Japan is one of the largest and highest value markets for California wine, with an emphasis on premium wines. Many California winemakers who have visited Japan express their enthusiasm for the market, partly because they know the Japanese ‘get’ their wine. The market’s deep knowledge and appreciation of wine is the product of the successful education and certification program developed over the years by the Japan Sommelier Association.
Therefore, it is no surprise that California Wines chose Japan as the first Asian country to launch Capstone California, with a fully-translated website and curriculum in Japanese.
Merriam-Webster defines Capstone as “the high point: a crowning achievement”, and California Wines aims to create a comprehensive education program that enhances a wine professional’s skill set and complements other internationally recognized certifications such as the ASI Diploma, while matching the exceptional quality and reputation of California wine.
Capstone California consists of online modules covering 22 regions and 11 varieties and styles, and four levels of certifications, on a multi-media, multi-lingual platform.
Following the Japan launch event at Academie du Vin Tokyo on September 29, the inaugural Level 1 course was conducted by Kana Yamamoto, Capstone California Lead Educator Japan, on October 28.
From January onwards, Kana will be joined by a prominent team of Japan’s leading educators, Satoru Mori (Best Sommelier of Asia-Oceania 2009) and Wataru Iwata (Best Sommelier of Asia-Oceania 2018), who will be teaching Capstone California courses in Tokyo and Osaka.