Student Journeys

Wild Wine School has some wonderful alumni doing great things in the industry, building on their experience and what they learnt with our courses.  
If you feel inspired by any of their journeys, take a look at the courses we have available, or get in touch .
Jenny Novitzky,
 I run pop-up dinners with my partner, Michael Thompson. For the last few years we've run these as part of fodder pop-up, nominated for The Foodism 100: Best Pop-Up or Residency in the sustainability category. We've partnered with some exciting wine producers and sellers, including Dynamic Vines, Borough Wines and Gut Oggau.

I've always had a personal passion for wine (haven't we all...) but felt I needed to broaden my knowledge for work so that I understood the processes of making them and was able to recommend wines for customers. I looked for a course from an independent and local WSET provider. Luckily I knew about Debbie as I followed her on Instagram and thought her course looked like a much more individual and personable approach than some of the more faceless companies offering the course.

It was an absolute pleasure from start to finish. Debbie really instilled confidence in me alongside the knowledge she imparted and I understood so much more about the process of winemaking, grape varieties and tasting notes. Thanks to her wonderful teaching I passed the course and am hoping to take my WSET Level 2 in the near future, as well as her course on natural wine which is a personal passion of mine. 
Since the course, I've moved to Scotland and am managing a hospitality business at Inverlonan. We're hoping to host events in the near future where I can share my new wine knowledge with our guests. I'm so much more confident in my wine knowledge since doing this course with Debbie and would recommend it to everyone, from industry professionals to anyone with a passing interest in wine.

Joel Friskney-Adams,
A Modern Introduction to Wine, WSET Level 3
Having met Debbie while waiting on her and her partner at a Grale Frit event, I used some free time to follow a couple of her courses (initially online; A Modern Introduction to Wine, and then in person; WSET Level 3 in the vineyard at Trevibban Mill). Both of these courses boosted my confidence considerably, but also furthered my enjoyment of wine. Simultaneously I started working at Lovetts, a small coffee shop and wine bar in Newlyn run by a husband and wife team. During the day I run the day-to-day side of things, while the owner is on maternity leave, working as a barista and supporting sales from the bottle shop, while in the evening we serve a short by-the-glass selection and bar snacks. Any downtime is spent browsing the shelves and contemplating how best to spend my paycheque at the end of the month.

At present the team at Grale Frit are planning our third series of events for Winter 2021/22, returning to Fowey but also hoping to pop up elsewhere around Cornwall in collaboration with a few friends. I'm perusing supplier lists and beginning to think about what the wine list might look like for that, while also thinking about taking on a permanent site and what format that might take.
Jo Dulieu,
WSET Level 2 (online)
Completing my WSET Level 2 with Debbie was one of the most interesting and informative professional courses I’ve completed. Learning about wine at a distance, during a lockdown, may seem daunting but the quality of the teaching and the resources was outstanding.
In my role as the Head Bartender at The Pig at Harlyn Bay, an in depth knowledge of, an enthusiasm for wine is essential. Learning with Debbie gave me so much confidence, and cemented my passion and interest in wine into a real foundational knowledge, that I am able to call upon every day. 

I’m so excited to continue learning about (and enjoying) wine, and hopefully will complete my Level 3 soon! 
 Ben Piper,
I started my wine education journey with Debbie’s Introduction to Organic and Biodynamic Wine at the idyllic One Field Farm on a sunny autumn day in 2019. Learning about the strange and wonderful ideas of Rudolf Steiner whilst tasting some amazing wines in a lovely field piqued my interest and I signed up for the WSET level 2 straight away. 
My Wild Wine WSET level 2 began a year later with a gentle nature walk around Nancarrow Farm before settling down into our rustic barn (or field when the sun occasionally shone) classroom to learn. I then studied the WSET level 3 course with Debbie in June 2021 at the stunning Trevibban Mill adding both depth and breadth to my wine knowledge. It was fantastic to be able to walk around a vineyard and a winery whilst studying the viticulture and vinification sections of the course - suddenly a cordon spur made perfect sense. The level 3 course is quite challenging but Debbie did a great job of building our knowledge and giving us confidence in our understanding and tasting skills. We tasted a large range of really interesting wines during this course including a smokey red from the slopes of Mount Etna, a textured Chenin from South Africa and a limey Riesling from the Clare Valley in Australia.
At this stage wine is an enthusiasm for me, although I’m exploring how to combine the skills I have from my current career as a research scientist working in the fields of acoustics and data engineering with my interests in wine, climate and fermentation. I’m also interested in how our sense of hearing and music in particular impacts our perception and enjoyment of wine and have started an occasional instagram profile for sharing wine and music pairings and any interesting research I find in this area called moon.raisin

Jim Michell,

My decision to take part in the course was a real mix of personal interest and professional development. At Barefoot we provide marketing support to a portfolio of drinks producers, from artisan distilleries, to drinks retailers and vineyards. Our whole team has now achieved WSET qualifications in wine or spirits, which gives our clients reassurance that we understand how their products are made, and our team know that they have the correct technical understanding when speaking to drinks journalists and creating content for clients’ websites and social media accounts. I took the Level 2 course in Wine last year to broaden my knowledge and explore a wider range of styles of wine and from different areas in the world. This sparked a deeper interest in wine which I wanted to take further with the Level 3 qualification earlier this year.

I really enjoyed the both courses, and the Level 3 is a really solid platform to understanding 90% of the wines that you’re likely to encounter in a restaurant or retailer. I think the area I gained the most confidence from was the structured approach to tasting and evaluating the quality of the wines. Before the course I didn’t think I had a particularly good sense of smell or taste, and understanding what to look for removed some of the intimidation around this area. I now feel I can trust my judgments and have the confidence to back up my instincts.

The course has been a confidence builder and really helps me ensure that the work we do for our drinks clients is based on the correct knowledge and is credible to both clients and industry professionals.

It was fantastic. I love food and feel I can now make more informed choices when picking a wine to go with a dish, and can understand what to look for when buying wine. Wine merchants can sometimes be intimidating places but since doing the courses a trip to buy wine is a great pleasure.

I’m glad I had a bit of time between the two courses to consolidate the knowledge from Level 2, and to explore new wines, before starting Level 3. It was a significant step up in the knowledge required and definitely required a time commitment to read the course material ahead of the tutored sessions each week. The courses have been fantastic, with a great variety of wines to try, and a really solid foundation to understanding the world of wine.

I'm food obsessed and believe a little of what you fancy does you good, so I was always interested in broadening my foodie knowledge with WSET qualifications. Debbie's focus on natural and sustainable wine practices really resonated with me, this is why I chose to study with her. The fun and approachable online sessions kept me hooked to my computer and gave me knowledge that I use everywhere from the dinner table to with my clients.


Sam Loess,
WSET Levels 1&2

 I'm food obsessed and believe a little of what you fancy does you good, so I was always interested in broadening my foodie knowledge with WSET qualifications. Debbie's focus on natural and sustainable wine practices really resonated with me, this is why I chose to study with her. The fun and approachable online sessions kept me hooked to my computer and gave me knowledge that I use everywhere from the dinner table to with my clients.

Since completing the courses I have created wine pairings for events and even managed the introduction of a new local wine bar, training staff on wine to help them feel confident with customers.