Why Study With Us?
The simple answer is that between the three of us we have done it all. Andrew and his family have planted vineyards starting from scratch, and learned how to make wine by doing the work. Tracy, in addition to working in her own winery in Napa Valley, knows wine sales from import to wholesale to retail, as well as high end restaurant service. Chris has used his extensive knowledge of the wine industry to set up a successful wine exporting company, and has a very strong business background. There is no better to way to learn than from someone who has been there and done that—our experience is your opportunity.
What is WSET?
The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET and WSET Awards) is an awarding body and registered charity devoted to the development and delivery of qualifications and courses in wines and spirits. Established in 1969 for the UK wine trade, WSET has since grown to become the global industry leader in education.
As an independent, not-for-profit organization, WSET’s educational products offer impartial and sound learning on which individuals and businesses can build knowledge and expertise.
There are approximately 600 Approved Programme Providers (APPs) operating in more than 70 countries and 19 languages. WSET is the gold standard in internationally recognized, job-relevant credentialing for the wine and spirits trade, and The Virginia Wine Academy is proud to be the first APP based in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Who should study with us?
NEW WINE LOVERS
Do you have a burgeoning interest in wine? Perhaps you want to increase your confidence in talking to wine store staff or navigating restaurant wine lists. The Level 1 course will teach you the basics of how to taste wine, how to recognize the principal grape varieties, and how wine is made.
We want to help people get started in the business of wine and spirits. There is no better way to explore an interest and kick-start a new career than by earning an internationally recognized qualification through courses taught by industry leaders. A Level 2 certificate can make it easier for you to find a job in restaurants, wine stores, or winery tasting rooms.
WINE & SPIRITS INDUSTRY WORKERS
If you are already working in the industry, but seeking advancement in your career, there is a qualification for you. Restaurant servers and bartenders seeking a higher level of wine knowledge in order to increase their sales will find the Level 2 course helpful. Winery hospitality staff who would like to advance to marketing or outside sales positions, or distributor sales representatives who would like to better communicate about their products will also benefit from the knowledge gained through the Level 2 certificate.
You are already passionate about wine. You enjoy collecting, tasting, and sharing wine with others. Why not learn to be a better taster, to communicate more clearly about the structure of a wine, and dig deeper into regions of the world you may not yet have discovered? We offer focused seminar-style classes on growing regions, grape varieties, blind tasting skills, and more.
Perhaps you simply love learning. Or you want to meet new people with whom you have a shared interest. At all levels of study, our courses are highly informative, with zero pretense, and a desire to simply have fun. We will offer classes about a wide range of wine regions, comparative classes based on grape varieties, wine tours, and much more. With our on-site vineyard, you can learn first-hand about the intricacies of grape growing. You can also spend some time in the winery itself, where the technical terms you’ve learned become reality as we demonstrate the art of crafting fine wine, both still and sparkling. We provide education through seeing, smelling, and tasting, all while forging new friendships.
Our mantra is Enjoyment in Learning. If you enjoy wine, you will enjoy even more learning all the fun facts about wine growing, wine making, wine tasting, and the business of wine.