I´m a wine enthusiast. A physician and Healthcare Executive by trade. My passion for wine started 10 years ago when wine tourism turned into one of my favorite hobbies. Every year my wife and I travel to a different wine region so we can learn about its people, wine, and food culture. We try to understand how each DOP and IGPs´ soils, climate, geography, topography, viticulture, and winemaking techniques translate into different styles of quality wines.
We visited several DOPs and IGPs on France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, United States, Canada, Brazil (yes, we have ours too!), Chile and Argentina. From Tawse Winery on Niagara Peninsula DVA via Weingut Bernhard Huber on VDP Baden to Azienda Agricola Azelia di Luigi Scavino on Barolo DOCG.
In France we´ve been to Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Alsace, Champagne, Southwest France, Southern Rhône and Provence. From big names like Maison Ruinart on Champagne AOC to small producers like Domaine Vincent Lahaye on Pommard AOC. From “garagistes” such as Château Tertre Roteboeuf on Saint-Émilion Grand Cru AOC to Mas de La Dame on AOP Les Baux-de-Provence.
The COVID-19 pandemic opened the door to upgrade my wine studies. I was already a WSET 2 graduate. In 2021 I got my WSET 3 certification after a long wait for classes to resume. Then, I had to deepen my knowledge about France, Spain, and Italy. That´s why I chose the WSG programs.
Understanding France´s rich wine history, geography, climate, viticulture, winemaking techniques, wine styles, wine law, wine labels and different wine regions with their DOPs and IGPs was a priority. The FWS program boosted my wine knowledge and enhanced my previous wine studies. Being a FWS graduate will certainly help if I apply to the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines or the Sommelier Diploma Program.
After the FWS I enrolled in the Spanish Wine Scholar program with Brazilian provider Celebrare and graduated with highest honors in 2022. I´m already enrolled on Italian Wine Scholar program Unit 1 on 2023. My ensuing goal is to complete the Italian Wine Scholar program by the end of next year. I hope the GWS will be launched. It will probably be my next step. Then apply to WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines or the Sommelier Diploma Program.
Besides those programs I´m taking complementary wine classes in my hometown (e.g., viticulture and winemaking in Peru, Bolivia, and Uruguay). I´m also taking short online courses to upgrade my knowledge on Portuguese wines, Brazilian wines and extreme viticulture.
The program showed me that I knew so little about French wine. It gave me a chance to spread my wings and taste great wines from regions I did not value as I should such as Jura, Languedoc, Roussillon and Savoie. It also raised my bar on all French wine regions and galvanized my interest in learning even more about France´s viticulture and winemaking. Taking a WSG Master-Level program could be a great step in the next 2-3 years.
It enhanced my utmost respect for France´s viticulture and winemaking because it helped me comprehend the true value behind every French AOP/AOC and IGP wine. And most importantly FWS made me a wiser French wine consumer, gave me better skills to find wines that give the best value for my money and will enable me to get the most out of every future French wine event I attend (e.g., winery visits, tasting sessions, webinars etc.).
Albeit I´m focused on my Healthcare industry calling not only the FWS but all WSG programs could push me to pursuit a career as a wine educator or a wine travel concierge. I believe sharing knowledge is the best way to serve the wine community and inspire my ongoing improvement as a wine connoisseur.