Napa Valley Wine Academy

Navigating the Transition from WSET Level 2 to WSET Wine Level 3

people holding wine glasses and looking at wine bottles

Deciding between starting your wine education journey with WSET Level 2 or jumping straight into Level 3 can be a pivotal choice for aspiring wine enthusiasts and professionals. This guide will help illuminate the differences between these levels and advise on the best starting point for your wine education journey, especially when considering the WSET wine level 3 certification.

WSET Level 2: Building a Strong Foundation

WSET Level 2 Award in Wines offers an extensive exploration of grape varieties around the world and the places where they grow. It is designed for those with some basic knowledge of wine, often gained by taking the WSET Level 1, but can be taken as an introduction to wine for those eager to dive in and learn. The course covers fundamental principles of wine tasting, grape growing, and winemaking processes, laying a solid foundation for understanding wine styles and regions. The exam for Level 2 is multiple-choice, which suits those who are more comfortable with this format and prefer the convenience of online completion. Having experience with Level 2 is highly recommended as it ensures a comprehensive grasp of essential wine knowledge, crucial for tackling the more advanced Level 3.

WSET Level 3: Deepening Your Wine Knowledge

WSET Level 3 Award in Wines delves deeper into wine, exploring intricate details of grape growing, winemaking, and the key factors influencing the style, quality, and price of wines. This level is suited for those with a solid foundation in wine knowledge who are ready to explore the subject in a more detailed and structured manner. Unlike Level 2, the Level 3 exam includes a mix of multiple-choice questions, short written answers, and a tasting component, requiring a more comprehensive understanding of wines. This format challenges students to apply their knowledge critically, making it a significant step up from Level 2 and essential for anyone aiming to achieve the WSET wine level 3 certification.

Can I Start My WSET Journey at Level 3?

For most, btaking Level 2 before Level 3 is advised due to its thorough coverage of the world’s most important grapes and the WSET’s systematic approach to wine tasting. However, there are circumstances where starting at Level 3 such as already having a strong wine background. Level 2 has a higher pass rate and is great for building confidence. On the other hand, Level 3 is significantly more challenging, requiring perseverance, resilience, and effective time management. It’s not just about passing an exam but truly understanding and applying more complex wine knowledge. Thus, it’s crucial for those considering starting at Level 3 to be prepared for an intense learning challenge that demands going above and beyond memorization and instead delving into greater understanding in the wine world, ensuring they are ready to commit the necessary time and effort to succeed.

Choosing the Right Level for You

Selecting the right starting point in your WSET journey should be based on your current level of wine knowledge, learning preferences, and professional goals. While Level 2 offers an engaging introduction and solid foundation in wine knowledge, Level 3 demands a deeper commitment and understanding, challenging students to master the complexities of wine at a higher level. By understanding the nuances between these levels and assessing your readiness, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your aspirations in the wine world, especially if you’re aiming for the WSET wine level 3 certification. Whether you choose to start with WSET Level 2 or leap directly into Level 3, Napa Valley Wine Academy is here to support your educational journey with expert instruction and a comprehensive curriculum tailored to each level.



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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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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