Wine Certification

The Sommelier Certification Program is comprised of the following six academic modules.

Courses are presented in chronological order. Courses may be taken in any order, however, other than Sensory Development & Wine Styles, which is a prerequisite for all other courses.

Students who complete Sensory Development & Wine Styles in Nov, for example, may proceed to New World Wine Regions in Jan, while students who complete Sensory in Mar may proceed to Old World in Sep.

Course Length Timeframe Cost
Sensory Development & Wine Styles 10 weeks, 1 evening per week Sep-Nov,
Old World Wine Regions 15 weeks, 1 evening per week Sep-Dec  $925
Beer, Spirits & Other Beverages 2 full days Dec  $350
New World Wine Regions 14 weeks, 1 evening per week Jan-Apr  $925
Sommelier Management 2 full days Apr  $395
Methods of Modern Winemaking 2 full days Apr  $350

Note: All prices +HST. Each student is also required to complete an on-site stage experience placement prior to certification.

Upcoming courses are listed below; online registration is available. Please feel free to contact Cheryl Doherty for more information.

Upcoming wine courses

    • Mon, May 07, 2018
    • Sun, June 10, 2018
    • 5 sessions
    • Prince George Hotel, Halifax
    • 8

    Sommelier Management (CAPS Module 6) is designed to provide prospective sommeliers the practical tools to apply their knowledge in a retail and restaurant environment.  Principles taught during the class include the role of a sommelier, wine list development and pricing strategies, the role of a wine agent including retail marketing principles, service skills, food and wine pairing including practical exercises, service of wine, beer and spirits, basics of mixology, as well as information on common apertifs and digestifs. 

    Students will be expected to complete a project applying their knowledge and the module will conclude with a final exam consisting of a written exam, and practical exercises including decanting, sparkling wine service, food and wine pairing, blind wine evaluation and cocktail service.

    A successful sommelier not only has excellent product knowledge but also has the ability to relate that knowledge to guests in a restaurant or classroom setting. In this section of the course, students will learn where and from what sources to buy wine. Become skilled at sourcing, wine list development, sales and marketing, cellar management and inventory, and develop a knowledge of the law in Nova Scotia/New Brunswick/P.E.I. Students will develop a professional manner with staff and learn the current human resource practices and training necessary to support a top-notch work force and operate a successful wine program. 

    Course Evaluation 

    Written 30%

    Wine List Correction 10%

    Service exam (5 stations) 45%

    -sparkling service

    -red wine decant 

    -oral dissertation

    -food and wine pairing


    Project 15%

    • Sat, June 02, 2018
    • Sun, June 10, 2018
    • 3 sessions
    • Blomidon Estate Winery
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    After the successful completion of the ‘Methods of Wine Production’ course, students will have developed an in-depth knowledge of the techniques required to produce wines. The course focused on both viticulture and vinification practices. Students will gain insight into the practice of winemaking and the tools at the disposal of the winemaker by participating in the process and classroom study. During the course, students will study the production processes at each stage and how these can affect the nature and quality of the product. The learning experience is enriched by on-site visits to a vineyard and winery.

    This course runs each spring. 

    Syllabus of Course Content:


    • Vinifera, labrusca, hybrids, clones
    • Propagation, grafting, rootstocks
    • Vine life cycle
    • Site selection and new vineyard development
    • Vine management and influences on wine quality


    • White and red winemaking process
    • Microbiology of winemaking: yeasts, malolactic, spoilage
    • Stylistic tools: chaptalization, deacidification, lees
    • Production of sparkling wines, icewines
    • Post Fermentation: oxidation avoidance, protein and tartrate stabilization, and aging
    • Mon, September 17, 2018
    • Mon, December 17, 2018
    • 14 sessions
    • TBA
    • 22

    This module explores the major wine regions of the old world including: France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Greece, Austria and Hungary. In sensory evaluation, students study wines by weight and flavour. In this section students will assess wines according to where they are produced and are expected to recognize, by region, the character and quality of the major wines of Europe learning the history, terroir, laws, culture, leading producer and trends. Special attention is given to France and Italy since they share the largest part of the wine market in the world today. Students continue to develop tasting ability and wine assessment skills. In addition, special attention is paid to learning local cuisine and classic pairings.

    This course starts in September. 

    Syllabus of Course Content:

    • Class 1: Wines of Bordeaux 1 (Focus on Left Bank)
    • Class 2: Wines of Bordeaux 2 (Focus on Right Bank)
    • Class 3: Wines of Burgundy 1 (Focus on Whites/Chardonnay)
    • Class 4: Wines of Burgundy 2 (Focus on Reds/Pinot Noir)
    • Class 5: Wines of the Rhone Valley and Loire Valley
    • Class 6: Wines of Champagne and Alsace
    • Class 7: Southwest: Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence, Jura, Savoie, Corsica/ Presentations 1
    • Class 8: France Midterm/Student Presentations 2
    • Class 9: Wines of Italy 1 (Overview: North including Piedmont)
    • Class 10: Wines of Italy 2 (Central: Umbria, Marches, Tuscany & Islands)
    • Class 11: Italy Midterm/Student Presentations 3
    • Class 12: Wines of Spain
    • Class 13: Portugal, Greece, Mediterranean, Eastern Europe
    • Class 14: Germany/Austria/Switzerland/Student Presentations 4
    • Class 15: Final Exam

    Course Evaluation:

    • 25% – France Midterm (Written: 20%; Blind tasting: 5%)
    • 15% – Italy Midterm (Written: 10%; Blind tasting: 5%)
    • 40% – Final Exam (Written: 25%; Blind tasting: 15%)
    • 10% – Class Presentation
    • 10% – Attendance/Participation

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