Wine Course Overview
Outside of a university, the Wine School is the only wine education center in America that offers certification coupled with an independently-developed curriculum. The capstone of our program is the Diploma Oenotropae, a high achievement reserved for those students who have exhibited a mastery of the subject. Students who have earned their Diploma have gone on to become winemakers, wine writers, importers, and educators, among other careers.
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Available Wine Courses
All wine courses are a full semester. The only exception is any program labeled “Accelerated.” Accelerated programs, typically in the summer, are held in a single week.
Wine Program Structure
Our full program takes approximately two years to complete. Students looking to accelerate their studies may take up to two courses each eight-week semester, beginning with the Core Program. The Core program includes the Foundation and the Global Intermediate Program, the completion of which allows students to enter our Advanced programs. Plus, certifications (via NWS) can be achieved in as little time as a single semester.
The Core Program
There are two certification courses in the Core Wine Program. They are the essential programs for all wine students. By enrolling in the Core program, a wine student will gain the core skills essential to anyone in the world of wine. When the programs are taken together in the same semester, the student receives a discounted price.
The world of wine is built on the foundation of taste. The top professionals in the food, wine, and hospitality industries understand this: the committed student of wine must learn this. To stand tall in the wine world, the student must learn to unravel the hidden flavors of wine and speak the language of the senses.
“The Wine School is a great place to build knowledge and pursue your passion.” Jonathan Newman, Former Chairman of the PLCB
Most wine enthusiasts remain tourists of the grape: they drink and enjoy without ever knowing the greater joys hidden just below the surface. The Foundation Course is your key to unlocking that world. With it, you just may be able to turn a mere hobby into a deeply passionate and highly creative calling.
“The Foundation program is truly a unique and enjoyable learning experience… it is the only chemistry class you will fall in love with.” Bob Pigeon, Executive Editor of De Capo Press.
In a single semester, students will learn the techniques and knowledge to become extraordinary wine tasters. Graduates are able to identity major wine varietals in a blind tasting: a skill many seasoned sommeliers cannot accomplish.
- The Science of Wine
- Understanding White Wines
- Old World and New World Styles
- Understanding Red Wines
- Wine Components
- Introduction to Winemaking
- Blind Tasting
- Food and Wine Pairing
After our eight-week program, you will be taught to taste wine with a higher proficiency than most sommeliers. The final exam of this program is a series of blind tastings along with a multiple choice exam. It is expected that our graduates will be able to identify the varietal, style, and region of every wine presented in the blind tasting. We currently have a 92% pass rate. At-home study prior to both the written exam and blind tasting is highly recommended.
There are no prior requirements to attend this program. The program is designed to be accessible to anyone, regardless of experience or knowledge level.
Global Intermediate Program
From the Italian peninsula to the docks of Bordeaux, the Intermediate Certificate of Global Wine Studies is a breathtaking exploration into the world of wine.
“It is due to The Wine School of Philadelphia that I attended and graduated from the School for Oenology and Viticulture at the University of California at Davis.” Jenny Schultz
In a whirlwind of a semester, the secrets of the global wine society are unlocked. Students learn about the wine styles, varietals, and winemaking techniques of all the important wine producing countries. Upon completion of the program, graduates have a working knowledge of the types and styles of wine available throughout the world: our students become masters of the global vineyard.
Course curriculum includes the following wine countries:
- North America
- South America
- South Africa and New Zealand
- Spain and Portugal
- Germany and Austria
Advanced Wine Program
The Advanced Program is a a master-level study in wine. It consists of four semesters, including two required wine courses and two electives. The courses do not have to be taken in any specific order. Examples of an Advanced elective course include: the Wine Regions of Italy, Bordeaux & Beyond, the Wines of Spain, Advanced France, or Tuscany & Beyond.
- New World Essentials
- Old World Essentials
- Advanced Elective
- Advanced Elective
Advanced Italy, South. This section covers Sicily, Campania, Lazio, Molise, Lazio, Sardinia and Abruzzi
Advanced Italy, North. This section covers Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, Tuscany, Umbria, and Marche.
Advanced France, South. This section covers Bordeaux, Rhone, Languedoc, and Provence.
Advanced France, North. This section covers Burgundy, Loire, Alsace, and Champagne.
Advanced Spain. This course covers all of the major Spanish wine regions, focusing on those in Galicia, Aragón, Catalonia, Valencia, Castilla Y Leon, and Andalucía.
Advanced California. This course covers all the major California wine regions, including Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Santa Barbara County, San Luis Obispo, and Mendocino County.
Diploma Oenotropae Program
The crowing achievement in wine education. The wine diploma program requires the student to have successfully have completed the requirements for both the Core and Advanced programs. The final element is completing a Thesis Project under the tutelage of a Master Sommelier-Instructor.
Professional Wine & Sommelier Certification
Wine Classes are held at our facilities in Philadelphia. However, all professional wine certification tests are processed online and comes through the National Wine School in California.
For more information regarding the professional certification, please click on the button below.
History of the Wine School
History of the Wine School
The Wine School of Philadelphia is the oldest independent wine school in America. The school was founded in 2001 by Keith Wallace, a graduate of the country’s most prestigious viticulture and enology program. Mr. Wallace developed the entirety of the School’s curriculum based on his winemaker training program. His aim: To create an academic experience that instills in students a knowledge of wine that goes beyond memorization and recitation. The programs at the incorporate the most up-to-date and effective teaching methodology available. In fact, the Wine School’s programs have now been used by several universities, including Drexel and the University of Pennsylvania.
Questions About Our Academic Programs?