Capstone California

Introductory Level 1 – Foundation of California Wine

Capstone CaliforniaIntroductory Level 1

Curious about the the forth largest wine producing region in the world – California? Seeking to strengthen your knowledge about viticulture and vinification after WSET Level 2 or 3? Capstone California Level 1 is for you!

As the first stage of the California Wine certification program, this course discusses not only the history and major regions (Napa, Sonoma, Santa Barbara) of California, but also provides a surprisingly comprehensive details on geography, climate, soil, viticulture and winemaking, as well as styles of major grape varieties.

Study Capstone California Level 1 at MWM Wine School

  • Improve tasting technique via sampling of 18+ wines
  • Access to Capstone California online materials, including presentation and quizzes 24 x 7, for one year after the course start
  • Get the certificate of Level 1 and prepare for the Level 2 certification program

The Introductory Level 1  covers:

  • Major eras in the history of California wine, including the Mission era, post-Gold Rush, Prohibition, and modern times.
  • Learn how California’s geography, the Pacific Ocean and mountain ranges affect viticulture and wine styles.
  • Acquire fundamental knowledge of grape-growing practices and the specifics of viticulture compared to other agriculture, including the ability to identify and describe the important grape varieties grown in California.
  • Receive an introduction to the American Viticultural Area (AVA) system, including the world-famous AVAs of Napa Valley, Sonoma County and Santa Barbara County.
  • Explore California’s iconic wineries, such as Ridge Vineyards, Frog’s Leap Winery and Robert Mondavi Winery.
  • Learn about the key statistics for California wine in global production, consumption and exports.

California Wine Certificate Course – Capstone California

The definitive Wine Certification Program for California Wines, created by internationally recognised California wine experts, including Master Sommelier and Author Evan Goldstein, supported and recognised by California Wine Institute.

The program was originally developed for online self-study, with four levels, from novice (no wine knowledge required) to expert. Since 2022, the program is brought into the classroom with interaction and tasting components.

Each level of the Capstone Program builds upon the previous one and covers history, geography, climate, soils, grapes, viticulture, vinification, aging/maturation, wine law, official classifications, terminology, producers, vintages and the business of wine. Upon successful completion of an exam, you will receive a Capstone California certificate, providing the knowledge to move on to the next level.


Theory Examination

  • 50 multiple-choice questions

60% passing grade

Course Structure

10 tutoring hours + Online Study


Completion of WSET Level 2 Award in Wine or equivalent recommended

All applicants must be over 18+

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