Sonoma County’s only publicly-available WSET courses set to begin in early 2022 with bilingual offerings
Healdsburg, CA. January 20, 2022 – Odyssey Wine Academy today announced the upcoming launch of Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) courses at Healdsburg’s wine tasting room collective, Bacchus Landing. The Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) is globally recognized as the international standard in wine & spirits knowledge. Odyssey Wine Academy will offer Level 1 Introduction to Wine through Level 3 Advanced courses, flexible course times throughout the year during the day, evenings and weekends to accommodate wine and hospitality professionals, as well as consumers.
Julie Rothberg, President of Medlock Ames Winery, founded Odyssey Wine Academy out of a desire for those presenting wines to have a global perspective. “At Medlock Ames, I wanted our hospitality team to be certified through the WSET to broaden their understanding about wines from around the world,” says Rothberg. “An international perspective aids our team in educating guests about what makes wines from Sonoma County so unique.”
In 2021, after discovering a lack of in-person public courses available in Sonoma County for her team at Medlock Ames, she decided to develop a solution in the creation of Odyssey Wine Academy, Sonoma County’s first and only publicly available offering of WSET courses. Her vision is to make wine education accessible, fun, and interactive for the deeply curious, whether they have a career in wine, want to explore the industry, or love wine and want to learn more. As courses are open to everyone, no matter consumer’s level of wine knowledge, Rothberg anticipates the WSET courses appealing to locals who enjoy wine and those who visit wine country seeking wine-centric experiences. The Academy’s inaugural year will also aim to establish the WSET Level 1 introductory course in Spanish, available through a scholarship program for non-native English speakers who work in the vineyards or cellars.
“I’ve been shocked by the overwhelming and positive responses when I started talking about this idea,” says Julie Rothberg. “Not only did this excite wine professionals but also locals who live in the heart of wine country with careers in technology, law, and the arts and have a strong interest to learn more about wine. After working in wine for over 20-years, the goal of Odyssey Wine Academy is to offer a wine education to everyone, not just those looking to advance their careers in wine.”
With accessibility and convenience in mind, Odyssey Wine Academy’s home at Bacchus Landing, just moments from Healdsburg Square, was deemed the perfect location. Partnering with the Lopez family, founders of Bacchus Landing, the Academy will hold courses in the property’s Wine Lab.
“Our vision for Bacchus Landing from the beginning has been to create a space where people can spend the day and get an all-encompassing experience in wine country,” says Monica Lopez, General Manager of Bacchus Landing. “Adding wine education builds on that vision, allowing guests to come and taste from our seven wineries while also getting a world-class wine certification. I’m thrilled to partner with Julie and Odyssey Wine Academy to offer wine certifications this year.”
Lopez was immediately drawn to Odyssey Wine Academy’s vision upon first learning of the concept. “There is a real need and want from our community and those who come to visit one of the three major growing regions that surround Healdsburg, and there is no other option nearby,” says Lopez. “The seven wineries at Bacchus Landing represent a wide range of varietals and California regions so we’re excited for people to connect their learnings in the Wine Lab to tastings from these wineries.”
For more information or to register for a course, please visit odysseywineacademy.com.
About Odyssey Wine Academy
Odyssey Wine Academy was founded in 2021 by passionate wine leader, Julie Rothberg. Odyssey Wine Academy is singularly focused on making wine fun, approachable and accessible to all. Rooted in Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) certifications, we seek to educate our community about global styles of wines with a systematic approach to tasting, evaluating and enjoying. Currently, Odyssey Wine Academy offers courses from Introduction (Level 1) through Advanced (Level 3). We believe deeply that learning about wine is an odyssey and all are welcome on the voyage.
About Bacchus Landing
Founded by siblings Monica and Francisco Lopez, along with their parents Al and Dina, Bacchus Landing is a curated collective of wineries representing a diverse spectrum of grape varieties and winemaking styles. It is located in the heart of Healdsburg at the crossroads of three of Sonoma County’s premier wine regions. Designed to reflect the Lopez family’s deep-seated passion for hosting family and friends, Bacchus Landing welcomes guests to come and stay the day, offering a relaxing escape from everyday life. The three-acre property boasts five spacious, open-air tasting rooms, an artisanal food market serving local wine-friendly bites, a more casual green space with picnic tables and bocce courts, a central piazza with café tables, a full commercial kitchen, and a variety of spaces for corporate meetings and events.