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Didn’t there used to be a course for the Italian Wine Professional exam?

By Italian Wine Central Staff
April 2, 2021

Yes . . . and there still is, but there is a new way to explore your passion for Italian wine with Italian Wine Central.   

We understand that not everyone who is passionate about Italian wine needs a certification or wants the stress or expense of taking a difficult exam. So, in 2021, we’ve updated our education options to allow more flexibility by offering the former IWP course—now known as Exploring Italian Wine—and the IWP exam separately or together. You choose.

More flexibility with IWC bundles.  Students now have the choice of enrolling in Exploring Italian Wine as a stand-alone course for their own wine pursuits or purchasing a bundle that also includes the IWP exam if their goal is to become a certified Italian Wine Professional. And those who already have an extensive background in Italian wine can attempt the IWP certification exam by itself.

Exploring Italian Wine.  Ideal for current or prospective members of the wine trade, the Exploring Italian Wine course can be pursued as a résumé-enhancing academic curriculum, taking advantage of exercises, quizzes, and other study opportunities. For Italian wine enthusiasts, it can be viewed as a no-pressure continuation of the Discovering Italian Wine course, revisiting familiar wines in more detail, and introducing many new ones.

“I thought the organization of the course materials, with reds by northern, central, and southern, and whites by coastal and inland, was very useful and a good way to understand Italian wine. . . . As a wine consumer, I found the information extremely valuable and it adds to my enjoyment of Italian wine, cuisine, and travel.”

Michael Markarian, IWP, Sommelier, Gaiole in Chianti and Washington, DC

Whatever your motivation, the course will methodically lead you through each geographic area of Italy as it breaks down the wide world of Italian wine into curated units that focus on key Italian grape varieties, regions, and styles. It also delves into the complexities of Italian and European wine law to help decipher the information available from an Italian wine label. And along the way, the course touches on the legendary cuisine, language, and history of Italy.

“If you’re passionate about Italian wine, then yes! [this] course offers a challenging yet logical way to learn about Italian wine, so it will certainly be worth your time should you choose to pursue it."

Kristina Sazama, dipWSET, Wine Educator, Santa Margarita USA, Miami, FL

The IWP Certification Exam. Since 2014, Italian Wine Central has offered the Italian Wine Professional (IWP) exam to certify individuals who have gained a professional knowledge about Italian wine, whether through experience or dedicated study. Successful IWP candidates can use the IWP credential to strengthen their job performance and convey their marketability to employers and colleagues. In 2021, serious students of Italian wine can still pursue the IWP credential. Learn more about the IWP Certification Exam or the Exploring Italian Wine + IWP Certification Exam Bundle.

For members of the wine trade. Many of our students have told us they have greater confidence discussing and working with Italian wines and producers after completing the course. Graduates are putting into practice what they’ve learned throughout the wine industry, at such organizations as Eataly, MGM Grand, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Winebow Fine Wine & Spirits, the Liquor Control Board of Quebec, Colangelo & Partners Public Relations, the Napa Valley Wine Academy, and more. Read what they're saying and get to know our certified Italian Wine Professionals in the IWP directory.

For members of the wine trade. Many of our students have told us they have greater confidence discussing and working with Italian wines and producers after completing the course. Graduates are putting into practice what they’ve learned throughout the wine industry, at such organizations as Eataly, MGM Grand, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Winebow Fine Wine & Spirits, the Liquor Control Board of Quebec, Colangelo & Partners Public Relations, the Napa Valley Wine Academy, and more. Read what they're saying and get to know our certified Italian Wine Professionals in the IWP directory.

“…one of the best-designed wine education programs available today. The course was clearly conceived by a team that recognizes the importance of pedagogy in course design and uses it to elevate students’ understanding of a complex subject.”

Christian Oggenfuss, DWS, IWP, FWS, Founder & CEO, Napa Valley Wine Academy, Napa, CA

For Students in General Wine Studies Programs. As one of the largest wine-producing countries in the world, Italy commands a level of detailed attention that more general wine certifications may not provide. Exploring Italian Wine is a helpful addition to broader wine studies for this reason. Rick Cusker—an IWP Honors graduate, educator, wine judge, and Vinitaly International ambassador—reports, “I have already recommended [this course] to several people with whom I have taken the CSW, WSET, and Sommelier courses, because those courses generally cover Italian wines at only an introductory level, focusing on only the most familiar and most popular Italian wines.”

Bottom line. Whether your goal is an Italian wine certification or a longer list of Italian wines you want to try, Exploring Italian Wine is a great next step for intermediate to advanced learners. Grab your pith helmet and a corkscrew, and let the exploration begin!

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