Congratulations to Ken Coleman, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
Although not in the wine profession, I've been an enthusiast since my college years when my father became interested in wine. We would go on excusions to wine shops in Chicago together and he would let me taste during dinner whatever new wine he was opening. I still vividly remember the first time we tried a wine from Burgundy, a bottle of Clos De Tart, my father and I looking at each other with an expression that just said Wow.
After graduating college, at the age of 22, I travelled to Europe and spent some time in the Burgundy and Bordeaux areas visiting some of the favorite estates of our family. I hitchhiked from Dijon to the Cote de Nuit, walked into Domaine La Romanee Conti without an appointment and somehow got a private tour and tasting. Obviously, that would be impossible today. After returning from Europe I somehow was able to join a wine tasting group in Chicago hosted by a prominent wine importer where every member was much older, more experienced and knowledgable than I. It was a great learning experience for me.
My wife and I currently take a wine related trip every year. We have been to Spain the last two years.
I also have a WSET3 certification. I found the WSET courses compliment the Spanish Wine Scholar course. The WSET goes very in depth into vintification. WSG covers all of the important appellations including their history.
I love Spain and believe Spanish wines have unbeatable price to quality. Without the Spanish Wine Scholar course I could never have penetrated the depth, history and diversity of the wines of Spain. Going forward, the knowledge I gained from my SWS certification will make my wine travel to Spain more rewarding.