Wine Certification

The Sommelier Certification Program is comprised of the following six academic modules.

Courses are presented in chronological order. Courses may be taken in any order, however, other than Sensory Development & Wine Styles, which is a prerequisite for all other courses.

Students who complete Sensory Development & Wine Styles in Nov, for example, may proceed to New World Wine Regions in Jan, while students who complete Sensory in Mar may proceed to Old World in Sep.

Course Length Timeframe Cost
Sensory Development & Wine Styles 10 weeks, 1 evening per week Sep-Nov,
Old World Wine Regions 15 weeks, 1 evening per week Sep-Dec  $925
Beer, Spirits & Other Beverages 2 full days Dec  $350
New World Wine Regions 14 weeks, 1 evening per week Jan-Apr  $925
Sommelier Management 2 full days Apr  $395
Methods of Modern Winemaking 2 full days Apr  $350

Note: All prices +HST. Each student is also required to complete an on-site stage experience placement prior to certification.

Upcoming courses are listed below; online registration is available. Please feel free to contact Cheryl Doherty for more information.

Upcoming wine courses

    • Mon, September 11, 2017
    • Mon, December 18, 2017
    • 15 sessions
    • The Port Experience Room
    • 9

    This module explores the major wine regions of the old world including: France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Greece, Austria and Hungary. In sensory evaluation, students study wines by weight and flavour. In this section students will assess wines according to where they are produced and are expected to recognize, by region, the character and quality of the major wines of Europe learning the history, terroir, laws, culture, leading producer and trends. Special attention is given to France and Italy since they share the largest part of the wine market in the world today. Students continue to develop tasting ability and wine assessment skills. In addition, special attention is paid to learning local cuisine and classic pairings.

    This course starts in September. 

    Syllabus of Course Content:

    • Class 1: Wines of Bordeaux 1 (Focus on Left Bank)
    • Class 2: Wines of Bordeaux 2 (Focus on Right Bank)
    • Class 3: Wines of Burgundy 1 (Focus on Whites/Chardonnay)
    • Class 4: Wines of Burgundy 2 (Focus on Reds/Pinot Noir)
    • Class 5: Wines of the Rhone Valley and Loire Valley
    • Class 6: Wines of Champagne and Alsace
    • Class 7: Southwest: Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence, Jura, Savoie, Corsica/ Presentations 1
    • Class 8: France Midterm/Student Presentations 2
    • Class 9: Wines of Italy 1 (Overview: North including Piedmont)
    • Class 10: Wines of Italy 2 (Central: Umbria, Marches, Tuscany & Islands)
    • Class 11: Italy Midterm/Student Presentations 3
    • Class 12: Wines of Spain
    • Class 13: Portugal, Greece, Mediterranean, Eastern Europe
    • Class 14: Germany/Austria/Switzerland/Student Presentations 4
    • Class 15: Final Exam

    Course Evaluation:

    • 25% – France Midterm (Written: 20%; Blind tasting: 5%)
    • 15% – Italy Midterm (Written: 10%; Blind tasting: 5%)
    • 40% – Final Exam (Written: 25%; Blind tasting: 15%)
    • 10% – Class Presentation
    • 10% – Attendance/Participation
    • Mon, January 15, 2018
    • Mon, April 30, 2018
    • 14 sessions
    • TBD
    • 16

    New World wine regions are quickly establishing market strength. This section of the Sommelier program examines the ‘New World’ wine regions including Australia, New Zealand, South America, South Africa, USA, and Canada, with special attention to the wines of Nova Scotia/New Brunswick/P.E.I. In this section of the course students will study the character and quality of the major wines of the New World, learning the history, terroir, culture, laws, leading producers and trends. Emphasis will be placed on the advancement of New World winemaking techniques and the influence of these developments within the New World wine regions and abroad. In this course, students will continue to develop their tasting ability and wine assessment skills, as well as knowledge of food and wine pairings.

    This course is instructed by Mark DeWolf and Carman Mills, and runs in January each year.

    Syllabus of Course Content:

    • Class 1: New World winemaking techniques, wine closures and alternative packaging
    • Class 2: Wines of Chile
    • Class 3: Wines of Argentina
    • Class 4: NW techniques & South America written exam & Student Presentations
    • Class 5: Wines of California
    • Class 6: California cont’d, Pacific Northwest & other USA
    • Class 7: Wines of Canada
    • Class 8: Wines of Nova Scotia
    • Class 9: North America written exam
    • Class 10: Wines of New Zealand
    • Class 11: Wines of South Africa
    • Class 12: Wines of Australia (focus on warmer regions)
    • Class 13: Wines of Australia (focus on cooler regions) & Student Presentations
    • Class 14: Australia, NZ & SA written exam & final tasting exam
    • Tue, January 16, 2018
    • Tue, March 20, 2018
    • 10 sessions
    • TBA
    • 8

    The ability to assess the value and character of a wine is essential to a successful Sommelier. In this module, each successful participant will; develop your palate, your ability to discern quality and value and your ability to evaluate wines by: colour, weight, alcohol, taste, flavour, texture, complexity and finish. Learn to recognize poor quality, wine faults and spoilage; learn what causes the taint and explore possible corrective actions. Learn to recognize wines by style and taste profile in order to judge varietal typicity. Finally, become familiar with various strategies for pairing wine and food and get exposure to wine service skills.

    This course is instructed by Mark DeWolf, Carman Mills and Simon Rafuse, and runs twice yearly, starting in September and January. 

    Syllabus of Course Content:

    • Class #1: A brief history of wine; Where grapes grow; Introduction to making wine
    • Class #2: Introduction to sensory evaluation
    • Class #3: Oak types/treatments; Wine faults
    • Class #4: Light to medium-bodied dry whites
    • Class #5: Medium to full-bodied aromatic whites; Full-bodied, dry whites
    • Class #6: Sparkling wines; Sweet and Fortified wines
    • Class #7: Light to medium-bodied red wines; Light to medium red wines mellow and perfumed
    • Class #8: Medium to full bodied reds
    • Class #9: Brief primer on wine service, food & wine pairing, wine list types/styles
    • Class #10: Final written/tasting exams

    Course Evaluation:

    • 30% - Midterm (Written: 20%; Blind tasting: 10%)
    • 50% - Final exam (Written: 30%; Blind tasting: 20%)
    • 10% - Presentation
    • 10% - Research paper (due day of presentation)

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