Congratulations to Alessandro Ago, FWS, for achieving highest honors in the French Wine Scholar exam with The Wine House, Los Angeles.
I’m a life-long wine enthusiast, having spent many years travelling back and forth between Italy and the US as a dual citizen with family rooted in both countries. With Montalcino and Los Olivos close to home in my respective countries, I’ve been lucky to have easy access to incredible vineyards and wineries for many years. Recently, I’ve taken advantage of new online learning programs to deepen my wine knowledge to areas beyond Tuscany and California, and the Wine Scholar Guild has been an incredible resource for education, discovery, and community. I don’t know if there’s a career in wine waiting at the end of this journey, but I’m grateful for the opportunities that the WSG provides to learn from so many accomplished winemakers and scholars.
I passed the FWS, SWS, CSWS, and IWS Prep courses all with Highest Honors, and WSET L2 with Distinction. I’m currently working on the WSG Master Level Courses on the Loire Valley, Bourgogne, and Champagne, am enrolled in a WSET L3 program this summer, and am prepping to take the CWS Exam by the end of the year. The FWS opened up a whole new world of wine knowledge and appreciation for me, and greatly helped to demystify the complexities of French wine culture, leading me to enroll in the Master Level programs, and inevitably shaping many future vacations to France!
The ability to recognize and understand the many regional characteristics of French AOCs and their wines is like having the Rosetta Stone when browsing a complex wine menu or the many boutique wine shops in California. The FWS program has unlocked so many exciting wine regions and wine styles for me, and the variety and adventurousness that now defines my wine choices has brought great joy to both me and my wine-loving friends. I now feel like I have the foundation to understand the complex relationships between grapes and terroir, climate and wine styles, vinification practices and challenges, and the unique variables that define vintages, blends, and the philosophies of viticulture and enology. Armed with this foundation, I feel that I can tackle all future wine studies with confidence and excitement.