Frequently Asked Questions

Take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions the Guild receives. Still have questions or want to know more? Contact us here, we'd be happy to talk to you!

What Is The International Wine Guild 

The International Wine Guild is a wine vocational school, approved in the State of Colorado, to offer diploma programs and professional certifications for professionals in the wine industry and serious enthusiasts who would like to learn about wine like a professional. The Guild offers technical (Level I - III) diploma and certification programs, as well as Wine Educator and Wine Judge diploma and certification programs.

College level wine education is a fairly new concept. There have been enology and viticulture programs for decades, but if you want to study and learn about wine, not how to make or grow it, there are very few options.

The Guild is very proud to be one of the very few stand-alone wine colleges in the United States. We are not part of a culinary school or hotel and restaurant management program - we provide college level wine education through 25 different professional wine courses.

Are IWG awards recognized in other states and countries. 

IWG awards are recognized throughout the United States and many other countries. The Guild has graduates living in all 50 states and 25 foreign countries.

The IWG is currently providing wine education in China, at the request of the Chinese government. The Guild was approached by a Chinese governmental agency, the Hangzhou Wine Cultural Center, to help establish wine education throughout the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The Guild is also working with Malaysia and Singapore to establish wine education programs in those countries as well.

What level of education do I need to start taking classes from the Guild? 

There are no requirements. International students must pass an English proficiency exam (offered by others).

Do we teach our programs in other states besides Colorado, Texas and Arizona? 

If you are interested in the Guild coming to your state or city to teach a Level 1 or Level 2 course.  Please contact us a

How long are your programs? 

The Guild offers nine distinct programs. Four are technical, three are for wine educators and two for wine judges.

Our technical diploma programs include our Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 seminars and courses. The Level 1 seminar is a 1-and-one-half seminar that provides a foundation to prepare you for Level 2 or 3 courses. We offer two Level 1 seminars: (1) a Wine Seminar and (2) a Fine Spirits Seminar.

The Level 2 Courses, the Advanced Wine Course or the Advanced Fine Spirits Course, are 48 contact hours, which can be taken as a 11-week course or a 6-day intensive study course.

The Level 3 Courses are part of the Guild Wine Master program. It is a prestigious program that requires you to complete at least 7 different Level 3 courses as well as master exams associated with each course for a Level 3 award. Most students require 9 to 15 months to complete this program. We have had people go from zero education to a Level 3 award in 15 months. However, all of our Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 courses can be taken for personal-enrichment and don't require you taking an exam.

The Guild Wine Instructor and Senior Wine Instructor awards are each 12-week or 1-week intensive study courses.. If you are interested in teaching Guild seminars and courses in your city contact the Guild at

Our Guld Wine Judge and Competition Wine Judge awards are one-day short courses for those that have completed at least 4 Level 3 courses.

What classes and courses does the Guild offer. 

The Guild offers more than 25 different seminars and courses, as described in the programs part of our web site. All of our courses are designed to help develop wine evaluation skills and knowledge.

You do not have to have any professional experience to register and take our seminars and courses.

How many people have taken our seminars and courses?. 

We have more than 5000 graduates from our school, from all 50 states and 25 foreign countries.

How long has the Guild been a wine school? 

 We have been teaching college like wine seminars and courses for more than 20 years.  We were founded in 1997 in Denver, Colorado.

I took a wine course in college and want to continue my education with the Guild. Where do I begin? 

If you completed a college level wine course, and received a B or higher grade, send the Guild a copy of your official transcript. Verification that you completed the course with a B or higher allows you can begin your education with the Advanced Wine Course (Level 2).

This would include a wine course, or beverage course, from an approved Culinary school as well.

Otherwise, you would begin with the Guild Wine Seminar (Level 1) and then continue on to Level 2 or Level 3 courses.

I successfully completed a course or seminar with another wine organization and want to continue my education with the Guild. Where do I begin? 

If you have completed a Level 1 or 2 seminar or course from another wine organization please send us a copy of the final award (or diploma) you received as proof, and you can begin your education with the Advanced Wine Course (Level2).  

What courses does the Guild offer. When are they taught? 

The following is a list of individual course with links to web pages describing each of them in more detail. Go to the Calendar to see when each course is being taught.

The following are advanced courses that are part of a Level III or IV Certification. Each is 48 contact hours and is offered in a 12-week or 1-week intensive study format.

I do not live in the United States and want to complete a professional certification from the Guild. What do I have to do? 

I am a military veteran. Do my VA benefits apply? 

We are sorry but your VA benefits do not apply.

I am the spouse of an active duty military, or active duty reservist, and want a career in the wine industry. Does the Guild have a program for me? 

We are sorry but the Guld does not have this program.

Does the Guild offer externship programs? 

No we do not offer an externship program.

Do I need to fill out an admissions application to take guild classes? 

If you live in the United States and are a US citizen you do not need to fill out an admissions application. As you take each professional course you will fill out an Enrollment Agreement.

International students must complete an admissions application before they can begin a course of study with the Guild.

I am not interested in a professional certification but want to take professional courses that interest me - can I do that? 

You must complete the Level 1 Guild Wwine Seminar  and then you can take any Level 2 or Level 3 course from the Guild.  You can take them for personal enrichment.

Does the IWG offer financial aid? 

The Guild does not offer federal financial aid. We can arrange payment programs. Contact for more information or to set up a payment schedule.

What is the experience of the faculty? 

By law, all of our faculty must have a minimum of 2-years experience in the wine or hospitality industry to teach in a wine school. Many of our senior and Master level faculty have 10 to 30 years of experience.

This experience is in every aspect of the industry, including wine making, importing, distribution, wine shops, restaurants, wine bars, hotels and convention centers, to name a few. Faculty have been involved in business startups as well as consulting.

All IWG faculty must complete a 1-year training program (the Senior Wine Instructor program) before they can teach Level 2 or Level 3 courses.

More Questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.


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