California Wine Appellation Specialist Program (CWAS®) – ONLINE

Enrollment Now Open!


Interact with other wine professionals from around the world as you study the nuances of California wine with our industry leading instructors.

Our exclusive online California Wine Appellation Specialist® is a first-of-its-kind program that offers a comprehensive series of courses featuring the unique wines and wine regions of California and certification. Never before has there been an interactive, online wine program with virtual classes focused solely on all the California wine regions. This online wine education program exposes students to exclusive California wine landscapes and features important topics critical to the success of today’s wine professionals.

The online program focuses on identification and interpretation of USA and California wine laws, identification and critique regarding the importance of American Viticultural Areas (AVA), a detailed investigation, review and assessment of California production, as well as the exploration and examination of varied climates, soils, grapes, and wineries of each region that make it distinctive to the California wine landscape.

The CWAS® online wine education program is divided into 8 significant and distinctive courses, covering detailed and critical information on the wine appellations of California. The online classroom includes various presentations, web-based tutorials, video lectures, weekly assignments, interactive online discussions with the instructor and classmates, and course assessments.

Earning this credential will set you apart in the increasingly competitive wine industry labor market and help you guide your customers through the complex and rapidly changing California wine scene.

Note: Program participation includes tasting, or having access to, up to 16 California wines.  Wines may vary dependent upon selection, location, and availability.  Purchases by the glass or half bottle are recommended when available.  Local tasting groups are encouraged!  Read the Wine Requirements.

All Attendees of our classes must be at least 21 years of age.


Register Now

Start/End Date:

  • Orientation opens Mar 30th
  • Class runs Apr 6th-May 31st
  • Exam runs Jun 1st – 7th
  • There are no set hours & times. Work at your own pace within each week.
David Glancy, MS, CWE


  • Full Program: $995 or 5 bi-weekly installment payments of $210 each
  • Tuition due at registration.  Credit / Debit Cards, PayPal, and Checks accepted.
  • Bring a Friend & Save!  Take this program with a friend and you each receive $100 off your tuition!  See registration form for more details.

Online Program Details

Wine Requirements

Frequently Asked Questions


Phone: 415.644.8461

Program Syllabus – see details below:

Week 1: Wine Law and Mendocino County
Week 2: Napa Valley Rocks
Week 3: Lake County & The Sierra
Week 4: Sonoma County
Week 5: Santa Cruz, SF Bay & Delta
Week 6: Monterey & San Benito
Week 7: Paso Robles & Rest of SLO
Week 8: Santa Barbara & Beyond
Week 9: CWAS Credential Exam


There are 9 consecutive courses and each course is one week in length.  While you can study and participate at your own convenience, within each week there will be activities that have due dates. Each course within the program will end Sunday night @11:59 pm PST.

CA 01 Laws and Mendocino County
This online wine education course exposes students to the fundamental concepts regarding USA/California Law and the diverse appellations of Mendocino County.
 Week 1Watch preview
CA 02 Napa Valley Rocks!
This online Napa Valley Rocks wine course provides students with an in-depth exploration of the world-famous Napa Valley, its amazing geography, history, climate, and significance within the world of wine.
 Week 2Watch preview
CA 03 Lake County & The Sierra
Lake County and The Sierra is an online wine education course that acquaints students with the distinctive Lake County region from the high altitude vineyards above one of America’s oldest geothermal lake to the first single winery AVA.
 Week 3Watch preview
CA 04 Sonoma County
Sonoma County will never accept second place to Napa. We explore the amazing diversity of Napa’s neighbor toward the coast. This dynamic online course will provide students with the background necessary to understand its distinction and reputation in the wine market.
 Week 4Watch preview
CA 05 Santa Cruz, SF Bay & The Delta
Do not underestimate the importance of these appellations! Learn online about the first elevation based AVA, the source of most California Chardonnay vines and places in between. This online course will help you gain perspective on one of the most unique and natural environments in the world.
 Week 5Watch preview
CA 06 Monterey & San Benito
Home to the Big Sur’s rugged and distinct coastline, the quaint village of Carmel, and Pebble Beach golf courses, understanding this wine region is a must! In this online wine education course, you will learn about Monterey’s Thermal Rainbow, the Santa Lucia Highlands, other AVAs.
 Week 6Watch preview
CA 07 Paso Robles & the Rest of San Luis Obispo
This region is essential to your professional knowledge and wine education as it is by far the fastest growing region in California, gaining attention for its Zinfandels, Rhone style wines and more. Learn the fundamentals online including: primary grapes, climate, the 11 pending AVAs within Paso Robles, and characteristics and contrasts of Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande.
 Week 7Watch preview
CA 08 Santa Barbara & Beyond
The last course in the program presents a dynamic overview of this exceptional region that produces of some of the most desired wines of the world. Proximity to the Pacific Ocean, ideal microclimates, and long growing season make a great combination.
 Week 8Watch preview
CA 09 CWAS® Credential Exam
The CWAS® Credential Exam is a chance to test your knowledge of the wines, regions and laws of California on the CWAS® exam.  The CWAS® credential will be awarded to those that pass the rigorous exam at the end of the series with a score of 80% or higher.
 Week 9

Comments are closed.