French Wine Scholar Program - Discover the Wine Regions of France

MASTER THE WINES OF FRANCE: An in-depth program designed by the Wine Scholar Guild and endorsed by the French National Wine Office and the French Ministry of Agriculture.

The French Wine Scholar program provides students with a deep level of information on each wine region of France, helping students achieve a professional level of proficiency in French wine. The impact of history, the significance of geological events, the importance of topographical markers and the influence of climatic factors will be discussed.

Students enrolled in this French wine program will taste over 80 wines throughout the program which includes 33 hours of instruction and the official 330-page, full-color French Wine Scholar study manual, as well as 1 full year of access to French Wine Scholar Online. 

The French Wine Scholar program has received endorsements from many important professional organizations:

  • The French Ministry of Agriculture
  • Diageo
  • Maisons Marques & Domaines
  • Pasternak Wine Imports
  • Robert Kacher Selections
  • Vintage '59 Imports
  • Louis Latour Inc.
  • Wilson Daniels Ltd.

San Francisco Wine School is the exclusive provider of the French Wine Scholar program in Northern California. To learn more about the French Wine Scholar and the Wine Scholar Guild, please download this pdf.

French Wine Scholar consists of 11 three-hour classes covering the following areas.  The first class within the full program will be available as an à la carte workshop.  This is a great way to preview the program.  If you decide to continue, your workshop fee will be credited towards the full program tuition.  Click on the link to learn more about that workshop and sign up!

  • Champagne
  • Alsace
  • Burgundy's Cote d'Or
  • Burgundy's Chablis, Chalonnaise & Maconnaise
  • Beaujolais, Jura & Savoie
  • Loire Valley
  • Bordeaux
  • Rhone Valley
  • Provence, Languedoc & Roussillon
  • Southwest France & Corsica
  • Study Break
  • French Wine Scholar Exam

Session 1

Tuesdays 6pm-9pm
Apr 11 to June 27*

*No class June 20

Session 2

Wednesdays 6pm-9pm
Jan 10 to Mar 27

Study Break - Mar 20

Apply for scholarship by Nov 30th


Hybrid - Room/Zoom

We've recently invested in some serious AV technology upgrades to create an integrated Hybrid Room/Zoom experience for all students, so each individual can choose to participate in-person as a "Roomer" with wine in their glass or online as a "Zoomer" with a custom tasting kit.  Both Roomers and Zoomers have the same wines and are able to engage with us and each other during these live classes. Recordings are also available within 1 business day after the class.  Learn more...

In-Person Location

San Francisco Wine School*
415 Grand Ave #301
South San Francisco, CA 94080
Click for parking and public transportation information

*See our latest COVID Safety Information

Online Info

You will receive the zoom link and any handouts needed a few days before class via email. Check spam and contact if you have not received it within 1 business day of your class/event.

If you have a tasting kit, it may be picked up at San Francisco Wine School or delivered across the US.  Wine parameter lists are available for those participating in locations where kits cannot be delivered.   View pickup and delivery options here.

Wine lists and instructions are included in your kit.  

$1,595pp* Registration Fee Includes

  • 33 hours of live instruction with San Francisco Wine School's industry-leading instructors
  • Tasting of 80 French wines carefully curated by Master Sommelier David Glancy
  • Tasting kit creation for online participants (delivery is available across the US for an additional fee
  • Official 280-page, full-color French Wine Scholar study manual
  • FWS in-person exam fees
  • 1 full year of access to the French Wine Scholar Online
  • FWS pin and certificate upon successful completion
  • San Francisco Wine School water bottle

*Installment plans available. Group rates available for parties of 5 or more. Contact for more information.

The French Wine Scholar exam is one hour long and consists of 100 multiple choice questions.  The exam must be taken in person at San Francisco Wine School.  Online exam upgrades are granted by Wine Scholar Guild on an exception basis only and require an additional fee. 

Wine professionals who follow this in-depth curriculum and pass the exam earn the French Wine Scholar (FWS) post-nominal and will receive a certificate and official lapel pin. In order to prepare properly, you must read and study the FWS manual carefully.

The curriculum and teaching materials for the French Wine Scholar Program are the same regardless of whether you study in California or Calgary. Our industry leading instructors will make the difference in your learning experience. While the average pass rate for the rigorous FWS exam is only 65%, San Francisco Wine School has been recognized by the Wine Scholar Guild multiple times for a 100% pass rate.

All attendees must be 21+ years of age. France is a challenging region to study and French Wine Scholar is one of the more difficult credential programs offered at San Francisco Wine School.  It is designed for strong intermediate and advanced students. Those who want to strengthen their foundational knowledge of French wine before attempting this certification are encouraged to take the Intro to France workshop or the Wines of Northern France and/or Wines of Southern France workshops as part of the Certified Specialist of Wine program.

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


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