Embarking on a Beverage Journey: Napa Valley Wine Academy’s WSET Level 1 Courses

person pouring wine while other woman study

In the vast and vibrant world of beverages, starting your educational journey can seem daunting. Yet, the Napa Valley Wine Academy’s WSET Level 1 courses in wine, beer, spirits, and sake offer a welcoming introduction to the novices and enthusiasts keen to deepen their understanding. Tailored to instill a fundamental comprehension, these courses are your gateway to becoming more confident in tasting, selecting, and discussing your favorite beverages.

The transition from curiosity to knowledge in the world of beverages is made seamless through the Academy’s approach to learning. With approximately six hours of engaging content per credential, students are introduced to the essential characteristics, styles, and nuances of wines, beers, spirits, and sake. This foundational knowledge not only demystifies the complex world of beverages but also equips you with the skills to navigate labels, enhance your tasting experiences, and even take your first steps into the beverage industry.

Understanding labels is more than just recognizing brands; it’s about appreciating the craftsmanship, origin, and story behind every bottle. The Academy’s courses provide the tools to decode this information, enriching every sip with context and appreciation. Furthermore, the hands-on tasting sessions foster a comfortable and enjoyable environment to explore and articulate the sensory aspects of different beverages.

For those contemplating a career in the beverage sector, the WSET Level 1 courses lay the groundwork for professional growth. Beyond the pleasure of tasting, these courses offer insights into production methods, and key regions, providing a competitive edge in a dynamic field.

So what will you learn?

WSET Level 1 in Wine

The WSET Level 1 Award in Wines is your first step into the vast and varied world of wine. Over approximately six hours of study, students gain a fundamental understanding of wine types and styles, the basics of wine tasting, and the key principles of food and wine pairing. It’s an essential course for anyone looking to deepen their appreciation of wine or take their first steps into the wine industry.

WSET Level 1 in Beer

In the WSET Level 1 Award in Beer, students dive into the brewing process, exploring the ingredients that create the spectrum of beer styles we enjoy today. The course covers the basics of beer storage and service, as well as the principles behind pairing beer with food. By understanding the characteristics of different beer styles, students are better equipped to navigate the world of beer, whether it’s selecting the perfect brew for a meal or simply enjoying a pint with friends.

WSET Level 1 in Spirits

The WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits lays the foundation for understanding the diverse world of distilled beverages. From the raw materials to the distillation process, students learn what defines and differentiates the major spirit categories. The course also introduces the essentials of spirit tasting, helping students to identify and describe spirits using a systematic approach. This knowledge not only enhances personal enjoyment but also provides a solid base for those looking to pursue careers in the spirits industry.

WSET Level 1 in Sake

Sake, Japan’s iconic rice-based alcohol, is covered comprehensively in the WSET Level 1 Award in Sake. This course offers insights into sake production, the various styles and the storage and service of sake. Students learn how to taste sake professionally and understand the factors affecting its flavor and quality. The course also touches on the basics of serving and enjoying sake, providing a well-rounded introduction to this unique beverage.

What sets the Napa Valley Wine Academy apart is not just the near-perfect pass rate of its students but the ethos of its instructors. Their focus is not on showcasing their vast knowledge (and it is vast) but on ensuring each student grasps the fundamentals, enjoys the learning process, and leaves with a lasting passion for beverages. This student-centric approach resonates throughout the Academy’s offerings, making learning not just educational but deliciously fun.

Embarking on your beverage education journey with the Napa Valley Wine Academy means joining a community where curiosity is nurtured, knowledge is shared, and a love for wine, beer, spirits, and sake is celebrated. Whether you’re aiming to enhance your personal enjoyment or pursue a career in the beverage industry, the WSET Level 1 courses provide a solid foundation and a delightful introduction to the broader world of beverages.

Napa Valley Wine Academy’s WSET Level 1 courses stand as a testament to the joy and importance of beverage education. Through a blend of expert instruction, comprehensive content, and a supportive learning environment, students are equipped to embark on their beverage journeys with confidence and curiosity. Dive into the delicious world of wine, beer, spirits, and sake with the Academy and transform your interest into expertise.



Cancellations of confirmed in-person course enrollments and workshops are accepted up to 60 days before the start of the course. An administration fee of $50 plus the full cost of the study materials and exam fees will be deducted, and the remainder of the course fee refunded to the payee. Separate WSET exam cancellation/transfer rules apply.
Transfers of a confirmed enrollment to another course are accepted 60 days before the course start date with an administration fee of $50.

Cancellations less than 60 days before the in-person course start date or course no shows forfeit any refund/transfer options unless students can provide medical documentation. If medical documentation is provided, students can be transferred to a later course. No refunds will be applied.

Course Transfers cannot be carried forward to the next academic year (which commenced on January 1).

Students are highly encouraged to purchase separate travel insurance.

You've got this!

Flamingo Hotel Las Vegas

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

February 12, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Pacific)


3555 Las Vegas Blvd

Las Vegas, NV 89109


You've got this!

Mariott Santa Ynez

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

April 23, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Pacific)


555 McMurray Road

Buelton, CA 93427


You've got this!

Art Hotel Denver

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

March 5, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Mountain)


1201 Broadway

Denver, CO 80203


You've got this!

Aloft Nashville

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

February 12, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Central)


1719 West End Ave.

Nashville, TN 37203


You've got this!

Epicurean Hotel

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

March 19, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Eastern)


1207 S Howard Ave,

Tampa, FL 33606


You've got this!

Street View of HQ

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

January 22, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Pacific)


2501 Oak Street

Napa, CA 94559