WSET Wine & Spirit Education Trust

WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines

Program of Study

The WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines is a specialist level qualification program and the highest level of certification offered by the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, the globally-recognized industry leader in wine education.

Building on the knowledge and skills gained from the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines, the Diploma will deepen your understanding of how and why wine production and business factors influence the style, quality, and price of wines. Your expertise will be built both theoretically ⁠& practically through comprehensive, analytical study of a large number of wine regions and by developing your wine tasting skills to an expert level. Successful graduates acquire exceptional analytical skills and proficiency in evaluative wine tasting, gaining global recognition as authoritative wine specialists.

The Diploma fulfills the prerequisite for an advanced wine qualification for entry to the Master of Wine (MW) program.

Years of Study

Units

In-Person Exams

Research Paper

D1 Wine Production

You will undertake a detailed theoretical study of viticulture, vinification, maturation, treatments, and packaging of wine. This unit is the first unit you will complete, as it builds a foundational level of theory knowledge needed for the study of D3, D4, D5, & D6. 

Course Format: 6-week online course OR 2-day in-person course

Exam: This unit is assessed by a multiple-part open-response exam to be completed in 90 minutes.

Tuition: Online – $1345 | In-Person – $1500 | Combo – $1710 (D1 tuition includes the $350 initial candidate registration fee required by the WSET)

D2 Wine Business

You will examine the factors that contribute to the price of wine, types of businesses engaged in the production & sale of wine, how a wine gets to the point of sale, and the key considerations in wine marketing. This unit is the second unit you will complete, as it builds a foundational level of theory knowledge needed for the study of D3, D4, D5, & D6. 

Course Format: 6-Week Online Class or 1-day In-Person Class

Exam: This unit is assessed via a multiple-part open-response question exam to be completed in 1 hour.

Tuition: Online – $995 | In-Person – $1150 | Combo – $1225

D3 Wines of the World

You will examine how the growing environment, options for grape growing and winemaking, wine law & regulation, and wine business influence the style, quality, and price of the principal still wines of the world.

Course Format: 26-Week Online Course or 8-day In-Person Course (1 weekend per month for 4 months)

Exam: 2-day exam – 1st day is comprised of open-response questions to be completed in 3 hours and 20 minutes; 2nd day is blind tasting of 12 wines to be completed in 3 hours.

Tuition: Online – $2650 | In-Person – $2995 | Combo – $3600

D4 Sparkling Wines

You will study the production methods and acquire in-depth product knowledge and commercial understanding for the major sparkling wines of France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and the New World.

Course Format: 4-Week Online Class or 1-day In-Person Class

Exam: This unit is assessed by open-response questions and a blind tasting of 3 sparkling wines to be completed in 90 minutes.

Tuition: Online – $925 | In-Person – $1025 | Combo – $1175

D5 Fortified Wines

You will study the production methods and acquire in-depth product knowledge and commercial understanding for the major fortified wines of Spain, Portugal, France, and the New World.

Course Format: 5-Week Online Class or 1.5-Day In-Person Class

Exam: This unit is assessed by multipart open-response questions and a blind tasting of 3 fortified wines to be completed in 90 minutes.

Tuition: Online – $925 | In-Person – $1025 | Combo – $1175

D6 Independent Research

You will research a specified wine-related subject, demonstrating your knowledge and understanding of the topic using relevant source material to develop ideas and arguments to reach informed conclusions. The research assignment is a 3,000 word paper. There are two topics released each year from which you can choose to research, with respective submission dates in January and July.

Course Format: 2-hour In-Person Seminar (offered after exams)

Tuition: $325

For full details on program requirements for theory and tasting for each unit, be sure to check out the Diploma Specification and Systematic Approach to Tasting (SAT) documents.

Course Format

The WSET intends for the Diploma primarily to be a self-study educational program. Students will complete a large portion of their studies outside of the classroom. Courses for each unit give the student the opportunity to interact with industry experts and their peers to bolster their personal studies. Students have the choice to complete each individual unit as an in-person course, an online course, or a combination of both.

Online

In the online course, students work on weekly activities, individually or in groups, to guide their theory study, as well as submit tasting notes for grading. Instructors for the online course are the WSET’s own instructors. Units range in length from 4-26 weeks, depending on the individual unit.

In-Person

The in-person course days, held in Napa, are intensive sessions that are a combination of lecture, discussion, group activities, and tasting practice, led by Napa Valley Wine Academy’s expert instructors. Courses for each unit range in length from 2-8 days.

Combo

Students have the option to do a combination of both online and in-person class study. Every exam date for each unit has a corresponding in-person and online course offered at the same time.

Want to know more?

See if you’re ready for Diploma & if the Napa Valley Wine Academy is the right school for you by checking out the Prospective Student and Schedules pages.

If you have more questions, take a look at the FAQ page or schedule a call with our Enrollment Advisor.

Ready to Register?

New students are required to take the D1 Wine Production Unit first. Choose your course format below to enroll now.