Thursday, July 14, 2016

Another One Bites the Dust


I am extremely happy to report that I received results from the Unit 1 Coursework Assignment and I passed! Not only did I pass, but everyone in my class passed, which is unprecedented!

The Coursework Assignment is a research paper that is half of the Unit 1 (The Business of Wine and Spirits) exam. We are given a few months to conduct research and complete the assignment. The CWA must be between 2,500-3,000 words. Our CWA topic was: wine brands. The prompt for discussion was whether or not wine brands are good for the consumer and/or producer. We had to conduct research on the topic, provide examples, and give our opinion and reasons to support it. In the last exam rotation in 2015, 84% of Diploma students passed the CWA. In the last 6 years, the average pass rate was 88%. While the overall pass rate has been high, it is quite a complement to our class and to our instructor that we had a 100% pass rate.

What’s next for SOMMspirations?

I am still anxiously awaiting my Unit 6 Fortified exam results. Those should be here around the middle/end of August. Moving forward, I still have the one big boy left: Unit 3 (Still Wines of the World). Those classes don’t begin until the end of October (exam is June 2017). I am going to continue my mini-sabbatical until mid-August or so, then start prep for Unit 3. In preparation for Unit 3, I am going to spend some time reviewing Unit 2: Viticulture/Vinification. This is essentially the science of grape growing and the science of making wine. Unit 2 forms the backbone of the entire Diploma certification. I want to re-familiarize myself with all the viti/vini that I learned so that it is at my fingertips once we start our classes, which are broken down by region.

In September we will start our tasting groups outside of class, as well as form study groups to tackle the reading/studying as a group. It is a pretty incredible amount of information to study for Unit 3, so I believe as a class, we are going to divide and conquer and “teach” each other our sections in study groups. That way when we meet up in our formal classes, we will be more prepared with questions and clarifications, versus coming to class to learn the information there. Better to come prepared and expose yourself to the materials one more time.

The other item coming up for me is the Wine Bloggers Conference in Lodi, California in August. I’ve got quite a bit of prep work to get ready: blog posts to plan, itinerary to lay out, contact with local winemakers, sample tastings to schedule, etc. Not to mention all of the follow up work that comes out of the conference!

No rest for the weary!

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