Champagne Masters Immersion in Reims

Delve into the Champagne region's unique geology and topography with hands-on tasting and travel experience, mastering its captivating terrain.

Apr 7 - 12, 2024

fas fa-suitcase-rolling

5 days

fas fa-walking

Led by Essi Avellan MW & Peter Liem

far fa-credit-card

Sold Out

Program Overview

Building upon the Champagne Masters, the most in-depth certification program on Champagne wines, this is an amazing opportunity to supplement your learning and to gain hands-on tasting experience and insight in the region itself.

This in-person session will be taking place from April 7 to April 12, 2024 in Reims, the region’s wine hub.

This 5-day, intensive classroom, field trip and tasting experience will be taught by Champagne wine experts and instructors of the WSG Champagne Masters program, Essi Avellan MW and Peter Liem. 

Join us for 5 days of complete immersion with structured, in-depth lectures and field trips covering aspects of Champagne wine production, terroirs, houses and growers. This is completed with extensive tutored tastings of top-quality wines including some of the region’s iconic houses and producers.

The course curriculum for this in-person experience has been specially developed to build upon the existing WSG Champagne Masters course materials. It will provide participants a deeper dive into topics covered and, notably, give the opportunity to taste many wines and experience the vineyards and winemaking first-hand. 

This experience is open to new, current or past students of the Champagne Masters certification.


What's Included

Immerse yourself in this bubbly region with two of the world's leading experts. Enjoy a balance of classroom instruction, tutored tasting and field trips. 

Registration in Wine Scholar Guild Champagne Masters program*

Welcome dinner the evening before class starts

Three days of classroom instruction with extensive tutored tastings

Two full-day field trips with stops in Reims, the Montagne de Reims, the Côte des Blancs, or the Vallée de la Marne

Lunch on both field-trip days

Finale dinner at a restaurant in Reims

A fine selection of champagne during the included meals

Individually-proctored online exam, to be taken up to one year from date of final payment (exam is not offered during the course week in Reims)

Access to the full Champagne Masters program will be granted once full payment has been received (120 days before departure). Students have access to the online classroom and Champagne Masters course materials for one year from that date and have one year take the exam. Deduct $300 from total price if previously or currently enrolled in the Champagne Masters program.

See what's not included

Itinerary & Pricing

Join the waitlist!

Enter your name and email to receive an email if a seat becomes available.

About Your Instructors


Essi Avellan MW

Your Wine Instructor

  • Author of Essi Avellan's Champagne
  • Co-author of the 4th edition of Christie’s World Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine with Tom Stevenson
  • Chair of Decanter World Wine Awards Champagne panel
  • Knighted as Chevalier l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole by the French Minister of Agriculture

Peter Liem

Your Wine Instructor

• Author of the award-winning book Champagne
• Author of, 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

Who is the program for?

Committed students of wine with a strong background in viticulture and winemaking and a good familiarity with Champagne. As the course materials have been specifically designed to be supplementary to the existing online Champagne Masters certificate program, this gives graduates of the program, current students, or new students, the ability to gain additional insight into Champagne. This experience is open to new, existing or past students of the program. 

Location / Venue:

The classroom days of this immersion into the wines of Champagne will take place in the comfortable and well-equipped Hotel de la Paix. This venue is located in the very center of Reims, close to hotels, shops, restaurants, and other sites of interest. Its modern facilities make it the ideal base of operations for this exciting course.

About the wines tasted:

With their access to many great houses, your instructors have selected wines to be tasted that represent a broad cross-section of different terroirs, winemaking philosophies, and styles. You will taste approximately 15 wines each day in the classroom as well as many more during your scheduled field trip days and during the included meals.


Program Schedule

April 7-2024 in Reims, the region's wine capital.


Morning (9:00am - 12:30pm)

Afternoon (1:30pm - 5:00pm)
Sun April 7, 2024

Students should arrive in Reims no later than 6pm

Welcome aperitif-dinner in Reims

Mon April 8, 2024


  • Winemaking process
  • Winemaking variables that impact quality
  • Sur lie aging
  • Aging: Dosage and Maillard reactions
  • Champagne tasting: concepts and lexicon

Free time over lunch break 


  • Impact of grape varieties
  • Malolactic fermentation 
  • Fermentation and aging vessels
  • Oxidative vs. reductive winemaking
  • Reserve wine programs
  • Dosage

Tue April 9, 2024


Champagne house visit

Included restaurant meal


Champagne house visit and vineyard tour

Wed April 10, 2024
  • Recap: Lessons learned on field trip
  • The evolution of NV to multi-vintage
  • Mapping Champagne house styles
  • Blind tasting

Free time over lunch break


  • Climate and climate change
  • Geology, topography, soils 
  • Viticultural practices
  • Champagne terroirs: deep dive part 1
  • Tasting

Thu April 11, 2024


Grower visit(s) and vineyard tours

Included restaurant meal


Grower visit(s) and vineyard tours

Farewell dinner in Reims

Fri April 12, 2024 

  • Recap: Lessons learned on field trip
  • Climate and climate change
  • Tasting
  • Relevance of the Echelle des Crus today
  • Terroir and the single village
  • Terroir and the single parcel

Free time over lunch break

  • The rise of still champagne
  • Tasting: non-sparkling champagnes
  • Champagne terroirs: deep dive part 2

Students are free to book their departure travel for after 5:30pm or stay in Reims if they wish

About the Champagne Masters Program

The five-day in-person experience in Champagne was designed to add supplementary material to WSG's Champagne Masters program, the most in-depth certificate program on the wines of Champagne. Led by champagne wine experts, this completely revised and updated program will take you deep into an exquisite landscape and an extraordinary winemaking process… all the while tapping into the spirit and mindset of those who found a way to capture the bubble in the bottle.

Study Outcomes

Master the complex and fascinating Champagne region including its geology, topography, and soils

Understand and experience first-hand the winemaking variables that impact quality

Get the inside track on up and coming champagne growers as well as developments from top maisons

Stay current on the evolutions in viticulture, winemaking, and the factors that affect house styles

Gain a deeper understanding of concepts such as malolactic fermentation, aging vessels, oxidative vs. reductive winemaking, dosage, and how they impact the end result

Taste through around 15 carefully chosen champagnes each day during classroom, plus many more wines during fields trips and included meals

Perfect your tasting skills, including blind tasting

Meet fellow committed students of wine and lovers of champagne

Visit top houses and smaller growers and learn directly from those crafting the wines

Experience first-hand some of the top Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards and understand what factors lead to the production of these outstanding wines

Frequently Asked Questions

  • You’ll learn so much more than you would on your own! Internationally renowned instructors are with you at all times throughout the week, giving fascinating information, making sure you understand the nuances and subtleties of the region and its wines, and responding to all of your questions. 
  • You will have amazing tastings in the classroom and get access to estates you would not be able to visit on your own.  We have the highest-level contacts in each region. You’ll also get to taste fascinating wines at each estate, and you’ll be welcomed as an honored guest. 
  • Your instructor has worked in the region for many years. This has allowed them to cultivate extensive experience and contacts within the region. You’ll get expert information about the wine business there, and an insider’s take on local culture.
  • The immersive experience makes the most of the limited time you have in the wine region and ensures that you get a thorough overview of the region and its wines. 
  • You get the camaraderie and pleasure of exploring the wine region with other like-minded people who are as passionate about wine as you are. 
  • Your instructor will translate for the group at all times, so you will have no communication issues, as many winemakers have limited English. 
Preparing for the trip

Please ask the instructor if there is enough time at the end of the visit for you to make your purchase without impeding the progress and timing of the trip.  It is rare that estates offer international shipping.    

If you would like to purchase wine, we recommend that you ask your government’s customs office for their rules and regulations if you intend to bring wine back into your country, or have wine shipped to you.  

You always have the option of bringing wine home with you in your checked luggage. A specialized wine suitcase is perfect for this. Depending on your home country, this amount will vary. You may have to pay some amount of duty on your wine when you go through customs. Therefore, it's best to check with your local authorities for further information.  


For Masters Program Immersion:  these experiences typically include a welcome dinner, a farewell dinner as well as one or two lunches during your field trip days. These meals will be paired with selected local wines. The rest of the meals are at your expense. WSG and/or the instructor will provide a list of some dining options for you to consult. 

Instructors & Course Assitants

Our trip instructors are among the most renowned and respected wine professionals in the wine business. They are also professional wine educators who are absolutely passionate about the region and its wines.  

You can see a full biography of the instructor for each trip on the corresponding page, so you can know exactly with whom you'll be touring and learning.  Most are native English speakers (American or British), and all other instructors speak English fluently. Our instructors have that special combination of high-level wine expertise, personal warmth, friendliness, and excellent leadership skills. They'll accompany you every day, throughout the trip, and will be able to answer all of your questions about the wines of the region you’ll be visiting (and about wine in general).  

Booking a trip

Yes, we strongly encourage you to purchase a very comprehensive travel insurance package once you have paid your deposit for a Study Trip.  Note that many plans require you to purchase the insurance very soon after your deposit payment (some require it within 14 days).  

There are any number of things that can happen that can cause cancellation or interruption of package travel, and travel insurance can help cover the costs you incur as a result.  You can find travel insurers easily and there are sites where you can compare policies (for example, Insure My Trip).  

Be sure to read policies very carefully before you purchase.  Include your airfare, train fare, and any other expenses you will have in addition to the price of the study trip itself.  We highly recommend getting a “cancel for any reason” policy, which offers the best coverage. Travel experts say “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel,” so don’t skimp on this important coverage!

Have a different question? Feel free to contact us.

See Our Other Destinations

Our industry-recognized educational wine tours offer intensive, professional-level education within wine regions of France, Italy, Spain and beyond. Led by prominent wine professionals and journalists, our itineraries and curricula provide a backstage pass to the most celebrated wine regions.

2024 Educational Wine Tours Destinations & Dates


Apr 7 - 12, 2024


May 5 - 10, 2024


May 12 - May 17, 2024


May 12 - 17, 2024


May 26 - 31, 2024


May 28 - June 01, 2024


Jun 02 - 07, 2024

Rhône Valley

Jun 16 - 21, 2024


Oct 13 - 18, 2024


Oct 20 - 25, 2024


Nov 5-9, 2024

2024 Masters Immersion Destinations & Dates

Expand your horizons with wine travel.

Know when seats become available.