Wine Location Specialist Certificate Program

Please note: the exam is on hold until further notice.

The Center for Wine Origins Wine Location Specialist Certificate Program is a collaboration between the Comite Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) and the Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto (IVDP) with financial support from the European Union and its member states of France and Portugal. Authored by Sandy Block, Master of Wine and Vice President of Beverages at Legal Sea Foods, the program is a comprehensive guide covering two leading wine regions – Champagne and Porto. These regions represent unique locations where climate, soil, and years of winemaking experience guarantee a certain standard of quality. To date, 151 individuals have passed the six exams, 67 of which were With Distinction.

Who can take the exam?

Registration is open to approved sommeliers, beverage directors and retail beverage directors located in the United States. All test takers must be approved by the Center for Wine Origins. There is no registration fee to take this exam.

How do I register?

Testing Dates:

  • TBD

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER. Upon acceptance, you will be provided with a comprehensive study guide and sample test questions.

After you have extensively reviewed the study guide you can log on to the testing site at any time during the 72-hour time-frame to complete the one-hour exam. Upon completion, you will be notified of your score within one month of your testing date.

For more information, please email

What are the exam guidelines?

Once you have filled out your application and have been approved you will receive a PDF and printed copy (at request) of the extensive study guide. Once you have thoroughly studied the guide and are prepared to take the online exam, the next step is to log-in during your selected testing date. A log in will be sent to you via email.

The exam consists of 50 randomly selected questions and one essay question. You will have 60 minutes to complete the exam. You will be provided with your score within one month of your test date.

Exam-takers who answer 40 out of 50 questions correctly and receive a score of 3 out of 5 on the essay portion of the exam will be awarded the Wine Location Specialist Certificate by the Center for Wine Origins. Exam-takers who answer 45 out of 50 questions correctly and receive a score of 4 out of 5 on the essay portion of the exam will pass With Distinction and be awarded the Wine Location Specialist Certificate by the Center for Wine Origins.

What can I do with this Certificate?

As a Wine Location Specialist you are accredited by the CIVC and the IVDP and certified to lead wine education seminars, tastings and dinners specific to the Champagne and Port regions. Your certificate will be mailed to you upon successfully passing this exam along with a toolkit you can use to train and educate others. In addition, as an accredited Wine Location Specialist, you will be provided with tasting sheets that include recommended wines and notes to lead participants through a comparative tasting of various styles of Champagne and Port.  Other benefits include:

  • Network with other accredited Wine Location Specialists
  • Order free materials from the Center for Wine Origins  to use in education sessions, tastings and wine dinners
  • Recognition in the Center for Wine Origins  “Spotlight” and “Partners” page and you will be listed an accredited Wine Location Specialist with a biographical profile piece on our website

Have a question about the certificate program? Email us at


Certified Wine Location Specialists Include

Wine Location Specialists (with Distinction)

  • Adam Aleksy, Oregon Culinary Institute (Oregon)
  • John Alonge, San Diego Wine & Culinary Center (California)
  • Thomas Anderer, Park East Wines & Spirits (New York)
  • Paul Ashe, University of Westminster (United Kingdom)
  • Marco Avigo, The Inn at Penn-Hilton Hotel (Pennsylvania)
  • Jeffrey Baker II, Beverage Warehouse (Vermont)
  • Kent Benson, Swirl Wine School (Minnesota)
  • Maxine Borcherding, Oregon Culinary Institute (Oregon)
  • Patricia Borgardt, Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort (California)
  • Joanna Breslin, Bridge2Worlds Wine Agency (California)
  • Christy Canterbury, Canterbury Consulting (New York)
  • Miguel Chan, Southern Sun Hotels (South Africa)
  • Christine Collier, Cipher Cellars (Oregon)
  • Justin Conlin, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood (Texas)
  • Mary Cressler, Vindulge Wine Education & Consulting (Connecticut)
  • John Dickinson, Napa Valley College (California)
  • Paige Donner, Freelance Food and Wine Writer, Chérie Du Vin (California)
  • Nannette Eaton, Wine Harlots
  • Lyn Farmer, Miami Wine & Food Festival (Florida)
  • Tony Fese, Free Market Wine Group (Indiana)
  • John W. Filkins Jr., Pairings Bistro (Maryland)
  • Jeffrey Franklin, Certified Specialist of Wine (New York)
  • Brian Freedman, Wine Educator (Pennsylvania)
  • Sunny Gandara, Fork and Glass LLC (New York)
  • Abby Gatchel, Millésima S.A. (Illinois)
  • Kevin Glowacki, Twin Liquors (Texas)
  • David Gochros, Wine Young’s Market Co./Estates Group (Hawaii)
  • Gill Gordon-Smith, Fall From Grace (Alabama)
  • Summer Haines, Quarter Kitchen/Andaz (San Diego)
  • Joe Herrig, (Georgia)
  • Beth Hickey, El Gaucho (Seattle)
  • Missi Holle, Kobrand Corporation (Florida)
  • Courtney Hughes, Domaine Select Wine Estates (New York)
  • Julia Hurst, The Passenger (Washington, D.C.)
  • Lynn Krielow Chamberlain, iWineRadio (North Carolina)
  • Bretton Lammi, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (Nevada)
  • Katherine Little, Little Paradiso (Italy)
  • May Matta Aliah, In the Grape (New York)
  • Kelly McCloud, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar (Texas)
  • Suzanne McGrath, The Curious Grape (Virginia)
  • Paul McKeever, Davio’s (Massachusetts)
  • Sharon McLean, International Culinary School (Canada)
  • Stephanie Miskew, The Glamorous Gourmet (Florida)
  • Sally Mohr, Mohr on More (Colorado)
  • Brian Noto, The Beverage Guru (Missouri)
  • Sydney Paris, Prima (California)
  • Ryan Reichert, Wine Educator (Oregon)
  • Treve Ring, EAT Magazine (Canada)
  • Joseph Roberts, Wine Writer (Pennsylvania)
  • Mitch Sargent, Hyatt (California)
  • Yoko Sawyer, Winestone (Massachusetts)
  • Kyle Schlachter, Colorado Wine Industry Development Board (Colorado)
  • Richard Schlesinger, Winesellers, Ltd. (Illinois)
  • Rick Schofield, Schofield Wine (New York)
  • Erik Segelbaum, Schwartz Brother’s Restaurants (Washington)
  • Mark Shipway, International Culinary School (Canada)
  • Richard Shore, Washington Wine Academy (Virginia)
  • Glen Siegel, Sommelier and Wine Educator (Canada)
  • Massimo Sommovigo, Oceania Cruises, Inc. (Florida)
  • Alice Swift, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Nevada)
  • Brandon Tebbe, Summit at the Broadmoor Hotel (Colorado)
  • Wyeth Tvenge, Grande Harvest Wines (Connecticut)
  • John Vuong, Ame Restaurant at the St. Regis Hotel (California)
  • Gary Westby, K&L Wine Merchants (California)
  • Jennifer Westra, Mountain Dome Winery/Hayden Lake Country Club (Washington)
  • Brian Zhang, Total Wine (California)
  • Scott Zoccolillo, Hotel Dupont (Delaware)

Wine Location Specialists

  • Emily Adams, Student (Mississippi)
  • Luiz Alberto, The Wine Hub (New Jersey)
  • Frank Aquilino, Wine All The Time Tours (New Jersey)
  • Richard Auffrey, The Passionate Foodie (Massachusetts)
  • Stephanie Baden, Savoir Wines (California)
  • Kathryn Barnett, Michael David Vineyards (California)
  • Alexandra Bookless, The Passenger (Washington, D.C.)
  • Patrick Brendel, Atlantic Wine (Georgia)
  • Michael Buckelew, Broadmoor Hotel (Colorado)
  • Lori Butler, Cricket Consulting (Missouri)
  • Abel Carmona, Twin Liquors (Texas)
  • Jacqueline Chambliss, French Wine Scholar (Georgia)
  • Brett Chappell, Stratford University Culinary School (Virginia)
  • Michael Cheatham, Coup du Vigne Wine Club (California)
  • Sandra Crittenden-Merovitch, Wine Consultant (Texas)
  • Carson Demmond, Wine & Spirits Magazine (New York)
  • David Denton, Charlie Palmer Group (Virginia)
  • Debra Desepoli, Domaine Select Wine Estates (New York)
  • Carolyn Dougharty, Whole Foods Market (California)
  • Jesse Dunklee, The Farmhouse Tap & Grill (Vermont)
  • Rachel Ego, Roaring Fork Country Club (Colorado)
  • Bill Elsey, Duchman Family Winery (Texas)
  • William Englehaupt, Accenture (Virginia)
  • Joan Fedus, Wine Educator (New Jersey)
  • John Patrick Fetherston, Columbia Room (Washington, D.C.)
  • Al Fini, 360 Uno Trattoria & Wine Bar (Texas)
  • Tom Firth, Wine Access Magazine (Canada)
  • David Furer, Journalist (Texas)
  • Debbie Gioquindo, Hudson Valley Wine Goddess (New York)
  • John Patrick Hailey, Opici Wine Company (New York)
  • Annette Hanami, Wine Muse (California)
  • Pamela Heiligenthal, Enobytes (Oregon)
  • Caroline Henry, MissinWine (Ohio)
  • Charles Hesson, Dobbes Family Estate Winery & Wine By Joe (Oregon)
  • Holly Howell, UNCORKED (New York)
  • Sergio Jardim, Convivium Osteria (New York)
  • Jack Jelenko, Partners Wine Marketing Group, LLC (Louisiana)
  • Dr. Rick Jelovsek, Learn Wine at Home, LLC (Tennessee)
  • Tracy Ellen Kamens, Grand Cru Classes (New York)
  • Gabriel Key, (Virginia)
  • James King, The Texas Wine School (Texas)
  • Steven Kolpan The Culinary Institute of America (New York)
  • Marina La Forgia, El ABC del Vino (Canada)
  • Kelly Magyarics, Kelly Magyarics Wine Consulting (Virginia)
  • Michael Maletta, Wine with Mike (Florida)
  • Gregory Mayer, Bristol Bar & Grille (Indiana)
  • Lance Mayhew, Oregon Culinary Institute (Oregon)
  • Phil Morich, Gran cru Solutions (Colorado)
  • Mandi Nelson, Republic National (Texas)
  • Katie Nelson, Columbia Room (Washington, D.C.)
  • Jürg Oggenfuss, Joseph Phelps Vineyards (California)
  • Christian Oggenfuss, Vintuba (California)
  • Patrick Okubo, The Wine GI (Hawaii)
  • Victor Orozco, Wine Master (California)
  • Chantelle Pabros, Vinera, LLC (Illinois)
  • Gary Pelvis, Rutgers University Professor (New Jersey)
  • Roberto Pocas, Leitao L\’Auberge Del Mar and Vagabond (California)
  • Fritz Reese, Wine Sense (Nevada)
  • Kerri Robinson, Indie Cellars (Oregon)
  • Rebecca Rochester, Wine Consultant (Oregon)
  • Michael Rosenberg, The Curious Grape (Virginia)
  • Paul Russo Masciarelli, Wine Company (Massachusetts)
  • Rafael Sanchez, POP Champagne and Dessert Bar (California)
  • David Sandri, American Winesecrets, LLC (California)
  • Michael Schaefer, Herding Grapes (Pennsylvania)
  • Aileen Sevier, Terlato Wines International (Illinois)
  • Yashar Shayan, Seastar Restaurant (Washington)
  • Lucinda Smith, The Vineyard Table (Virginia)
  • Carla Snow, A Grape Affair, LLC (New Hampshire)
  • David Speer, Red Slate Wine Co. (Oregon)
  • Brittany Speer, Duke University (North Carolina )
  • John Sporing Jr., A Life Well Drunk LLC (Virginia)
  • Mari Stull, The Vino Vixen (California)
  • Eugene Tang, 1515 Restaurant (Colorado)
  • Donna Thirkell, Wine Buyer (Texas)
  • Alicia Towns Franken, Wine Consultant (Massachusetts)
  • Dusan Vranic, Moshulu (Pennsylvania)
  • Charles Waldmann, Total Wine and More (Washington, D.C.)
  • David Ward, Kobrand Corporation (Texas)
  • Mark Warren, Beau Rivage Resort and Casino (Mississippi)
  • John Wight, Intercontinental San Francisco/Luce Restaurants (California)
  • John Wilkinson, Oceana Restaurant (New York)
  • Megan Yelenosky, Hilton San Diego Bayfront (California)
  • Jay Youmans, The Capital Wine School (Maryland)