In March 2018, the Chicago Wine School was closed after the passing of its founder. Patrick Fegan was an important figure in the wine education field. The Chicago Wine School was America’s first independent wine school: its wine courses pre-dated the sommelier certifications offered by WSET and CMS. He was the author of the influential book “Vineyards and Wineries of America.” Patrick and his wine school will be missed.
The core of CWS courses were five-week sessions, one evening per week, of which there are 3 levels: The Basics, Intermediate (“The Varietals” and “The Countries”), and Advanced (“The Regions”). In addition, they offered numerous seminars that were one evening only. Our regularly scheduled courses and seminars were open to anyone interested in wine, from the simply curious to the seriously devoted and those in the trade.
Fegan founded the Chicago Wine School in the mid-1970s. He had taught dozens, perhaps hundreds, of beginning, intermediate and advanced wine-tasting courses. He wrote extensively on the subject, including several columns in the Chicago Tribune. He also is the author of the book “Vineyards and Wineries of America.”
Patrick was a good friend, and his impact on wine education cannot be overstated.
Patrick Fegan’s CWS was most excellent. His style was founded in facts and technical knowledge, but always entertaining – he knew how to liven things up and had lots of good stories. So many people get snobby about wine, but Patrick kept it level headed – he once told me that even though it could be nectar of the gods, it was just grape juice. RIP.