Virginia Wine Expo Academy

In partnership with the Capital Wine School, the Virginia Wine Expo is launching the new Virginia Wine Expo Academy (VWEA), a unique and unparalleled opportunity to learn more about Virginia wine.  Buy tickets to attend the VWEA here.

Mission and Primary Goal

The mission of VWEA is to be the gold standard in Virginia wine education.  VWEA will offer consumers, trade, professionals, and educators a complete educational path to learn more about Virginia wine with an in-depth annual course.  After taking the course, candidates will receive a Certificate and become Members of VWEA, joining an exclusive club whose membership includes discounts on Virginia Wine Expo events held during the main Expo week and throughout the year.

VWEA's primary goal is to foster a state-, regional-, and nation-wide network of Virginia Wine Ambassadors, who will promote, support, and champion Virginia wine throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond.

VWEA Course Requirements, Faculty & Benefits

The VWEA course will consist of two classes: the first class will be held online (via Zoom) a few weeks before the main Expo week and the second class will be held live at beautiful Main Street Station during the Expo's biggest weekend on Saturday, March 4.  Membership in VWEA - including the Certificate - will only be granted after both classes are completed.

The first, virtual class will primarily focus on Virginia wine's history and culture, terroir, biodiversity, viticultural regions, techniques and challenges, economics, distinctive characteristics, and place in the greater wine world.  The second, live class with a will be a thorough, comprehensive tasting of Virginia's signature grape varietals and blends from select regions of the state.

The VWEA course will be team-led by Jay Youmans, Educational Director and Owner of the Capital Wine School and a Master of Wine, and Caroline Hermann, an instructor at the Capital Wine School and also a Master of Wine.  There are currently only 416 individuals in the world who hold the Master of Wine designation.

Discounts of up to 30% on select Expo events will be permitted after completion of the first online class.  If the candidate fails to complete the second, live class, membership in VWEA will not be granted and discount privileges will be revoked for all future events following the 2023 Virginia Wine Expo.

Tickets purchased to attend VWEA are 50% refundable if the refund is requested ten days before the first online class is held.

In the future, VWEA is likely to add courses which focus on our Guest Regions, which rotate on an annual basis, and other courses which focus on more specific topics relating to Virginia wine.

We hope you join us and become Members of the Virginia Wine Expo Academy!