Less than two weeks ago, I mentioned that I had just taken an exam for the Wine Location Specialist (WLS) Certificate Program. I am very pleased to report that I, and 24 others, passed the exam and were awarded certification. So now there are a total of 44 people who have been so certified.
As a Wine Location Specialist, I am considered to be accredited by the Comite Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) and the Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto (IVDP), to lead education seminars, tastings, and dinners specific to Champagne and Port. And I will do so, sharing the knowledge that I have learned with others curious to know more about these wines. Plus, you can probably look forward to some articles on my blog about these wines.
I should make it clear though that I still have much more to learn about these regions and their wines. Yes, I have a solid foundation now but there are plenty of more details for me to learn. Matters may change as well, such as when new laws go into effect, when new techniques are invented, etc. No single course can teach you everything about a region and its wines. A certification is a beginning not an ending, and it is up to us to continue our studies, honing our knowledge so we can represent these regions in the best way possible.
I do encourage other wine writers to seek certifications, if only for the personal challenge of learning something new.