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Wine Fundamentals II

View Wine Fundamentals II upcoming courses.

A 48 clock hour course designed to build on your learning from the ISG Wine Fundamentals Certificate Level 1. You will be exposed to all elements involved in the wine business including viticulture, vinification, and regional appellation laws.

You will begin to develop your blind tasting skills by studying old and new world wine regions as well as sparkling, fortified wines and ales. In addition, you will build on your service skills, food and wine pairing techniques, and proper storage and wine management practices. The goal of this course is to advance your understanding of wine and wine making in order to prepare you for the Sommelier Diploma Program.

The course runs one day per week. Successful completion of WFCL2 is required for admittance into SDP; WFCL2 examinations may be challenged, please read our policies for further information.

The following information is an outline of what the ISG considers to be general guidelines for short essay writings and the level of knowledge that is expected at the completion of WFCL2 in order to successfully complete the examinations. We have provided two sample essays, one of a perfectly written short essay and its marking scheme and then the same question with a mediocre passing grade.

Please remember that in order to meet your educational entrance requirements for the SDP you must attain no less than 70% in each of your three examinations including the short essays. This same essay sample we have provided in the SDP page for reference of ISG expectations at the diploma level

Essay Expectations for Students

            Essay sections on the ISG’s Level II and Diploma exams are important measures of a student’s understanding of the topics covered in class.  Unlike multiple choice questions, which test the student’s ability to recognize correct answers to questions, the essays are designed to allow a student to demonstrate that s/he has a coherent and comprehensive understanding of a particular issue.

What is an Essay?

            Students often have difficulty with essay writing.  There are several reasons for this, but the primary issue seems to lay in a confusion about what an essay is.  In its most basic form, an essay is a written attempt to make sense of an issue.  More specifically, an essay is an attempt to make sense of an issue by taking a position and arguing for the validity of that position.  A set of factual details is given in support of the position for which you are arguing. 
            The name typically given for the position you have taken is a thesis.  In all arguments, the most important feature is a strong thesis.  This is important because the factual details that are delivered are only valid insofar as they support your thesis.  The thesis provides structure and coherence to your argument.  Students are advised that writing a brief outline is valuable in assisting in the development of a strong thesis and supporting argument.  After developing a brief outline of the factual details to be included in the essay, a thesis statement must be written.  The important fact to notice here is that the thesis statement should be written after the outline has been developed.
            The ISG recognizes that our students are not professional writers.  However, there are minimum requirements for the essay portion of examinations to ensure a minimum level of competence for our graduates.   

WFCL2

  • Clear, logically developed communication of an idea
  • All essays must be written in sentence and paragraph form; we will not accept bullet point answers
  • Correct spelling to a point where the instructor can clearly interpret the meaning of the word.  A deduction of up to 10% of the overall mark will follow for spelling errors of essential wine related terms
  • An effort in understanding the wide variety of wine languages
  • The short essays should consist of no less than three paragraphs:  a clear introduction followed by the main statements

Sample Essays for WFCL2

Sample Essay Question

Compare and contrast Valpolicella DOC and Amarone della Valpolicella DOC.  Consider in your response issues of location and geography, soil, grape variety, viticulture, vinification, and wine style.

Writing the Essay

            After developing a brief outline, you will conclude that while Valpolicella and Amarone are derived from the same vineyards and therefore share soils, climate, viticultural techniques and grape varieties, they differ in their vinification.  A statement regarding this will be your thesis.
            We provide two essay samples for this question.  The first speaks to all of the required elements of the question and would, therefore, receive full marks:  ten points out of a possible ten.  Essays which receive full marks demonstrate clear comprehension of the issue and display that comprehension in a logical, coherent way.  The second is missing several required elements and would receive only six points out of a possible ten.

WFCL2 Essay (10 point)

            Though Amarone della Valpolicella and Valpolicella have much in common at the beginning of their lives —they are red wines derived from the same vineyards, for example— they emerge as stylistically very different wines.  Their unique relationship is that Valpolicella is a geographic denomination and Amarone della Valpolicella applies to a specific wine style made within the Valpolicella DOC.
            Valpolicella DOC is located in Italy’s Veneto region to the east of Lake Garda.  The region receives both Alpine and Mediterranean influences, and the two conspire to produce a moderate climate occasionally called ‘semi-continental.’  The growing area is a series of ridges, mountain valleys, and plains where traditional Venetian grape varieties such as Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara grow on diverse soils, including volcanic basalt, tufa, and calcareous clay.  Though viticultural techniques are a mix of the modern and traditional, vines in the area are traditionally trained on high structures known as pergolas.  In style, the wines of Valpolicella are light to medium bodied with characteristic cherry flavors, soft tannins and medium to high acidity.  They are sometimes considered to be the great picnic wines of Italy and their lightness allows them to be served lightly chilled.
            Though Amarone della Valpolicella comes from the same place and thus shares climate, soils, grape varieties, and viticultural techniques, it diverges from Valpolicella DOC when it comes to the vinification process.  Amarone is produced using the appassimento process in which grapes are partially dried to concentrate their sugars and acids prior to fermentation.  After the drying process, standard red wine fermentation results in a wine with high alcohol levels and, often, some of the dried fruit flavors or ‘raisiny’ notes from the drying process.  Far from being a ‘picnic wine,’ Amarone is often known as a ‘meditation wine,’ a drink to accompany reflection in tranquility.

How will this be graded?

▪ both wines derive from Italy’s Veneto region (1 point)
▪ both are red wines (1 point)
▪ three grape varieties (1 point)
▪ pergola training (1 point)
▪ climate semi-continental and soil various (1 point)
▪ vinification and wine style for Valpolicella (1 points)
▪ recognition that grapes for Amarone are dried prior to fermentation (1 point)
▪ use of term appassimento and correct spelling (1 point)
▪ accurate description of the process (1 points)
▪ Amarone wine style (1 point)

WFCL2 Essay (6 point)

            Though Amarone della Valpolicella and Valpolicella have much in common at the beginning of their lives —they are red wines derived from the same vineyards, for example— they emerge as stylistically very different wines.  Their unique relationship is that Valpolicella is a geographic denomination and Amarone della Valpolicella applies to a specific wine style made within the Valpolicella DOC.
            Valpolicella DOC is located in Italy.  In style, the wines of Valpolicella, which are made using standard red wine fermentation, are light to medium bodied with characteristic cherry flavors, soft tannins and medium to high acidity.  They are sometimes considered to be the great picnic wines of Italy and their lightness allows them to be served lightly chilled.
            Amarone della Valpolicella comes from the same part of Italy but is made differently.  Amarone is produced using the appassimento process in which grapes are partially dried to concentrate their sugars and acids prior to fermentation.  After the drying process, standard red wine fermentation results in a wine with high alcohol levels and, often, some of the dried fruit flavors or ‘raisiny’ notes from the drying process.  Far from being a ‘picnic wine,’ Amarone is often known as a ‘meditation wine,’ a drink to accompany reflection in tranquility.

How will this be graded?

▪ both are red wines (1 point)
▪ vinification and wine style for Valpolicella (1 point)
▪ recognition that grapes for Amarone are dried prior to fermentation (1 point)
▪ use of term appassimento and correct spelling (1 point)
▪ accurate description of the process (1 points)
▪ Amarone wine style (1 point)


Wine Fundamentals 1
ISG Chinese Applications
Wine Fundamentals 1
Wine Fundamentals 2
Sommelier Diploma Program
 
 
2012 May Sommelier Newsletter
Roger Morris surveys the beautiful hills and lovely wines of Bordeaux' Fronsac region; Katie Kelly Bell goes underground with Michael Thomas to talk about Wrath and the pleasures of unearthing buried things; and David Wilkening brings us all the interesting news from the wine world.

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