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Join the class of 2025! Perfect for both the trade professional and the serious enthusiast, the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines will arm you with specialist-level skills and experience, plus international recognition as an expert in the field of wine. Learn more.

Global Perspective

Woman in a light blue cowl neck sweater holding up a glass of white wine. She is smiling and has blue eues and grey hair with bangs.

Lidija is one of IWEG’s 21 new WSET Diploma graduates. We invited her to share her experience in the program:

Congrats on achieving the WSET Diploma! Why did you enroll in the program in the first place?

I pursued the WSET Diploma because I love learning about wine, from grape growing to production to marketing and sales. Although I had completed the Winery and Viticulture Technician Program at Niagara College and worked in a winery, I knew the Diploma would provide a deeper more global perspective.

How did the program help you achieve your goals?

In particular, familiarization with the major wine grapes through study and tasting has enormously helped me gain confidence in writing about wine. My goal is to write articles not only for my personal blog ( but be published in a variety of industry related media. To that end the DipWSET is a gold standard recognized internationally.

Do you have any advice for the next Diploma cohort?

My advice for the next generation of students is to read everything the program provides and then more. Form a small study group even if it’s one other student so you can taste, share costs, and summarize information together. Become very familiar with the exam format for both the tasting and theory portions. Practice writing theory questions in the allotted time based on the exam. Past exam questions as well as the examiners’ report are helpful guides. Wishing future candidates all the best!

Read some of Lidija’s recent articles:

This vineyard pest is threatening Niagara’s wine region
Canadian Bubbly, eh?

Learn More About IWEG’s WSET Diploma Program

Perfect for both the trade professional and the serious enthusiast, the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines will arm you with specialist-level skills and experience, plus international recognition as an expert in the field of wine.

Join us on May 31st to learn more about the program! RSVP by May 17th to

The IWEG experience

As the leading organization in wine, spirits and sake education in Canada, IWEG has offered the WSET Level 4 Diploma since 1988.

Our Diploma graduates over the years have gone on to become vital members of the wine and spirits industry in Canada and worldwide. IWEG holds the record for having the largest amount of Diploma graduates in Canada!

IWEG has been offering Diploma studies for longer than any institute outside of the WSET School in London, which means we enjoy a long history of student success. Our passionate and highly qualified Diploma educators, who come from different fields within the trade, provide on-going support to help you master the analytical tasting skills and supplemental theoretical knowledge necessary to succeed.

WSET Level 2 Award in Wines in Collingwood

Woman smiling while standing with her hood up in front of a foudre.

Gain knowledge of the principal and regionally important grape varieties of the world, the regions in which they are grown and the styles of wine they produce.

WSET Level 2 Award in Wines is the perfect wine course for anyone wishing to learn about a wide range of grapes and styles, as well as those seeking to build on the introductory knowledge gained with the WSET Level 1 Award in Wines. 

This 17-hour course provides fundamental product knowledge and systematic tasting skills. Expect to spend 11 hours on preparation and review outside of the classroom.

The course will be taught by certified instructor Caitlin Ferguson DipWSET.

WSET Level 2 Award in Wines – Collingwood
Date: Mondays, May 1st – June 12th at 5:30pm to 8:30 pm
Register Now!

Woman in a turquoise blazer and black top smiling into the camera.
Caitlin Ferguson DipWSET got into the wine business as a result of her love for travel and culture after living in France for a year when she was 25. After experiencing the manual labour involved in harvesting grapes, she decided to experience the city side of wine, and headed to London, UK. In London she worked at Vinoteca Wine Bar & Shop, where she learned so much about wine and her passion for wine was confirmed. Caitlin returned home to Toronto in 2010, and has since been running a small import agency called Bogie’s Best Imports as well as teaching WSET Level 3 Award in Wines, WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines, the Spanish Wine Scholar and the French Wine Scholar. Caitlin is passionate about Spanish and French wines as well as sherry and she likes to keep wine fun, and leave the pretentiousness behind.

Wines of South Africa 2023 Sommelier Symposium

The 364th South African wine harvest has wrapped up, and Wines of South Africa (WoSA) Canada is pleased to mark the occasion by announcing the 2023 WoSA Sommelier Symposium.

WoSA offices worldwide will be accepting applications for participants; WoSA Canada has three spots open. One is fully-funded, with WoSA covering economy class airfare, accommodation, meals, local transport within South Africa, and itinerary activities. For the two additional spots WoSA will cover the on-the-ground expenses (accommodation, meals, local transport, and itinerary activities) but participants will be required to cover their own airfare.

The trip will bring together sommeliers from North America, Europe, and Asia for a week of travel around the Western Cape. Participants will visit the major wine-regions of South Africa, with time spent in guided tastings, winery visits, and vineyard tours. Some of the events and activities include:

  • A masterclass and tasting with the Stellenbosch Cabernet Collective
  • Vineyard visits in the Swartland with Adi Badenhorst, the Mullineuxs, and more
  • A Cap Classique masterclass with “Mr. Bubbles”, Pieter Ferreira
  • Explore cool climate South Africa with a trip down the coast to Hemel-en-Aarde, with time for whale watching
  • A seafood dinner with the Cape Agulhas Triangle producers
  • Time to explore Cape Town’s dining and drinking scene

Guests will have the chance to socialize with other attendees, South African winemakers, and South African sommeliers.

The dates of the Symposium are September 10th through Sunday the 17th.

Who’s eligible to participate:
Sommeliers anywhere in Canada. You need to be currently working in a restaurant as a sommelier and/or wine director, or in wine retail in a buying capacity, to enter. Anyone who has taken a WoSA-sponsored trip to South Africa in the past ten years (since January 1, 2013) is not eligible.

How to Apply:
1.    Start your entry by filling out this form and submitting to
2.    Before May 8th, 2023, post three bottle shots of South African wines on Twitter (@WOSACanada) or Instagram (@WOSA_ca), tagging @WOSA_ca and using the #CapeSomm hashtag.
3.    On May 8th, WoSA will host a virtual seminar on South African wine, covering the country’s history, terroir, major regions, and major grape varieties. A link will be provided, as will a recording for those who are unable to sign on live.
4.    On May 9th, WoSA will provide a link to an online quiz and the topic for a short, 300-word essay. Participants have until 6am EST Wednesday, May 17th to complete the quiz and submit the essay.

WOSA will announce the results on May 19th. Should the winner or runners-up opt not to take the trip, WoSA Canada will extend the offer to other entrants based on the exam/essay results.

If you have questions about the application process or the WoSA Sommelier Symposium in general please feel free to reach out to WoSA Canada’s Country Manager Laurel Keenan at

Pascaline Lepeltier: Sommelière Moderne

Pascaline Lepeltier is one of the world’s most respected sommeliers and restaurateurs. Members of the IWEG community have had an opportunity to learn from her through our masterclass program. 

In 2018, she was the first woman ever to obtain the Meilleure Ouvrière de France in sommellerie (this is a very prestigious award that loosely translates to “best tradesperson of France”) and the same year, she was named Best Sommelier of France. 2018 was action-packed for Pascaline as she also featured in popular wine-themed movie Somm 3. 

Wine Scholar Guild recently spoke with Pascaline to talk about her recent experience at the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI) Best Sommelier of the World 2023 contest, what’s so special about the Loire, and the philosophy behind her latest book Mille Vignes, which will be published in English in early 2024. Read on.

Wines of Portugal Academy Initiation Level

Bottle of wine on a pile of books with a backpack and blackboard in the background. The bottle says wines of Portugal. The blackboard says Portuguese 101, saude! and ola!

Explore the history, taste a variety of wine styles, and develop your knowledge of the native grape varietals of this great winemaking region.

This 3-hour course is ideal for trade professionals seeking professional accreditation and Portuguese wine enthusiasts.

Discover the most important native grape varietals, understand traditional vinification systems, tour the unique sub-regions and taste a number of diverse wines showcasing Portugal’s diverse terroirs.

You will:

  • Develop an extensive knowledge of Portuguese wines
  • Be able to recognize the iconic wines, the famous fortified wines, the 10 main grape varieties, the typical blends and the contribution of each variety in the composition of the blend for wines of Portugal
  • Be able identify and know the main characteristics of the main regions (including Beira Interior and Azores)
  • Develop an in-depth knowledge on the harmonization of international gastronomy with Portuguese wines

Upon successful completion of a test, you will receive a certificate and the title of Wines of Portugal Certified Ambassador.

The course is taught by ViniPortugal educator Sofia Salvador.

Wines of Portugal Academy: Initiation Level

Date: Saturday June 3rd at 9:30am – 4:30pm
Register Now!

LCBO Welcomes New Spirit Of Inclusion Initiative Partner to Advance Equitable Representation in the Beverage Alcohol Industry

Spirit of Sustainability

Partnership will increase access to scholarships, bursaries, mentorship, and employment opportunities for diverse women.

Through the Spirit of Sustainability, the LCBO is pleased to welcome IWEG as its newest Impact Partner under its Spirit of Inclusion Initiative. The program will fund 20 new scholarships to support diverse women who are beginning or continuing their education in IWEG’s beverage alcohol programs.

Through partnerships with Ontario education institutions, charitable organizations, and trade partners, the Spirit of Inclusion Initiative aims to identify and remove systemic barriers for diverse women in the industry. The program provides bursaries and scholarships, facilitates mentorships, and identifies co-op placements for diverse women to enter, advance, and thrive in the beverage alcohol industry. Established in 1977, and the only Canadian school to offer all qualifications of WSET, IWEG joins the roster of LCBO’s education partners from George Brown College, Niagara College, and Brock University.

“I am pleased that the Independent Education Wine Guild is joining us on our mission to increase equitable representation and further support students entering the winery, brewery, and distillery fields. As a purpose-led organization, the LCBO is proud of our commitment to enhance diversity within the beverage alcohol industry, and we look forward to the positive impact this partnership will create,” said George Soleas, President & CEO, LCBO.

“We thank LCBO for their generous gift that will help students and our community of professionals achieve their personal and professional goals,” Paul Miles DipWSET Executive Director, “The Spirit of Inclusion Initiative is so important as it provides the support to grow a sustainable and diverse drinks and hospitality sector.”

Learn more about the program and how you can apply for a scholarship.