Jess Helfand

Instructor, dipWSET

Jess is an economist who discovered the world of wine on a whim. When asked by a friend to take a wine class together, she had no idea what was to come. After completing the WSET Level 2 Award in Wine and Spirits from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Jess immediately pressed on to achieve the WSET Level 3 Award and then the WSET Level 4 Diploma. Ever the student, Jess holds the titles of Italian Wine Professional (IWP), Certified Sherry Wine Specialist (CSWS), Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), and Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS), as well as a Masters in Policy Economics and an MBA. Jess is also a fixture of the Virginia Governor’s Cup, Virginia’s premier statewide wine competition, judging the preliminary round since 2015.

After 11 years in Washington, DC, Jess relocated to Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and three cats. She is delighted to be a part of the Napa Valley Wine Academy team as a Nashville based educator. When not teaching, Jess works in a wine and spirits boutique and continues as an economist.