The Italian Wine Scholar™ program is the industry's most respected certification course on the wines of Italy.
The Italian Wine Scholar™ education program is the most advanced, comprehensive, and up-to-date Italian wine course available. The syllabus takes a regional approach and discusses all italian wine appellations and the factors that shape their identities.
The program provides committed students of wine with an unparalleled set of study tools that are designed to maximize learning and boost knowledge retention.
It was created with the support of the Italian wine DOC/G consortia.
The Italian Trade Commission (ITA) endorsed the program in recognition of its exceptional level of depth, accuracy, detail, and academic rigor.
The Italian Wine Scholar study and certification program confers a post-nominal to wine professionals and enthusiasts who successfully pass the certification exams (Ex: John Smith, IWS). With a school network encompassing 30 countries on 5 continents, the IWS credential has true international recognition.
The Italian Wine Scholar course is composed of two separate units:
- Unit 1: The Wines of Northern Italy
- Unit 2: The Wines of Central & Southern Italy
Earn the Italian Wine Scholar™ (IWS) post-nominal via the online, independent study format or enroll in the 15-week, instructor-led online format including live review webinars.
The Italian Wine Scholar™ online learning format includes for each unit:
- A suggested schedule of study with learning objectives for each region
- Live review webinars with acclaimed wine educators (*instructor-led format only)
- Online quizzes and learning games for self-evaluation
- Downloadable maps of all Italian wine regions
- Pronunciation exercises to boosts your credibility
- A list of recommended wines to sample on your own or in a tasting group hosted by students enrolled in the online program
Pricing for the online study formats:
On-demand, start anytime
Price: $595 per unit
15-week instructor-led format:
Unit 1: Next session starts Fall 2020
Unit 2: Next session starts June 29th 2020
Price: $695 per unit
Note: Unit 1 & 2 can be taken in any order
Each unit of the Italian Wine Scholar™ is offered by licensed program providers and delivered by an approved IWS instructor. This study format includes:
- Classroom instruction with tutored tastings
- A copy of the IWS study manual
- Access to the IWS online study modules & quizzes for class prep & review
- In-classroom exam sit
All IWS program providers teach from the same Wine Scholar Guild-developed presentations and are supplied with uniform teaching materials.
Naturally, each instructor has a unique teaching style, the wine selection will vary by market, the class length and class structure (weekly, biweekly, weekends etc.) will vary from location to location, but the content will be the same no matter where you take the class. For many, the classroom experience helps to hammer home the theory; a tutored tasting component brings each region to life. Many students find the set “schedule” helpful in keeping on top of their studies.
Nicholas Poletto, DWS, CSW, CSS, Director of Education at Kobrand Corporation
MAKING SPECIALIZATION IN ITALIAN WINE ACHIEVABLE:
While the sheer volume of information necessary to master Italian wine is extraordinary, we have broken down our course material and Italian wine regions into two manageable chunks:
UNIT 1: WINES OF NORTHERN ITALY
• Alto Adige
• Friuli-Venezia Giulia
UNIT 2: WINES OF CENTRAL & SOUTHERN ITALY
• Umbria, Abruzzo & Molise
• Puglia & Basilicata
There will be two separate study manuals and two separate exams. The Italian Wine Scholar™ credential/pin is based on the final composite score (Unit 1&2).
This format makes it much easier to retain information and to pass the exam.
Students register for each Unit separately. We highly recommend that students complete one Unit before moving on to the next.
Note: Unit 1 & 2 can be taken in any order
FAQ: Why is advanced Italian Wine Study so complex?
Jeannie Cho Lee MW, first Asian Master of Wine, award-winning author, wine critic and educator, Contributing Editor for Decanter
THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE & CURRENT COVERAGE OF ITALY AVAILABLE
The Italian Wine Scholar manuals follow a regional approach with strong tie-ins to terroir.
Each chapter is designed for maximum content retention and utilizes a systematic approach, allowing the student to compare and contrast each of the Italian wine regions.
Manuals are current and discuss the most recent trends. They are printed in full-color, are rich in imagery and peppered with the iconic wine labels of each region.
Every Italian wine DOC/G is discussed (vs. just mentioned) and triaged by need-to-know icons. Emphasis is given to the flavor and structure profiles of DOC/G wines
Italian Wine Scholar™ study manual features:
+A FOUNDATION UNIT:
A Foundation Unit provides an overview which pulls all of Italy and its wines into perspective.
Peter Marks, Master of Wine, Vice President of Education at Constellation Academy of Wine
#2 IWS Online Study Modules:
The IWS online study modules offer interactive presentations that are put into a measurable, meaningful format designed for maximum retention of content and ease of use. Each region of Italy are covered and dovetails nicely with the Italian Wine Scholar study manual. Study materials are available 24/7. If you’ve got a laptop and an internet connection, you’ve got a classroom!
Italian Wine Scholar™ online study modules features:
- Quizzes and learning games for self-evaluation
- Full audio narration to offer new insight and keep you engaged
- Your place is automatically bookmarked/saved to resume where you left off
- A progress bar tracks your accomplishments
- Online Independent Study: via the Q&A forum answered by Italian Wine Programs Coordinator Andrea Eby
- Online Instructor-led Format: via the Q&A forum plus email and live chat with acclaimed wine educators
- In Classroom: via a local, certified instructor
CERTIFICATION EXAM & POST-NOMINAL
SET YOURSELF APART FROM YOUR PEERS. SPECIALIZE IN THE WINES OF ITALY!
Individuals who follow this in-depth Italian wine education program and pass the exam, earn the Italian Wine Scholar post-nominal which may be incorporated into a professional signature (e.g. John Smith, IWS).
The exam for each unit is composed of 100 multiple-choice questions. Candidates need a composite score of 75% to receive the credential, i.e. the scores from both exams are added together and averaged for final assessment.
Students with a composite score of 85-90.5 pass with HONORS. Candidates scoring 91-100 pass with HIGHEST HONORS.
More information about the exam
Ciro Pirone, Director Italian Wines for Horizon Beverage Group (Boston, USA)
Why study Italian wine with us?
- The IWS study manual has already received many words of praise by wine professionals including Nicolas Belfrage MW, Ciro Pirone, Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Craig Locascio, Paul Wagner, Peter Marks MW.
- Wine Scholar Guild (WSG) study programs have been taught internationally to over 10,000 of students of wine!
- WSG student evaluations have been very positive; students love learning with our innovative and multi-faceted educational tools.
The Italian Wine Scholar program is a great resource and supplement for students of wine moving toward advanced general wine study programs such as WSET Diploma (level 4), Master of Wine, Court of Master Sommeliers’ Advanced Sommelier (level 3 and up) or Society of Wine Educator’s Certified Wine Educator (CWE).
Many of these programs ask their students to do extensive independent research in order to study for their exam. To this end, the Italian Wine Scholar program serves as an advanced and comprehensive study supplement to help them master the complex wines of Italy.
While not a pre-requisite, we recommend that students have successfully completed, at a minimum, one of the following programs before enrolling in the Italian Wine Scholar program: WSET level 2, Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) or Court of Master Sommelier’s Introductory Sommelier Certificate (Level 1).
Although an Old World country, Italy is younger than the United States. Unification of the Italian peninsula occurred in 1861. In the centuries prior to Italian unification, Italy was divided into a plethora of small kingdoms and city-states. Each of these political entities shaped the history, people and culture of their region; for this reason, studying Italy is akin to studying the wine production of 20 different countries--each one with its own grapes, wines, food and traditions.
The manuals structure the study of each of Italy’s 20 distinct wine regions in the following manner:
- History, culture and traditions
- Location and climate with their effects on viticulture and wines
- Topography, geography and soils
- Grape varieties and their organoleptic profiles
- Viticulture and winemaking
- Wine industry trends and economics
- All DOCs and DOCGs with their regulations, wine styles and specificities
Why invest in certification?
The era of self-professed wine experts is long over. Professionals need credentials.
Certification is resume-building, validates competency and serves as a point of distinction midst trade and peers alike.
Questions about the exam?
Tim Gaiser MS, renowned wine expert and Master Sommelier