Italian Wine Essentials

Your gateway to the captivating world of Italian wines


New Dates Coming Soon

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25 hours of study

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Online or classroom study

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From $475

Program Overview

Italian Wine Essentials presents the often-complex world of Italian wine in an accessible and engaging way.

Explore the culture, cuisine, history, viticulture and winemaking principles behind the most influential wine regions of Italy to fast-track your understanding into the intricate world of Italian wine.

Italy is home to over 400 appellations. Italian Wine Essentials (IWE) introduces you to 39 of the most well-known, divided into three vibrant modules—Wines of Northern Italy, Central Italy and Southern Italy.

Each module highlights the viticultural and vinification techniques behind the most important Italian ‘need to know’ wine styles. 

Each wine is presented within a regional and cultural context while landmarks and traditional cuisine are highlighted to complete the curriculum. 

Italian Wine Essentials (IWE) is more than an introductory course; it's a prelude to a lifelong romance with Italian wines, a launchpad to the internationally revered Italian Wine Scholar® Certification Program, vibrant WSG Member Community and the first step towards wine mastery!

Italian Wine Essentials Study Manual

Download the program brochure

Read full details about the topics covered in the Italian Wine Essentials Program.

What's Included

From a comprehensive study manual to interactive learning resources, expert instruction and an engaging student community, every element is meticulously curated to foster a profound understanding and appreciation of Italian wine culture.


Study Manual

Shipped to your address, the beautifully designed 125-page, coursebook, rich with photographs, infographics & maps, contains all the information you need to know. Immediate access to the digital e-book is also provided upon registration.


Online Study Modules

Access high-quality interactive e-learning activities designed to enrich the study manual and support different learning styles.


Expert Instructors

Learn from the most notable names in the industry—seasoned wine professionals and educators accredited by Wine Scholar Guild.


Student Community

Network with the other students taking the Italian Wine Essentials, form a tasting group and build your wine network.


Final Exam

The course includes a 50-question multiple-choice exam covering all of the essential topics of the course.



Upon passing, receive your coveted Italian Wine Essentials certificate. Add this reputed credential to your LinkedIn profile and résumé or CV.

Online Course Schedule

Your study will be guided during 6 live classes taught by expert instructors. The schedule below applies to the online study option. The classroom study schedule may vary depending on the provider.

Class Session
Time (ET)
Class Highlights


Coming soon

12:00pm noon-1:00pm

  • Meet your instructor

  • Course structure and schedule overview

  • Resources and where to find them

  • Study tips

  • About the exam


Coming soon

12:00pm noon-1:00pm

Introduction to Italy
  • Dig into historical highlights

  • Explore the climate, soils and topography

  • Learn the keys to understanding Italian wine law and deciphering Italian wine labels

  • Wine styles and cuisine


Coming soon

12:00pm noon-12:45pm

Sparkling and Sweet Wines

  • Introduction to the sparkling wines of Northern Italy

  • Learn the different ways that sparkling wine is made

  • Take a virtual journey to the stunning landscapes of Conegliano Valdobbiadene and Franciacorta

  • Uncover the lesser-known side of Prosecco

  • Learn about one of Italy's trendiest drinks - Lambrusco

  • Satisfy your sweet tooth with the wines of Asti DOCG


Coming soon

12:00pm noon-1:00pm

Northern Italy: Piemonte, Veneto, Lombardia and Friuli Venezia Giulia

  • There is more to Italian white wine than Pinot Grigio! Learn about the delicious winess made from Italy’s very own Cortese, Turbiana and more!

  • Delve into the Valpolicella region and uncover the secrets of Soave DOC. & Soave Superior DOCG and Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG

  • Barolo DOCG & Barbaresco DOCG - experience Nebbiolo and its many facets


Coming soon

12:00pm noon-1:00pm

Central Italy: Toscana, Umbria and Marche

  • Discover the many expressions of Sangiovese from historic appellations such as Chianti Classico DOCG, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG

  • Learn about the Super Tuscans and beautiful Bolgheri DOC by the sea

  • Explore regional specialties such as Vin Santo


Coming soon

12:00pm noon-1:00pm

Southern Italy: Sicily, Sardinia, Campania and Puglia

  • Learn how Vermentino di Gallura DOCG and Cannonau DOC may be one of the secrets of Sardegna’s Blue Zone!

  • Discover the hidden treasures of Campania, including Greco di Tufo DOCG, Fiano di Avellino DOCG and Taurasi DOCG

  • Explore exotic Etna DOC, and more


On request

45 minutes

Schedule the exam when you’re ready. You have 12 months from the date of your enrollment to take the online exam.

Study Options

Choose from online or classroom formats based on your schedule and preferred learning style. Rest assured that the final exam and certification remain consistent across both formats.

Online Learning

Classroom Learning


Study online from anywhere at anytime.

Learn in-person at one of our 130+ Approved Program Providers around the world.

Instructor Support

Study with WSG’s own highly acclaimed educators and interact with fellow students and your instructor on the community forum.

Receive in-classroom support from WSG-certified instructors.

Length of Study

6 live classes with up to 12-month access to your online classroom and to take your exam.

Study schedule and length of term vary by provider.

Wine Tasting

Maximize learning with a list of recommended wines to sample on your own.

Enjoy tutored wine tastings in the classroom.

Study manual (print & e-book)

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Online e-learning modules

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Live Course Instruction

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Online Student Community

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Final Exam


In the Classroom

Certificate upon successful upon completion of exam

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Varies by Provider

Frequently Asked Questions

• Inquisitive wine enthusiasts wanting to become more familiar with the intricacies of Italian wine
• Aspiring wine professionals
• Hospitality professionals new to the world of Italian wine
• Anyone wishing to become more knowledgeable about Italy and its wine and food culture

Have a different question? Feel free to contact us.


Elevate your expertise

Online session starts November 6
Enrollement closes June 4