Online programs offer you the convenience of taking courses from remote areas and the scheduling flexibility to fit your life’s circumstances. Our online program is 9 consecutive weeks. Each course in the program is one week in length. We utilize an asynchronous model—meaning there are no constraints regarding time. Although certain activities have due dates within the week, you can choose your own study and participation times. There are no “set” hours or times.

A virtual classroom is an online learning environment. Once registered, you will log into a web-based portal where you can retrieve the program syllabus and review detailed coursework instructions, as well as learn your program content, engage and interact with your instructor and peers, and assess your weekly progress.

Each weekly course consists of the following:

  • Course objectives
  • Course content and materials utilizing various technologies and formats such as video, PowerPoint, readings, etc
  • Instructor lead discussion topics. Using the classroom message board, students will have an opportunity to hold conversations related to the topic and interact with their instructor and peers by posting messages
  • When applicable, meaningful assignments tied to course objective mastery
  • Assessment opportunities to help you master content
  • Voluntary options to participate in chat room with peers
  • Course closure on Sunday at 11:59 pm PST

Before registering for an online program at San Francisco Wine School, please review the technical requirements and recommended skills.

Want to see how our online classes work?
 Email us at and we'll give you a tour of the virtual classroom!


Technical requirements

Sufficient technology and Internet access is required to complete online classes when you take a program at San Francisco Wine School. The following list will help verify that you are adequately equipped.

While tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices are compatible with our learning management system and coursework, they are not always guaranteed to work in all areas. Please ensure you have a Windows or Mac based computer available to complete coursework in the event your selected mobile device does not meet the needs of the course.

Email Account

A valid email address, which is checked frequently, is required for participation in online coursework. It is recommended that all students have a professional email address.

Hardware & Software

We highly recommend that you have administrative rights to the computer used for your coursework. If you must use a computer over which you do not have administrative rights (such as a library computer or a workplace computer), you may experience difficulties with needed functions or limited support options due to access limitations on such networks.

Computer Specifications

Screen Size

A minimum of 1024×600. That is the average size of a netbook. Any smaller, makes it difficult to read.

Operating Systems

  • Windows XP SP3 and newer
  • Mac OSX 10.6 and newer
  • Linux – chromeOS

Mobile OS Native App Support

  • iOS 5 and newer
  • Android 2.3 and newer

Computer Speed and Processor

  • Use a computer 5 years old or newer when possible
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 2GHz processor

Internet Speed

  • Along with compatibility and web standards, our system has been carefully crafted to accommodate low bandwidth environments
  • Minimum of 512kbps

Screen Readers

  • Latest version of JAWS for Internet Explorer 9 & 10 and Firefox
  • Latest version of VoiceOver for Safari
  • There is no screen reader support for Chrome

Recommended Skills

Be a strong reader and writer
Strong reading, communication, and critical thinking skills are very important for success in an online course. Online students communicate through such text-based tools, as emails, discussion forums, chats and instant messaging. You need to feel comfortable expressing yourself in writing.

Be a self-motivated and independent learner
While online courses can offer more flexibility in scheduling, they require more self-discipline and independence than on-campus courses. In the online environment, you have to be able to start and to work on tasks on your own, without someone keeping you focused, and you have to be self-disciplined in order to follow the class schedule and meet deadlines.

Be able to manage the time commitment
Online classes take as much time as regular on-campus classes. You need to be prepared to set aside sufficient time for study. Plan to spend at least as much time learning the material and studying as you would with a traditional course. Note that some students report spending even more time for online classes than for traditional ones. Remember that online classes are not independent study courses; you are still required to “show up” and participate actively with your peers and instructor.

Be an active and engaged learner
Online students must be active learners, self-starters who are not shy or afraid to ask questions when they do not understand. Remember that you, not the instructor, must be in control of your learning process. Since your instructor cannot see you, you need to “speak up” right away if you have problems and be as explicit as possible; otherwise there is no way others will know that something is wrong.

Be comfortable with basic computer and Internet skills

  • Knowledge of terminology, such as browser, application, etc
  • Ability to use online communication tools, such as email (create, send, receive, reply, print, send/receive attachments), discussion boards (read, search, post, reply, follow threads), chats, and messengers
  • Understanding of basic computer hardware and software; ability to perform computer operations, such as: Using keyboard and mouse
  • Using software applications, such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, email clients Knowledge of copying and pasting, spell-checking, saving files in different formats
  • Sending and downloading attachments
  • Internet skills (connecting, accessing, using browsers) and ability to perform online research using various search engines and library databases.
  • Managing files and folders: save, name, copy, move, backup, rename, delete, check properties


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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