Hidden Menu

  • Tuscany Wine Tour (May 2019)
  • Burgundy Wine Tour (June 2019 - FULL)
  • Champagne Wine Tour (June 2019 - FULL)
  • Southwest France Wine Tour (Oct 2016)
  • Rioja Wine Tour (tba)
  • Jura Wine Tour (Oct. 2017)
  • Home
  • French Wine Scholar Guild
  • Italian Wine Scholar Guild
  • Spanish Wine Scholar Guild
  • Trip Evaluation
  • Reservation Form
  • Reservation Form Special
  • My Membership
  • Webinar-Evaluation
  • Private Trips Reservation Form
  • Notify me when Flash Player bug is fixed
  • Our Recent Top Exam Scorers
  • Guest membership
  • Top Exam Scorer
  • 3-Month Guest Membership
  • Latest newsletter
  • Latest News Archive
  • Newsletter Signup
  • Program Providers
  • Application Submission Form
  • Free 6 Month Membership
  • Thank you for your submission
  • Acymailing Modify Subscription
  • Update Newsletter Profile
  • Preferences saved
  • Italian Wine Scholar - Unit 1 - Study Manual
  • IWS test page
  • Study Trips for Sommeliers
  • Master-Level Online Programs for Wine Educators
  • Membership for Wine Educators
  • Master-Level Programs for Wine Enthusiasts
  • Membership for Wine Enthusiasts
  • Loire Valley Pronuncitation Module
  • WSG Membership for Sommeliers
  • Master-Level Online Programs for Sommeliers
  • Wine Study Trips for Sommeliers
  • Wine Study Tours for Wine Educators
  • Self-Enrollment in FWS v5.2
  • Study Tours for Wine Enthusiasts
  • FWS V6 Upgrade
  • chronoform users-edit
  • Private trips
  • Cru Artisan College 2017
  • French Wine Scholar™ online | Independent Study Format
  • French Wine Scholar™ online | 14-week Instructor-Led Format
  • Membership for wine professionals and enthusiasts
  • Private trips
  • French Wine Scholar™ online | 14-week Instructor-Led Format UPGRADE
  • French Wine Scholar™ online | 14-week Instructor-Led Format UPGRADE (from previous versions)
  • Community Dashboard
  • wine study and tasting groups faq
  • LOCAL STUDY AND TASTING GROUPS USER AGREEMENT
  • Italian Wine Scholar™ Unit 1 online | 14-week Instructor-Led Format
  • Italian Wine Scholar™
  • Italian Wine Scholar™ Unit 2 online | 15-week Instructor-Led Format
  • Rhône Wine Tour (June 2018)
  • Champagne Master-Level - Excerpt 1
  • Champagne Master-Level - Excerpts 2
  • Louis Roederer Scholarship for the Champagne Master-Level Program
  • Laurent Perrier Scholarship for Guild of Sommeliers Members
  • Champagne ML Preview
  • Reservation form for Bourgogne intensive
  • Tuscany (May 2019)
  • Thanks for your submission
  • Register Menu

    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    SWS

    Rex Ting-Chia Ting , SWS

    Congratulations to Rex Ting-Chia Ting, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Rex:

    As chief editor of iCheers (the top 1 wine e-commerce platform in Taiwan), I am passionate to introduce the viticulture and wines around the world to the customers here. Besides, I am also a wine educator, who loves to share the knowledge and the latest information on wine to my students. I believe that teaching wine classes is one of the best ways to keep improving myself in this industry. And I am always enthusiastic to learn everything about wine and explore the wider and deeper global wine context.

    I have just accomplished all the units required for the WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits program, which provides me with a holistic and comprehensive understanding for wine and spirits. In my point of view, it is just a preliminary step in this extensive wine world. I expect that I could always stay hungry and foolish. And that is the reason why I enrolled in various studies of WSG.

    I had already acquired my FWS and IWS certifications. And I think these two programs were very helpful and well-organized in offering a broad perspective on the knowledge of French and Italian wine. Therefore, as soon as I found that the SWS program was released, I registered for it immediately. The course did not let me down. Moreover, it was far beyond my expectation. The SWS provides me with a more accurate and systematic learning about Spanish wine.

    Besides, I am also CSW and CSS holders of SWE. Furthermore, my interest in Sake led me to become an International Kikisake-shi / Sake Sommelier of Sake Service Institute.

    I used to have some stereotypes and misunderstandings about Spanish wine. For me, it was just about limited grape varieties, monotonous climatic and geographical conditions and fewer famous wine regions. In fact, Spanish wine is far beyond this simplification. The SWS program does not just offer me a knowledge construction, but also reveals Spanish wine’s complexity and profoundness.

    Sometimes I feel like being Sisyphus who keeps rolling an immense boulder, but actually I am not in the same place nor the same altitude. I am fortunate with the SWS program, which ignites and feeds my passion. And now I am stronger and more confident.

    Keep learning, keep walking and keep exploring.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial It was far beyond my expectations. The SWS provides me with more accurate and systematic learning about Spanish wine.
    • Position Chief Editor and Wine Educator, iCheers, Taiwan
    • Certifications CSW & CSS (Society of Wine Educators), WSET Diploma, French Wine Scholar, Italian Wine Scholar
    Read more...

    Devon Lochhead, SWS

    Congratulations to Devon Lochhead, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Devon:

    I am a proudly South African wine enthusiast who became interested in wine at 18. After graduating, I moved to Hong Kong in order to immerse myself in the buzzing wine culture and learn more about the subject. I have worked on the wine sales side with a well established importer, Kedington Fine Wines, on the Sommelier front for Hong Kong’s leading restaurant group, Black Sheep Restaurants Group and currently work as the Regional Manager for Asia with South Africa’s leading independent wine producer, DGB.

    I aspire to continue learning and studying in order to reach my ultimate goal. I aspire to motivate and influence others, encouraging a greater appreciation and understanding of wine from around the globe.

    I have passed the WSET Diploma, French Wine Scholar and Italian Wine Scholar programs. The Spanish Wine Scholar program has broadened my knowledge of Spain, shed light on the various regions and their influence on the wines that they produce. The SWS has managed to relate this seemingly complex information in a very approachable, user-friendly manner. This course adds great value by giving me the knowledge and tools needed to confidently tackle the subject of Spanish wines in my future studies. It provides greater appreciation and understanding.

    I feel that I am better equipped to buy, suggest and discuss Spanish wines. The SWS program provides greater confidence when discussing this topic and sharing information with others. It has enhanced my passion for Spanish wines and makes one curious to explore the many styles and expressions that they have to offer.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial It has enhanced my passion for Spanish wines and makes one curious to explore the many styles and expressions that they have to offer.
    • Position Regional Manager - Asia, DGB Pty Ltd
    • Certifications WSET Diploma, French Wine Scholar, Italian Wine Scholar
    Read more...

    Lisa Esteban, SWS

    Congratulations to Lisa Esteban, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Lisa:

    I have been working in the Spanish wine industry for six years now. My father is from Spain and I grew up very connected to these roots, so much so that after college I moved to Spain to study translation, and it was at the beginning of this time that I developed a curiosity about Spanish wine. The more I learned, the more I realized I wanted to dedicate my energy to sharing my love for Spain and its culture, cuisine and, of course, wine with the rest of the world. I was accepted into the Spanish Institute for Exterior Commerce (ICEX) Master’s program in International Business and Trade in Madrid where I focused my energy on preparing myself for a career in promoting Spanish wine abroad. I began my career working for Bodegas Chivite in the Export department, managing North and South America and moved back to my home-town of Los Angeles. In 2017, I joined the Gil Family Estates as Brand Ambassador for California where I work closely with our distributor partner to educate customers and consumers about our wines. I truly enjoy the opportunity to educate others about the historical and cultural significance of wine – its inextricably tied to the land, the heritage, and the people of the country and I think that’s beautiful.

    I have also completed the WSET II & III programs (Pass with Distinction) in 2016 and 2019. I think the WSET program is crucial for anyone who wants to gain an understanding of the nuances of wine and winemaking. However, I felt I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of how history, culture, climate, terrain, etc. have uniquely impacted the Spanish wine style and industry as we know it today – this led me to the SWS program. I think this program has given me not only a broader understanding of Spain’s role in the global wine industry, but also allowed me to delve into regions that are just on the cusp of reaching their full potentials. It’s given me knowledge that I take into my work every day, but it’s also re-ignited the curiosity that started it all.

    The SWS program has helped me expand my knowledge about Spanish wine and wine regions. My career has allowed me to delve very deeply into certain regions, but there’s so much more to know and explore! This program has given me a foundation on which to build through continuing to taste wines, reading, and travelling. I hope to keep sharing my passion and culture in an increasingly informed way with others.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial It’s given me knowledge that I take into my work every day, but it’s also re-ignited the curiosity that started it all.
    • Position Brand Ambassador, Gil Family Estates
    • Certifications WSET Levels 2 & 3
    Read more...

    Massimiliano Guerra, SWS

    Congratulations to Massimiliano Guerra, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Massimiliano:


    I’m a wine lover that loves travelling and exploring wine regions of the world.  I love Italy, France and Spain so it was a great pleasure to complete the SWS program and get a deep understanding of Spain, its culture and wine regions.

    I’m not a wine professional but I would love to get into the wine world at some point in my life.

    With SWS, I have completed the 3 main study programs available at Wine Scholar Guild. I would now like to take a master in some areas like Champagne or Bourgogne. I have also completed WSET 1, 2 and 3 so I’m now ready for the WSET 4 (DipWSET) program.

    I believe SWS will be very helpful (together with IWS and FWS) for the WSET L4 study program I intend to start soon. I believe the level of details of these courses (SWS, IWS and FWS) is unique and provides a massive foundation for the WSET Level 4 course.

    If I compare the SWS program to other courses where I studied Spanish wine, I cannot find anything as detailed and as precise.

    No doubt the SWS is the best existing course on Spanish Wine that wine lovers can find. For those like me interested in knowing more about Spain, its culture and its wines, this course is definitely the pinnacle of all of this. Definitely recommended!

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial No doubt the SWS is the best existing course on Spanish Wine that wine lovers can find... Definitely recommended!
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Levels 1, 2 & 3, Italian Wine Scholar, French Wine Scholar
    Read more...

    Mario Cagnetta, SWS

    Congratulations to Mario Cagnetta, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Mario:

    I am the Head Sommelier Manager at Buca Cucina. Our focus is on Italian wines but I always have an interest in International wines. Lately I have been exploring Spanish wines producers and their style. Taking the SWS enhanced my knowledge in Spanish wines.

    I am a candidate for Advanced Sommelier 2020, but due to Covid 19 the exam is delayed until 2021. I am also studying to become a Certified Wine Educator. In the last months I focused on Wine Scholar Guild Master Level Programs achieving Bordeaux, Champagne, Provence and Burgundy Master level Certifications. The Spanish Wine Scholar gives a strong foundation about Spanish wines and culture. For sure this is a key component in my studies and for my career path.

    Having a better knowledge of Spanish Wine it is very important if you work in the competitive Wine industry. It allows you to speak confidently to your customers and it is also an important tool when training your staff.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The Spanish Wine Scholar gives a strong foundation about Spanish wines and culture.
    • Position Sommelier / Manager, King Street Food
    • Certifications Wine Scholar programs: Italian & Spanish. Master Level programs: Bourgogne, Champagne, Provence, Bordeaux
    Read more...

    Rafael Delgado, SWS

    Congratulations to Rafael Delgado, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Rafael:

    I have been a food  and beverage professional, sommelier,  and wine educator working for hotels and independent restaurants for over 10 years, most recently Sommelier for Jaleo by José Andrés in Disney Springs (currently closed due to COVID-19 closures). Additionally, I teach private wine classes to hospitality professionals interested in improve their sales and knowledge of wine in a restaurant setting.

    I have a Sommelier certificate from the United States Sommelier Association, Certified Specialist of Wine, and now I’m proud to have achieved the Spanish Wine Scholar Certification.  I was inspired by Chef José Andrés’ endorsement of the certification, as I am inspired by his mission of changing the way America sees food at our home and at restaurants.  

    As a child I spent a lot of time in Spain, and wine has always been part of daily meals in my family.  The wine at that time was mostly table wine, but, even as a child, I was always fascinated by Sherry, Rioja and wine from the Canary Islands.  My favorite wines to serve are Txacoli, served as they do in the Basque Region, from a distance, aerating the wine on its way to the glass; Sherry, with a venencia; and Cava ( or any of the Quality Sparkling Wine from Spain), because high quality bubbles from Spain are delicious, make everything better.

    Working in restaurants, schedules are always changing, for that reason, I chose the online program led by Rick Fisher, because it provided the unique opportunity for class time by the creator of the course, with the flexibility of being able to study at my own time and pace.  

    My favorite saying: Wine is the best sauce on the side. It always makes the food taste better and conversations more alive.  

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I chose the online program led by Rick Fisher, because it provided the unique opportunity for class time by the creator of the course.
    • Position Sommelier, Jaleo by José Andrés, Disney Springs
    • Certifications Certified Sommelier, CSW
    Read more...

    Karin Rockstad, SWS

    Congratulations to Karin Rockstad, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Karin:

    I am a Spanish to English translator specializing in wine. I help Spanish and Latin American wineries showcase their terroirs, vines, winemaking practices, and of course, their amazing wines to English-speaking consumers. During my years living in Spain, I fell in love with the gastronomy there and decided to add it to my translating repertoire. I’m happy to be able to share that with other people who don’t speak Spanish.

    I have passed the WSET Level 3 with merit. The SWS program complemented WSET more specifically to Spain, obviously. It was great to learn more about the smaller DOs.
     
    I am currently studying for the Certified Specialist of Wine and will be enrolling in the FWS program with Vine Lab in the fall. I’m also refreshing my French and Italian language skills and may add those to my translation business. The FWS and IWS would definitely help with that.

    I have poured wines at tastings throughout the Minneapolis area and distributors are interested in getting more quality Spanish wines here. Several of their salespeople were in class with me, and we believe getting the word out about SWS can help in getting people even more excited about Spanish wines.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial It was great to learn more about the smaller DOs...SWS can help in getting people even more excited about Spanish wines.
    • Position Spanish to English Translator for the wine trade, KRocks Translations
    • Certifications WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Neil Teague, SWS

    Congratulations to Neil Teague, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Neil:

    I am a Wine Enthusiast. Living in Adelaide, South Australia, within 90 minutes drive of 4 major wine regions (Clare Valley, Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale), I have always had an interest in wine, and holiday travel usually includes visits to wine regions amongst other attractions. Over the last 10 years, I have visited and tasted in wine areas of France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Chile, Argentina, Canada and USA. Many of the wines from small producers are made in such small quantities, that they just don't make it to Australia, so it is delightful to be able to taste these wines in their local wine region and to learn about some of the local grape varieties that are sometimes rarely seen in Australia.

    In the last few years I have increased my wine knowledge by following the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) study program, and obtaining my WSET Level 1, 2 and 3 Awards in Wines and Spirits, which gave me a broad knowledge of the major wines of the world. I then joined the Wine Scholar Guild to delve into greater detail about Old-World wines, and obtained the French Wine Scholar (FWS) and recently the Spanish Wine Scholar (SWS). I am also keen to explore the Italian Wine Scholar program and possibly some of the master-level French wine programs.

    The SWS course material, printed and online, is well written and structured and I would highly recommend it to anyone that wants to expand their knowledge of Spanish wine.
    After following the SWS program, and learning so much about not just Spanish wine, but also the history and geography of Spain, I am very keen to visit a number of Spanish wine regions to learn more about them and to enjoy the wonderful food and wine of Spain.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The SWS course material, printed and online, is well written and structured.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 1, 2 and 3, French Wine Scholar
    Read more...

    Mary Pittman-Jones, SWS

    Congratulations to Mary Pittman-Jones, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Mary:

    Prior to moving to the UK in 1983, I was neither a wine enthusiast nor a professional. I was an English literature teacher, but upon arriving in Clapham in the 1980s, I was fortunate to work at a wine bar and restaurant owned by a wine enthusiast, Derek Orme, who noticed my interest in his wine list (truth is, I was absolutely lost in his 200+ list of wines from all over the world) and paid for me to start working toward the Wine Spirit Education Trust Diploma. I worked in the trade throughout the 80s managing Derek’s wine bar/restaurant and later a wine shop in Chelsea.  At the time that I was studying at WSET, the Master of Wine qualification was open only to UK citizens, so, being American, I finished my wine study with the Diploma.

    When my husband changed jobs, I returned to teaching, this time in France and then later in the United Arab Emirates. We recently retired back to London, and I wanted to update my wine credentials.  I needed a course that would build on my previous knowledge but also inform me on the latest changes in viticulture, vinification methods, and wine law. As soon as I found the Wine Scholar Guild courses by searching online, I felt they were exactly what I was looking for. Whether I come out of retirement to work in the trade again or whether I just pursue my desire to find wines that I have never tasted before, the Wine Scholar Guild has given me a firm understanding of Spain, its regions, the strengths and challenges of wine production in the 21st century, and an appreciation of the incredible work that is being accomplished by winemakers all over the country.

    If there were further courses available that would allow me to go deeper into each Spanish region, to learn more about individual producers and their methods in the vineyards and wineries, I would take them.  I had a wonderful experience with Rick Fisher in the online course, who brought his passion for all things Spain into the region by region study.

    I took the Wine and Spirit Education Diploma between 1984-1987 in London at the Upper Thames Street site.  When we returned to live in London in 2019, I wanted to refresh and update my knowledge of wine after being out of the trade for 30 years. Since my main interests are in Spanish, French, and Italian wines, the SWS seemed perfect for me. In just 15 weeks, I feel as if I have a solid foundation on the Spanish wine industry in 2020.

    When the quarantine is over, and we can return to London, I will take more SWS courses.  Right now we are in quarantine in our house in the Pyrenees-Orientales, on the Spanish border. Our internet access is not robust enough for me to follow an online course right now.

    I learned an enormous amount of information in an organized manner through this course. I can talk competently about the similarities and differences in wine styles across Spain and the impressive number of indigenous grapes that lend Spanish wines their distinctive character. I have already taken advantage of the knowledge in purchasing wines at the huge Grau wine store in Palafrugell, Catalonia, just before the quarantine began – wines that I never would have purchased previously. I look forward to exploring more after the pandemic has subsided and sharing my good finds with friends and relatives.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I learned an enormous amount of information in an organized manner through this course.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Diploma
    Read more...

    John Ospina, SWS

    Congratulations to John Ospina, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About John:

    I began to appreciate wine early on in my youth with my family at meals. My parents were wine enthusiasts and they would allow us to have small tastes on special occasions. As an adult in my late twenties, I had a wine epiphany with a Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon that put me on a path to becoming a wine lover. I moved to Washington State in my thirties and became a huge fan of many of Washington State’s top producers. When I met my wife, she also enjoyed wine and that led us to developing our passion for wine together. After many years of collecting and enjoying wines from all over the world, I decided to formalize my love of wine. I started volunteering at a top winery in Woodinville WA. I also enrolled in the WSET programs while still working at AT&T

    After 20 years at AT&T, I retired in December of 2019 to pursue a career change into the Pacific Northwest wine industry.

    I have completed up to the WSET – L3 certification as well the WSG; IWS, SWS and I am currently studying for the FWS exam. I also have a tremendous fascination of Champagne so I will likely pursue the WSG Champagne Master Level in 2021.

    The SWS program was particularly a joy because of my love of all wine and food products from the Iberian Peninsula. The SWS now allows me to have even a greater appreciation of all the fabulous wines coming out of Spain, some that I knew little about before. I feel that now having taken and passed SWS, IWS and FWS very soon, will give me a great breadth of knowledge of how the Old World wines began and evolved to where they are today, and the incredible influence they had on the rest of the wine producing regions of the world.

    Not only did the SWS program enhance my passion of Spanish wine but I believe the SWS program along with my other wine education gives me the ability to enter the wine industry with the knowledge and confidence to succeed in various areas of the wine industry .i.e. education, sales, brand ambassador, and distribution.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The SWS now allows me to have an even greater appreciation of all the fabulous wines coming out of Spain, some that I knew little about before.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 3, Italian Wine Scholar
    Read more...
    Page 1 of 3

    WSG thanks the following organizations for their support:

     
     
    

    Sign up to receive our latest updates