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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    Mark Shipway, FWS

    Mark Shipway, FWS and FWS authorized teacher in Vancouver BC CANADA, passed his Bourgogne Master-Level Exam With Highest Honors.

    Congratulations for being the 2015 WORLD TOP EXAM SCORER for the BOURGOGNE MASTER-LEVEL PROGRAM.


    About Mark:

    Mark is a displaced Englishman now living in Vancouver whose passion for wine started at an early age. After many family holiday’s to France, he fell in love with French food and culture and in particular, French wine but only decided to turn his amateur enthusiasm into a serious vocation much later in life whilst travelling in New Zealand.

    Mark studied winemaking & viticulture full time at the University of Brighton as well taking the WSET Diploma in Wines & Spirits in which he graduated with honours in 1999. Mark has had a diverse experience in the wine industry having worked for wine estates in South Africa, a supermarket wine-buying department and in sales and marketing for a major UK retailer.

    He currently works for International Culinary School where he has been teaching and administrating both the FWS and WSET programs for over ten years. Mark has been a regular judge for the UK’s premier International Wine & Spirit Competition and also a contributing writer for trade magazines, The Publican and Vendor and is continuing his own education through the FWS Master Level certificates as well in the Court of Master Sommelier’s program.


    Terence Wong, FWS

    Congratulations Terence for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    Terence is working in L'atelier de Joel Robuchon Hong Kong as Sommelier.  This restaurant is the only 3 stars Michelin French Cuisine in Hong Kong and contains 4000 wine labels around the world.

    A few words from Terence: ''I love French wine since I started my career. French wine Scholar diploma is useful for me to experience and share to my colleagues and guests. I definitely will apply the master-level of Bordeaux and  Bourgogne for my next step.''


    Gerard Leung, FWS

    Gerard is Marketing Executive at Telford International (Facebook a/c: Telford Wine and Spirits). He is responsible for the brand management of French wine portfolio and provides wine trainings for trade customers.

    A few words from Gerard: ''I have discovered my interest in wine when I was working in a fine dining restaurant after graduated from the university. To me, each bottle of wine is a masterpiece. Burgundy wines are my favorite as they are always weightless but intense.''


    Robert Tirk, FWS

    About Robert:

    ''I am a Retail Wine Specialist with the PLCB(Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board). The focus of my job is address customer needs and wants for wines in our “Premium Collection” stores. Having worked in the retail wine business for the last 7 years I find that I have gravitated to “Old World “ wines in my personal preference and I try to educate and encourage customers to explore the wines of France, Italy and Spain. The Rhone wines are a particular favorite as there seems to be an abundance of high quality, exceptional values and variety all in one region.''


    Richard Blahunka, FWS

    About Rick:

    ''I have been an amateur French wine enthusiast since 1976 and even though I have never worked in the wine industry, I have always enjoyed visiting wineries firsthand and learning as much as I can about wines and wine-making.  But it was not until starting on the FWS journey that I truly began to understand and appreciate French wines across all the regions.  The most recent stage of my journey has been Champagne – participating on the first Champagne immersion trip and now my successful completion of the Champagne Masters-level Exam.  Thank you for the opportunity to continue the journey.''


    Christine Spoor, FWS

    A few words from Christine:

    "I began my formal study of wine 8 years ago to become a more educated consumer.  I decided to shift my focus to French wine due to its complex nature in aroma and flavors, as well as its fascinating history."


    Stephen Allison, FWS

    About Stephen:

    The French Wine Scholar program was an excellent step in my educational path. It took what I learned of French wine in the Society of Wine Educator's Specialist of Wine program and expanded it to a higher level.

    "I am a Sommelier with the Ritz Carlton at Half Moon Bay, responsible for providing exceptional wine service for guests and to introduce guests to new wines. The French Wine Scholar program was an excellent step in my educational path and has helped me communicate confidently with guests the stories and qualities of French wines. It took what I learned of French wine in the Society of Wine Educator's Specialist of Wine program and expanded it to a higher level. The study guide is an authoritative reference on French wine, full of detailed information and communicative visuals. While at work, I use the guide on a weekly basis to show my guests a map of Bordeaux, a botrytised grape cluster, or the galets of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Having these visuals on hand is an invaluable educational and sales tool."



    JiaJia Pan, FWS

    JiaJian Pan is the founder and CEO of TAOTAO Private Cellar, founder and CEO of JC METROPOLITAN, Guangzhou and shareholder/board member of French Melisey Electronic Group. He is also an analyzer, writer and translator.

    Certifications: WSET Level 3 with Distinction, Certified as the Specialiste of Australian Wine, Certified as the Specialiste of Barossa Wines from the School of Australia, Certified as the Master of Bordeaux Wine.

    JiaJia is currently following his second year of WSET Level 4.


    Shelley Cartland, FWS

    A few words from Shelley: This year marks a year of creating my own reality with wine education as the driving force. My journey combines my passion for wine and travel through classroom and immersive learning. There is no question that French wine would be my focus and starting point! 

    http://passaportovino.com: this is my personal website that also has links to social channels where I share my journey.


    Dana Lee, FWS

    Dana is an attorney and Associate Vice President for Legal Affairs at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York, USA. 

    A few words from Dana: ‘’I have been an avid wine enthusiast since 2005, when I began taking wine appreciation classes taught by Ned Towle of the Westchester Wine School.  In June 2008, I completed the requisite training and became a Certified Specialist of Wine from the Society of Wine Educators.  In addition, since 2006, I have been a member of the Westchester NY Chapter of the American Wine Society, and served as the Chapter Chair for two years in 2012 and 2013.  Though law is my primary occupation, I devote much of my free time to wine education and appreciation through wine courses and traveling to wine regions.  I look forward to learning a lot more about French wines.’’

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