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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    Andrea Mcewan

    Andrea Mcewan

    Thursday, 22 October 2020 15:38

    Emiko Kayama, SWS

    Congratulations to Emiko Kayama, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Emiko:

    Yes, I am a wine enthusiast. I have been a wine lover for a long time and started to study wine in depth 5 years ago. I was inspired to learn more about wine by visiting beautiful wineries in different wine regions around the world, and tasting their wines. By hearing about the wines and wine-making from the winemakers, I was inspired to learn more about the fundamentals of wine-making so that I could fully appreciate the wines. Although my current profession is unrelated to the wine industry, I have had the opportunity to work for WSET as a freelance Japanese translator and represent a South African winemaker in Asia in the past.

    Prior to the SWS, I have done WSET Level 3 in Wines and Spirits, WSET Level 3 in Sake, and French Wine Scholar.

    I am planning to enroll in the Italian Wine Scholar course when my schedule is finalized. In fact I was looking to enroll in the IWS first and did not know about the SWS. When I found out about the SWS, the deadline for enrolment with AWSEC in Hong Kong, where I met the most inspiring tutors and students, was coming up. The timing worked out perfectly for me and I enrolled immediately.

    Due to the COVID-19, we have not been able to physically travel, however my virtual trip to each of the 17 autonomous regions in Spain was so much fun and gave me plenty of ideas on where to visit and what wine to look for on my next trip there when we are able to travel. I am very happy that I was able to learn in depth about Spanish wines.

    Thursday, 22 October 2020 21:18

    Danny J O'Neill, FWS

    Congratulations to Danny O'Neill, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Danny:

    I am a wine professional who has been in the industry for 13 years working in retail, wine education, wholesale, and now for Winebow Imports. I manage California and Nevada for Craft + Estate, Winebow’s import division covering wines from France, Greece, and Austria. The portfolio I represent is diverse and eclectic, ranging from historic Burgundian domaines to Austrian natural wine pioneers and much more, so it is easy to stay passionate about what I sell. I spent most of my career my hometown of Boston, with a couple of years in Baltimore, and I have been Los Angeles based since 2017. I did not grow up in a wine drinking household, but have always had an interest in geography, history, and music, all of which have been relevant in some way to my education and development as a wine professional.

    I completed Levels 2 through 4 of Boston University’s Wine Studies program. I studied under Bill Nesto, MW, and graduated Level 4 with Merit in 2012. The program was modeled after the WSET, but split from affiliation with that program some years prior to my attendance. I am interested in taking WSET (at least Level 3, possibly Diploma) as a refresher and to achieve a more nationally / internationally recognized title. After completing BU Level 4, I taught 2 semesters of “Introduction to Wine & Beverage” at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Cambridge, MA. I enrolled in FWS at the beginning of the pandemic to make use of some newfound free time, and since it had been 8 years since I had any formal wine education. It provided a much needed refresher, especially as my career gravitates toward French imports as the primary wines I need to have in depth knowledge of.

    Most of the wine I sell in my current position is French, and much of the course material was a refresher, but it helped greatly to dive into regions with complex geography like Burgundy. My primary take-aways were about the history of these regions and various ancient peoples’ influence, as well as important info about regions I do not currently sell professionally (our book is mainly Burgundy and Bordeaux, with just 1 producer each from Rhone, Loire and Champagne). I loved learning about Jura and the Southwest in particular!

    Friday, 16 October 2020 18:12

    Richard Milot, SWS

    Congratulations to Richard Milot, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Richard:

    Having transited from professional soldier to wine professional six years ago I quickly realized how critical it was to go beyond the enthusiasm and to establish a modicum of credibility to better support our dynamic wine import agency. After my Sommelier Certification and the WSET 3, the WSG offered just the right framework for that purpose. Following the FWS, I found the Spanish Scholar to be a coherent progression given the two countries historical and commercial ties. SWS also provided quite an educational challenge and fuel for passion.

    I much appreciated the Spanish Wine Scholar program for its framework, its use of authoritative sources in developing a relevant package and its access to a rich web-based material. Rick Fisher was an invaluable seminar director.  Gracias senor Rick !!! I find myself much better equipped to represent our Spanish ‘’vinadores’’ and act as an ambassador for this most dynamic, diverse and engaging wine producing country. I remain a humble student of wine working towards becoming a fully certified wine educator.

    Thursday, 15 October 2020 17:20

    Sachiko Kaitsuka, IWS

    Congratulations to Sachiko Kaitsuka, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Sachiko:

    I’m not a professional,but just a wine lover.  The more I know about wine, the more fun it is to drink wine.  I enjoy reading books about wine, watching TV, and searching the internet. Of course, it's fun to drink a wine of interest and talk about it with a friend who likes wine. Someday, I would like to visit the wine region in Italy.

    I have the following certifications:
    ・Wset Level 3
    ・Wine Expert(Japan Sommelier Association)
    It was very interesting to study the History of the Italia and about soils.

    Through studying IWS, I got the motivation to study more. I also like Italy and Italian wine more.

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