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.
MODULE 1 - HISTORY & APPELLATIONS
Module 1 Introduction
1.1 | AVAs Defined
1.2 | Nested AVA vs. Sub AVA
1.3 | History of Napa Valley
Review & Quiz
MODULE 2 - NAPA VALLEY'S CLIMATE & TERROIR
Module 2 Introduction
2.1 | Climate
2.2 | Topography
Review & Quiz
MODULE 3 - GRAPE GROWING & WINEMAKING
Module 3 Introduction
3.1 | Viticulture
3.2 | Winemaking
Review & Quiz
MODULE 4 - KEY GRAPE VARIETIES
Module 4 Introduction
4.1 | White Grape Varieties
4.2 | Red Grape Varieties
Handout | Comparing the Grape Varieties
Review & Quiz
MODULE 5 - NAPA VALLEY AVAS
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)
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 Wine.com, 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.
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
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
Two years ago I was on a wine tour in Sonoma and Glen Ellen and I immediatley fell in love with Zinfandel. The California hospitaly and heart-warming vineyar...Read More
Two years ago I was on a wine tour in Sonoma and Glen Ellen and I immediatley fell in love with Zinfandel. The California hospitaly and heart-warming vineyars made me realize, I have to leave my office career behind and follow my passion for Napa Valley wines. I so much enjoyed your course! It is like you never want a module to get to an end. You are so much inspired to learn about AVAs, climate, geology amd the grapes. I enjoyed watching the videos with Peter Marks, MW, as well. And imagine! I got a job interview possibility in Europe for a California wine job after having completed your wine course. Thank you very much Napa Valley Wine Academy!Read Less