What are the prerequisites? This course assumes that you already have an understanding of general wine making and major grape varieties. Students should be familiar with common wine terms and concepts from previous experience or a general wine course.
Napa Valley Wine Expert is a deep look at Napa Valley it’s history, the most planted and important grape varieties, it’s16 nested AVAs, soil, and climates. For those who are already acquainted with a few of Napa’s wines and grapes, this course will broaden and deepen your knowledge your perspective and add some new ones to your working knowledge. There are twenty-two lessons, each presenting a manageable amount of relevant information about Napa Valley. The lessons are:
- Understanding the American Viticultural Area (AVA)
- Introduction and History of Napa Valley
- Topography & Soil
- Viticulture & Winemaking
- Napa AVA
- Los Carneros AVA
- Howell Mountain District AVA
- Wild Horse Valley AVA
- Stags Leap District AVA
- Mt. Veeder AVA
- Atlas Peak AVA
- Spring Mountain District AVA
- Oakville AVA
- Rutherford AVA
- St. Helena AVA
- Chiles Valley AVA
- Yountville AVA
- Diamond Mountain District AVA
- Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley AVA
- Calistoga AVA
- Coombsville AVA
About the certification Exam: The online proctored exam consists of 50 questions (combination of matching, fill-in-the-blank, map identification, multiple-choice, and spelling) that need to be answered in 40 minutes. Students must score at least 80% to achieve the Napa Valley Wine Expert Certificate and display the NWE postnominal after their name.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the course
Is there a book with the course?
No, the course is entirely online, so students should take notes during the course if they want hard-copy study materials.
When is the course taught and how long does it take?
Napa Valley Wine Expert is entirely online, so it is available on your schedule. You can start at any time. The entire course will take most students approximately 8-weeks provided they spend 3-hours a week in the course. It is recommended taking it slowly and concentrating on each lesson individually, so you will have eight weeks to complete the course from the time you start.
Is there any wine tasting involved?
Tasting the wines of Napa Valley during the course is a great way to get the full measure of the course material, but it is not required. There is no tasting component to the final exam. However, through a special arrangement between our partner the Napa Valley Wine Academy and Wine.com, students in the U.S. can purchase sets of wines specifically chosen to accompany the course, with a 10% discount and free shipping. (Naturally, students must be of legal drinking age and must comply with local and federal laws.) Those employed in the wine trade may prefer to taste wines from their own company’s portfolio, as appropriate.
What is the final exam like and what do students receive if they pass?
At the end of Napa Valley Wine Expert course, there is an optional final exam. The exam is taken online by appointment with a proctor, any day, any time. There is no additional cost for this exam. The test is 50 questions long, with a variety of question types. A practice exam is available after the last lesson to help prepare for the actual exam. Students who pass the exam will earn the NWE certificate and the right to use the NWE postnominal. Most importantly, after completing Napa Valley Wine Expert, you will have a comprehensive understanding of Napa Valley’s AVAs, grape varieties, history, and terroir. Armed with this information, you will be able to confidently communicate, sell, teach, and buy Napa Valley Wines.
How does this course fit in with other wine courses?
For anyone pursuing an extended program of wine studies, Napa Valley Wine Expert is a great way to deepen your knowledge on the wine region fo Napa Valley. Situations vary depending on each individual’s background and goals, but we would generally recommend that those following the Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS) program take Napa Valley Wine Expert between the certified and advanced levels, those working through the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) program take it after levels 3, and those in the Society of Wine Educators (SWE) program take it after doing the CSW.