Italian Wine Scholar™ (North) - Wine Scholar Guild Certification

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MASTER THE WINES OF ITALY: An in depth program designed by the Wine Scholar Guild with the support of the Italian Wine DOC/G Consortia.

The Italian Wine Scholar Study and Certification program provides up-to-date, extensive and precise information on the diverse wines and wine regions of Italy. This specialization program is designed for all intermediate and advanced students of wine, whether wine professionals or serious wine enthusiasts.  It was created by native Italian, Maurizio Brioggi, (Wine Scholar Guild Education Director for Italy) with the support of the Italian wine DOC/G consortia and has now received the endorsement and patronage of the Italian Trade Commission.  Broggi, himself, is a student of San Francisco Wine School, and says:

"I am quite impressed by the high quality and professionalism of the courses taught at San Francisco Wine School. The school offers a fantastic location wherein to learn the complex world of wines, the wine educators are extremely competent and highly prepared... I'm honored SFWS is offering the Italian Wine Scholar, I'm confident they will do an excellent job and they will be able to guide the students through the amazing diversity of the wines of Italy."

Italian Wine Scholar - Northern Italy is 1 part of a 2 part credential. These two parts can be taken in any order.  In this course, students will receive 18 hours of instruction, and the official full-color Italian Wine Scholar - Northern Italy study manual, in addition to 1 full year of access to the Italian Wine Scholar Online. Students will taste over 35 wines in the program.  Learn more about Italian Wine Scholar - Southern Italy.

Beginner Students should consider taking our Wines of Italy workshop, our Intro to Italian Wines workshop, and/or Italian Wine Scholar Prep program before attempting the more rigorous Italian Wine Scholar curriculum.  Full program students should read the Foundations chapter in the study guide prior to attending the first class in the program.


Session 1 *

Mondays 6-9pm
May 3 to Jun 28   
No class May 31 & Jun 21

* Option of Live Online w/ tasting kits - OR - In-Person (when permitted)


Students will taste over 35 Italian wines to bring learning objectives to life and practice blind tasting techniques. All wines are selected by Master Sommelier David Glancy and our instructors to represent a broad sampling of the classic wines of Italy.


Italian Wine Scholar - Northern Italy consists of 6 three-hour classes covering the following Northern Italian areas.  The first class within the full program will be available as an a la carté workshop.  This is a great way to preview the program.  If you decided 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!

  • Wines of Piemonte
  • Valle d'Aosta & Liguria
  • Lombardia & Emilia-Romagna
  • Trentino & Alto Adige
  • Veneto
  • Friuli-Venezia Giulia
  • Italian Wine Scholar Unit 1 Exam (Northern Italy) 


This is Unit 1 of 2 in the series.  Unit 1 covers Northern Italy and Unit 2 covers Southern Italy.  The two units can be taken in any order.

The Italian Wine Scholar North 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. 

Candidates need a composite score for Unit 1 and Unit 2 of 75% to receive the credential, i.e. the scores from both exams are added together and averaged for final assessment. Students with a composite score of 85-90.5 pass with HONORS. Candidates scoring 91-100 pass with HIGHEST HONORS.

Those who follow the in-depth curriculum and achieve a final passing score on both Unit 1 and Unit 2 will earn the title of Italian Wine Scholar (IWS). Following this achievement, students are encouraged to use the post-nominal IWS as part of their professional signatures. This IWS certification provides a validation of your Italian wine expertise and enhances your resume; it also serves as a point of distinction within the wine trade.

The curriculum and teaching materials for the Italian 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. 


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


  • IWS Exam Fees
  • Official, full-color Italian Wine Scholar Unit 1 - Northern Italy study manual
  • 1 full year of access to the Italian Wine Scholar Online
  • San Francisco Wine School Water Bottle
  • IWS pin and certificate upon successful completion of the complete program
  • Tasting of 6-10 wines in each workshop


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

*See our latest Re-Opening Information for updates on In-Person and Online Classes.


All Webinar & Webcast participants will receive pdf handouts, wine lists, and a the link to attend the webinar with login details.  

If in-person classes have not yet resumed by the time class begins or if you are unable to attend class in person, full price registrants may pickup a wine tasting kit with class wines at the school by appointment or have it shipped to you for an additional fee.  You will be notified of pickup procedures prior to class.

All attendees must be 21+ years.

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