with the highest honors! Congratulations!
''I’ve always had a thing for tasting. As a child I was the early indicator for starting fermentation in the apple must my grandfather produced. My family called me picky but I refused to drink it after around 20 hours after pressing as I could already taste the changing aromas and didn’t like the fizz it developed. Quite a few years have passed since then and today I am a huge fan of fermented musts and the fizz in particular.
The decision to take my wine interest to another level doesn’t date back too long. It was in 2011, on a road trip through France, when the wine spark turned into a flame being amongst the vines of Aloxe-Corton, Pommard and Chambolle, a few days later in Champagne. I fell deeply in love with french cuisine and wines. After culinary school at Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon in 2012 – where my senses had been focused even more onto quality and the art of tasting – I started changing my career sip by sip and put more energy into wine education, starting with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses.
In 2015 I have moved to France to be closer to my favorite wines and grapes. Today I write professionally about wine, food and french culinary heritage, organize wine events, teach wine seminars and also guide wine lovers through Champagne and other wine regions.
Being a curious person by heart, I love discovering and exploring and fortunately the wine world offers a million reasons and possibilities to never stop doing so.
I started with local wine tastings and evening classes and later added the WSET courses. In 2013 I passed the WSET Level 3 with distinction and afterwards joined a challenging Riesling harvest in the steep slate slopes of Germany to test my will to sacrifice to the subject. A year later I started the WSET Diploma program which I am currently working on. It gives a great and intense overview on the huge world of wines. However, moving to Champagne last year to be closer to my favorite terroirs, I looked for a more profound study on this topic. So I decided to add the Champagne Master Level for an in-depth understanding of the region in short time.
The detailed insight – especially from experienced professionals who know this region as extensively as Essi Avellan, Peter Liem and Steve Charters – have helped a lot to see a different perspective and to form my own opinion on a wide range of subjects. Having such a strong knowledge base about history, viticulture and viniculture makes it easier to put cultural and social developments of the region in a bigger context. And as the regions and their history are tightly enabled, it will even help me with my further Burgundy studies as well with moving on to other sparkling wine regions which have already been addressed in the Champagne Master Level.''