WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines 
Calgary Program


Fine Vintage is pleased to announce that we are offering the Diploma in Calgary. The Level 4 Diploma in Wines is the highest level WSET course and is a respected qualification around the world. After completion of the Diploma the next logical step is to register for the Master of Wine, a rare credential held by just over 370 people. Therefore, the Level 4 Diploma is the top credential an employer could reasonably expect you to have.

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CALGARY - 2019-2021 WSET Level 4 Diploma Course

Why take your Level 4 Diploma with Fine Vintage Ltd?

Experience: In addition to being awarded WSET Educator of the Year in 2011 and to have been shortlisted for Educator of the Year three times, Fine Vintage has been running the prestigious WSET courses for over 10 years in North America with schools in more than a dozen cities in 3 countries. We have operated the Level 4 Diploma in both Vancouver and Calgary since 2014 with an excellent success rate. We therefore we have experience running these courses.

Instructors: We have carefully designed our Diploma program so that you will receive the best possible instruction. All of our instructors are either a Master of Wine, an MW candidate, or a leading global expert. We have assembled a fantastic team of outstanding instructors, some of whom fly in to teach the course. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of being taught by knowledgeable experts who have experience in the industry and significant credentials.

Your instructors include 3 MWs and 3 MW candidates. The course is created and overseen by James Cluer MW. Your team includes:

Masters of Wine Instructors:

  • James Cluer MW - on Wine Production and Wines of France
  • Stephen Skelton MW from the UK – on Wine Production
  • Philip Goodband MW from the UK - on Wine Business

Leading Fine Vintage Instructors:

  • Jenny Book MW candidate – on Sparkling and Fortified Wines
  • Lynn Coulthard MW candidate - on Wines of Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Central/ Mediterranean Europe, and North America
  • David Munro MW candidate - on local markets, and Wines of the Southern Hemisphere

Format: The classes primarily take place at weekends in a block format. The schedule is carefully spaced out with classroom sessions of focused study and exam practice. There is ample time for self-study leading up to the exams. We have designed our format to appeal to those who live outside of Calgary as well.

Length: Our course starts in September 2019 and ends in May 2021, enabling you to spend 20 months of focused study.  This allows you to complete the Level 4 in a relatively short time frame with more than 150 hours of classroom interaction with leading wine educators.  

Field Trip: Our course design includes a field trip to the Okanagan to visit vineyards and wineries. We consider it essential that our students have first-hand knowledge of viticulture and vinification, and this is surely best taught in a vineyard and winery. Transportation within the Okanagan, winery visits, and lunches are included in the course price.

Passing the Level 4: Included in our pricing is a mandatory enrollment in the WSET’s Diploma Feedback Tests. These Feedback Tests are a series of mock papers that are graded by WSET assessors. This valuable feedback will enable you to better prepare for the exams. Most schools do not include these Feedback Tests in their price.

Wine tastings: Fine Vintage has a policy of showing classic benchmark examples to students. As such, we spend a considerable amount on wine. Therefore you will be able to taste the benchmark examples, and have extensive tastings of them. Our tastings are spectacular.

Pricing: The total cost of the course is $9,995 Canadian dollars, including tax. Our course is designed to be akin to the Harvard of Diploma programs with expert instructors flown-in, a large number of superior wines for tasting, the inclusion of the Feedback Tests, and the organization of and transport expense during the field trip.

We aim to offer the best education possible. There is an added-value to the student by graduating from a Fine Vintage Diploma program.

Terms and conditions: $500 is due at registration. An additional $4,500 is due 120 days before the start of the course. A final payment of $4,995 is due on December 1st, 2019. As these courses sell-out, we advise you to register early. We will send you a document and reading list advising on how to begin your study immediately, so effectively your preparation begins the day you register. All course fees are 100% non-refundable and non-transferable and by registering you agree to pay the full amount of $9,995. If you need to re-sit an exam you will be charged at our cost.       

Location: The course will take place at the downtown campus of the University of Calgary.

Pre-requisites: To enroll in the program you must already have the WSET Level 3. If you do not have the WSET Level 3 please contact us to discuss your eligibility. We also advise you to have a high degree of proficiency in written English, as you would likely obtain from a University degree. The Diploma is a demanding program and we discourage students from enrolling if they are not comfortable writing essays, have very little industry experience, and are not serious about dedicating a substantial amount of time to self-study. We want to give all our students the best possible chance of success. Diploma graduates are typically leaders in the wine industry.   

Course Schedule: The course days run from 9.30 am until 5.30 pm with 1 hour for lunch. Please note that exam dates are tentative pending the release of the WSET Exam schedules. These dates will be confirmed by June 2019.

Block 1: Unit D1: Wine Production
Dates: Saturday/Sunday/Monday, September 14th, 15th & 16th, 2019
Stephen Skelton MW & James Cluer MW

The course is primarily instructed by Stephen Skelton MW who wrote the main textbook on Viticulture. Stephen is a consultant to various vineyards in the UK and for almost 20 years taught this section of the Diploma in the UK. James Cluer will also add comments to Stephen’s instruction, so you will have the benefit of 2 instructors. We also have tastings every day, which is uncommon for this Unit at most schools.  

About the course:
This block focuses on Unit D1, Wine Production, and prepares you for the exam on Sunday November 24th, 2019.  

  • Day 1 – Saturday, September 14th – 9:30am to 5:30pm: This block begins with an introduction to the Diploma programme, noting all the exam dates, and setting out the strategies and methods for successful completion. The afternoon is spent on Viticulture.
  • Day 2 – Sunday, September 15th – 9:30am to 5:30pm: Viticulture and Vinification. Students are shown how to taste and write notes at the Diploma level.
  • Day 3 – Monday, September 16th – 9:30am to 5:30pm: Maturation and finishing, and mock exam.

Block 2: Unit D1: Wine Production – Field trip
Dates: Saturday/Sunday, October 19th & 20th, 2019 in the Okanagan
Instructors: James Cluer MW & David Munro

About the course:

  • This block will be held in the Okanagan Valley and will provide students with a first-hand experience of Viticultural and Winemaking practices.
  • This block will focus on the Unit D1 curriculum and cover material for the exam on November 24th, 2019.
  • Students are responsible for their own transport to and from the Okanagan, plus accommodation. We recommend the El Dorado hotel in Kelowna. In the Okanagan, we will provide a bus for the group and lunch both days.

- Day 1 - Saturday, October 19th: 8:30 am meet at the El Dorado hotel in Kelowna. Visit notable wineries in the southern Okanagan.
- Day 2 - Sunday, October 20th9:00 am meet at the El Dorado hotel in Kelowna. We will visit notable wineries in the Kelowna area for presentations on viticulture and winemaking.  Return to hotel by 6:30 pm and Kelowna airport by 7 pm.

Block 3: Unit D1 Exam and Introduction to Units D2 & Diploma SAT
Date: Saturday November 23rd, 2019
Instructor: Jenny Book

About the Instructor:
Jenny is a Diploma graduate and is in the 2nd year of the Master of Wine program. She has been to the Douro valley and has first-hand knowledge of many of the world’s classic wine regions.  

About the course:
This block will begin with the exam and a guided introduction to the Diploma-level Systematic Approach to Tasting (SAT). An introduction to Unit D2 (Wine Business) will also be conducted.

  • Day 1 - Saturday, November 23rd 10:00am to 5:30pm: This day will start with the Unit D1 exam on Wine Production at 10:00 am. This exam is a 90-minute multi-part, open answer format. The afternoon focuses on the art of tasting and writing tasting notes according to the Diploma-level Systematic Approach to Tasting (SAT) for Light, Sparkling, and Fortified Wines, followed by an introduction to the next Unit, Wine Business.

Block 4: Unit D2 – Wine Business
Dates: Friday/Saturday, January 24th & 25th, 2020
Instructors: Philip Goodband MW & David Munro

About the instructor
: Philip Goodband MW comes from the UK to teach this section. He is considered to be one of the leading global authorities on the Business of Wine. He assisted the WSET with the curriculum for this Unit, he teaches it online for the London Wine & Spirits School, and as background has run a number of multi-national drinks companies and was Chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine. We are honoured to have him come from the UK to teach and providing you with outstanding education.

About the course:
This session is dedicated to a global perspective on the global business of wine. The material covered in these two days will be applicable to not only your Unit D2 exam but also to upcoming Unit exams.  

  • Day 1 – Friday, January 24th9:30am to 5:30pm: Philip Goodband MW will cover the Global Business of Wine with a focus on Global Thinking and Key Players. You will also taste from a wide selection of key brands and styles.
  • Day 2 – Saturday, January 25th 9:30am to 5:30pm: David Munro will instruct on the Local Business of Wine during the morning session. In the afternoon, Philip’s presentation will continue with a focus on Routes to Market and Global Marketing.

Block 5: Unit D2 Exam and Introduction to Units D4 & D5
Wednesday/Thursday, March 11th & 12th, 2020
Instructor: Jenny Book

About the course:
This session is dedicated to the Unit D2 exam followed by an introduction to Units D4 (Sparkling Wines) and D5 (Fortified Wines).

  • Day 1 - Wednesday, March 11th10:00am to 5:30pm: The exam for the Unit D2 is held in the morning. The afternoon session is a brief session aimed at introducing Units D4 (Sparkling Wines) and D5 (Fortified wines).  Information on how to prepare for these Unit exams will also be discussed.
  • Day 2 – Thursday, March 12th 9:30am to 5:30pm: The morning will delve further into Unit D4 (Sparkling Wines) and the afternoon followed in the afternoon by an introduction to Unit D5 (Fortified Wines).

Block 6: Units D4 & D5 – Sparkling Wines and Fortified Wines
Dates: Saturday/Sunday, April 18th & 19th, 2020
Instructor: Jenny Book

About the course:
This session is dedicated to in-depth instruction on Sparkling and Fortified wines complimented by tastings of classic examples each day. The sessions are designed to prepare you for the Units 4 & 5 exams in June 2020.

  • Day 1 – Saturday, April 18th9:30am to 5:30pm: Unit D4 – Sparkling Wines
  • Day 2 – Sunday, April 19th 9:30am to 5:30pm: Unit D5 - Fortified Wines

Block 7: Units D4 & D5 Review, Exam and Introduction to Unit D3
Dates: Sunday/Monday/Tuesday, June 7th, 8th & 9th, 2020
Instructor: Jenny Book

About the course:

This session is dedicated to a 2-day review of Sparkling and Fortified wines prior to the exam on Day 3. After the exam, an introductory session on Unit D3 will be held to prepare students for the exam in May 2021.

  • Day 1 – Sunday, June 7th9:30am to 5:30pm: Review of Sparkling Wines
  • Day 2 – Monday, June 8th 9:30am to 5:30pm: Review of Fortified Wines
  • Day 3 – Tuesday, June 9th 9:30am to 5:30pm: Sparkling wine exam will be held from 9:30 am followed by the Fortified wine exam. After lunch, a short introductory session will be held on Unit D3, including wines for tasting practice.

Block 8: Unit D3 – Wines of the World
Dates: Saturday/Sunday/Monday, September 19th, 20th & 21st, 2020
Instructor: David Munro

About the Instructor: David Munro lives in Vancouver and runs courses in Vancouver, Edmonton, Kelowna, and Calgary. He began his wine career while living in New Zealand and has traveled extensively to the wine regions of the Southern Hemisphere. David is also your point of contact for questions you may have about your Diploma programme.

About this course:
This session will be dedicated to the Light Wines of the Southern Hemisphere followed by an introduction to France.

  • Day 1 – Saturday, September 19th9:30am to 5:30pm: New Zealand & Australia
  • Day 2 – Sunday, September 20th 9:30am to 5:30pm: South Africa & South America
  • Day 3 – Monday, September 21st9:30am to 5:30pm: Mock Exam & Introduction to France.

Block 9: Unit D3 - Wines of the World
Dates: Saturday/Sunday/Monday, October 24th, 25th & 26th, 2020
James Cluer MW

About the Instructor: The course is instructed by James Cluer MW. James has more than 25 years of experience in the wine industry and achieved his MW in 2008. James lived and worked in Bordeaux for several years and has spent time in the other classic French wine regions. 

About this course:
This session will be dedicated to the Light Wines of France and will build on the material introduced in the previous session.

  • Day 1 – Saturday, October 24th9:30am to 5:30pm: Alsace & Bordeaux
  • Day 2 – Sunday, October 25th9:30am to 5:30pm: Loire Valley & Burgundy
  • Day 3 – Monday, October 26th9:30am to 5:30pm: Rhone Valley, Southern France, Southwest France, & Mock Exam

Block 10: Unit D3 - Wines of the World
Dates: Saturday/Sunday/Monday, November 21st, 22nd & 23rd, 2020
Instructor: Lynn Coulthard

About the Instructor: Lynn Coulthard lives in Vancouver where she is our Lead Instructor. Enrolled in her 2nd year of the MW programme Lynn has more than 20 years’ experience in the Vancouver wine industry.

About this course:
This course will cover a wide range of countries in Mediterranean & Eastern Europe, North America, and the Iberian Peninsula.

  • Day 1 – Saturday, November 21st 9:30am to 5:30pm: North America
  • Day 2 – Sunday, November 22nd9:30am to 5:30pm: Spain & Portugal
  • Day 3 – Monday, November 23rd 9:30am to 5:30pm: Greece & China followed by a Mock Exam and Introduction to Italy

Date: Friday, January 29th, 2021 – Unit D6 Submission Deadline
(Tentative Date Pending WSET Confirmation in Spring 2019)

  • Students must submit their Unit D6 Research Assignment by 5pm PST. This paper is a take-home essay of 3,000 words. The topic for this paper is released in the summer of 2020. Papers received after this deadline will not be accepted and receive an automatic fail.
  • Note that there is no in-class session for this research assignment. Students must conduct their research on their own time, but can draw on information discussed in all previous blocks.

 Block 11: Unit D3 - Wines of the World
Dates: Saturday/Sunday/Monday, February 6th, 7th & 8th, 2021
Instructor: Lynn Coulthard

About this course:
This session is dedicated to the Light Wines of Italy and Central Europe.

  • Day 1 – Saturday, February 6th 9:30am to 5:30pm: North & Central Italy
  • Day 2 – Sunday, February 7th9:30am to 5:30pm: Southern Italy, Austria, and Hungary
  • Day 3 – Monday, February 8th9:30am to 5:30pm: Germany and Mock Exam

Block 12: Unit D3 - Wines of the World
Dates: Saturday/Sunday, March 20th & 21st, 2021
Instructor: Lynn Coulthard

About this course:
This session is dedicated to review of the Wines of the World. Tasting and Theory Mock Exams will give you an idea of what to expect on the exam days in May.

  • Day 1 – Saturday, March 20th 9:30am to 5:30pm: Review of France
  • Day 2 – Sunday, March 21st9:30am to 5:30pm: Review of Italy, Germany, and Central Europe

Block 13: Unit D3 Light Wines of the World
Dates: Saturday/Sunday, April 24th & 25th, 2021
Instructor: Lynn Coulthard

About this course:
This session is dedicated to a final review of the Light Wines of the World. It is designed to give you a dry run of what to expect on the exam days on May 12th & 13th.

  • Day 1 – Saturday, April 24th9:30am to 5:30pm: Review of Spain, Portugal, Greece, North America, China
  • Day 2 – Sunday, April 25th 9:30am to 5:30pm: Review of Southern Hemisphere

Block 14: Unit D3 Exam
Dates: Wednesday/Thursday, May 12th & 13th, 2021
(Tentative Date Pending WSET Confirmation in Spring 2019)
Invigilator and exam organizer: Jenny Book

About this course:
These days are dedicated entirely to the Unit 3 exam and is broken down as follows:

  • Day 1 – Wednesday, May 12th 9:30am to 3:00pm: Theory Exam
    • AM Session: Two-hour written exam where students must answer 3 of 4 questions
    • PM Session: 1 hour 20-minute written exam where students must answer 2 of 3 questions
  • Day 2 – Thursday, May 13th 9:30am to 1:30pm: Tasting Exam
    • AM Session: 1-hour blind tasting exam on 2 flights of 3 wines (6 wines total)
    • PM Session: 1-hour blind tasting exam on 2 flights of 3 wines (6 wines total)

End of course.

Our goal is to offer an outstanding quality Diploma course. We want to give students extra classroom instruction time than is typical, use the very best instructors (even if they fly from London or California), have extensive tastings of classic wines, include a field trip to a wine region, and include the Diploma Feedback Tests to help with exam preparation. We believe that by completing your Diploma at Fine Vintage you will receive an excellent education that carries an added prestige and recognition in the industry.


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Fine Vintage Ltd wine education courses are available in the following locations:


Vancouver | Victoria | Calgary | Edmonton | Toronto | London | Kelowna | Penticton


New York | Chicago | Miami | Los Angeles | Atlanta | Boston



If you want to learn more about our Wine Schools, please contact us today.