So 2019/20 has been an unusual year for Wine Courses Barcelona and, well, everyone else! While we’re delighted to be back to classroom teaching, it’s been a rollercoaster ride launching online courses, adapting to safety measures, changing venues and more. Luckily, it’s turned out to be a lot of fun. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank every one of our students who attended classes, in person or online, for your versatility, patience and unending enthusiasm for wine education. For 2020/21 we’ve launched Spanish classes and taken on the wonderful Gabriela Di Nardo to teach them. It’s going to be another whirlwind year and I can’t wait to see what it brings.
For the second time, I have the pleasure to announce Wine Courses Barcelona’s WSET Students of the Year. These are individuals who have achieved seriously impressive grades through incredible hard work and dedication. It’s been a pleasure to have every one of them in class and I’m certain they’ll go on to great things. Have a look at the end of this article to find out what last year’s Students of the Year are up to. I’d also like to thank our partners at Euroseleccio for providing the top prizes this year: two Coravin Model 5s! So who are the lucky three?
WCB’S WSET Level 1 Student of the Year 2019/20: Alessandra Gorini
Alessandra grew up between the Piemontese regions of Barolo and Barbaresco, so it was inevitable she’d develop a love of good wine. Having achieved her Masters Degree in Food Innovation and Management, she moved to Barcelona to pursue a career in digital marketing. She scored a perfect 100% on her Level 1 exam earlier this year.
“I decided to take the WSET (Level 1) because in the future I would like to come back to this world. I’d like to find a job in which I can mix my two passions of digital and wine. And who knows, also maybe build my own project!”
We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours and can’t wait to see her back in class. She wins a VacuVin Corkscrew Twister and a discount on her upcoming WSET Level 2 course.
WCB’S WSET Level 2 Student of the Year 2019/20: Erin Van de Hey
Wisconsin-born Erin came to Spain 15 years ago and recently moved to one of Catalunya’s most beautiful wine regions, Penedès. She lives there with her husband, young daughter and a herd of wine-loving chickens. Erin completed her Level 2 with WCB in late 2019 and achieved an incredible 98% on her exam. She returned hungry for more last month, completing our Intensive Level 3 course. She may also win the prize for WCB’s Chattiest Student. She wins a Coravin Model 5, which she says she’s slowly getting to grips with.
“After many years living in Barcelona, and a bit burnt out from the rat race, my husband and I decided to move outside the city to raise our daughter in the country. We loved the Penedès not only for the space, fresh air, and great views, but… wine, of course! Once we’d decided to make the move my next question was “what am I going to do with my life?” I started looking into formal wine education to add credence to the passive knowledge I’d gained throughout the years, and to hopefully move into a new professional realm combining wine with my previous experience in business administration. Well, once I started Level 2 I was HOOKED. Tasting (and smelling!) wine is awesome, of course, but I honestly love the theory and the “whys” behind it. That combined with Sharon’s infectious enthusiasm really made me want to keep learning more and more, which is why I decided to carry on to Level 3 as well. I don’t know if the Diploma is in my future, but I never say never…”
WCB’S WSET Level 3 Student of the Year 2019/20: Marko Vranjevac
Marko is originally from Serbia and now lives with his wife and daughter in Valencia. For six weeks, after working late on Sunday nights as a delivery driver, he took the early train to Barcelona every Monday morning for class. He arrived every week brimming over with smiles, enthusiasm, laughs and interest in how everyone’s weekends had been! His dedication was a total inspiration as a teacher and I feel incredibly proud to call him our Level 3 Student of the Year. He also wins a Coravin Model 5 and has already selected his first bottle to try it out on.
“After 5 years working and travelling on luxury cruise lines, the decision to move to Spain was very easy. The way of living, rich wine culture, natural diversity and kindness of people were the main attractions. (I had this) desire to learn more and develop myself. The next logical step was to choose WSET. I realised, all around world, your school was helping me to understand deeper a very wide range of wine subjects.
“Thank you Sharon for your patience, time and positive energy which you spread gladly with your students. This recognition is a big impulse to go forward in the wine world and to continue my development in beautiful wine culture.”
Have these guys got you inspired to grab a glass and get involved? Do you think you could be the next Student of the Year? Then register for one of our upcoming WSET Level 1, 2 or 3 wine courses and start your own wine education journey. More details can be found here and registration is via our Online Booking page. Salud!
WCB’S WSET Students of the Year 2018/19: Where are they now?
Our Level 1 SoY, Clare Dalton, continues to excel in her yachting career, with all the tools she needs to make amazing food and wine pairing recommendations for the luxurious dishes served on board. Having got his Level 2 and Level 3 under his belt last year, Soho House general management trainee Job Hogendoorn has started an additional project: his own Catalan wine importation business! He’ll move back to his native Amsterdam this year and hopes to spread his passion for Catalan wines to the people of Holland (psst… I’ve had sneak peak at his producer list and WOW!). Andrea Izzo, our King of Level 3, started work for one of our favourite Catalan producers, Tomàs Cusiné, in Costers del Segre. I loved seeing him charming all his clients on Tomàs’ stand at Barcelona Wine Week in February. You guys have made me one seriously proud teacher!
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