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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    Devon Lochhead, IWS

    Congratulations to Devon Lochhead, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar program, with highest honors!

    About Devon:

    I started working as a barman for a fine dining restaurant at 19 years old, while a student. This restaurant, coincidentally, happened to have the largest wine list in our Province (Eastern Cape) and all wines were, conveniently, served by glass. Our boss was a good tutor/mentor and we were a close team - often staying behind after service to taste/drink and discuss the open bottles at the end of the evening. This was my introduction to “good” wine and where the bug bit! I eventually became the wine steward of this restaurant.

    After graduating, I followed my passion for wine and moved to Hong Kong to work in the industry. My wine career began with Kedington wines and I started studying my WSET courses and French Wine Scholar. I then had the opportunity to move to a Top Restaurant Group in Hong Kong where I was appointed the Sommelier of their flagship restaurant. I worked my way up to Head Sommelier of this group and then decided to go back to my roots and promote South African wine in Asia.

    I currently work as the Regional Manager in Asia for DGB Pty. Ltd, which is currently South Africa’s largest private Wine, Spirits & Craft Beer producer and distributor with a focus on enhancing the image of Premium South African wine.

    I aspire to continue studying in order to understand this subject further and have rather ambitious goals set for the future.

    I have completed my WSET courses, passing my Diploma in July 2018. I have also completed my French Wine Scholar which provided a great deal of focus and understanding to that particular part of my Diploma program.

    I have recently enrolled in the Spanish Wine Scholar program and do plan on studying further. I believe that the IWS will provide a great deal of value and offers confidence & comfort when tackling the intricacies of Italy in my future studies

    It has allowed me to explore new regions/territories of Italy, their extraordinary wines and unique varietals that they have to offer. This will provide an advantage moving forward as you can now apply this knowledge and introduce fellow wine enthusiasts to wines that they may not have considered previously. It also allows you the privilege of sharing this knowledge with others.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial It has allowed me to explore new regions/territories of Italy, their extraordinary wines and unique varietals that they have to offer.
    • Position Regional Manager (Asia), DGB Pty. Ltd
    • Certifications WSET Diploma, French Wine Scholar
    Read more...

    Andrés Medrano

    Congratualations to Andrés Medrano, for passing the Champagne Master Level program with highest honors!

    About Andrés: 

    Andrés has a background in International Business. During his second life, he has spent more than 10 years in Paris honing his culinary skills & knowledge. Starting in 2008 at the famous FERRANDI, school of culinary arts in Paris, he learned the hard way the fine art of pastry & cuisine, apprenticing in noted Michelin-starred restaurants. Inspired by French cuisine, he then had the opportunity to study alongside European champion chef Olivier Boudot to discover secrets of French bread-making at the international Cordon Bleu school.

    Discovering a more epicurean penchant, he then left to study for the globally recognized Wine & Spirit Education trust (WSET) level 3 qualification & a master of Champagne with the Wine Scholar Guild.

    Now, armed with both the skills of a Sommelier & culinary nous, he is bringing the disciplines together as a food & wine educator in Paris, France with his recently created company www.wetasteparis.com, leading bespoke, fun, relaxed, ‘under the skin of the city’ tours around Paris’ independent delicatessens and vintners. He is passionate about biodynamic farming, fermented food & the history of arguably the finest cuisine in the world.

    He aspires to develop his educational business and to be able to take more travelers to visit the Champagne vineyards for 1 day tours from Paris & launch a fun “natural wine bar tour” this year.

    The Champagne Master Level program provided outstanding insight & accurate details delivered by international Champagne experts paired with a solid book truly written by a passionate educator and the webinars complemented beautifully all the learnings. This diploma has increased his deep appreciation for arguably the best drink in the world.

    Andrés is planning to continue studying with the WSG & obtain the FWS - French Wine Scholar diploma this year & the IWS next year.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The Champagne Master Level program provided outstanding insight & accurate details delivered by international Champagne experts.
    • Position Founder, We Taste Paris
    • Certifications WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Carlos Eduardo Mazon, FWS

    Congratulations to Carlos Eduardo Mazon, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Carlos:

    I still consider myself a wine enthusiast who has been gradually moving to become a Wine Professional.  I have been a Wine Collector for 15 years and which love for wine was raised through the professional lunches and dinners I had during my career as an IT Executive.

    I have acted as a Broker since 2018 in the Brazilian Wine Marketplace leveraging my previous professional relationship to connect importers, wineries, suppliers, retailers, wine press, wine schools and even wine enthusiasts in trading activities such as selling, procurement and partnerships. I have also acted as a freelancer technical writer and instructor for brazilian wine blogs and wine schools.

    Other qualifications I have undertaken are:
    - Certified Sommelier by ABS-SP (an ASI affiliated in Brazil)
    - WSET 2 – Approved with Distinction
    - WSET 3 – Approved with Distinction
    - EVP - Expert des Vins de Provence – Approved with Distinction
    - Wines Of Chile Ambassador Program 2019 – Approved Finalist

    I am currently enrolled in the DipWSET thru Eno Cultura ASP in Brazil and preparing myself for the CSW Exam (Society of Wine Educators) in 2020.  I am sure that my learning from the FWS program will be key to obtaining these additional and important certifications as well as helping me to consolidate the professional knowledge of this passionate wine country.

    The deep level of detail of the FWS program and the comprehensive way it approaches all the French wine regions are both key to generating solid knowledge of French wine.  Moreover, it’s an international and widely acknowledged certification that promotes real differentiation and recognition to the approved professionals and constitutes an important credential in any wine professional résumé.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The deep level of detail of the FWS program and the comprehensive way it approaches all the French wine regions are both key to generating solid knowledge of French wine.
    • Position Independent Wine Consultant
    • Certifications Certified Sommelier, WSET Level 2, WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Tammy Hiler, SWS

    Congratulations to Tammy Hiller, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Tammy:

    I am a wine enthusiast. I live near Napa Valley and love wine, especially red wine. Years ago the chemist in me was curious as to why I “liked this cab and not as much the other one”. So I started taking classes at Napa Wine Academy and fell in love with learning about all aspects of wine.
    I also work on the weekends at a winery in St. Helena to gain more experience in the industry.

    I have certifications in the following courses:
    WSET Level 2 with distinction
    WSET Level 3 with distinction
    SWS with high honors
    Completed Le Nez du Bin Sensory Course
    Certified Sherry Wine Specialist
    Certified Rioja Wine Expert
    Attended Argentina Wine Masterclass; Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Masterclass

    I want to take WSET Diploma and eventually would like to earn Master of Wine. The SWS and other courses are aiding my efforts significantly in this venture

    I so enjoyed the SWS program. The manual and online course were phenomenal! I learned so much and every step continued to fuel my passion for learning.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I so enjoyed the SWS program. The manual and online course were phenomenal! I learned so much and every step continued to fuel my passion for learning.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 2, WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Alexandre Ma, IWS

    Congratulations to Alexandre Ma, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar program with highest honors!

    About Alexandre:

    My wine dream took off from my dear hometown Ningxia, that is one of the best wine regions in China. After several years of studies and works in Rhone Valley, Provence, Bordeaux and WSET Diploma’s studies in London, I decided to devote myself to the wine education industry for Chinese speaking wine lovers.

    After winning RVF World Blind Tasting Championship in 2016 with my friends, I established a wine education school with my wife in Bordeaux, our target is to make the best wine education courses for Chinese speaking people who live in Europe.

    In 2018, I started to teach in China in Shanghai Grapea Co. wine education school which was created by the first Chinese Master Sommelier, Yang LU MS. In Spring 2019 we finally set up Grapea’s branch school in France.

    Besides this, I am also a wine journalist and wine critic in the team of La Revue du Vin de France (RVF), as the youngest and the only Asian wine critic since 1927, I am trying my best to share more valuable wine knowledge from original regions. I’m absolutely certain that my persistent efforts will help more Chinese speaking people understand better the real meaning of wine.

    My qualifications include:
    2015 - 2017   WSET Diploma Level 4
    2013 - 2015   Master degree Wine Marketing and Management - INSEEC, Bordeaux International Wine Institute – Bordeaux
    2012  French National Diploma of Sommelier  -  Université du Vin - Suze La Rousse, France

    This year, I will definitely enroll in the Spanish Wine Scholar Study program when I finish my current study about German Wine and Austrian Wine. I’m pretty sure this study program will help me to deeply regenerate my knowledge about Spanish Wine.

    The IWS program helped me to open a door which took me to a tremendous, colorful and infinite world about Italian Wine. Each part of study is well precise and logical, once I open these two books, it seems that I’m flying in the sky of Italian Wine world, I have already read at least 5 times of each unit, when I organize some tasting events or education courses about Italian Wine, I must view those chapters which are relevant. If it’s possible to introduce IWS in the Chinese language, it would be my pleasure to register as an IWS educator.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The IWS program helped me to open a door which took me to a tremendous, colorful and infinite world about Italian Wine.
    • Position Education Director, Renaissance Wine & Spirit
    • Certifications WSET Diploma
    Read more...

    Luis Antonio Coutinho Silva, IWS

    Congratulations to Luis Antonio Coutinho Silva, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar program with highest honors!

    About Luis:

    I am a wine enthusiast, but my real passion is Italian wines. I am particularly interested in the grapes and styles diversity and I love to taste unique new grapes from all the regions of Italy. I have a database of importers in Brazil with their portfolios of Italian wines where I am always looking for new releases and unusual appellations. I have visited several wineries in Piemonte (Vietti, Pio Cesare, Fontanafredda, Montalbera), Trentino-Alto Adige (Elena Walch, Foradori, Cantina Toblino), Veneto (Masi), Lombardia (Ca’ Mayol, Costaripa, Bellavista), Toscana (Castello di Brolio, Castello Banfi, Castello Vicchiomaggio), Umbria (Arnaldo Caprai) and Sicilia (Donnafugata, Planeta, Florio) and I have plans to visit many others in the future.

    I am WSET Level 2 certified. After the general overview given by WSET Level 2 program, I was looking for a program focused on Italian regions, grapes and wines and IWS fulfilled my expectations completely. I would say that the WSET Level 2 prepared me for what I was really interested that was Italian wines and the IWS coverage and depth was exactly what I was looking for.

    I believe IWS program helped me to better understand the Italian wine scenario and the acquired knowledge complemented by wine tastings and visit to the wineries will open new opportunities for potential consultancy activities in Brazil. Maybe I can even cooperate with the implementation of IWS Classroom Learning program through the Brazilian provider EnoCultura, which offers only the FWS program in Brazil, maybe even becoming an instructor in the future. Meanwhile, I will continue to taste and enjoy new and great wines from Italy with friends, now understanding much better the traditional techniques and regional unique grapes that are behind each label.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I was looking for a program focused on Italian regions, grapes and wines and IWS fulfilled my expectations completely...the IWS coverage and depth was exactly what I was looking for.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 2
    Read more...

    Adriana Cruz, FWS

    Congratulations to Adriana Cruz, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Adriana:

    I am an economist. I don’t work directly with wine. I am more of a wine enthusiast. I like to study wine because it is culturally enriching, I like to study the history of wine, the different regions and the cultural aspects. I aspire to better appreciate wine, to have the opportunity to taste different wines with better quality.

    I have the WSET – level 2 and I want to get the level 3 certificate soon. The FWS program will definitely contribute to this objective.

    The FWS program has given me solid knowledge for better selecting the wines and the ability and necessary skills to taste them more properly, expanding my personal  possibilities to appreciate wines.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The FWS program has given me solid knowledge for better selecting the wines and the ability and necessary skills to taste them properly.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 2
    Read more...

    Nicolas Quillé, SWS

    Congratulations to Nicolas Quillé, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Nicolas:

    Nicolas Quillé MW was born in Lyon, France, into a family with three generations working in the wine business. Nicolas holds a master's in enology from the University of Dijon in Burgundy, a postgraduate degree in sparkling winery management from the University of Reims in Champagne, an MBA from the University of Washington in Seattle and is a member of the prestigious Institute of Masters of Wine. Nicolas has worked for wineries in Burgundy, Provence, Champagne, the Rhône valley, the Douro valley, Oregon, Washington and California.

    Nicolas has more than 25 years of experience in the wine industry with an emphasis on viticulture, winemaking, quality control, wine business management, wine portfolio management and merger and acquisitions. He has judged at numerous wine competitions and is speaking at wine conferences on a regular basis. Currently Nicolas is the Chief Winemaking and Operations Officer for the Crimson Wine Group based in Napa, California.  He is currently also teaching and wanted to teach the Spanish Wine Scholar program, prompting him to go through the curriculum.


    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The study program is excellent and I have learned plenty. It will prove very valuable in teaching the material to students.
    • Position Chief Winemaker and Operation’s Officer, Crimson Wine Group
    Read more...

    Luis Alejandro Perez, FWS

    Congratulations to Luis Alejandro Perez, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Luis:

    I was born in Santiago de Chile and I worked in the Financial Market for 20 years.

    In 2001 I came to live in Brazil and I started to work in wines in 2005.
    I already worked as a sommelier in some restaurants, wine shops sales and as wine educator.

    I currently work as a Brand Ambassador of a Chilean winery, but my passion for wine and wine-making lead me to learn even further about Old World wines and their culture, mainly the French wines. I’m an enthusiast of the regions of Champagne and Bourgogne, as well as other amazing regions of France.

    I really appreciated the format and the content of the course, as well as the course support material, it was pretty clear and accurate, as well as the extra activities available on the website.

    I’m confident that this prestigious certification will give an extra boost to my career and I expect it to add new opportunities and open new paths for my professional development.

    My interest is to take the Italian Wines course.  In my opinion, learning is an ongoing and never-ending process. I intend to learn even further both for my professional and personal development.

    I intend to make the most of the knowledge acquired about French wines and their culture, as well as their rich history and cuisine. I hope that my passion for wine will propel me to engage in learning about this beautiful country and its vocation for producing fantastic wines.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I’m confident that this prestigious certification will give an extra boost to my career and I expect it to add new opportunities and open new paths for my professional development.
    • Position Brand Ambassador, Santa Rita Estates Winery
    • Certifications WSET Level 3, Certified Sommelier
    Read more...

    David Emes, FWS

    Congratulations to David Emes, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About David

    I work full-time in private equity investments, based in Singapore, completely unrelated to wine. I have been a keen wine enthusiast for many years, going all the way back to university. My knowledge and taste for wine has developed over time having travelled extensively for business and pleasure, taking me to many different places. For instance, I worked for a French insurance company that even owned its own vineyards (and still does).

    I began studying wine only relatively recently in Abu Dhabi, of all places, in 2015. The WSET level 2 was on offer and I thought it would be interesting as I was looking for something to keep my brain engaged outside of work. It was a good course and I achieved a distinction but level 3 was not available there and it wasn’t until I came to Singapore to work that I continued my studies.

    I have completed three wine courses this year including the French Wine Scholar. The other two are the WSET level 3 (Distinction) and the Certified Specialist of Wine (Distinction), from the Society of Wine Educators.

    The FWS has complemented my studies well, helping me to enrich my knowledge of French wines and to fill in some gaps I had relating to the more obscure regions in France. I am currently enrolled in the WSET Diploma program, which is online.

    My ultimate dream (and one I intend to fulfil) is to own a vineyard and I am planning to establish one in the UK, my home. I intend to keep my knowledge up and this will include completing the diploma and the other courses that FWS is offering (Spain and Italy), and potentially other courses in viticulture.

     

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The FWS has complemented my studies well, helping me to enrich my knowledge of French wines and to fill in some gaps I had relating to the more obscure regions in France.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 2, WSET Level 3, Certified Specialist of Wine
    Read more...
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