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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    Jeni Wilson, SWS

    Congratulations to Jeni Wilson, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Jeni:

    I guess I´m a bit of everything, a winelover, an educator and a wine professional. I came to La Ribera de Duero as a winelover and an English teacher and combined the two facets to make myself the perfect job.

    In the last year I have finished my WSET Diploma with Merit and managed to study Spanish Wine Scholar too which I really enjoyed. We also held the first French Wine Scholar course here at Vintage Class in Spain with Marie Wallerand as teacher, so I became a student again. I hope to take the Italian Wine Scholar in Italy next year when we can travel. I wish I had done these courses before doing the WSET Diploma. I think they are a great preparation and complement.

    As a Wine Education centre in Spain, I feel SWS brings a valid certification for knowledge about Spanish wine which has been missing in the industry. I hope it will be translated into Spanish. I work a lot promoting Ribera del Duero where I live so hope we can attract wine lovers to come and stay here for a few days to study SWS, taste the gastronomy and see wineries first hand to taste great Spanish wines.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I feel SWS brings a valid certification for knowledge about Spanish wine which has been missing in the industry.
    • Position Director, Vintage Class
    • Certifications WSET Diploma, French Wine Scholar
    Read more...

    Andrew Belcher, SWS

    Congratulations to Andrew Belcher, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Andrew:

    I am a wine enthusiast. I have been attending the various courses at West London Wine School since just after it started up over 10 years ago; I also attend courses at some of the wine shops in London and regularly attend the Decanter wine events in London. I have travelled to a number of wine regions across the globe from US to Australia.

    I love the back stories to the wines irrespective of whether they are classed as “New“ or “Old” World. I like to travel to various wineries, luckily with English Sparkling wine doing so well more local opportunities are available.

    Prior to undertaking courses with the Wine Scholar Guild, I undertook a number of the WSET courses up to and including the WSET Diploma. With the Wine Scholar Guild I have taken the French Wine Scholar, Italian Wine Scholar, Champagne Master, Bordeaux Master, Rhone Master and more recently the Spanish Wine Scholar exams.  I am now enrolled in the WSET Level 3 Spirits course which I am currently due to undertake in June.

    I found the Spanish wine course very interesting and as per other Wine Scholar Guild courses at West London Wine Scholar was introduced to a number of new areas and wine styles. I will be continuing to learn more about wine and spirits this year.  Currently signed up with a number of remote wine courses.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I found the Spanish wine course very interesting and... was introduced to a number of new areas and wine styles.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Diploma, French Wine Scholar, Italian Wine Scholar, WSG Master Levels: Rhone, Bordeaux, Champagne
    Read more...

    Susan Hutchinson

    Congratulations to Susan Hutchinson for passing the Bourgogne Master Level exam with highest honors!

    About Susan:

    I am a wine enthusiast who fell in love with Pinot Noir after tasting Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos 2009 during the first wine event I ever attended. This inspired me to pursue the study of wine, and I completed WSET levels 2 & 3 (winning Drinks Ontario‘s Jack Aykroyd Memorial Scholarship Award for the 2012 Level 2) through the Independent Wine Education Guild in Toronto.

    A chance encounter with an astonishing bottle of 1961 grand cru Clos Saint Denis inspired me to continue my studies, and I completed the French Wine Scholar course and then the Bourgogne Master-Level through The Wine Scholar Guild.

    I hope to visit Bourgogne soon, and look forward to the quality tour offered by the Wine Scholar Guild; the insights gained from the Master-Level course will be invaluable when it comes to appreciating such an in-depth experience.

    In the meantime, I feel fortunate to live so close to the Niagara wine region where the Burgundy varietials have found a niche in a rare limestone-escarpment terroir comparable to the one in which they evolved.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The insights gained from the Master-Level course will be invaluable (on the study tour) when it comes to appreciating such an in-depth experience.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Levels 2 & 3, French Wine Scholar
    Read more...

    Dr. Matthias Schmusch

    Congratulations to Dr. Matthias Schmusch for passing the Bourgogne Master Level exam with highest honors!

    About Matthias:

    Working in the world of finance and dealing with mergers & acquisitions for more than 20 years, I have always had a passion for wine. As time allows, I’m studying the wines of the world, with a preference for French wines (Bourgogne in particular) and the German treasures produced by the VDP member estates. To stay grounded with the topic, I’m growing my own pinot noir in my little experimental vineyard.

    I started my formal wine education in 2011 with the WSET program and I completed the Level 4 Diploma in 2015. Afterwards I wanted to deepen my knowledge about German high-end wines and earned a specialist sommelier degree for VDP wines in 2018. As I was always enthusiastic about France and its wines, I enrolled in the WSG Master Bourgogne program and graduated with 100/100 points in 2020. The WSG program offered a unique experience to get a deep understanding of the world’s most fascinating wine region.

    The WSG program was very useful and supported me in my efforts to set up my own wine blog and training/consulting program which I will establish in the future.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The WSG program offered a unique experience to get a deep understanding of the world’s most fascinating wine region.
    • Position Wine Blogger
    • Certifications WSET Diploma
    Read more...

    Bizhen Chen, FWS

    Congratulations to Bizhen Chen, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Bizhen:

    I am the co-founder of a wine trading and sales company, meanwhile I deliver lectures as a wine educator in a wine school. Undoubtedly my career is quite involved with wine industry, however rather than defining myself as a wine professional, I would like to use the status ‘a wine enthusiast’. I have fallen in love with wine since the legal drinking age haha! Stay thirsty, stay foolish. I believe that Enthusiasm, which leads me to the professional journey, makes a master.

    I also own these wine certification: WSET Diploma, WSET Nominated Educator, VIA Italian Wine Ambassador.
    The FWS program provides good knowledge supplement toward wine educators. It has a systematic structure with up-to-date information. The language is allusive and witty, yet easy to understand.

    The FWS program is insightful and helps to broaden and solidify my knowledge. Sincerely speaking, the program is great and I would love to introduce it to my students.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The FWS program is insightful and helps to broaden and solidify my knowledge.
    • Position Co-Founder, Hangzhou Vinoholic Trading Co., Ltd. and Wine Educator, Hangzhou Wine Family Education & Consulting Co, Ltd.
    • Certifications WSET Diploma
    Read more...

    Erika Frey

    Congratulations to Erika Frey for passing the Loire Master Level exam with highest honors!

    About Erika:

    Over the past 10 years, I have assembled a portfolio career in wine and spirits with several jobs involving education, retail and marketing.  Most of my time is spent teaching the WSET program, helping to run a boutique wine shop called Winestone, acting as one of the directors of the Boston Sommelier Society and promoting the wines of the Republic of Georgia.

    I have completed many certification programs including the WSET Diploma in Wine and Spirits, Certified Wine Educator and Certified Sommelier.  These studies and certifications have allowed me to create a second career in a very different industry.

    The Wine Scholar Guild programs are particularly special to me because they have provided me the opportunity to really zoom in on specific countries and regions.  I have truly enjoy exploring these areas in depth and in detail.  The Loire Master-Level was my final French Master-Level.  I have now completed all the existing WSG programs with highest honors.  It is one of my proudest achievements.

    The Loire Master-Level has given me the knowledge that helps me educate others and sell Loire Valley wines with confidence.  All of the WSG Master-Levels combined have made me a very effective teacher for the wines of France, and France is usually an important foundation for most wine certification programs.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I have now completed all the existing WSG programs with highest honors. It is one of my proudest achievements.
    • Position Wine Educator and Consultant, Wine With Erika
    • Certifications WSET Diploma. All WSG Wine Scholar and Master Level programs with highest honors: Spanish; Italian; French; Loire; Bourgogne; Sud de France; Rhône; Provence; Bordeaux; Champagne; Alsace
    Read more...

    Vanny Whitchelo, IWS

    Congratulations to Vanny Whitchelo, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Vanny:

    Back in 2012, while I was working in marketing in the travel industry, I started taking WSET 1, 2, and 3 as a wine enthusiast. Shortly after taking level 3 I decided to actively pursue a career in the wine industry. I started off as a sales coordinator for a bit at an agency that focused on spirits and only a handful of wines. I quickly got into sales there. Now I work in marketing with a focus on digital marketing at a wine agency based in Western Canada, Trialto Wine Group.

    I like to surround myself with wine enthusiasts and aspire to continue learning about wine, with a goal of completing the WSET diploma and beyond. I’d like to start writing on my website, ittasteslikewine.com again.

    I have WSET level 3. Although the chapter on Italy was one of the longest in level 3, the IWS program dove deeper and I gained extensive knowledge in the amount of time that otherwise would’ve taken me years to acquire had I taken a more leisurely approach. I now speak confidently and with great enthusiasm on Italian wines, having enjoyed many for the program!

    After taking IWS, I’d like to take FWS and eventually complete the WSET diploma. I believe the IWS program has helped set me up for success in my studies, and I think FWS will too.

    I enrolled in the IWS program while I was on maternity leave. The way the program is set up allowed for flexibility on when I could study, something I very much needed while caring for an infant.

    I’m pregnant with my second and have the confidence I can do well again in FWS with the same dedication and support of my family.

    I believe the IWS program will help set me up for success in my future studies and professional life. It has showed me that thanks to my dedication and very important support network, I can excel in my studies and career while raising a young family. 

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I believe the IWS program will help set me up for success in my future studies and professional life.
    • Position Associate Portfolio & Marketing Manager, Trialto Wine Group
    • Certifications WSET Levels 1, 2 & 3
    Read more...

    Oksana Wengryniuk, FWS

    Congratulations to Oksana Wengryniuk, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Oksana:

    I work at Nightingale restaurant as a Sommelier. The restaurant has a diverse family style menu with an adventurous wine list to pair. I started working as a server, but became more and more interested with wine, and I was lucky to have many wine team members mentor me. I decided to take my WSET level 2 to start building a foundation of wine knowledge. After I took my WSET level 3 I joined the wine team as a Junior Sommelier and took my French wine Scholar. I’m hoping to take the Italian Wine Scholar course next!

    I feel the FWS course helped immensely with my confidence in speaking about French Wine. I have a better understanding of the geography and wine styles of France. The course really gave me a good context when referring to French wines on our wine list. I definitely was able to dive into French wine in far more detail than I have with other programs.  

    I think the FWS is a great thing to have under your belt as a Sommelier. I hope to take my CMS certified exam in the future and I know that FWS has given me a great foundation to do that. I look forward to furthering my knowledge in French wine and working with it everyday with the new understanding I’ve gained. 

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I feel the FWS course helped immensely with my confidence in speaking about French Wine.
    • Position Sommelier, Nightingale Restaurant, Vancouver
    • Certifications WSET Level 2, WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Richard Nusser, SWS

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

    About Richard

    I am a wine enthusiast who first began to enjoy and appreciate wine when I moved from Ohio to the San Francisco area about 30 years ago.  Frequent visits to nearby Napa Valley and tasting its famous cabernets ignited my enthusiasm for wine.  Over the years I have managed to save a few bottles from some of the better vintages and enjoyed seeing how they have changed and matured with time.  Now that I have retired, I have the free time to expand my knowledge of wine and the many regions of the world where it is made.

    I have enjoyed a number of the educational programs that the Wine Scholar Guild has offered.  I have taken and passed the French and Italian Wine Scholar Programs.  I have successfully completed the Master Level Programs of Burgundy, Bordeaux, Alsace, and Rhone Valley.  Most recently I finished the Spanish Wine Scholar Program at the San Francisco Wine School which was led by Rick Fisher.  I hope to accumulate sufficient knowledge that I can successfully complete the Diploma Level of the Wine Spirit Education Trust (WSET).

    I found the Spanish Wine Scholar Program quite informative in a number of areas.  I was not familiar with Spanish wine and had seldom drunk them.  Despite a recent trip to Spain with my sons, I was woefully ignorant of the history and geography of Spain.  The Spanish Wine Scholar Program enabled me to taste a wide selection of Spanish wines from the 17 autonomous regions.  The program did a wonderful job of filling in the gaps of my knowledge in the history and geography of Spain.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The program did a wonderful job of filling in the gaps of my knowledge in the history and geography of Spain.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications Wine Scholar Programs: French, Italian Master Level Programs: Bourgogne, Bordeaux, Alsace, Rhone
    Read more...

    Aradhna Chhachhi, FWS

    Congratulations to Aradhna Chhachhi, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Aradhna:

    I’m a wine professional & enthusiast, I grew up watching my parents enjoy wine and would be very excited to taste a bit of what that beautiful glass held, I discovered so many styles of wine and started learning about it as a fun activity, but very soon got sucked in by the knowledge and experience of learning about the process of winemaking, production & the various factors that go into getting a wine from vineyard to table.

    I’ve completed my WSET Levels 1 & 2 and I wanted a more in depth, culture rich course on wine. I came across the Wine Scholar Guild and absolutely admired how focused the French Wine Scholar course was on the winemaking, wine styles, grapes, climate, food, hazards, soils & so many other factors specific to France. It gave me so many answers I was looking for while studying WSET Level 2, and it has me excited for so much more pertaining to wine.

    I plan to pursue WSET Level 3 in the future & I believe that the richness of this course has me better equipped to take on the challenges Level 3 offers, I’m also sure that when I open my books to study for Level 3, I’ll be able to connect the dots a lot better especially when it comes to the wine regions of France.

    Now that I’m a certified French Wine Scholar, I plan to create experiences for wine enthusiasts on French Wine tasting in partnership with French wine vineyards. I’m already in touch with a few vineyard owners in France.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial Now that I’m a certified French Wine Scholar, I plan to create experiences for wine enthusiasts on French Wine tasting in partnership with French wine vineyards.
    • Position Founder, Tannin by Aradhna
    • Certifications WSET Level 1, WSET Level 2
    Read more...
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