San Francisco Wine School and Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits Unite for Corporate Education

San Francisco Wine School and Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits Unite for Corporate Education

South San Francisco, California (Jan 18, 2017) Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, the leading wine and spirits distributor in the US, has chosen the San Francisco Wine School to be an external education provider in California, with the first training program yielding record-breaking results. This past spring, twenty-two of the company’s highest level sales professionals gathered at the San Francisco Wine School for their proprietary California Wine Appellation Specialist® Program. This program included 24 hours of instruction on the history, climate, soils, grape varieties and notable producers of California plus a sampling of over 60 representative wines. This was followed by the challenging California Wine Appellation Specialist® credential exam.  

Southern Glazer’s (SG) of California is investing heavily in staff education.   “Wine consumers are more knowledgeable than ever and we want our wine sales specialists to be the most knowledgeable in the business to help our customers deliver unique and enticing wine programs for the new generation of wine consumer” says Eric Entrikin MS, SG of California’s Director of Wine Education. “There is no other curriculum available that is comparable to the CWAS®.”

To customize the learning experience for the company, San Francisco Wine School used mostly wines from Southern Glazer’s own collection, but added a few surprises here and there to emphasize unique attributes of various areas. “Using wine from our own portfolio to illustrate the learning objectives was a great way for our staff to better experience and understand our portfolio – many of the samples became newly-discovered gems. The training gave perspective to why some of the wines were similar or different from the same varietal grown elsewhere and provided strong selling points and new ideas for enhancing our California offerings in the future,” says Entrikin.

This class of California Wine Appellation Specialists® was the most successful to date, with a pass rate of more than 95% and more than three quarters of this group earning the credential with honors. “Our usual pass rate is approximately 75%, so this is remarkable – even from experienced professionals” says David Glancy. “This group was engaged right from the start, clearly enjoying the expanse of material and genuinely eager to learn.”

California Wine Appellation Specialist® was conceived and written by San Francisco Wine School Founder, Master Sommelier David Glancy, in 2012.   It is the first and only in-depth professional credential dedicated to California wine. Recognized by Wine Institute and grower associations throughout the state, this one-of-a-kind program offers students a comprehensive, up-to-date, formal education on all of the California wine regions, featuring material that is literally impossible to find from other resources. The curriculum is constantly updated to reflect changes in the labeling, laws, and methods employed in the vast state of California.

This is like taking a road trip through all the California wine regions, but without the car. You will have excellent tour guides, come away with a much better understanding of wine country throughout the state, and taste some stellar wines along the way. So hang on to your wine glasses and enjoy the ride!

       - Mary Lindsay, Viticulture Association of the Santa Cruz Mountains

Students taste over 60 wines throughout the program, carefully selected by Glancy to represent each of the American Viticultural Areas of California. San Francisco Wine School offers CWAS® in Weekly, Online, and Intensive formats and has taught this curriculum in cities across the country.

San Francisco Wine School offers private wine educational programs and seminars on location, at their Wine Education & Events Center, or online. Training can be highly specialized based on client needs and specific areas of focus. Content and format are customized on a case-by-case basis, making material and learning objectives relevant to clients’ needs.

Other partnerships include Wente Vineyards, Hall Wines, Goose Island Beer Company, Steven Kent Winery, Whole Foods Market, and Cakebread Cellars.

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. For a complete list of programs available see

Alexandra Pace


Reading next

Wilbert Herrera | San Fancisco Wine School
Student Spotlight:  Getting to Know Alison Louis dit Alleaume