French Wine Society

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Instructor Study Abroad Program

The level of knowledge required to teach to trade is only achieved through in-depth, on-site study!


In order to provide higher education to our French Wine Scholar and Master-Level instructors, the French Wine Society has partnered with the various inter-professional regional wine associations of France to offer 3- to 5-day intensive study programs in each of the respective wine regions.

The goal of study abroad is to provide educators with information that goes well beyond material that can be found in books. Instructors that teach to trade will be challenged as they teach; they need to know how to answer the tough questions. Such a depth of knowledge can only be accrued by study en situ.


As a rule, there will be one trip per wine region per year with a maximum of 10-12 instructors attending each. To maximize an instructor’s educational opportunities and to minimize costs, the French Wine Society will attempt to coordinate these intensive training sessions so that one to four programs run back-to-back allowing a participant to visit multiple regions during one trip to France.



Costs, Time Commitment, Language of Instruction:

Each instructor will be expected to pay for his or her own round-trip airfare, an administrative fee of $200 per trip to France plus small ancillary expenses such as phone calls, airport shuttle, mini-bar usage, souvenirs etc. Lodging, most meals, intra-regional transportation and training will be provided at no cost. Most regional study programs last one business week (with travel on the Sunday prior and the Saturday after the course of study). All classes, tours and training exercises are held in English. (Note: If a lecture is given in French, a translator is provided for the group.)

Qualified Candidates:

All French Wine Scholar instructors qualify for the study abroad trips. Participants are chosen based on their serious intent to learn and by their desire to teach what they learn.

Trips are posted on the French Wine Society website as soon as travel dates are finalized and e-newsletters announcing the trips are sent to all professional French Wine Society members.


Course of Study:

The week will be academic in focus and in tone. It is highly suggested that each instructor spend some time in review before travel to France in order to maximize the learning experience abroad.

Each overseas curriculum will be a composite of classroom instruction, vineyard/site visits, tasting, winery tours and testing.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Soils/geology and the impact of both on the flavors in the glass
  • Climate/topography…idiosyncrasies and unique points of difference
  • Grapes…how they respond to different soils, and, if applicable, what they contribute to the blend
  • Wine Law
  • Winemaking traditions and innovations
  • Trends/controversies…what is cutting-edge?

Parcicipants will meet growers and producers and visit local landmarks. Tastings and field trips will support the theory discussed and meals will highlight regional specialties. Food and wine pairing affinities will be covered as well.

The goal of all study abroad programs is to immerse wine educators in the wine culture of the region and to supply them with historical anecdotes, local sayings and regional traditions that will add color, credibility and expertise to their teachings.

The week concludes with a written test and a blind tasting in order to validate mastery of the subject matter. Participants must pass the final exam in order to be licensed to teach the Master-Level of any given French wine region for the French Wine Society.tact us immediately upon receiving word.

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