The French Wine Scholar program is an official course of study designed for wine trade. It is endorsed by Wines of France/French National Wine Office and is taught by licensed French Wine Scholar Instructors.
Each program provider divides the course of study differently. Some offer four intensive days of lecture presenting one seminar in the morning and one in the afternoon, while others offer a run of eight evening classes; some do both.
What remains consistant is the programing. Each seminar follows the content outlined below in the individual session abstracts. This content will be the same regardless of whether you study in California or Calgary. Teaching materials are likewise uniform wherever the program is offered.
The French Wine Scholar curriculum!
Alsace: Although this wine region only consists of three AOCs, the diversity of soil types, grape varieties and wine styles makes for a complicated sensory landscape. Do you know the difference between Klevner and Klevener? The relationship between Pinot Gris, Tokay and Furmint? Can you explain the difference between a Vendanges Tardives and a Sélection de Grains Nobles? This class takes Alsace beyond the basics.
Beaujolais: Discover the multi-faceted nature of Beaujolais as expressed through its different soil types and vinification techniques. Learn how carbonic maceration and traditional fermentation changes the flavors in the glass. Find out how varying trace elements in the granitic soils of the Crus Beaujolais create wines of different character and age-ability. Beaujolais may be a light-hearted quaff, but the subject is far from simple.
Champagne: The champagne process was an evolutionary one not a revolutionary one. Find out how the method developed from an inexpert and uncontrolled phenomenon to the precise and polished process of today. Learn why Champagne is unique among the world’s sparkling wine producing regions and why it has become the world-class luxury good that it is.
Loire Valley: Did you know that the Sauvignon Blanc vineyards of Menetou-Salon, Reuilly, and Quincy are all grown on Kimmeridgean marl? That one of the longest-lived white wines in the world is Savennières? Are you familiar with Breton, Côt and Pineau d’Aunis? It’s time to explore a wine culture as long and wide as the river itself. There are over 5 dozen AOCs that flank the banks of the Loire. Learn about the undiscovered treasures of this region and explore its diversity of grape varieties and wine styles.
Burgundy: In Burgundy, an ancient and fractured geology delivers wines of distinction and distinctiveness. Learn how soil, topography and climate create enough variability to craft 101 different AOCs within this region’s borders! Discover the history and historic precedent behind such subtle and nuanced fractionalization.
Bordeaux: Study Bordeaux from the ground up. Here, wine styles are predicated by a combination of soil, grape and the hand of man. Explore Bordeaux’s distinctive terroirs in order to better understand the nature of the blend, then discover how and why the blend has changed over the past 150 years.
Southern France: Although Provence, Languedoc, Roussillon, Corsica and Southwest France are often discussed together, they are distinctive regions with distinctive personalities. Did you know that Provence is the oldest wine region in France? Did you know that 90% of France’s vins doux naturels hail from Roussillon? Did you know that France’s first and oldest sparkling wine was produced in the Languedoc? Certainly, Southwest France is under-appreciated, under-marketed and under-valued. Although these vineyards pre-date the vineyards of Bordeaux they have long languished in obscurity. Find out why. Corsica is home to grapes that sound more Italian than French. And there’s a reason for this. This vinous trek will take you through some charted, but often unexplored territory.
Rhône Valley: The Rhône River serves as the gravitational axis around which its two halves revolve; the northern half clings tightly, the southern half expands outward and experiences less pull to the riverbanks. These two different wine cultures possess distinctive soils and topographies and they craft vastly disparate wines with unique personalities. It’s one region, but two brave new worlds. Explore them both.
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