UBC teams with Fine Vintage Ltd. to offer world-renowned WSET® wine courses in Kelowna

The University of British Columbia and James Cluer of Fine Vintage Ltd. are partnering to bring world-renowned Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET®) Courses to the Okanagan Valley, starting November 15 in Kelowna.

"UBC is delighted to be offering a program of wine courses with such international recognition that will provide wine lovers and industry professionals the tools to further explore the fascinating world of wine," says Gwen Zilm, UBC Okanagan Associate Vice President, Learning Services.

The new WSET program in the Okanagan is further evidence of UBC's commitment to the wine industry through its Wine Research Centre, headed by Prof. Hennie van Vuuren. The UBC Continuing Studies Understanding Wine Program, under the direction of Dr. Judith Plessis, has been offering beginner to advanced courses in the Lower Mainland since 2002. Plessis and Van Vuuren are very happy to add the WSET certification courses to the program curriculum.

"The partnership between UBC and WSET is a perfect fit," says James Cluer, owner of Fine Vintage Ltd and a UBC Understanding Wine Program Instructor. "Both organizations have outstanding international reputations as education providers. It is a great partnership to have UBC and WSET operating together in the heart of B.C. wine country."

Cluer describes the United Kingdom-based Wine and Spirit Education Trust as "the gold standard in wine education. It offers outstanding courses with a certification that is highly respected in the wine trade." The courses have been offered by UBC in Vancouver since September and are very well received. He adds that the courses are open to the public and are sought after by wine enthusiasts.

Three WSET courses will be offered: the Foundation (4 weeks), Intermediate (9 weeks) and Advanced (15 weeks). The courses are held one evening per week for 2.5 hours, with each class including a high-end tasting of eight wines, averaging $40 per bottle. The Kelowna courses will be instructed by local wine educator Rhys Pender, who has spent over 11 years teaching and working in different facets of the wine industry. He is currently in year two of the prestigious Master of Wine study program and is a regular contributor to publications Wine Access and CityFood.

“As a wine educator, Rhys has taught courses in wine marketing, wine sales, viticulture as well as various consumer interest wine courses," Cluer says. "We are excited to bring the WSET courses to the Okanagan and to have access to Rhys's extensive knowledge and enthusiasm on the subject."

Exams are held at the end of each course. Upon successful completion, a certificate is awarded by the WSET representing a formal qualification in the wine trade.


Note: Course descriptions, dates and fees are included below.

About The Courses:

PRICE: $485 (Including books and WSET exam)
DURATION: 4 weeks - 1 evening per week from 6.30 - 9 p.m.

This qualification is an introduction to wine. You will learn about the main styles of wine, how to taste, evaluate and describe wines, the characteristics of the major grape varieties and the matching of wine and food. To receive the certificate from the WSET there is a multiple choice paper of 30 questions, a food and wine matching exercise, and a portfolio of tasting notes.

Course 1: Tuesdays 6:30 - 9 p.m., November 15 until December 6, 2005
Course 2: Tuesdays 6:30 - 9 p.m., February 21 until March 14, 2006

PRICE: $795 (Including books and WSET exam)
DURATION: 9 weeks - 1 evening per week from 6.30 - 9 p.m.

This qualification is intended for those employed in the drinks industry and passionate wine enthusiasts. The course is excellent for those who already have a reasonable base of knowledge but wish to learn more. The focus is on wine tasting, grape growing, winemaking, and the classic wine regions of the world. Beers, ciders, spirits and liqueurs are also included in the course. To receive the certificate from the WSET there is a multiple choice paper of 50 questions.

Course 1: Wednesdays 6:30 - 9 p.m., February 8 until April 5, 2006

PRICE: $1,495 (Including books and WSET exam)
DURATION: 15 weeks - 1 evening per week from 6.30 - 9 p.m.

This qualification is intended to provide in-depth knowledge of the wide range of wines and spirits around the world. The qualification is designed for people in the wine trade, hospitality industry or retail sector but it is also ideal for the real wine enthusiast. The course covers the major wine regions, viticulture, vinification, and extensive tastings of eight high-quality wines in each class. To gain the Level 3 qualification candidates will be required to successfully complete a multiple choice paper of 60 questions, a question paper requiring short written answers, and an internally set and assessed blind tasting of one wine.

Course 1: Wednesdays 6:30 - 9 p.m., April 26 until August 2, 2006

Register for these courses through Fine Vintage online: http://www.finevintageltd.com/register.asp
Methods of Payment: Cash, Visa, Mastercard or Amex accepted.