How to Become a Napa Valley Wine Expert

Our own Peter Marks, Master of Wine, and instructor of our Napa Valley Wine Expert course has authored this post explaining the benefits of enrolling and become a true Napa Valley expert.

It’s impossible to say exactly when Napa Valley became recognized as America’s (and one of the world’s) most famous wine region. Was it in 1836 when George Calvert Yount (Yountville is named after him) planted the first vines in the valley? Or Charles Krug’s first commercial winery in 1861? Perhaps Robert Mondavi breaking ground on his eponymous winery in 1966? Or was it the celebrated Judgment of Paris tasting in 1976? I doubt even the Twittersphere knows the answer. 

What can be said is that a perfect star-aligned combination of an ideal climate, unique soils, and pioneering people have catapulted this compact 30-mile-long and 1 to 5-mile-wide valley into prominence in an extremely short time relative to winemaking’s 8,000-year-old history. Napa Valley Wine Academy’s new Napa Valley Wine Expert course will reveal these historical events plus other remarkable insights and facts behind what makes Napa Valley not only a Grape Place to Live (as local bumper stickers proudly proclaim!) but as a great place to grow and make wine. 

Many consumers and wine professionals begin their wine journey with Napa Valley. While it’s easy to grasp an overall sense of the region’s delicious wines and iconic producers, only with a deeper dive will you come to fully appreciate and understand the 16 distinctive nestled American Viticultural Areas (AVA) within Napa Valley, and how the varied microclimates can produce a wide range of exceptional wines besides Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. For example, did you know that in most of the world’s mountaintop vineyards the air temperature is much cooler compared to sites at lower altitudes? However, Mount Veeder’s vineyards remain much warmer at night than those on the valley floor. Why this is and what this precisely means for the types and styles of wines produced from Mount Veeder will be unveiled to you in this course. 

I suggest you pour yourself a glass or two of a fine Napa Valley wine and enjoy learning to become an expert yourself through this self-paced course. Napa Valley Wine Expert is organized into five modules covering the 1) history and appellations, 2) climate and terroir, 3) grape growing and winemaking, 4) key grape varieties, and 5) Napa Valley’s AVAs. In addition, you’ll hear about some of the valley’s most prominent producers, both large and small.

The information is seamlessly delivered through a series of chapters, interactive maps, videos and review questions to test your knowledge. Once you enroll, you’ll have 6-months to finish the course and after completing a final, 50-question exam you’ll earn yourself a beautiful certificate suitable for framing. You will also obtain the right to use the postnominal “NVWE”.

It may not be possible to pinpoint the pivotal moment when Napa Valley became famous for wine, however, it is now possible for you to become a genuine Napa Valley Wine Expert through the Napa Valley Wine Academy’s new online course.

To learn more and to sign up visit Napa Valley Wine Expert.

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IN-PERSON COURSE & WORKSHOP REFUNDS & TRANSFERS

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.

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