Since its establishment in 1991 by Sheral Schowe, the Wasatch Academy of Wine has stood as Utah’s foremost institution for wine education, distinguished not only as the state’s first wine school but also for its comprehensive approach to wine studies. Nestled in the heart of Salt Lake City, the academy has become a beacon for both wine enthusiasts and professionals seeking in-depth knowledge and certification in this fascinating field.
At the helm is Sheral Schowe, a pioneering figure in Utah’s wine education landscape. As the state’s second wine educator and its first female wine educator, Schowe brings a wealth of expertise to the academy, backed by a Master’s degree in Adult Education and certifications as a French and Spanish Wine Scholar. Her extensive knowledge, especially in the regions of Provence and the Rhône, has been pivotal in shaping the academy’s curriculum and reputation.
The Wasatch Academy of Wine’s affiliation with the Wine Scholar Guild underscores its commitment to providing high-caliber wine education. The academy offers specialized certification courses, focusing on the wines of France, Italy, and Spain. Each course delves into the history, culture, and terroir of these renowned wine regions, offering a blend of theoretical and practical learning experiences. These courses include the French Wine Scholar (FWS), Italian Wine Scholar (IWS), and Spanish Wine Scholar (SWS) programs, each renowned for their depth and rigor. Participants who complete these courses and pass the respective exams gain valuable post-nominals, elevating their professional standing in the wine community.
Beyond certifications, the Wasatch Academy of Wine also offers a variety of single-session wine tasting classes. These sessions are meticulously designed to provide an immersive exploration of specific wine regions and styles. From the sparkling wines of Italy to the robust offerings of Spain’s varied regions, each class is a journey into the unique wine-making traditions and characteristics of these areas. The academy’s approach to teaching combines these practical tasting experiences with theoretical knowledge, often facilitated through engaging formats such as tutored tastings and possibly travel tours.
The academy’s mission goes beyond mere education; it aims to make learning about wine an enjoyable and enriching experience. Courses typically extend over nine weeks, with classes held once a week for two-and-a-half hours, often in the inviting setting of a restaurant. This structure ensures an in-depth educational experience that is both comprehensive and engaging.
Sheral Schowe’s influence extends beyond the academy. As an adjunct professor of Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of Salt Lake Community College and a licensed wine educator through the Utah Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, she has played a crucial role in defining and developing wine educator licensing in the state. Her dedication and passion for wine education have been key drivers in growing the academy from its humble beginnings to the thriving institution it is today, largely through word-of-mouth advertising.