Episode 138: Studying Italian Wine With Maurizio Broggi, DWS, FWS
How does one tackle learning all 21 wine regions of Italy? Italian Wine Scholar (IWS) program creator and Wine Scholar Guild’s Education Director – Italy, Maurizio Broggi, DWS, FWS, breaks it down for us over a glass of vino. He also chats with us about splitting his life between Las Vegas and Milano, shares a funny wine story, and inspires us to learn – and taste – more from Italy’s wine and food regions.
In Our Glasses
Maurizio Broggi, DWS, FWS, and Wine Scholar Guild Education Director – Italy
Maurizio has a number of super accomplishments and certifications. But what sets him apart is his keen attention to detail, his hunger for perfection and his passion for all that is Italy.
Maurizio Broggi has several years of experience in the wine industry. Since 2009 he worked as a sommelier in Italy and as a wine consultant for wine shops, restaurants and the various consorzi of Lombardia. In 2011 he left Italy and moved to China where he worked as a wine ambassador for a wine distributor based in Hong Kong until 2014.
Maurizio earned the Wine Spirits Education Trust Advanced and Intermediate Levels (both with distinction) in 2013. He was awarded the Decanter Scholarship for top Advanced Level graduate and the WSET Book Prize for top score in the Intermediate Level. He earned the Diploma in Wine and Spirits (with Merit) from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust in 2015.
His wine credentials also include:
- French Wine Scholar (FWS) with Highest Honors
- Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) from the Society of Wine Educators (SWE)
- Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS)
- WSET Diploma
- WSET Advanced Top World Scorer 2013, Level 2 Top Scorer 2013
- Member of Associazione Italiana Sommeliers (AIS)
- Previously Wine Ambassador and Consultant for various Italian consorzi
- Accepted to join the Master of Wine program in 2016
One Time, in Hong Kong
Maurizio used to visit Asia quite often on behalf of the Italian Chamber of Commerce to organize seminars and events on the wines of Northern Italy. When a local distributor was looking for a wine ambassador in Hong Kong to promote Italian wines, he found his previous experiences in China and Hong Kong were so enjoyable that it was worth a gamble to pick up and move there.
We could hear in his voice how much he loved the city, people, food – pretty much everything about it. To be clear, Hong Kong is very different from China, so there is no language barrier. He found the wine scene to be abundant with respect to enjoying and learning about wine, and again expressed how wonderful the people are there.
What Happens in Vegas … and Milano
We pressed Maurizio about his “double life” in which he splits his time between Las Vegas and Italy. He grew up in Milano and spends anywhere from weeks to months there at a time. In Nevada, he actually lives and works just north of the city, in Summerlin, which is far different than the hubbub of “The Strip” and casino scene that most people associate with Las Vegas.
Outside of the food and wine world, Maurizio enjoys cycling and running in the desert, and spending as much quality time as possible with his wife and three-year-old daughter. Yes, they are teaching her both English and Italian, in case you’re wondering.
Italian Wine Scholar Program
The Italian Wine Scholar (IWS) program, launched in 2016, is an extremely comprehensive study and certification program on the wines of Italy. It was developed by the Wine Scholar Guild (WSG), with Maurizio at the helm, to provide a unique opportunity to master the wine regions of Italy and all the various complexities.
Maurizio believes this is a useful tool for those seeking advanced wine credentials, such as the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 4 Diploma, Society of Wine Educators (SWE) Certified Wine Educator, or Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS) Advanced Sommelier programs. While there are no prerequisites to enroll in the IWS program, it is recommended that students have a basic wine knowledge base, or a minimal qualification from programs such as WSET Level 2, CSW from the SWE, or Introductory Sommelier Certificate from the CMS.
There are two separate units in the IWS program, and associated manuals covering Northern Italy and Central and Southern Italy, respectively. Additionally, a composite score of at least 75% between the two exams is required to pass and earn the credential, pin, and certificate. Currently, the course is available in classroom and distant learning format.
The icing on the torta of satisfaction for Maurizio, however, was that the Italian Trade Commission/Italian Trade Agency, an Italian government agency based in New York, conferred an official endorsement on the IWS program. He’s particularly proud of this achievement to capstone a long and challenging project.
For more information, please go to winescholarguild.com.
Cru Artisan College
We did ask Maurizio about the Cru Artisan College. Last year he was the Headmaster of this educational endeavor. He told us the Cru Artisan College is a series of seminars that take place in a variety of U.S. cities, but it does change from year to year. The events typically sell out, and are a combined effort between various education and publication agencies, as well as Banfi, inspired by producers of their Cru Artisan wine portfolio.
Watch this site if you’re interested in learning, scholarship or other information about the program.
Reach Out, Connect, Learn
Maurizio can be contacted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
You can also find him on LinkedIn and Facebook.
Also, Maurizio and the WSG were kind enough to offer a 15% discount on manuals, study programs, and membership from 30 November through 6 December. Just go to winescholarguild.com and use the coupon code W25Wine. (Note this does not include the immersion study trips.)
Listen to the entire episode, including his funny wine story, and a savvy suggestion for listeners at the end of the show.
Our next book is a recommendation from Patron and friend Cathey Love in Tennessee. It is the autobiography A Glass Full of Miracles by Mike Grgich. We’ve pushed back the date a bit due to some travel, holiday, and logistical events.
We love this suggestion Cathey posted on our Facebook community page because of two reasons: Mike’s daughter, Violet Grgich, was a guest on this podcast a year ago in Episode 79; and 2017 marks Grgich Hill’s 40th anniversary.
Also, with regard to the devastating California wildfires, Grgich Hills is safe and open for business.
- Please use the #W25BookClub on social media!
- You can easily order the book right here.
- The Book Review Episode will record on January 25th, so you have some extra time to get in your comments!
Winner, Winner, November Winner!
Also, the November Patreon drawing winner will receive a signed copy of the book in the next couple of weeks. By the way, Mary Lou from Pennsylvania is the winner of the November drawing! Congratulations, Mary Lou!
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