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Capstone California launched as the first dedicated California wine education program

Created by the Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program with a team of international wine professionals, Capstone California, a California wine online certification and education program, is launched globally for industry professionals and enthusiasts alike.

The aim of Capstone California is to help global California wine lovers further their knowledge of the region through a structured learning experience. Focusing on four levels of study from novice to expert through a comprehensive curriculum, Capstone California offers authoritative information, interactive and aerial maps of the state’s American Viticulture Areas and other resources for wine study.

Each Capstone California course builds on the prior level, covering history, geography, climate, soils, grapes, viticulture, vinification, aging and maturation, wine laws, official classifications, producers, vintages and the business of wine.

In Hong Kong, the Wine Institute has partnered with key local wine education institutions to bring the learning programme to classroom settings. From June, Capstone California Level 1 and 2 can be enrolled at MWM Wine School by Debra Meiburg MW, Sommelier Wine & Sake Education Centre and CorVino wine school. Students will be guided through the course and learn through tasting 12 selected California wines that represent key varietals and characteristics of AVAs in California.

The program’s extensive archives were curated by Master Sommeliers Evan Goldstein, Tim Gaiser and Wayne Belding, alongside industry leaders Deborah Parker Wong, Randy Caparoso, Sara Schneider, Sara d’Amato, Virginie Boone, Fred Swan and Master of Wine Sandy Block. Many California wineries, along with a team of California wine experts, Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wine, educators and authors and international wine leaders also contributed to Capstone California.

Wine Tasting | Couple walking in Napa vineyard
Calistoga Ranch, Calistoga, Napa Valley, California

“We are delighted to bring Capstone California to Hong Kong and to work with such high caliber and established wine educators to offer the city the first dedicated California Wine education program. Capstone is truly the definitive and most comprehensive California wine education program available.”, said Christopher Beros, Greater China and South East Asia Director, Wine Institute.

“California wine makes up 95% of U.S. wine exports and more than 80% of the U.S. wine market, which has generated a significant need to provide a deeper understanding of our wine regions to the world and here at home,” said Robert P. Koch, president and CEO, Wine Institute. “With tremendous detail and collaboration by influential global wine leaders to develop this innovative and rigorous certification program, Capstone California highlights the extensive history, diversity and intricacies that make up the compelling and sought-after characteristics of California wine.”

“Establishing a comprehensive resource for the international wine community, specific to California wine, Capstone California covers everything necessary to become more versed in the unique and accessible options that California offers wine lovers around the world,” said Evan Goldstein, Master Sommelier. “As California wine continues to evolve and experience significant global growth, this comprehensive program provides a depth of knowledge to wine professionals that is greatly needed.”

“Knowing a bit more makes wine so much more enjoyable. Capstone California provides an ideal way of intensifying your enjoyment of California wine,” said Jancis Robinson MW.

According to the institute, the program will continue to evolve in the coming months, expanding on the compelling features and resources available to participants globally, with an emphasis on building a lifelong approach to mentoring across the international wine community.

The online course and resources are now open for registration at

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