“Our objective is to foster candidates’ curiosity about Italian wine, and furnish them with the right tools so that they can discover Italian wine by getting to know—and also travel to—the Italian territories which our wines so elegantly and distinctively speak of” Stevie Kim
September 22, 2017
The Vinitaly International Academy (VIA) certification exam proves to be, once more, one of the toughest wine exams, due to its focus on the many Italian native grapes. At its first roll-out in China in Beijing and Shanghai, the VIA course only awarded its Italian Wine Ambassador (IWA) title to 15 candidates out of 73 who sat the exam in total.
In order to achieve the title of IWA, the candidates have to pass a complex exam at the end of each course. The passing rate is around 25 to 45 percent, which shows how challenging the exam is. The exam difficulty serves two main purposes: on the one hand, it maintains a competitive threshold, that will really enrich wine professionals’ profile; on the other hand, it ensures knowledge of Italian wine be always in line with the most up to date and rigorous research. Stevie Kim, the Vinitaly International Academy Founder, comments, “It is true there were only six new ambassadors from the Shanghai Edition of which two were retakes. Despite the difficulty of the VIA exam and the low pass rate at times, we are absolutely not here to fail candidates, but we do want to encourage them to cultivate an interest in Italian wines with rigor and a keen focus on native grapes, following Ian D’Agata’s scientific approach. We welcome Italian wine educators, trade professionals, and wine lovers from all walks of life; some are even doctors, lawyers and accountants. Regardless of the exam results, I’m certain that most had never tasted a Monica- or Frappato-based Italian wine. So what they were able to discover here with us these past two weeks gives me the greatest pleasure, since we are striving to widen the perspective on Italian wine for the Chinese wine market. Our objective, in the end, is to foster candidates’ curiosity about Italian wine, and furnish them with the right tools so that they can discover Italian wine by getting to know—and…