Good Luck to Our Newest Class of California Wine Appellation Specialist Candidates!!


This past weekend, Dec 2nd - 4th, we dove into a concentrated three days of learning with a great group of enthusiastic students with our California Wine Appellation Specialist® Intensive program - one of our most beloved courses.  Students will be tested on the wealth of information they received in just a few weeks.  We wish them luck on their exam!



We covered the vast 138 American Viticultural Areas in 43 California Counties! Here are just some of the other topics discussed:

  • the legal parameters or lack thereof for estate bottling, organic and other sustainable terms, old vine, reserve & more
  • the smallest AVA in the USA in total size and several that are smaller in terms of planted acres
  • the county with the highest percentage of certified organic vineyards
  • the first single winery AVA & many that followed including a few with zero wineries
  • the first AVA defined by elevation and the many that followed
  • the only non-contiguous AVA
  • the origins of varietal labeling in California
  • how the heart of wine country moved from San Diego, Los Angeles and Santa Clara to Sonoma and Napa
  • the explosion of Paso Robles and its 11 districts and rapid growth in the Sierra Foothills, Santa Barbara and other parts of the state
  • the decline of Green Hungarian and Ruby Cabernet and subsequent rise of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon
  • agricultural preservation and water use issues
  • over a dozen pending AVAs

With 25 hours of learning and 66 wines tasted, it's hard not to come out of the weekend feeling like an expert on our state's diverse wine production and the factors that make California a top player in the global wine industry.

We were joined by four very special guests including:

Check out some photos of the weekend below, and join us for the next CWAS® Intensive coming March 24 - 26, or in the Fall Sept 22 - 24!



    Brian Mast and Jennifer Waits of Waits-Mast Family Cellars illuminate our group on their experience running a successful California Winery.



Festivities across the street at South San Francisco City Hall as we learned and tasted our way through the weekend!


Special Guest Ian Blue, Membership Director for The Wine Institute talking to CWAS intensive Students about sustainability, state water issues, new regulations and much more.


By Alex Pace | |
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San Francisco Wine School strives to open up the world of wine to serious students and enthusiasts everywhere while helping people of all levels break into the wine industry, advance their career, or simply pursue their passions. Founded by Master Sommelier and Certified Wine Educator David Glancy, San Francisco Wine School is the largest wine school in the U.S., offering the most thoughtful approach to wine study. Their inspired educational programs and workshops are taught in their state of the art wine education & events center and their cutting edge virtual classroom by industry-leading instructors from all major educational disciplines. San Francisco Wine School’s curriculum features the best content in the business: expert course materials, carefully conceived wine flights, and in-depth blind tasting exercises designed to engage students, illuminate course content and enhance learning. Their brand new sunlight-filled wine education & events center is conveniently located just 5 minutes from San Francisco International Airport and boasts 16-ft high coved ceilings, eight 12-ft tall arched windows, and gorgeous 180 degree views of the San Bruno Mountains, South San Francisco City Hall and the San Francisco Bay, making it the perfect place to enjoy classes, industry seminars and tastings and host a wide variety of private events—from serious educational programs for wine/hospitality industry staff to team-building and other fun, social, private events for wine enthusiasts.

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