wine glassCertified Specialist of Wine (CSW) Training Course

Certified Specialist Pin

The Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) Exam is a rigorous exam, which tests a candidate's wine knowledge and mastery of key elements within the worlds of viticulture and wine production. The Westchester Wine School's CSW Course is a comprehensive, clearly structured approach to help ensure each student's success in passing this exam.

11 Wednesdays: September 17; October 1,8, 22, 29; November 5; December 3, 10; January 7, 14, 28 (exam)
Time: 7:00 - 10:00 PM
Tuition:  
*
$1095
*
Payment plan: $365 at registration; $365 by October 1; $365 by November 5
*
$1050 for those working in the food and beverage industry.
*
Payment plan: $350 at registration; $350 by October 1; $350 by November 5
Location: Grapes the Wine Company (2nd floor meeting room)
731 North Broadway, White Plains, NY10603

Society of Wine EducatorsThe CSW credential signifies a mastery of the core principles and fundamentals of wine and is recognized world widewithin the wine industry. The course is for current and future wine industry employees seeking
• Increased knowledge and self confidence on the job
• Career enhancement and resume building.

It is also for wine enthusiasts who want
• More knowledge and understanding of wine and the wine industry
• Satisfaction in having a professionally certified level of wine knowledge.

The Course prepares participants for the CSW Exam, given under the auspices of the Society of Wine Educators, the premier professional U.S. wine society to provide knowledge-based wine exams and certifications. The exam covers core principles and fundamentals of wine including viticulture, vinification, grape varieties, wine regions, labeling laws, wine tasting and faults. Passing the exam qualifies one as a Certified Specialist of Wine.

The CSW Course includes

Check out what a Sommelier and a major distributor's executive have to say about the Benefits of the CSW Certification

Full Course Curriculum

Class 1 September 17: Tasting, Wine Composition and Faults
Class 2 October 1: Grape Varieties, Viticulture & Viniculture
Class 3 October 8: Northern France
Class 4 October 22: Southern France
Class 5 October 29: Italy
Class 6 November 5 Spain, Portugal and Eastern Mediterranean
Class 7 December 3: Germany and Eastern Europe
Class 8 December 10: North America 
Class 9 January 7: Southern Hemisphere 
Class 10 January 14: CSW Exam Review
Class 11 January 28: CSW Exam


CSW 01 Wine Tasting, Wine Composition and Faults     Sept. 17
How do you taste and evaluate a glass of wine? A Certified Wine Specialist has the skills and expertise to identify the balance, flavors, and complexity of wine.  This class will cover the practices used to taste and evaluate wine, the principal components of wine and the major faults that occur in wine.  The class includes a guided tasting of 6-8 wines to demonstrate flaws, and differences in acidity, tannin, body and more. The class may be taken as part of the CSW Course or on its own.
CSW 02 Grape Varieties, Viticulture & Viniculture      Oct 1
Do you know the difference between a cross and a hybrid grape, and between viticulture and viniculture? Learn the science and art of grape growing and winemaking. The class includes a guided tasting of 6-8 wines to demonstrate differences in climate, production techniques and more. The class may be taken as part of the CSW Course or on its own.
CSW 03 Northern France                                                        Oct. 8
France is the "motherland" of wine.  The world's most popular grapes – Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and others – are native to France.  Its Appellation d’Origine Controlee system is the basis for most wine labeling laws around the world. In this course, you will learn the cool climates, grapes and wine styles of northern France. This class includes a guided tasting of 6-8 wines from Champagne, Alsace, Loire and Burgundy. The class may be taken as part of the CSW Course or on its own.
CSW 04 Southern France                                                   Oct. 22
Complete your journey through France as we get to know the grapes, wine styles, geography and climate of Bordeaux, the Rhone Valley, Beaujolais, Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence, and Southwest France. The class includes a guided tasting of 6-8 wines, including wines from Bordeaux's right and left banks, Chateauneuf du Pape, and more. The class may be taken as part of the CSW Course or on its own.
CSW 05 Italy                                                                        Oct. 29
Recently Italy has produced and exported more wine than any other country.  Vineyards are to Italy what lawns are to America – they are everywhere. With so much wine, twenty wine-producing regions, hundreds of indigenous grape varieties, and a wide spectrum of wine styles – well, it's complicated! It is important for the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) to understand and be able to describe the major wine regions and wines of Italy.  This class includes a guided tasting of 6-8 wines from Piedmont, Tuscany, Veneto and more. The class may be taken as part of the CSW Course or on its own.
CSW 06 Spain, Portugal & Eastern Mediterranean       Nov. 5
Did you know that almost 60% of Spain sits on a large plateau called the Meseta, 2000 feet above sea level, and that Portugal's Madeira and Port have been internationally famous for centuries? Explore these Mediterranean countries, each with its unique set of wines and wine styles.  The class includes a guided tasting of 6-8 wines including Cava, Rioja, Jerez, Porto, Madeira and more. The class may be taken as part of the CSW Course or on its own.
CSW 07 Germany and Eastern Europe                   Dec. 3
Germany is home to some of the coldest climate vineyards in the world.  Its Riesling grape is the only major international wine grape not native to France. Germany's eastern neighbors – Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, and Croatia – give the world distinctive and increasingly sought-after wines.  This class includes a guided tasting of 6-8 wines including: Spätburgunder, Riesling from Mosel and Rheingau, Grüner Veltliner from Austria, Tokaji from Hungary and more. The class may be taken as part of the CSW Course or on its own.
CSW 08 North America                                                           Dec. 10
The United States is the world’s fourth largest wine producer and the top producer and importer in the New World.  Learn the wines and wine regions of California, Oregon, Washington State, and New York, as well as of Canada and Mexico; America's wine laws and its Viticultural Areas; and how the Pacific and Coastal Range play the dominant role in determining the grapes and wine styles of California's wine regions. This class includes a guided tasting of 6-8 wines from California, Oregon, Washington and Canada. The class may be taken as part of the CSW Course or on its own.
CSW 09 Southern Hemisphere                                             Jan. 7
Journey "down under" to the fabulous new wines of Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.  Learn their top wine regions, grapes, climate and wine laws.  The class includes a guided tasting of 6-8 wines such as: Mendoza Malbec, Casablanca Chardonnay, Maipo Carmenere, Barossa Shiraz, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Central Otago Pinot Noir,  and Stellenbosch Pinotage. The class may be taken as part of the CSW Course or on its own.
CSW 10 CSW Course Review                                            Jan. 14
This class is a full-court-press effort to review, in a structured and clear manner, the most important information covered in the first nine classes.   The course can be taken as part of the full CSW Course or on its own.
CSW 11 Certified Specialist of Wine Exam                      Jan. 28
The CSW industry credential can be important in furthering your career in the wine industry or in just giving you the satisfaction of having an advanced level of wine knowledge.  The Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) credential exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. Successful candidates who achieve a score of 75% or better are entitled to use the CSW post-nominal as part of their professional signature. They will also receive a certificate suitable for framing and a CSW lapel pin. The CSW also serves as the mandatory prerequisite for those wishing to pursue the Certified Wine Educator (CWE) certification. There are no exceptions to this rule, regardless of a candidate’s background or other credentials.
                                  


Who is Your Instructor?

Ned Towle, CSW, CWE, has been qualified by the Society of Wine Educators  as a Certified Specialist of Wine and a Certified Wine Educator. He is certified as a sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers and as a Wine Judge by the American Wine Society. He is the Director of the Westchester Wine School, has worked in wineries in southwest France, and has led fun and informative courses and wine events for many years on all aspects of wine and wine regions.