Frequently Asked Questions

Take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions the Guild receives. Still have questions or want to know more? Contact us here, we'd be happy to talk to you!

What Is The International Wine Guild 

The International Wine Guild is a wine vocational school, approved in the State of Colorado, to offer diploma programs and professional certifications for professionals in the wine industry and serious enthusiasts who would like to learn about wine like a professional. The Guild offers technical (Level I - III) diploma and certification programs, as well as Wine Educator and Wine Judge diploma and certification programs.

College level wine education is a fairly new concept. There have been enology and viticulture programs for decades, but if you want to study and learn about wine, not how to make or grow it, there are very few options.

The Guild is very proud to be one of the very few stand-alone wine colleges in the United States. We are not part of a culinary school or hotel and restaurant management program - we provide college level wine education through 25 different professional wine courses.

Can I get a copy of your college catalog? 

Yes, you can download a free PDF copy of our college catalog.

Are IWG diplomas recognized in other states and countries. 

IWG diplomas and certifications are recognized throughout the United States and many other countries. The Guild has graduates living in all 50 states and 12 foreign countries.

The IWG is currently providing wine education in China, at the request of the Chinese government. The Guild was approached by a Chinese governmental agency, the Hangzhou Wine Cultural Center, to help establish wine education throughout the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The Guild is also working with Malaysia and Singapore to establish wine education programs in those countries as well.

What level of education do I need to start taking classes from the Guild? 

A high school diploma or GED certificate is all that is required. International students must have the equivalent of a high school education to apply to the Guild. The ACT or SAT is not required. International students must pass an English proficiency exam (offered by others).

What kind of job will a diploma from the Guild prepare me for? 

The Guild has graduates in all aspects of the wine and hospitality industries. We have graduated people who have secured jobs with wine makers, importers, distributors, fine wine shops, restaurants, wine bars, restaurant managers, sommeliers, food and beverage managers, wine consultants, even as wine instructors in other colleges.

Because we offer business as well as technical and wine evaluation courses we have many graduates who start their own businesses after completing our programs.

Because many of our students are more mature, or have other work experiences, many of our graduates start at middle management positions, or higher, because the education makes our graduates very valuable to their employers.

How long are your programs? 

The Guild offers nine distinct programs. Four are technical certification, three for wine educators and two for wine judges.

Our technical diploma programs include our Level I, Level II and Level III Certification. The Level I seminar is a 2 day seminar that provides a foundation to prepare you for Level II or III courses. The Level II Certification, the Advanced Wine Course, is 60 contact hours, which can be taken as a 12-week course or a 7-day intensive study course.

The Level III Certification, the Guild Wine Master program, is a prestigious program that requires you to complete 7 different courses as well as master exams. Most students require 9 to 15 months to complete this program. We have had people go from zero experience to a Level III certification in 15 months.

The Level IV Certification, is the Senior Wine Master or Master Wine Educator program. This is another 5 courses and master exams. Most people need 12 to 18 months to complete it. All level III and Level IV courses can be taken as 12-week or 1-week intensive study courses.

The Certified Wine Instructor and Senior Wine Instructor certification are each 12-week or 1-week intensive study courses plus a student teaching externship with the Guild.

Our Certified Wine Judge and Competition Wine Judge Certifications are one-day short courses for those that have completed a Level III certification.

Please read our catalog for more detailed information. There are pre-requisites for Level II, III and IV certification programs.

What classes and courses does the Guild offer. 

The Guild offers more than 20 professional courses, as described in the professional programs part of our web site. Our college level professional courses are for those in the trade, those desiring to get a job in the trade and serious enthusiasts who would like to take professional level college courses to develop their wine evaluation skills and knowledge.

You do not have to have any professional experience to register and take our college courses.

I am considering changing my career and have always had a passion for wine. How can I prepare myself for a career in the wine industry. 

Many of our students are “career changers” who want to make their passion for wine into a vocation.

For those with no experience in the industry we have three courses you can take that will lead to a professional certification. These courses are:

Upon the successful completion of these three courses you will have earned a professional certification and can begin your search for a career in the wine industry.

I am already working in the wine or hospitality industries and want a professional certification. Where do I begin? 

Where you begin depends upon your level of experience.

If you have less than 2 years of experience in any part of the wine or hospitality industries you begin with the Guild Certification Seminar (Level I Certification) and then continue on to Level II and beyond.

If you have 2 years or more of experience in the wine or hospitality industries you can begin your education with the Advanced Wine Course (Level II Certification).

I took a wine course in college and want to continue my education with the Guild. Where do I begin? 

If you completed a college level wine course, and received a B or higher grade, send the Guild a copy of your official transcript. Verification that you completed the course with a B or higher allows you can begin your education with the Advanced Wine Course (Level II Certification).

This would include a wine course, or beverage course, from an approved Culinary school as well.

Otherwise, you would begin with the Guild Certification Seminar (Level I Certification) and then continue on to Level II and beyond.

I successfully completed a course or seminar with another wine organization and want to continue my education with the Guild. Where do I begin? 

If you have completed a Level I or II certification from another wine organization please send us a copy of the certification document as proof, and you can begin your education with the Advanced Wine Course (Level II Certification).

Completing a Level II Certification from the Guild is a pre-requisite for the Level III program.

What professional courses does the Guild offer. When are they taught? 

The following is a list of individual course with links to web pages describing each of them in more detail. Go to the Calendar to see when each course is being taught.

The following are advanced courses that are part of a Level III or IV Certification. Each is 48 contact hours and is offered in a 12-week or 1-week intensive study format.

The following are advanced one-day short-courses. Each is 8 contact hours.

I do not live in the United States and want to complete a professional certification from the Guild. What do I have to do? 

I am a military veteran. Do my VA benefits apply? 

The IWG has been approved to provide veterans educational benefits via Chapters 30, 31, 35, 1606 and 1607. We can offer Title 32, Post 9/11 GI Bill education benefits as well.

In Denver, contact the Office of Veterans' Affairs for more information. The VA assistance number is 1-888-442-4551.

When you are approved for VA benefits let us know and we will prepare all of the documentation we need to complete once you have been approved. It will speed up the process if you can provide us your VA contact person, their telephone and fax number as well as their email address. We will email them the documentation with a copy to you. You will need to speak to your VA contact person after they have received the information to make sure everything is correct and you are approved.

I am the spouse of an active duty military, or active duty reservist, and want a career in the wine industry. Does the Guild have a program for me? 

The International Wine Guild is an approved Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCCA) education provider. The MyCCA program can only be used for Guild professional seminars and courses. These courses may be taken at any location the Guild is teaching. See the MyCAA page on this website for more details.

Does the Guild offer externship programs? 

The Guild offers externship programs for students enrolled in Levels II and III. Participating in an externship program is highly recommend for students with no experience in the industry.

Do I need to fill out an admissions application to take guild classes? 

If you live in the United States and are a US citizen you do not need to fill out an admissions application. As you take each professional course you will fill out an Enrollment Agreement.

International students must complete an admissions application before they can begin a course of study with the Guild.

I am not interested in a professional certification but want to take professional courses that interest me - can I do that? 

You must complete the Guild Certification Seminar (Level I Certification) and then you can take any Level II or III course from the Guild.

If you later decide that you want an Advanced Certification you must complete them in order - beginning with the Advanced Wine Course (Level II). Any courses you have successfully completed at Level III will count when you reach that level for Certification.

Does the IWG offer financial aid? 

The Guild does not offer federal financial aid. We can arrange payment programs. Contact srobbins@internationalwineguild.com for more information or to set up a payment schedule.

What is the experience of the faculty? 

By law, all of our faculty must have a minimum of 2-years experience in the wine or hospitality industry to teach in a vocational school. Many of our senior and Master level faculty have 10 to 30 years of experience.

This experience is in every aspect of the industry, including wine making, importing, distribution, wine shops, restaurants, wine bars, hotels and convention centers, to name a few. Faculty have been involved in business startups as well as consulting.

All IWG faculty must complete a 1-year training program (the Senior Wine Instructor program) before they can teach Level II course or higher for the Guild.

More Questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

 

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