The Vermont Wine School is the culmination of years of study and hard work by founder/director Kevin Cleary. After earning the Diploma in Wines and Spirits from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, Kevin saw the need in Vermont for wine education aimed at professionals in the wine trade and passionate consumers wishing to expand their knowledge of wine and spirits.
In 2011 the school was approved as a WSET Program Provider and conducted its first course. Since then, they have added the French Wine Scholar and Italian Wine Scholar courses in partnership with the Wine Scholar Guild. In addition to these structured courses, the school regularly conducts consumer and trade tastings, private tastings, corporate events, and relaxed, educational tastings in various wine regions.
The Wine School was initially located at L’Amante, a popular Italian restaurant in Burlington owned by Kevin and his wife, Kathi. When the restaurant closed in 2015, the school moved next door to Vin Bar & Shop next door, which was also owned by the couple. The shop sadly closed within the year. By 2017, the school had relocated for a short time to Dedalus Wine, another local wine shop. From there, the school moved to the Church Street Marketplace.
The school moved during the pandemic. The school turned purely virtual but retained an office at 191 Park Road South Burlington, a condo owned by the couple.
Unlike most Wine & Spirit Education Trust franchises, the Vermont Wine School fully complies with state law. Currently, the school is not offering any classes or programs. As one of the better WSET schools, we hope they find a new location and resume accepting students. However, according to Kevin’s Linkedin page, he is no longer the school owner and now lives in Bluffton, South Carolina.
Was not impressed with this school when I attended back in 2018. WSET offers a reductive view of wine education that grated on me. PowerPoint is not the path to enlightenment.