Intensive Champagne Master-Level in Reims


November 5-10, 2023 in Reims, Champagne

Price: $2990 per person*

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Building upon the Champagne Master-Level, the most in-depth certification program on Champagne wines, this is an amazing opportunity to supplement your learning and to gain hands-on experience and insight in the region itself.

This in-person session will be taking place from November 5-10, 2023 in Reims, the region’s wine hub.

This 5-day, intensive classroom, field trip, and tasting experience will be presented and taught by Champagne wine experts, and instructors of the WSG Champagne Master-Level program, Essi Avellan MW and Peter Liem

Join us for 5 days of complete immersion with structured, in-depth lectures covering aspects of Champagne wine production, terroir, houses, and growers, with extensive tutored tastings of top-quality wines including some of the region’s iconic houses and producers.

The course curriculum for this in-person experience has been specially developed to build upon the existing Champagne Master-Level course materials. It will provide participants a deeper dive into topics covered and, notably, give the opportunity to taste many wines and experience the vineyards and winemaking first-hand. 


Who is the program for:

Committed students of wine with a strong background in viticulture and winemaking and a good familiarity with Champagne. As the course materials have been specifically designed to be supplementary to the existing online Champagne Master-Level certificate program, this gives graduates of the program, current students, or new students, the ability to gain additional insight into Champagne.  

Limited to 18 participants

Study outcomes:

  • Master the complex and fascinating Champagne region including its geology, topography, and soils
  • Understand and experience first-hand the winemaking variables that impact quality
  • Get the inside track on up and coming champagne growers as well as developments from top maisons
  • Stay current on the evolutions in viticulture, winemaking, and the factors that affect house styles
  • Gain a deeper understanding of concepts such as malolactic fermentation, aging vessels, oxidative vs. reductive winemaking, dosage, and how they impact the end result
  • Taste through around 15 carefully chosen champagnes each day during classroom, plus many more wines during fields trips and included meals
  • Perfect your tasting skills, including blind tasting
  • Meet fellow committed students of wine and lovers of champagne
  • Visit top houses and smaller growers and learn directly from those crafting the wines
  • Experience first-hand some of the top Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards and understand what factors lead to the production of these outstanding wines

What's included:

  • Registration in Wine Scholar Guild Champagne Master-Level certificate program*
  • Welcome dinner at a local restaurant in Reims
  • Three days of classroom instruction with extensive tutored tastings
  • Two full-day field trips with stops in Reims, the Montagne de Reims, the Côte des Blancs, and the Vallée de la Marne, with lunch included on both days
  • Finale dinner at a restaurant in Reims
  • A fine selection of champagne during the included meals
  • Individually-proctored online examination (exam can be taken up to one year from date of final payment), please note: exam is NOT offered during the course week in Reims

*Access to the full Champagne Master-Level study program will be granted once full payment has been received (120 days before the trip). Students have access to the online classroom and Champagne Master-Level course materials for one year from that date and one year take the exam. Deduct $300 if previously or currently enrolled in the Champagne Master-Level program.

Not included:

  • Lodging
  • Lunches on the three classroom study days (students are given free time to eat lunch on their own on these days, with many food options within walking distance of the classroom venue)
  • Transportation to/from France and to/from Reims
  • Dinners aside from the welcome and farewell dinners are not included

There are many hotel or AirBnB options in Reims at all price points. We recommend that you book lodging in the historic center of Reims. Please contact us if you need help with lodging.

About your instructors:


• Author of the award-winning book Champagne
• Author of, an award-winning online guide to the wines and wine producers of Champagne
• Former senior editor, critic and tasting director for Wine & Spirits magazine
• Contributor to The World of Fine Wine, Decanter, The Art of Eating, and The San Francisco Chronicle


• Author of Essi Avellan's Champagne
• Co-author of the 4th edition of Christie’s World Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine with Tom Stevenson
• Chair of Decanter World Wine Awards Champagne panel
• Knighted as Chevalier l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole by the French Minister of Agriculture

About the wines tasted: 

With their access to many great houses, your instructors have selected wines to be tasted that represent a broad cross-section of different terroirs, winemaking philosophies, and styles. You will taste approximately 15 wines each day in the classroom as well as many more during your scheduled field trip days and during the included meals. 


This intensive week of immersion into the wines of Champagne takes place in the comfortable and well-equipped Maison Palmer, located on the grounds of the headquarters of Champagne Palmer. The venue is located just a few moments by foot from the center of Reims, close to hotels, shops, restaurants, and other sites of interest. This characterful building has been completely updated with modern facilities making it the ideal base of operations for this exciting course.

Price: $2990 per person*

A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit payment of $1000 is required to reserve your spot. You will be invoiced by email for the balance of the total intensive study trip price, which is due 120 days before the trip’s start date. WSG Member discount is not applicable on this package.

*Deduct $300 if previously or currently enrolled in the Champagne Master-Level program

*Member discount is not applicable on this package.


MORNING (8:30 am - 12:30 pm)

AFTERNOON (1:30pm - 5:30pm) & Evening

November 5, 2023

Students should arrive in Reims no later than 6pm

Welcome dinner in Reims

November 6, 2023


  • Winemaking process
  • Winemaking variables that impact quality
  • Sur lie aging
  • Aging: Dosage and Maillard reactions
  • Champagne tasting: concepts and lexicon

Free time over lunch break 


  • Impact of grape varieties
  • Malolactic fermentation 
  • Fermentation and aging vessels
  • Oxidative vs. reductive winemaking
  • Reserve wine programs
  • Dosage

November 7, 2023


Champagne house visit

Included restaurant meal


Champagne house visit and vineyard tour

November 8, 2023 

  • Recap: Lessons learned on field trip
  • The evolution of NV to multi-vintage
  • Mapping Champagne house styles
  • Blind tasting

Free time over lunch break


  • Climate and climate change
  • Geology, topography, soils 
  • Viticultural practices
  • Champagne terroirs: deep dive part 1
  • Tasting

November 9, 2023


Grower visit(s) and vineyard tours

Included restaurant meal


Grower visit(s) and vineyard tours

Farewell dinner in Reims

November 10, 2023

  • Recap: Lessons learned on field trip
  • Viticultural practices
  • Climate and climate change
  • Tasting
  • Relevance of the Echelle des Crus today
  • Terroir and the single village
  • Terroir and the single parcel

Free time over lunch break

  • The rise of still champagne
  • Tasting: non-sparkling champagnes
  • Champagne terroirs: deep dive part 2

Students are free to book their departure travel for after 4:00pm or stay in Reims if they wish


November 5-10, 2023 in Reims, the region’s wine capital

Price: $2990 per person*

*Deduct $300 if previously or currently enrolled in the Champagne Master-Level program


The five-day in-person experience in Champagne goes was designed to add supplementary material to WSG's Champagne Master-Level program, the most in-depth certificate program on the wines of Champagne. Led by champagne wine experts, this completely revised and updated program will take you deep into an exquisite landscape and an extraordinary winemaking process…all the while tapping into the spirit and mindset of those who found a way to capture the bubble in the bottle. 

The Champagne Master-Level Program includes: 

  • A printed copy of the newly updated Champagne Master-Level study manual, revised by Peter Liem
  • 60 recorded lectures on Champagne's history, geology, viticulture and winemaking practices, terroirs, vintages, and wine law
  • 5 live monthly review webinars plus one welcomewebinar and one exam prep webinar, always recorded for replay viewing
  • A series of video interviews conducted by Andrew Jefford with some of the most admired experts of the region
  • A list of recommended wines to accompany recorded tutored tastings conducted by Essi Avellan MW 
  • Online, proctored exam sit
  • Access to instructors via the Q&A forum


November 5-10, 2023 in Reims, the region’s wine capital

Price: $2990 per person*

*Deduct $300 if currently or previously enrolled in the Champagne Master-Level program


Our exceptional wine tours offer intensive, professional-level, educational programming within the wines regions of France, Italy and Spain. Lead by top wine industry professionals, our itineraries take you into some of the best cellars and vineyards for hands-on learning and unparalleled tasting opportunities. What better way to connect theory with practice!

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