Napa Valley Wine Expert

with Master of Wine Peter Marks

Napa Valley Wine Expert is the first and only certification course focusing on the wine region of Napa Valley. The course is an ideal way to master the wines and wine regions of Napa Valley and to earn your NVWE postnominal and certification.  

Designed for students of wine and anyone working in the wine industry who deals with the wines of Napa Valley who wants to have a deeper knowledge of Napa Valley wines, AVAs, history, geology, climate, and producers. 

This course is the most comprehensive wine study program on the Napa Valley and will give you the confidence to communicate with more authority about Napa Valley. This course is considered critical to the success of any wine professional and serious wine student. 

Please note your course starts immediately upon enrollment and you will have 6-months of course access.

Check out the outline below for an overview of the course curriculum.


    Instructor Bio

    Welcome Video


    Module 1 Introduction

    1.1 | AVAs Defined

    1.2 | Nested AVA vs. Sub AVA

    1.3 | History of Napa Valley

    Review & Quiz


    Module 2 Introduction

    2.1 | Climate

    2.2 | Topography

    Review & Quiz


    Module 3 Introduction

    3.1 | Viticulture

    3.2 | Winemaking

    Review & Quiz


    Module 4 Introduction

    4.1 | White Grape Varieties

    4.2 | Red Grape Varieties

    Handout | Comparing the Grape Varieties

    Review & Quiz


    Module 5 Introduction

    5.1 | Mountain AVAs

    5.2 | Valley AVAs

    5.3 | The Non-AVA

    Handout | Comparing the AVAs

    Review & Quiz



    Final Assessment (Certification Exam)

Why you will LOVE taking this online certification class!

Receiving recognition is a pivotal moment for you. Once you have successfully passed the exam we will send you your certificate and badges.

  • Digital Certificate

    Our digital certificate and badges are designed so you can share your achievement with a single click. You can share to 100+ social media platforms, and it's easy to add your achievement to LinkedIn.

  • Share Your Success

    Any digital certificates can easily be saved as a PDF with all of your certificate information in place. You can print your achievement and hang it on your wall if you really miss having a traditional paper certificate.

  • Build Your Reputation

    You can even embed your digital certificates and badges into your email signatures or website to share your achievements with their colleagues and clients.

Your certification your way

you control where, when, and how to share your success

Each certificate is protected by blockchain, meaning that you are protected from anyone fraudulently copying your certificate and entering their name. After all, you worked hard for it!
Get Started Now
Your certification your way

About the Instructor

It's always nice to know a little about your guide so here's some information about me and my work experience, which I will share with you through the content delivered in this course. 

I'm proud to say that I'm one of only 52 Masters of Wine residing in the United States. The prestigious Master of Wine (MW) title is bestowed by the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) in London.  The IMW promotes the highest level of educational achievement for the wine industry, which I received in 1995 when I became the 10th American to pass.  That year, I also became the first American to receive the Madame Bollinger Foundation Award, which is bestowed annually to the MW candidate with the highest blind tasting score.  

Previously I served as the Vice President of Wine Education for Constellation Brands, where I oversaw education programs and content development for Constellation Academy. Before joining Constellation Wines, I was the Senior Vice President of Wine at COPIA:  The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts in Napa. I was responsible for all wine sales and education programs. Previous to working at COPIA I was the Chief Wine Merchant at, a wine Internet retailer serving more than 40 states. 15 years prior to that, I was Director of Wine for the upscale Draeger’s Supermarkets located in Northern California.  

I graduated from the University of California at Davis, in 1976, with a B.S. degree in Food Service Management, with highest honors.  I attended a number of enology and viticulture classes that piqued my interest in the subject of wine and complemented my desire to work in the food service field.  I held positions as a chef and restaurant manager, upon graduation, until I entered the retail wine trade in 1981.  

I am on the Education and Exam Board of the Institute of Masters of Wine, where I serve as the Panel Chair of the Practical (Tasting) Exam for the Institute of Masters of Wine and judge many international wine competitions. I am also a member of the Society of Wine Educators, and I teach wine classes independently and assist with many charitable fundraisers throughout the year.  


  • Is there a book with the course?

    No, the course is entirely online, so students should take notes during the course if they want hard-copy study materials.

  • Is there any wine tasting involved?

    Tasting the wines of Napa Valley during the course is a great way to get the full measure of the course material, but it is not required. There is no tasting component to the final exam.

  • What is the final exam like and what do I get if I pass?

    At the end of the Napa Valley Wine Expert course, there is an optional final exam. The exam is taken online at your convenience. There is no additional cost for this exam. The test is 50 questions long, with a variety of question types. A practice exam is available after the last lesson to help prepare for the actual exam. Students who pass the exam will earn the NVWE certificate and the right to use the NVWE postnominal. Most importantly, after completing the Napa Valley Wine Expert, you will have a comprehensive understanding of Napa Valley’s AVAs, grape varieties, history, and terroir. Armed with this information, you will be able to confidently communicate, sell, teach, and buy Napa Valley Wines.

  • How does this course complement other wine courses?

    For anyone pursuing an extended program of wine studies, Napa Valley Wine Expert is a great way to deepen your knowledge on the wine region fo Napa Valley. Situations vary depending on each individual’s background and goals, but we would generally recommend that those following the Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS) program take Napa Valley Wine Expert between the certified and advanced levels, those working through the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) program take it after levels 3, and those in the Society of Wine Educators (SWE) program take it after doing the CSW.


  • Learned so much!

    Tom Schneider

    The rich history and details provided in the Napa Valley Wine Expert course were amazing! It was like curling up with the best book ever about wine and Napa ...

    Read More

    The rich history and details provided in the Napa Valley Wine Expert course were amazing! It was like curling up with the best book ever about wine and Napa Valley. The layout of the material, as well as, the content gave me a feeling of really getting to know the region from a perspective I would not have had otherwise. The chapter and mock exams fully prepare you to understand your level of knowledge acquired from the course.

    Read Less
  • Great resource! Fun too!

    Geoffrey Geiger

    An approachable way to delve into the intricacies of Napa wine. Can seem overwhelming at first due to the amount of information, but taking notes and reviewi...

    Read More

    An approachable way to delve into the intricacies of Napa wine. Can seem overwhelming at first due to the amount of information, but taking notes and reviewing constantly is key. Helped me gain a better appreciation for Napa! Would loved to have seen more visuals like wine labels, but overall a fantastic course.

    Read Less