Wine Scholar Guild honors Cru Consultancy as 2018 French Wine Scholar™ (FWS) Program Provider of the Year!
FWS Program Provider of the Year rewards professionalism and perfectionism in the business of wine education and delivery of the French Wine Scholar study & certification program. Judging criteria includes student volume, facilities, student evaluations and the overall profile of the course offerings given by that learning institution. These factors, together, create an award-winning environment of academic rigor and excellence.
Congratulations to Cru Consultancy!
INTERVIEW WITH SHARON MC LEAN, CO-FOUNDER OF CRU CONSULTANCY
Tell us about your Wine School… When did you launch it? What courses are you offering?
We established Cru Consultancy in 2013 and deliver French Wine Scholar and Italian Wine Scholar programs in Victoria, Vancouver and Edmonton. We are currently running a Champagne Master Level course in parallel with the on-line course – because no-one should study Champagne “dry”. We are also excited to bring Italian Wine Scholar to Calgary this spring.
Additionally, we offer WSET levels 1-3 (through another APP), Sherry Professional and regionally focused seminars for the industry.
In your opinion, what distinguishes the French Wine Scholar program from other certification programs available in Canada?
There are three key things that set French Wine Scholar apart: it’s comprehensive, it’s up-to-date and the online support is exceptional.
All of the regions are covered in the manual and I like that the “need to know” AOCs are highlighted. That puts the focus on the important appellations and creates the space for students to really understand the wines of France, rather than having to memorize hundreds of obscure facts. I also like that information on other AOCs is included in the manual, making it a great reference for after the course – because the learning shouldn’t end with the exam.
The wine world is always evolving and it’s challenging to stay current, but the Guild is always very active in chasing down changes, issuing updates and revising the manual. Students can be confident that the resources are up-to-date. And the online classroom is an treasure trove of goodies! The e-learning modules, the maps, the quizzes the discussion forums are all great supports and really help the students prepare for success.
What are the professional benefits for achieving French Wine Scholar certification for those who want to enter or for those who are already in the wine industry in Canada?
There are a couple of real benefits for those wanting to grow their career in the wine industry. Firstly, it demonstrates a depth of knowledge in one of the most important wine countries in the world – France just can’t be ignored it you are serious about a career in wine. Secondly, continuing to learn demonstrates self-motivation and commitment, which are two very attractive attributes for any potential employer. The FWS designation signals both of those things.
What type of experience do you provide to FWS and IWS students at Cru Consultancy (teaching methods, social components, support outside of class, etc) that you think sets you apart?
Our goal is really simple – we want our students to be successful. We aim to create a learning environment that puts the student at the centre, one where they can ask questions, build their understanding and have fun along the way. And of course, we have the best instructors ever to do that!
We often include food components in the classes featuring local cheeses or a local specialty and there’s usually a dinner or drinks event after the exam or a “pinning ceremony” when the certificates arrive.
I’m sure none of these are specific to Cru – I’m met some amazing FWS and IWS instructors over the years and we all share a passion for wine, for the course and for teaching. At the end of the day, I hope my students know that I care about them and their success. I love seeing students come back for more and I love it even more when they become friends. Wine is a very social thing and it’s supposed to be enjoyed – I’m grateful that it has brought so many wonderful people into my life.
2018 WINE SCHOLAR GUILD AWARDS:
- French Wine Scholar Program Provider of the Year: Cru Consultancy (Vancouver, Canada)
- French Wine Scholar Instructor of the Year: Tanya Morning Star (Seattle, WA)
- Italian Wine Scholar Program Provider of the Year: Asia Wine Service & Education Centre (Hong Kong)
- Italian Wine Scholar Instructor of the Year: Jimmy Smith (London, UK)
Previous Years WSG Awards:
- 2017 French Wine Scholar Program Provider of the Year: West London Wine School (London, UK)
- 2017 French Wine Scholar Instructor of the Year: Mr. Hwee Peng Lim, CWE, FWS (Singapore)
- 2017 Italian Wine Scholar Program Provider of the Year: Independent Wine Education Guild - IWEG (Toronto, CAN)
- 2017 Italian Wine Scholar Instructor of the Year: Mr. Chris Miller (San Francisco Wine School, USA)
- 2016 WSG Program Provider of the Year: Art Institute of Vancouver (Vancouver, CAN)
- 2016 WSG Instructor the Year: Sheral Schowe, M.Ed., FWS, IWS (Wasatch Academy of Wine, Salt Lake City, USA)
- 2015 WSG Program Provider of the Year: AWSEC (Hong Kong, HKG)
- 2015 WSG Instructor the Year: David Glancy MS, FWS (San Francisco Wine School, USA)