California Wine Appellation Specialist CWAS® Online - Asynchronous For - San Francisco Wine School

Upgrade to the __tier_name__

You’re attempting to view exclusive content only for members in the __tier_name__.

Upgrade to __tier_name__

Upgrade to the __tier_name__

You’re attempting to view exclusive content only for members in the __tier_name__.

Current Plan

Upgrade to __tier_name__

Upgrade to the __tier_name__

You’re attempting to view exclusive content only for members in the __tier_name__.

Upgrade to __tier_name__

Upgrade to the __tier_name__

You’re attempting to view exclusive content only for members in the __tier_name__.

Current Plan

Upgrade to __tier_name__

California Wine Appellation Specialist CWAS® Online - Asynchronous Format

Learn the nuances of California wine and master the increasingly complex AVA landscape in this 9-week asynchronous program!

Notify me when space is available:

California Wine Appellation Specialist CWAS® is the first and only in-depth professional wine credential dedicated to California wine. CWAS was pioneered by Master Sommelier and Certified Wine Educator, David Glancy, in 2012 and has since earned the support of the California Wine Institute and grower associations throughout the state. This credential is a great choice for dedicated wine professionals.

This one-of-a-kind program offers students a comprehensive, up-to-date, formal education and wine certification covering all of the California wine regions, and featuring material that is literally impossible to find from other resources. The topics will deeply enrich enthusiasts' knowledge and are critical to the success of today's wine professionals.

  • Learn the language of California wine labeling
  • Discuss the history and impact of California's American Viticultural Areas
  • Understand California's wine production
  • Analyze the distinctive climates, soils, grapes and wineries of each region that make up the California wine landscape


Each week students will tackle a new subject in our virtual classroom, read materials at their own pace, engage in discussions with their instructor and peers, and complete weekly tasting assignments receiving instructor feedback to hone their skills. In addition, students will have access to Virtual Lectures by Master Sommelier David Glancy. 

This is an asynchronous program where there are no set class hours and students participate on their own schedule.  There are however assignment and quiz due dates each week and we strongly recommend keeping pace with the group to get the most out of peer interaction and discussions.

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

Personalized Online Instruction

Your industry leading instructor will personally connect with you and your classmates in the virtual classroom, guiding you through the curriculum, answering your questions, providing feedback and taking an active role in the class discussions.

Self-Paced Learning

Our virtual class materials are designed to accommodate all different learning styles and schedules. Read the slides and articles, listen to lectures, watch the videos, view the maps—pause, skip ahead, go back, jump to a different section—all with the click of a mouse.

Student Interaction

Our online programs are designed to promote engagement with the other members of the class. Students gain a new network of wine professionals and serious enthusiasts from all over the world. In many ways, our online students are more connected than those who meet in a traditional program. Weekly discussions are known to get very lively and because there are no set classroom hours, students engage much more than they would during a traditional class. Some classes even decide to come together from far and wide just to meet in person at the end of the program.

Wine Tasting Assignments 

Each tasting assignment is designed to impart the learning objectives for each region of study and has flexible parameters to allow for differences in wine availability in your area. Get to know your local wine shop, tasting bar, your own cellar, or hit the road to see the region in person! Locating wines that meet the assignment criteria is half the fun and enriches the learning experience. Read the Wine Requirements.

California Wine Appellation Specialist® ONLINE consists of an orientation and 9 learning modules over a ten-week period. Modules cover the following areas:

  • Virtual Classroom Orientation
  • California Wine Overview & Mendocino
  • Napa Valley
  • Lake & The Sierra
  • Sonoma
  • Santa Cruz, Livermore & Lodi
  • Monterey & San Benito
  • Paso Robles & the Rest of San Luis Obispo
  • Santa Barbara & Beyond
  • CWAS Credential Exam

Want to learn more about California wine now? Watch Master Sommelier David Glancy in our educational videos filmed for the Wine Institute and Discover California Wine. 

2023 Session 1

Orientation: Jan 22 - 28
Class Runs: Jan 29 - Mar 26
Online Exam: Mar 26 - Apr 1

2023 Session 2

Orientation: Aug 20 - 26
Class Runs: Aug 27 - Oct 21
Online Exam: Oct 22- Oct 28

Also check out our in-person CWAS formats taking place at our gorgeous Wine Education & Event Center!


Asynchronous Online

Engage with the instructor and your classmates, on your own schedule from anywhere in the world with San Francisco Wine School's eWineSchool Classroom. Learn more about how it works here

$1195 Registration Fee Includes

  • Exam Fees & Registration
  • 10 weeks of access to our CWAS Online Classroom
  • Certificate upon successful completion

Students who score 80% or higher in the program will be awarded the CWAS certificate and can proudly display the initials CWAS after their name. Program grading is weighted as follows: 85% exam, 5% weekly discussion, 5% weekly tasting assignments, 5% weekly quizzes.

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

Our online classroom and the resources within it are not universally compatible with all smartphones and tablets.  We recommend having access to a computer to ensure all of the online resources will be available.

Scholarships Available

Are you in need of financial assistance to pay for this program? The Glancy Wine Education Foundation assists those looking to start or advance their career in wine or hospitality with educational scholarships of 60-100% depending on your level of need. Internship opportunites are also available through San Francisco Wine School. Learn More & Apply


Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews Write a review