WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines
Vancouver Program


This course is now full. Please contact Sondra at to be added to our waitlist.

Fine Vintage is pleased to announce that we are offering the Diploma in Vancouver. 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 370 people. Therefore, the Level 4 Diploma is the top credential an employer could reasonably expect you to have.


VANCOUVER - 2018-2020 WSET Level 4 Diploma Course – Group 2 

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 2 MWs and 2 MW candidates and one of Canada’s leading wine journalists. The course is created and overseen by James Cluer MW. Your team includes:

Masters of Wine Instructors:

  • James Cluer MW - on Viticulture and Vinification, and on France
  • Philip Goodband MW from the UK - on Business of Wine

Leading Fine Vintage Instructors:

  • Lynn Coulthard MW candidate - on Light Wines of Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Central/Mediterranean Europe, and North America
  • David Munro MW candidate - on local markets, Sparkling and Fortified wines, and Light 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 Vancouver as well.

Length: Our course starts in September 2018 and ends in January 2020, enabling you to spend 16 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 on June 15th, 2018. A final payment of $4,995 is due on December 1st, 2018. 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 BCIT.

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 2018.

Block 1: Unit 2: The Production of Wine
Dates: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, September 28th, 29th, 30th, 2018 
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 2, The Production of Wine, and prepares you for the 100-question multiple choice exam on Saturday November 17th, 2018.  .

  • Day 1 – Friday, September 28th: 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 – Saturday, September 29th: Viticulture and Vinification. Students are shown how to taste and write notes at the Diploma level.
  • Day 3 – Sunday, September 30th: Maturation and finishing, and mock exam

Block 2: Unit 2: The Production of Wine – Field trip
Dates: Saturday, October 13th & Sunday, October 14th, 2018 in the Okanagan
Instructor: David Lawrason

About the instructor:
David Lawrason is one of Canada’s leading wine journalists and judges and will be your special host for this tour. David will provide you with inside background on the production techniques to supplement your studies during the visits to the wineries.

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 2 curriculum and cover material for the exam on November 17th, 2018.
  • 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 13th: 9.00 am meet at the El Dorado hotel in Kelowna. We will visit notable wineries in the Kelowna area for presentations on viticulture and winemaking.  
  • Day 2 - Sunday, October 14th:  8.30 am meet at the El Dorado hotel in Kelowna. Visit notable wineries in the southern Okanagan. Return to hotel by 7 pm and Kelowna airport by 7.30 pm.

Block 3: Unit 2 exam and introduction to Unit 5 & 6
Dates: Saturday, November 17th & Sunday, November 18th, 2018
Instructor: Lynn Coulthard

About the Instructor: Lynn Coulthard lives in Vancouver and runs courses in Vancouver, Kelowna, and Calgary. She has traveled to Champagne, Jerez, the Douro Valley and worked closely with the Port and Douro Wine Institute (IVDP).

About the course:
This block will begin with the Unit 2 exam followed by a guided introduction to the Diploma-level Systematic Approach to Tasting. An introduction to Units 5 (Sparkling Wines) and 6 (Fortified Wines) will also be conducted.

  • Day 1 - Saturday, November 17th: This block starts with the Unit 2 exam on The Production of Wine at 10:00 am. This exam is a multiple-choice paper containing 100 questions.
  • Day 1 – Saturday, November 17th: 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.   
  • Day 2 - Sunday, November 18th:  An introduction to Units 5 & 6 with Sparkling Wines in the morning and Fortified Wines in the afternoon. This session will provide information about the Units 5 & 6 exams, and how to prepare for them. The key regions of Champagne and Port will be discussed along with tastings of a dozen samples.

Block 4: Unit 5 & 6
Dates: Saturday, January 19th & Sunday, January 20th, 2019
Instructor: Lynn Coulthard

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 Unit 5 & 6 exams in March 2019.

  • Day 1 – Saturday, January 19th: Unit 5 Sparkling Wines of the World
  • Day 2 – Sunday, January 20th: Unit 6 Fortified wines of the World

Block 5: Unit 5 & 6 exams and Intro to Units 1 & 3
Dates: Saturday, Sunday, March 2nd & 3rd; Tuesday, March 12th, 2019
Instructors: David Munro & Lynn Coulthard

About the course:
This session is divided into two sub-blocks. The first two days are dedicated to reviewing material in preparation for the Units 5 & 6 exams. The third day is a week later and will be the Units 5 & 6 exams followed by an introduction to Unit 1 (Global Business of Alcohol) and Unit 3 (Light Wines of the World).

  • Day 1 - Saturday, March 2nd: Review of Unit 5 with mock exam
  • Day 2 - Sunday, March 3rd: Review of Unit 6 with mock exam
  • Day 3 - Tuesday, March 12th: Unit 5 & 6 exams held from 9:30 am.
  • Day 3 - Tuesday, March 12th: After the exam and lunch, an overview of Units 1 and 3 will follow, providing you with information on how to prepare for these Units.

Block 6: Unit 1 Global Business of Alcohol
Dates: Saturday, April 13th & Sunday, April 14th, 2019
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 business of alcoholic beverages. The material covered in these two days will be applicable to not only your Unit 1 exams but also to upcoming exams on Light Wines of the World and the Research Assignment.

  • Day 1 – Saturday, April 13th: Philip Goodband MW will cover the Global Business of Alcohol with a focus on Global Thinking and Key Players. You will also taste from a wide selection of key brands and styles.
  • Day 2 Sunday, April 14th: 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.

During this session, you will also be provided with tips on preparing for the two Unit 1 exams.

  • Case Study: The Unit 1 Case Study is an in-class, closed book exam on a topic that is released by the WSET 20 business days before the exam. Students must conduct their own research and be prepared to write this exam on June 12th, 2019. Further details will follow once students are registered and their topics are released.
  • Coursework Assignment: The Unit 1 Coursework Assignment is a paper that you will write on your own time. It is a 3,000-word paper on a topic that the WSET will release by August 1st and will be due by January 31st, 2020.

Block 7: Unit 3 – Light Wines of the World
Dates: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, May 10th, 11th, 12th, 2019
David Munro

About the Instructor:
David Munro is back to teach this block on the Southern Hemisphere. David started his wine career while living in New Zealand and has traveled extensively to the regions covered in this block. His enthusiasm and insight will be an asset to your studies for this block.

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

  • Day 1 – Friday, May 10th: New Zealand & Australia
  • Day 2 – Saturday, May 11th: South Africa & South America
  • Day 3 – Sunday, May 12th: Mock Exam & Introduction to France.

Block 8: Unit 1 exam
Date: Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

Invigilator and exam organizer: Lynn Coulthard

About this course:
This course will begin at 10:00 am with the Unit 1 Case Study. This topic will be provided to you by the WSET in early-May and is a closed-book theory exam.

Block 9: Unit 3 Light Wines of the World
Dates: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, July 6th, 7th, 8th, 2019
James Cluer MW

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, July 6th: Alsace & Bordeaux
  • Day 2 – Sunday, July 7th: Loire Valley & Burgundy
  • Day 3 – Monday, June 8th: Rhone Valley, Southern France, Southwest France, & Mock Exam

Block 10: Unit 3 Light Wines of the World
Saturday, Sunday, Monday, July 27th, 28th, 29th, 2019
Instructor: Lynn Coulthard

About the Instructor: Lynn Coulthard is back to be your Instructor. Enrolled in her 2nd year of the MW programme Lynn has more than 20 years’ experience in the Vancouver wine industry and is passionate about the regions covered in Blocks 10 and 11. She is a great instructor to lead you through the final Blocks leading up to you final Unit 3 exam.

About this course:
This course will cover a wide range of countries in North America, the Iberian Peninsula, Greece and China

  • Day 1 – Saturday, July 27th: North America
  • Day 2 – Sunday, July 28th: Spain & Portugal
  • Day 3 – Monday, July 29th: Greece, China followed by a Mock Exam and Introduction to Italy

Block 11: Unit 3 Light Wines of the World
Dates: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, August 24th, 25th, 26th, 2019
Instructor: Lynn Coulthard

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

  • Day 1 – Saturday, August 24th: North & Central Italy
  • Day 2 – Sunday, August 25th: Southern Italy, Austria, and Hungary
  • Day 3 –Monday, August 26th: Germany and Mock Exam

Block 12: Unit 3 Light Wines of the World
Saturday, September 21st & Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
Instructor: Lynn Coulthard

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

  • Day 1 – Saturday, September 21st: Review of France
  • Day 2 – Sunday, September 22nd: Review of Italy, Spain & Portugal

Block 13: Unit 3 Light Wines of the World
Saturday, October 12th & Sunday, October 13th, 2019
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 at the end of the month.

  • Day 1 – Saturday, October 12th: Review of Germany, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Greece
  • Day 2 – Sunday, October 13th: Review of North America & Southern Hemisphere

Block 14: Unit 3 exam
Dates: Tuesday, October 29th & Wednesday, October 30th, 2019

Invigilator and exam organizer: David Munro

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

  • Day 1 – Tuesday, October 29th: Theory Exam
    AM Session: Two-hour written exam where students must answer 3 of 4 questions
    PM Session: 1 hour 20-minutes written exam where students must answer 2 of 3 questions
  • Day 2 – Wednesday, October 30th: 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)

Date: Friday, January 31st, 2020

  • Students must submit a 3,000-word assignment to the Fine Vintage office by this date. The topic for this paper will be released by the WSET on August 1st, 2019.

End of course.

The Diploma is a challenging program that requires dedication from the student and a commitment to a significant amount of self-study.

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.

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.

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