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Champagne Masters

The most updated and comprehensive certification program on the wines of Champagne.

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252 global graduates

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Starts September 17

Get a head start and register today!

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150 hours of study

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Online study

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$995

Program Overview

The pinnacle in wine education, the Wine Scholar Guild presents the Champagne Masters Program.

The most in-depth and up-to-date certification program on the wines of Champagne, WSG's Champagne Masters is led by industry-recognized experts, including:

Peter Liem (author of award-winning ChampagneGuide.net; author, Champagne)

Essi Avellan MW (Master of Wine specialized in Champagne, journalist and consultant)

Steve Charters MW (Professor of Wine Marketing at the School of Wine & Spirits Business at Burgundy School of Business)

Charles Curtis MW (Founder of WineAlpha), and more...

Created for the most passionate wine professionals and connoisseurs, this program offers the most comprehensive deep dive into an exquisite landscape and an extraordinary winemaking process, with regular interviews and lectures from those who found a way to capture the bubble in the bottle. 

The fully online program culminates with a final exam and WSG Champagne Masters designation, elevating your expertise while catapulting you to the forefront of Champagne wine mastery. 

Download the program brochure

Read full details about the topics covered in the Champagne Masters Program.

What's Included

From an in-depth study manual, live classes and on-demand videos, every aspect is thoughtfully designed for a flexible and comprehensive learning experience. 

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Study Manual & Additional Resources

Each student receives a printed and e-book version of the fully-revised manual as well as recommended wines to pair with your studies, vintage charts and maps.

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Recorded Sessions

Learn from over 60 pre-recorded sessions, each about 20 mins in length, led by your instructors. Topics span history, geology, terroir, vintages, grape growing, winemaking, specific producers and more.

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Live Classes & Student Community

Every month, join your lead educator for a live review, designed to test your understanding of the material and keep you on track.

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Interviews with Champagne Experts

A series of video interviews, conducted by Andrew Jefford, with some of the most admired experts of the region: Dr. Yves Tesson, Cédric Moussé, and Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon.

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Final Exam

Online, proctored exam sit to be scheduled within one year of your registration.

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Certificate

Upon passing, receive your coveted Champagne Masters certificate. Add this reputed credential to your LinkedIn profile and résumé or CV.

Why People Choose Champagne Masters

Detailed Schedule

Enjoy the flexibility of on-demand lectures with the dynamic engagement of live online sessions, enhancing your mastery over this intricate and highly complex region. All live sessions are available on replay after they air live.

All live classes start at 12:00 noon EST/6 pm CET and are recorded for on-demand replay. 

Focus Topics

Description

Live Class Date

Welcome & Orientation

Come meet your instructor for an overview of the course structure and schedule. You will learn about all of the resources and where to find them. Your instructor will also outline study tips for success and speak briefly about the final exam. In the meantime, get to know your fellow classmates or form a local tasting group in the dedicated space just for you on the WSG Community.

September 17, 2024 at 12:00 noon Eastern Time

Champagne Overview

Gain context and framework for your Champagne studies. Explore the history of the region, viticultural practices, the production process from harvest to vinification, regional geology, the key factors that affect house style with a focus on grape varieties and the structure of the Champagne industry.

November 5, 2024 at 12:00 noon Eastern Time

Montagne de Reims & Val de Reims

Begin your first deep dive into a specific sub-region and we start at the northern end of Champagne with the Montage and Val de Reims. We build on month 1 by examining the specific terroirs found here. We also continue with the production process by looking at the steps from blending to disgorgement and explore the factors that influence style focuses on malolactic fermentation. Business topics include the Échelle des Crus and the question of yields and reserves.

December 3, 2024 at 12:00 noon Eastern Time

Vallée de la Marne

This month of study focused on the Vallée de la Marne, where we study the specific terroirs found along the river. We also go back into the vineyard to understand how vignerons are growing without agrochemicals. Our business series continues with dives into the roles of the growers, the houses and the co-operatives. We meet the people who have shaped – and who are shaping – Champagne. The style factor that is considered this month is the use of reserve wines.

January 7, 2025 at 12:00 noon Eastern Time

Côte des Blancs

We move into famous Côte des Blancs and we look at the varied terroirs found in the main côte as well as the Val du Petit Morin, the Sézannais, Vitryat and Montgueux. We examine how climate change is impacting the vine and how issues such as human power and market forces are changing things in the vineyard. We wrap-up the winemaking series with the final steps of degorgement, dosage and bottling, and we look at how rosé champagnes get their delightful pink hue. The business series includes the sometimes-confusing flow of grapes, how the Champenois protect their brand, and how the appellation is evolving.

February 4, 2025 at 12:00 noon Eastern Time

Côte des Bar, Champagne Marketing

Our studies wrap-up with an exploration of the unique terroirs of the most southerly sub-region, the Côte des Bar. The business track considers the power of the champagne brand, how champagne balances being a luxury product while being enjoyed by the masses, what makes up the price of champagne, the role of terroir in Champagne, and the marketing of champagne. Our style factors series ends with a discussion on impacts of oak and reductive versus oxidative winemaking practices. This session also includes what to expect on the exam and tips for success.

March 4, 2025 at 12:00 noon Eastern Time

Exam Preparation

From March 2025 onwards you can register for the exam. To schedule your exam, follow the instructions posted on your online classroom. You have 12 months from your original date of enrollment to take the exam.


Your Educators

Learn from prominent experts in the wines of Champagne. WSG's educators are selected for their extensive academic and professional experience in their area of expertise.

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Your lead instructor: Sharon McLean

• French Programs Director at WSG
• Certified Sommelier through the International Sommelier Guild
• Teaches WSG and WSET courses on Vancouver Island and is a freelance wine writer and wine judge
• Completed the Diploma from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust® with the highest marks in Canada in 2009

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Peter Liem

• Author of the award-winning book Champagne
• Author of ChampagneGuide.net, an award-winning online guide to the wines and wine producers of Champagne
• Former senior editor, critic and tasting director for Wine & Spirits magazine
• Contributor to The World of Fine Wine, Decanter, The Art of Eating, and The San Francisco Chronicle

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Essi Avellan MW

• Author of Matka Champagneen and Parhaat samppanjat
• Revising editor of the 3rd edition of Christie’s World Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine by Tom Stevenson
• Chair of Decanter World Wine Awards’ Champagne panel
• Knighted as Chevalier l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole by the French Minister of Agriculture

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Steve Charters MW

• Professor of Wine Marketing at the School of Wine & Spirits Business at Burgundy School of Business
• Former Professor of Champagne Management at Reims Management School (Neoma)
• Winner of the Australian Vin de Champagne Award (professional section)
• Author of Wine and society: The social and cultural context of a drink

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Charles Curtis MW

• Founder of WineAlpha, a full-service wine consultancy
• Regular columnist for the Chinese version of La Revue du Vin de France
• Author of The Original Grand Crus of Burgundy
• Regular teacher and speaker at Master of Wine courses, numerous universities, and dozens of wine and food festivals

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Nick Blampied-Lane

• Head winemaker at Defined Wine in the UK
• Former winemaker for Dom Pérignon
• Former Director of Oenology Projects at Moët and Chandon
• Former winemaker at Veuve Clicquot
• Former winemaker at Cloudy Bay

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Gaylord Legras

  • 5th generation vintner in Chouilly, Côte des Blancs
  • Diploma in Wine Estate Management with a certification in hand-grafting
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Your Interview Host: Andrew Jefford

• Wine writer since 1988
• Author of   The New France, Whisky Island, Andrew Jefford's Wine Course
• Wine Scholar Guild Academic Advisor 
• Contributing Editor and columnist for   Decanter   and   World of Fine Wine
• Winner of eight Glenfiddich Awards and eight Roederer Awards

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Wine professionals, including sommeliers, food & beverage directors, servers, wine educators, distributor representatives, and importers, looking to enhance their expertise in Champagne's appellations, both sparkling and still. 
  • Enthusiasts of Champagne seeking a comprehensive education in viticulture, winemaking, history, and the unique people behind this renowned wine region. 
  • Individuals desiring the ability to confidently discuss and provide exceptional service and guidance about Champagne, encompassing both its regional and wine aspects. 

Have a different question? Feel free to contact us.

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Elevate your expertise.

Get a head start by registering today!

Online session starts
September 17