Wine tasting is a critical element of California Wine Appellation Specialist® Online. Students are required to taste and report on two wines per week. This means students must have access to at least California wines to participate in the program. Students may source wines each week or all at once before the start of the program.

Purchases by the glass or half bottle are recommended when available. Tasting groups are encouraged so students can pool resources to taste the same number of wines for less money.  Full-bottle purchases could cost up to $400 in total.  This total is based on an assumed average of $25 per bottle. You may be able to find some wines at closer to $10 a bottle but some regions covered will average more. 

While all students won't be able to taste the same exact wines each week, it's important for your selections to be closely related to the weekly lecture and discussion topic to maximize your learning experience. Therefore, you will have to find and taste 2 different wines labeled with an origin or AVA outlined below for each weekly learning module.

All wines are legally required to have the origin of the grapes on the label, whether that be the country, state, county, or American Viticultural Area (AVA). For purposes of this class, we encourage you to find wines from specific locations within larger wine regions. However, these wines can be more difficult to find, so we've provided less specific locations that are appropriate alternatives.

A great resource to find specific bottles of wine available for purchase near you is www.wine-searcher.com

 

Module 1 – Mendocino

Students will be required to taste and report on two wines from different origins within Mendocino as outlined below.

Preferred Labeling: Anderson Valley, Cole Ranch, Covelo, Dos Rios, McDowell Valley, Mendocino, Mendocino Ridge, Potter Valley, Redwood Valley, Yorkville Highlands, Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak or Eagle Peak

Alternative Labeling: Mendocino County, North Coast AVA or California (with portion of grapes from Mendocino)

http://wine.appellationamerica.com/wine-region/Mendocino-County.html


Module 2 – Napa

Students will be required to taste and report on two wines from different origins within Napa as outlined below. One selection should be the same grape or similar blend as one of your wines from last week's Mendocino tasting assignment and the other should be also be varietally labeled as Cabernet Sauvignon or a Cabernet dominant blend.

Preferred Labeling: Atlas Peak, Calistoga, Carneros, Chiles Valley, Coombsville, Diamond Mountain, Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, Oakville, Oak Knoll, Rutherford, Spring Mountain, St. Helena, Stag’s Leap, Wild Horse or Yountville

Alternative Labeling: Napa County, North Coast AVA or California (with portion of grapes from Napa) http://wine.appellationamerica.com/search.aspx?search=napa


Module 3 – Lake County & the Sierra

Students will be required to taste and report on one wine from within Lake County and one one from within Sierra Foothills, as outlined below.

Preferred Labeling for Lake County: Benmore, Clear Lake, Guenoc, High Valley, Red Hills, Big Valley or Kelsey Bench

Alternate Labeling for Lake County: Lake County, North Coast AVA or California (with portion of grapes from Lake)

http://wine.appellationamerica.com/wine-region/Lake-County.html

Preferred Labeling for Sierra Foothills: Fair Play, Fiddletown, Shenandoah Valley, North Yuba, El Dorado AVA

Alternate Labeling for Sierra Foothills: Sierra Foothills AVA, El Dorado County, Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer, Tuolumne or Yuba county, or California (with portion of grapes from the Sierra)

http://wine.appellationamerica.com/wine-region/Sierra-Foothills.html


Module 4 – Sonoma

Students will be required to taste and report on two wines from different origins within Sonoma as outlined below. 


Preferred Labeling: Alexander Valley, Bennett Valley, Carneros, Chalk Hill, Dry Creek, Fort Ross-Seaview, Green Valley, Knights Valley, Northern Sonoma, Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak, Rockpile, Russian River, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma Valley or Moon Mountain

Alternative Labeling: Sonoma County, North Coast AVA or California (with portion of grapes from Sonoma) http://wine.appellationamerica.com/wine-region/Sonoma-County.html


Module 5 – SF Bay, Santa Cruz & the Delta

Students will be required to taste and report on two wines from different origins as outlined below.

Preferred Labeling: San Francisco Bay AVA, Livermore Valley AVA, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo or Santa Cruz County, Santa Cruz Mountains AVA, Ben Lomond AVA, Santa Clara Valley AVA, Clarksburg AVA or Lodi AVA (& its sub-AVAs).

Alternative Labeling: Central Coast AVA or California (with portion of grapes from San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz, the Delta or Central Valley)

http://wine.appellationamerica.com/wine-region/San-Francisco-Bay.html http://wine.appellationamerica.com/wine-region/Santa-Cruz-Mountains.html http://wine.appellationamerica.com/search.aspx?search=lodi


Module 6 – Monterey & San Benito

Students will be required to taste and report on two wines from different origins as outlined below.

Preferred Labeling: San Benito, Cienega Valley, Lime Kiln Valley, Paicines, Mount Harlan, Pacheco Pass, Chalone, Arroyo Seco, Carmel Valley, Hames Valley, Monterey, San Antonio Valley, San Bernabe, San Lucas, Santa Lucia Highlands

Alternative Labeling: Monterey County, San Benito County, Central Coast AVA or California (with portion of grapes from Monterey or San Benito)

http://wine.appellationamerica.com/wine-region/San-Benito-County.html http://wine.appellationamerica.com/wine-region/Monterey-County.html


Module 7 – Paso Robles & the Rest of San Luis Obispo

Students will be required to taste and report on two wines from different origins as outlined below

Preferred Labeling: Paso Robles (& it’s sub-AVAs), York Mountain, Edna Valley or Arroyo Grande

Alternative Labeling: San Luis Obsipo County, Central Coast AVA or California (with portion of grapes from San Luis Obispo)

http://wine.appellationamerica.com/wine-region/San-Luis-Obispo-County.html


Module 8 – Santa Barbara & Beyond

Students will be required to taste and report on two wines from different origins as outlined below.

Preferred Labeling: Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, Sta. Rita Hills, Happy Canyon or Ballard Canyon

Alternative Labeling: Santa Barbara County, Ventura County, South Coast AVA (or any of its sub-AVAs), Central Coast AVA or California (with portion of grapes from Santa Barbara)

http://wine.appellationamerica.com/wine-region/Santa-Barbara-County.html

ABOUT

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.

Stay in Touch