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Courses

Here's a round-up of the best-known courses in wine education, ranging from serious professional qualifications to thoroughly relaxed evening tastings. I've split them by location, with the most internationally recognised courses first. Please do contact me with any more suggestions anywhere else in the world.

INTERNATIONAL

Wine & Spirit Education Trust
The big daddy of them all, the British wine trade's professional educational body now runs courses at a variety of levels for 44,000 students in over 50 different countries and 16 languages. Many non professionals now take the courses too. The WSET Diploma exam is virtually a pre-requisite for the Master of Wine course (see below). WSET is headquartered in an airy building near Borough Market/London Bridge station.

International Wine & Spirit Centre, 39-45 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XF
tel +44 (0)20 7089 3800, fax +444 (0)20 7089 3845
email wset@wset.co.uk
www.wset.co.uk

Institute of Masters of Wine
This is the highest academic calling for wine amateurs in every sense and wine professionals such as wine merchants (as opposed to winemakers and vine growers, who may prefer to take specific degrees in those subjects). Fewer than 300 people, from all over the world, have qualified for those coveted initials since the Institute's beginnings in 1953. Courses and exams are held in the UK, US and Australia, with Germany in the pipeline. See Tales from successful MW students, for a 2003 insider's look at what's involved nowadays (even more than when I took it in 1984). And see This year's MW exam papers for details of what candidates faced in 2007.
24 Fitzroy Square, London W1T 6EP
tel +44 (0)207 383 9130
email info@mastersofwine.org
www.mastersofwine.org

BEM-Bordeaux Management School
This relatively new MBA in wine looks high powered, is completely international and very focused and, in my experience, has a high level of candidates whose study takes them around the world of wine. BEM say the Wine MBA is 'designed to provide empowerment through management education for wine industry leaders facing a complex wine business environment. It aims to offer an in-depth knowledge of management fundamentals and of both traditional and newer markets, to develop participants' leadership skills in an intercultural environment, and to help them analyze and solve complex business issues.'  This part-time programme begins each year in January and lasts 22 months, with six sessions of two weeks each in Bordeaux, London, and Adelaide. 
For more information, go to www.bem.edu or contact Isabelle Dartigues, Director of the Wine MBA Programme, tel +33 5 56 84 22 29; or Stéphanie Dussaux, Wine MBA Assistant, tel +33 5 56 84 55 6.


UNIVERSITY COURSES

Bordeaux University
The Oenology faculty runs very high-powered, full, residential academic courses in both the production and appreciation of wine. An ability to speak French is virtually a prerequisite.
oenoadm@oenologie.u-bordeaux2.fr

University of Adelaide
Including Roseworth Agricultural College. Australia's principal and influencial centre of wine education and research. www.sciences.adelaide.edu.au

Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga
One of Australia's foremost research and teaching institutes for grape-growers and winemakers, including distance learning opportunities.
www.csu.edu.au

University of California at Davis
Generally known as Davis, and the principal centre for teaching viticulture and oenology in the Americas.
wineserver.ucdavis.edu

University of California at Fresno
Housing the first licensed, bonded winery in the US.
jcast.csufresno.edu/ve/

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Centre of viticultural and oenological research, particularly concerned with disease-resistant and winter-hardy vines.
www.nysaes.cornell.edu

University of Melbourne, Australia
Master of Wine Technology and Viticulture at the University of Melbourne. Below Masters level they offer a Grad Diploma and Grad Certificate in Wine Technology and Viticulture. There are also single undergraduate subjects available, which run in the summer semester or winter semester.
Melbourne School of Land and Resources

University of Montpellier, France
Particularly covering polyphenols and commercial yeast www.univ-montp1.fr

University of Paris Ouest Nanterre-La Défense

OIV MSc International Wine Management.

Plumpton College 
Wine courses established in 1998. The only undergraduate courses on Wine Production and Wine Business in English in Europe. Principally supporting the UK wine trade and production industry, but graduates find work all over the world. Facilities include eight hectares of commercial vineyards, a purpose-built wine centre with teaching rooms, labs, commercial winery and sensory evaluation room, and as of November 2013, the UK Wine Research Centre, incorporating the Rathfinny Research Winery.
+44 (0)1273 890454 
www.plumpton.ac.uk

Geisenheim Institute, Germany
Viticultural and oenological research institute. www.forschungsanstalt-geisenheim.de

LONDON   

Christie's
Five weekly early evenings in Great Titchfield Street, London W1, of fine, usually French wines plus such luminaries of the wine world as Michael Broadbent, Stephen Spurrier, etc.
+44 (0)20 7665 4350
Christie's Wine Courses
Christie's Master Classes

Winewise/Michael Schuster
Popular range of particularly practical courses at many levels held by Michael Schuster, mostly early evenings, in the brand new tasting room of Bordeaux Index in Farringdon, London. His courses are reputedly more fun than most and cover a wider range of wines than the auction houses, which tend to concentrate on the finest, most traditional. Michael also runs pre-exam MW student courses.
107 Culford Road, London, N1 4HZ
+44 (0)20 7254 9734
www.michaelschusterwine.com

Berrys' Wine School
Venerable St James’s Street merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd, in London SW1, was awarded Wine Educator of the Year award at the 2012 International Wine Challenge. Their Wine School courses are friendly, fun and informative; students benefit from the company’s 316 years of wine expertise and the experience of their knowledgeable teaching staff, including eight Masters of Wine.
Courses take place in the Pickering Cellar, situated below their historic St James's Street shop, and the wide range of events caters for both novices and fully fledged wine connoisseurs.
They also now run wine tasting events in their new state-of-the-art Hampshire Tasting Room.
tel 0800 280 2440
www.bbr.com/wine-events/school

East London Wine School
An independent wine education company running courses and tastings in the City and East London. For people who enjoy wine and want to learn more in a relaxed and friendly style. Tastings to suit all levels of knowledge from beginner to advanced. As well as the more informal courses, they will also offer WSET Level 2 & Level 3 Awards. A member of the www.localwineschool.com network.
+44 (0) 1376 583 119
www.eastlondonwineschool.com

London Wine Academy
Consumer wine courses at various levels, featuring one-day workshops as well as evening courses over several weeks. Covers general introductions and more specialist areas, at a variety of venues around London.
+44 (0)845 555 1100
www.londonwineacademy.com

Roberson Wine School
Based in Kensington High St in west London, Roberson Wine have for some time been running excellent tutored and walk-around tastings. In autumn 2009, they are launching a wine school which will offer a number of educational courses including a four-session 'Introduction to the world of wine' alongside a number of advanced specialist tutorials and workshops. Maximum class size 20 students. Their stated aim is to 'take a young, modern and innovative approach to wine education that incorporates the knowledge and enthusiasm of the Roberson team with the relaxed atmosphere and absence of wine snobbery that has made the tasting events so successful'.
+44 (0)207 371 2121
mark@roberson.co.uk
www.robersonwinemerchant.co.uk

RS Wine Academy
Run by acclaimed master sommelier Ronan Sayburn, the RS Wine Academy offers training for trade and public, WSET 2 and 3 courses, and masterclasses in anything from food and wine matching, how to taste wines, and more technical subjects such as wine faults. He also organises and runs bespoke corporate events.
+44 (0)7825 417 754
ronan@ronansayburn.com
www.rs-wine-academy.com

West London Wine School
An independent wine education company running courses and tastings in West London. For people who enjoy wine and want to learn more in a relaxed and friendly style. Tastings to suit all levels of knowledge from beginner to advanced. As well as the more informal courses, they also offer WSET Intermediate & Advanced levels. Set up as a franchise by the same company as the Newcastle Wine School (see below) and run by the former WSET training person at First Quench.
+44 (0) 208 144 2444
www.westlondonwineschool.com

Wine School at the Don

Wine and food matching courses led my Peter McCombie MW and Master Chef Pierre Koffman. Held in the private room at the Don Restaurant, sister restaurant of the Bleeding Heart, these short courses last a month and run on four consecutive Mondays.
Contact lindy@thedonrestaurant.com or The Don Restaurant, 20 St Swithins Lane, London EC4N 8AD
+44 (0)20 7626 2606.

Many merchants, societies and individuals all over the world also organise educational wine tastings round a theme, usually early evenings or at weekends. One of the most successful in London is run by Handford Wine +44 20 7589 6113. The high-powered tastings are held in the cellar of the Old Brompton Road shop.


REST OF THE UK

The Association of Wine Educators
This group of about 60 lecturers all over Britain with at least WSET Diploma or equivalent experience can be hired to lecture and conduct tastings, and many offer their own local courses. www.wineeducators.com

Birmingham Wine School
An independent wine education company running courses and tastings in the Birmingham region. For people who enjoy wine and want to learn more in a relaxed and friendly style. Tastings to suit all levels of knowledge from beginner to advanced. (This is the second venture of the Newcastle Wine School, see below.)
+44 (0)1295 679313
www.birminghamwineschool.com

Cambridgeshire Wine School
An independent wine education company running courses and tastings in Cambridge. For people who enjoy wine and want to learn more in a relaxed and friendly style. Tastings to suit all levels of knowledge from beginner to advanced. As well as the more informal courses, they will also offer WSET Courses. A member of the www.localwineschool.com network.
+44 (0)1223 655391
www.cambridgeshirewineschool.com

Devon Wine School
The UK's only residential wine school, with five Visit England 5* Gold Award bedrooms, set in rolling countryside within 25 minutes of Exeter. The school is run by Alastair Peebles MW and his wife Carol and offers a range of fun, informal tasting lunches and dinners and corporate events, as well as WSET courses at Intermediate and Advanced levels. Alastair also mentors Master of Wine students.
+44 (0)1363 866742
alastair@devonwineschool.co.uk
www.devonwineschool.co.uk

Enjoy Discovering Wine
Erica Dent - WSET's 2013 Educator of the Year - teaches WSET qualification courses Levels 1 to 3 for the WSET’s flagship School in London. Her company, EDW, runs WSET courses at venues across the south from Dorset to East Sussex, such as Bournemouth, Southampton, Winchester, and Brighton Universities. EDW also runs bespoke in-house WSET training for hospitality businesses.
+44 (0)7966 499589
ericadent@enjoydiscoveringwine.com
www.enjoydiscoveringwine.com

Hampshire Wine School
An independent wine education company running courses and tastings in Southampton and Winchester. For people who enjoy wine and want to learn more in a relaxed and friendly style. Tastings to suit all levels of knowledge from beginner to advanced. As well as the more informal courses, they will also offer WSET Courses. A member of the www.localwineschool.com network.
+44 (0)2380 644350
www.hampshirewineschool.com

Hertfordshire Wine School
An independent wine education company running courses and tastings in St Albans and Harpenden. For people who enjoy wine and want to learn more in a relaxed and friendly style. Tastings to suit all levels of knowledge from beginner to advanced. As well as the more informal courses, they also offer WSET Level 1 & Level 2 Awards. A member of the www.localwineschool.com network.
+44 (0)1582 760142
www.hertfordshirewineschool.com

Lancashire Wine School
An independent wine education company running courses and tastings in Preston and Blackpool. For people who enjoy wine and want to learn more in a relaxed and friendly style. Tastings to suit all levels of knowledge from beginner to advanced. (Another franchise of the rapidly expanding Newcastle Wine School.)
+44 (0)1253 301934
www.thelancashirewineschool.com

Manchester Wine School
An independent wine education company running courses and tastings in Manchester. For people who enjoy wine and want to learn more in a relaxed and friendly style. Tastings to suit all levels of knowledge from beginner to advanced. (Another franchise of the rapidly expanding Newcastle Wine School.)
+44 (0)161 8706305
www.manchesterwineschool.com

Newcastle Wine School
An independent and rapidly expanding wine education company running courses and tastings in Newcastle, Edinburgh, and Leeds. For people who enjoy wine and want to learn more in a relaxed and friendly style. Tastings to suit all levels of knowledge from beginner to advanced. As well as the more informal courses, they also offer WSET Foundation and Intermediate levels and plan to expand this to other locations in the form of franchises (see above).
+44 (0)191 2818045
www.newcastlewineschool.com

Rose Murray Brown Masterclass
Rose Murray Brown MW offers fun, relaxed wine courses, tastings, dinners and corporate events in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, St Andrews and Newcastle. Tastings to suit all knowledge levels. She also hosts regular tours to wine regions abroad.
+44 (0)1334 870731
masterclass@rosemurraybrown.com
www.rosemurraybrown.com

Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester
One-year course offers MBA and Postgraduate Diplomas in Wine Business Management to students of any nationality. Based in south-west England, this relatively new branch of the Agricultural College is aimed at graduates and wine professionals.
+44 (0)1285 652531
www.royagcol.ac.uk

School of Wine
The School of Wine is a brand-new Manchester wine-tasting school, opened by Kate Goodman (of the BBC's Food and Drink tv show) and Ian Dogherty. Based in Manchester, they run informal, relaxed and friendly wine tastings across a range of different types of wine, Masterclasses, and corporate events. WSET qualifications will follow soon. The aim of the School is to make wine-tasting more accessible, informal and above all fun! For more information, visit their website.
+44 (0)161 818 9463
hello@schoolofwine.co.uk
www.schoolofwine.co.uk

Surrey Wine School
An independent wine education company running courses and tastings in Guildford and Dorking. For people who enjoy wine and want to learn more in a relaxed and friendly style. Tastings to suit all levels of knowledge from beginner to advanced. As well as the more informal courses, they will also offer WSET Courses. A member of the www.localwineschool.com network.
+44 (0)1306 898569
www.surreywineschool.com

Sussex Wine School
An independent wine education company running courses and tastings in Sussex and Kent. For people who enjoy wine and want to learn more in a relaxed and friendly style. Tastings to suit all levels of knowledge from beginner to advanced. As well as the more informal courses, they will also offer WSET Level 2 & Level 3 Awards. A member of the www.localwineschool.com network.
+44 (0)1435 884271
www.sussexwineschool.com

The Wine Academy
Based in York, but operating on a national basis, with other training centres in Harrogate and Leeds, The Wine Academy is now one of the biggest wine education companies in the country, and was awarded the Wine Educator of 2011 by the WSET. In 2008 they opened a satellite wine school in Bordeaux at the request of a French Agricultural College to teach their mainly French and Chinese winemaking students about New World wines. The teaching staff are all WSET Certified Educators. The academy runs everything from WSET courses to corporate events to fun wine tastings and workshops.
tel +44 (0)787 05 85 232
laura@thewineacademy.co.uk
www.thewineacademy.co.uk

The Wine Education Service
Wine courses in London and across the country, to suit all levels
Vanguard Business Park, Alperton Lane, Middlesex UB6 8AA
tel +44 (0)20 8991 8212 or (0)20 8991 8213
info@wine-education-service.co.uk
www.wine-education-service.co.uk

UK Sommelier Association
One of the only accredited sommelier courses in the north of England, based in Leeds, and offering a programme of study designed for those working in the industry, but also very accessible for members of the public. Founded in 2011 by Professional Sommelier Michele Muccilli, it is a member of the WSA (Worldwide Sommelier Association), directly affiliated and partnered with the Italian Sommelier Association (AIS), and its certifications are recognised in over 70 countries worldwide. Course range from four days to 14 weeks.
tel +44 (0)7576 147 983
info@uksommeliernorth.co.uk
www.uksommeliernorth.com

Yorkshire Wine School
An independent wine education company running courses and tastings in Leeds, York and Harrogate. For people who enjoy wine and want to learn more in a relaxed and friendly style. Tastings to suit all levels of knowledge from beginner to advanced. As well as the more informal courses, they will also offer WSET Level 2 & Level 3 Awards. A member of the www.localwineschool.com network.
+44 (0)113 3350 545
www.yorkshirewineschool.com


US

Chicago Wine School
Pat Fegan has been running classes here for years. A basic course runs over 5-weeks; the School also offers an intermediate course and an Italian course, for example.
www.wineschool.com

International Culinary Academy
Intensive sommelier training. The first school with a sommelier training program to be approved by the Court of Master Sommeliers. 11 Master Sommeliers on faculty.
tel +1 888 324 2433 (New York campus)
tel +1 866 318 2433 (California campus)
www.internationalculinarycenter.com

International Wine Center
Mary Ewing Mulligan MW pioneered the WSET courses (see above) in the US, and offers a wide range of them here. This New York school, founded in 1982, is now US headquarters of the WSET (see above).
1133 Broadway, NY 10010
www.internationalwinecenter.com

Harriet Lembeck's Wine & Spirits Program
Long-established 10-week evening course held in 18th century NY townhouse on 29th at 3rd. With a certificate at the end for those who pass blind tasting. Also single-topic New School University Wine Classes held at the same venue.
Contact hlembeck@mindspring.com

Professional Culinary Institute
Silicon Valley centre for acquiring qualifications such as the Certified Sommelier Program with superior facilities and a chef school attached.
www.professionalculinaryinstitute.com/

San Francisco Wine School
Run by David Glancy, Master Sommelier and Certified Wine Educator. The school provides professional wine studies including French Wine Scholar (FWS), Society of Wine Educators’ programs (SWE), California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS) and much more.
tel +1 415 644 8461
help@sfwineschool.com
www.sanfranciscowineschool.com

Society of Wine Educators
The American counterpart of Britain's Association of Wine Educators (see above). Although there is no formal minimum qualification for its members, this is a good was of tracking down wine expertise in your area. The society also organises tours of wine regions.
education@societyofwineeducators.org
www.societyofwineeducators.org/

The Sommelier Wine & Food Society Wine Captain's Course
Rob Stewart and Lisa Chedister's 9-week evening class in Washington DC at Loews L'Enfant Plaza Hotel.
Tel 703 685 7970 or contact winehead@earthlink.net

Windows on the World Wine School
Kevin Zraly has relocated from the top of the World Trade Center to the Marriott Marquis. Courses run over eight Monday evenings and concentrate on good wines.
www.windowswineschool.com

The Wine School of Philadelphia
Founded in 2001 by Keith Wallace, The Wine School offers classes and certification courses for everything from wine basics to advanced diploma programs. You can also go to learn about beer, food pairing, cookery and spirits. Courses are apparently booked out well in advance.
www.vinology.com

REST OF THE WORLD

The Fine Wine School in Hong Kong (part of Berry Bros & Rudd HK) offers a range of WSET and Bordeaux L'École du Vin courses at all levels to both trade and consumers.
Contact Amanda Parker: amanda.parker@bbr.com.hk
tel +852 2585 6001
fax +852 2907 3113
school@bbr.com.hk
www.bbr.com.hk/finewineschool

Extreme Wine
This week-long intensive course at the Chêne Bleu estate in Provence combines the WSET Level 2 Certificate with their own Food and Wine Pairing Certificate. Designed and tutored by Master of Wine Clive Barlow, it includes far more tasting (and far more top-notch wines) than other similar courses - about 100 wines in total. It's set in beautiful and luxurious surroundings but also allows students to get hands-on experience in the vineyard and winery. The 2014 course is already fully booked but they are taking bookings for 2015, and the full brochure is available here.

They have now also introduced Beyond Extreme, which teaches to WSET Level 3 and includes more coursework, greater focus on tasting techniques, as well many benchmark wines. Dates for 2014: 3-9 May.

Contact Karen Glennon: extremewine@laverriere.com
tel: + 44 (0) 20 7233 8810
www.chenebleuextremewine.com

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