Our guests and guides are Geralyn Brostrom, CoFounder and Wine Educator of Italian Wine Central, and Christian Oggenfuss, D.W.S., F.W.S., I.W.P. Chief Education Officer of the Napa Valley Wine Academy.
Christian Oggenfuss is a second year Master of Wine student with the prestigious Institute of Masters of Wine in London, a passionate wine industry spokesman, wine educator and founder of the Napa Valley Wine Academy. He holds the DWS (Diploma Wine & Spirits), the highest certification from the London based Wine & Spirit Education Trust and is an Associate Member of the Institute of Wine & Spirits. Christian also holds the French Wine Scholar (FWS) certification with the French Wine Society as well as the Italian Wine Professional (IWP) certification with Italian Wine Central.
Geralyn entered the wine industry more than 20 years ago working at a winery where wine education was a strong focus. Most recently, Geralyn served as vice president of wine education for the importer and distributor Winebow, where her passion for Italian wines was forged. Prior to that, she held positions overseeing a winery tasting room, managing a wine shop in New Jersey, working a harvest in Washington State, and serving as executive director and director of education for the Society of Wine Educators. Now, as a partner at Vindeavour, Geralyn draws upon all of that experience to provide educational expertise and consulting for wine businesses and trade associations. She has an MBA and holds dual U.S.-Italian citizenship.
Napa Valley Wine Academy partners with Italian Wine Central to add Italian Wine Immersion
Napa, CA, March 2017 --- As Italian wine consumption in the U.S. continues on its growth trajectory, the desire for Italian wine knowledge seems insatiable. Professionals need up-to-the-minute details and consumers never seem to tire of exploring all that this magical country has to offer. Now, an award-winning wine school, an internationally recognized source for Italian wine education and the largest distribution company in the U.S. have teamed up to introduce a new industry standard for Italian wine education.
Napa Valley Wine Academy (NVWA), in partnership with Italian Wine Central, is attracting hundreds of wine industry salespeople and support staff as students to their online Italian wine curriculum. One industry leader who has made this commitment on a large scale is Southern Glazer’s, the largest U.S. wine & spirits wholesaler. “We are so pleased that Southern Glazer’s is enrolling employees from around the country in the Italian Wine Professional (IWP) program,” explains Geralyn Brostrom, Education Director at Italian Wine Central. As a wine business instructor and a keen follower of industry trends, she understands the needs of the market. “As wine consumption continues to grow in the U.S., so does the need for high-quality wine education,” she adds. The professional course development team from Italian Wine Central and the NVWA is extremely adept at creating easy-to-follow courses, based on best practices in wine education with high standards.
“The IWP program dovetails very nicely with our corporate educational objectives,” explains Eric Hemer, MS, MW, Senior Vice President and Director of Wine Education for Southern Glazer’s. “We represent a large number of wineries from Italy and found that many of our sales personnel were lacking a deep knowledge of Italian wines, regions and producers. The IWP program fills this need very well. Plus, as an online course augmented by classroom training and tasting with our wine educators, it is flexible so that our personnel can study and learn when and where it fits into their busy schedules,” he said.
According to Brostrom, those successful in obtaining the IWP certification report that they are much more confident in the market with their presentations and correspondingly their sales of Italian wine are stronger. Their increased knowledge has made them valuable partners to their customers. “Our goal has been simple from the outset—to help make sense of the complex world of Italian wines and to support its continued growth in the U.S. market,” she said.
“The Napa Valley Wine Academy is honored to partner with Italian Wine Central to provide their curriculum on as broad a platform as possible,” says Christian Oggenfuss, founder of the Napa Valley Wine Academy. “I was immediately hooked when I personally took the course because it is simply the best designed program from a pedagogical perspective. Partnering with Italian Wine Central aligns with our commitment to offer excellence, breadth and depth in wine education,” Oggenfuss adds.
Two wine industry veterans who are very familiar with the growth of Italian wine in the U.S. offered their viewpoints. Leonardo LoCascio, founder of the Italian wine import company Winebow (now The Winebow Group), commented, “The Italian Wine Professional course is the perfect way to achieve the comprehensive, in-depth knowledge of all the major Italian wine regions and grape varieties essential for anyone selling, buying or drinking Italian wine.” Kevin Zraly, wine educator and author (Windows on the World Complete Wine Course), agrees: “The Italian Wine Professional course and book are a must-have for any student, buyer or lover of Italian wine.”
Italian Wine Central is the leading English language source of information about Italian wine. IWC offers two educational courses that help learners understand the broad range of Italian wines seen in export markets around the world. Italian Wine Central was the first to offer an online Italian wine education program, and its program is the only Italian wine education program to be endorsed by both the Italian Trade Commission and Slow Wine.
For more information on IWC’s certification courses—Level 1, Discovering Italian Wine™, and Level 2, The Italian Wine Professional™ (IWP)—please visit Italian Wine Central Education Programs.
Upcoming IWP course start dates: April 28, June 2 and July 7, 2017.
ABOUT THE NAPA VALLEY WINE ACADEMY
The Napa Valley Wine Academy was awarded the coveted Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s Global Educator of the Year for 2016 at the annual WSET awards ceremony in London’s Guild Hall on January 23, 2017. NVWA was chosen for the honor out of the WSET’s extensive network of 650+ Approved Program Providers in over 73 countries. The Napa Valley Wine Academy offers courses in several of America’s top wine markets: in addition to its home location in the Napa Valley and its extensive online course catalog, NVWA teaches programs in Santa Barbara, CA; Tampa and Orlando, FL; Las Vegas, NV; Colorado; Ohio; and Tennessee.
To register for the first class in the Italian series, visit Napa Valley Wine Academy-Discovering Italian Wine Online Course