Wine Immersion Trips FAQs

General Questions

Are there pre-requisites or do you require a minimum level of knowledge to register?

We request that all guests on our trips are serious and passionate about wine, however there are no official pre-requisites for WSG Study Abroad experiences.

For most Educational Wine Tours and all Masters Program Immersion experiences, you will receive study materials in advance (once your balance is paid in full, or 120 days before travel). To get maximum benefit from trip, we highly recommend being familiar with content that is provided in advance.

WSG Studio is also an excellent resource and contains hundreds of topical recorded lectures and webinars on many of the regions we visit. For trips that do not include study materials, we will generally send a curated selection of webinars to watch in advance. 

Can you help me purchase airfare for the study trips?

If you would like help with your airfare and other travel arrangements, here is a list of US-based travel agents specialized in France:

If you would like help with your airfare and other travel arrangements, you’ll find a list of travel agencies specializing in Italy here:

Do trips include enrollement in the corresponding Masters Program? When do I receive my study materials?

The following trips include enrollement in the corresponding online Masters Program:

  • Champagne Masters Immersion in Reims
  • Bourgogne Masters Immersion in Beaune
  • Bourgogne
  • Backroads Bourgogne
  • Champagne
  • Bordeaux

If you're a graduate of the program, or are currently enrolled, you are eligible for the "Enrolled Student Price" ($300 discount) when paying your final balance. Study materials and access to the online classroom will be provided when your full payment is received (120 before the start of the trip). Students have one year from the date they pay their final balance to take the online exam. Extensions, at an additional cost, are available. 

What can I expect from winery/estate visits?

Our instructors have arranged professional-level tastings at some of the finest estates in each region.

At all the estates, you'll receive a warm welcome and an extensive tasting often with the winemaker him or herself. In most cases, you will tour the technical facilities (vat room and aging cellars) in addition to your tasting. You may taste from the barrel or vat in addition to recent and older vintages in bottle. Sometimes you’ll taste in the cellar, sometimes in a tasting room and other times outdoors. 

During some visits, you’ll go out into the vineyard with the winemaker to discuss vineyard management and harvesting. If the winemaker doesn’t speak English, the instructor will translate for him or her, and for you if you have questions. Each estate visit is unique: at one winery, you might see a cooper making barrels; at another, there may be beautiful gardens; at a third, a special art exhibit or museum.

Will the trip be very serious and studious, or will I be able to relax and have fun, too?

You’ll have a great time on our trips! Although we include lots of great information and learning opportunities in each trip, we're very aware that this is also your vacation. So the instructors make sure that the atmosphere stays light and fun while also being fascinating and educational. Participants tend to enjoy the good things in life. Laughter erupts often, particularly at meals. And the instructors and winemakers often are characters and great fun! You’ll also have some time on your own to enjoy a quiet meal, perhaps with new friends you meet on the trip, to visit a beautiful village or historic site, or just relax.

Where do your tours start and end? How do I get to the starting place?

The trips begin and end directly in the wine region you’ll be visiting. For your convenience, all trips start and end in or near a city with major rail links and/or airports. Transportation to and from the meeting and ending point is up to you and at your own cost.

Information on the trip starting and ending point is included on the itinerary for each trip, and you’ll be sent all the information you need to make your travel arrangements once you reserve your space on the trip.

Why should I take an WSG trip? Why not just go on my own?

We strongly believe that travelling with WSG will be more educational and more enjoyable than it would be on your own. Here’s why:

  • You’ll learn so much more! You’ll have access to internationally-renowned instructors with you at all times to give you fascinating information, make sure you understand the nuances and subtleties of the region and its wines, and respond to all of your questions
  • You will have AMAZING tastings and get access to estates you would not be able to visit on your own. We have the highest-level contacts in each region, so you’ll get to taste many more wines at each estate and you’ll be welcomed as an honored guest and fellow wine professional
  • Your instructor has often lived or worked in the area for many years and has extensive experience and contacts within the region. So you’ll get expert information about the wine business there and an insider’s take on local culture.
  • With more than a decade of experience in these wine regions, we use our first-hand knowledge to choose only the best restaurants for the included meals
  • You’ll have an itinerary that makes the most of the limited time you have in the wine region, minimizes driving time and ensures that you get a thorough overview of the region and its wines
  • You don’t have to drive! So you don’t have to worry about wasting time getting lost or about drinking wine at the included meals. You can just relax, enjoy and learn
  • You get the camaraderie and pleasure of exploring the wine region with other like-minded people who are as passionate about wine as you are
  • Your instructor will translate for the group at all times, so you will have no communication issues

Transportation, Food & Lodging

Can you accommodate people with special dietary restrictions, allergies or preferences?

We always do our best to accommodate special needs.  It's usually possible to provide a substitute meal or dish if you cannot eat what everyone else is eating, as long as you let us know about your allergies and intolerances in advance of the trip.  The reservation form you will fill out to reserve your space on the trip includes a place where you can specify these special dietary needs.

What kind of wines are included in the meals?

We expertly match premium wines from the region we're visiting with each dish, including prestigious wines like Premier and Grand Crus. 

Meals offer an opportunity to taste some wines from appellations that may not be represented in the winery tastings, or to introduce you to some interesting or unusual wines your instructor feels merit your attention.

There are usually several different wines served with each meal.  At all meals, we include a minimum of a half-bottle of wine per person.  All wines included in your trip are expertly chosen by the instructor.  You are always welcome to purchase additional wine or other beverages at your own cost in addition to those we choose.

What are the meals like?

Most meals are included in the trip price. You’ll enjoy lunches and dinners at excellent, typically-French or Italian establishments that offer finely prepared dishes. 

Dinners are gastronomic and include three or four courses; lunches are gourmet but somewhat lighter so you stay alert during your afternoon visits and tastings.

Most of the time, there will be a set menu expertly selected for your enjoyment with the same dishes for everyone, with the exception of those who have specified a dietary restriction in advance (see dietary restrictions, above). 

Meals offer great opportunities to discuss food and wine matching, of course!

Most trips include a few lunches and/or dinners on your own, so you can try local restaurants of your choice or have a lighter meal if you wish.

Are all the rooms identical at the hotels?

Charming, typically French and Italian hotels are often located in historic buildings.

The trade-off of staying in these lovely, authentic hotels is that sometimes, for some hotels, the rooms we reserve for our group will not all be alike. There may be some difference in the size of the rooms, the view from each room may be different, the décor may be different, etc.. Since many of these hotels are also fairly small, it’s sometimes difficult to get the number of rooms we need to be all in the same category. So we may have to take rooms in two different categories, and there may be a slight price difference between the two categories. ALL rooms will be lovely and have the same level of comfort and services (A/C, WiFi, en suite bathrooms, TV, etc.), no one will get a “bad” room, they just may not all be exactly alike.

Ii this is the case for a certain itinerary, it will be noted in the itinerary so you are informed in advance. Additionally, we will fill the rooms in the order of sign-ups for the trip, filling the highest category rooms first, to reward those who sign up quickly.

What about the hotels you include in the trip? How do you choose them?

We choose 4-star hotels to ensure a high level of comfort, including en suite bathrooms, WiFi and air conditioning.  It’s also important for the hotels to be well-situated in the region, to keep driving time and distance to a minimum and to make sure you are as close as possible to the vineyards and other local sites of interest. 

We thoroughly check out each hotel before including it in a trip. In wine regions that are large and spread-out, you will only change hotels once or twice during a week-long trip (to keep driving times to a minimum each day), and in other regions there is only one centrally-located hotel.

Trip Participants

Do you limit the group size on your trips?

Yes, definitely.  We keep group size to no more than 18 participants, to make sure that everyone gets individual attention.  In Bourgogne and Piedmont, where wineries are very small, we limit to 15 participants. The smaller group size also allows us to use a smaller motor coach, so we can take smaller, more scenic country roads and maneuver more easily through narrow estate access roads. It also enables us to visit exclusive estates that do not accept large groups.

Do I need to be in good physical condition? Is there a lot of walking involved?

Our trips are appropriate for anyone who can walk short distances (i.e., 10-15 minutes at a time), walk through a winery, walk up and down stairs, and stand in place for a while during a winery tour and tasting (sometimes there is no place to sit).  On some trips we will walk a short distance into the vineyards, or from the hotel to dinner.

What kind of people take your trips?

"Students of Wine"; whether wine industry professionals or serious wine hobbyists who wish to learn about the wines of France and Italy with the leader in French and Italian wine education and certification.

Organizers & Instructors

What are the trip instructors like?

Our trip instructors are among the most renowned and respected wine professionals in the wine business. They are also professional wine educators who are absolutely passionate about the region and its wines.

You can see a full biography of the instructor for each trip on the web page for the trip, so you can know exactly with whom you'll be touring and learning.  Most are native English speakers (American or British), and they all speak English fluently.  Our instructors have that special combination of high-level wine expertise, personal warmth, friendliness, and excellent leadership skills. They'll accompany you every day, throughout the trip, and will be able to answer all of your questions about the wines of the region you’ll be visiting (and wine in general).

Booking a Trip

Should I get travel insurance for my Study Trip?

Yes, we strongly encourage you to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance package once you have paid your deposit for a Study Trip.  Note that many plans require you to purchase the insurance very soon after your deposit payment (some require it within 14 days).  There are any number of things that can happen that can cause cancellation or interruption of package travel, and travel insurance can help cover costs you incur as a result.  You can find travel insurers easily on the Internet, and there are sites where you can compare policies (for example, ).  Be sure to read policies very carefully before you purchase.  Include your airfare, train fare and any other expenses you will have in addition to the price of the study trip itself.  We highly recommend getting a “cancel for any reason” policy, which offers the best coverage. Travel experts say “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel,” so don’t skimp on this important coverage.

How do I take the Masters program for the Trip?

90 days prior to a trip start date, participants who have reserved a place on the Trip and paid their final balance will receive in the mail from the Wine Scholar Guild a Master-level study manual for the region you will be visiting and studying.

The Wine Scholar Guild will also email you with all the information you’ll need to access the Masters online study program.

Once back from the trip, you have one year to take the online exam. When ready, please contact 4 weeks in advance to schedule your online exam.

How can I sign up for more than one Trip?

To sign up for more than one trip, fill out the Reservation Form and click on the plus sign next to the trips you want to reserve.  Once you have submitted your Reservation Form, you’ll be taken to the Deposit Payment Page on the TWS website. Put in the number of deposits you want to pay for the trip(s) you want, and then click “Add to cart.”  You can see your cart at any time by clicking on “Cart” at the top right corner of the page. 

When you sign up for more than one trip, you’ll get a $150 discount for each additional trip you take in the same calendar year!

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