Certified group in Sonoma?

Hi all!

I recently moved to Healdsburg for a harvest internship with David Ramey, super exciting! The work hours are consistent (M-F 8am-5pm, with the exception of a few extra hours or Saturday mornings) and we are fully staffed, allowing more free time than I intended. I attempted certified in April of this year and did not pass theory, I intended on re-testing after harvest but now I'm considering re-testing December 11th.

Wondering if anyone could recommend a tasting group here in Sonoma or Napa?




  • Hello,

    I just passed the introductory and I am also looking for a tasting/study group (based in Napa). I am thinking of taking the certified in late October. Would love to try to start a group if there are more people or join one if there isn’t already one? 



  • Hello, your best option is to join, the sf tasting group, we meet sundays at flatiron wines pm me if like to join attach your emails

  • Hi! sounds great, please attach me.



  • I would also like to join. princepogi17@gmail.com

  • Hi Savannah

    I would like to join a tasting group because I like to be certified next year.

    I live here in santa rosa. at this point any advise will be helpful as well.

    thank you


  • Hi I’m also looking to get certified next year.  Can you please add me to the group.  My email is Goldie.leh@gmail.com

  • I know this is a late reply but does anyone know a certified level tasting group here in Napa? I missed tasting for certified and want to test again. Most likely next year. 

  • Hey guys,

    Are you all still looking to practice tasting? I'm based in Sebastopol so perhaps we could do something more local.

    I'd be happy to bring 6 testable wines and guide you all through the certified grid and give feedback. If so, I would ask you help in finding a suitable venue and a time that works for everyone. Ideally the venue would have appropriate glassware ("all purporse" or "white wine" glasses are fine), spit cups (having water avail is also ideal) good uncolored lighting, and be free of odors or excessive noise.

    I am unavailable M-TH from 6:30pm on and Fri-Sun I would need to finish by 1pm. Everyone would need to bring $ (expect $20-30), their own printed certified grids (unless someone brings enough for the group) and a pen/pencil. Please consider that if you opt in and we schedule, arriving late or cancelling with short notice is a big inconvenience, although things happen.

    To prep for success a quick refresher on a few things will go a long way. Know what grapes are testable for the Certified Exam, all other wines are relevant for theory and service and tasting them will help you in those areas, but we will taste only what is strictly testable. Knowing the structure of testable wines will contribute greatly to results, i.e. if you call medium alcohol and low (or mid minus) tannins, BDX, CDP, Piedmont Nebbiolo and other wines are out the window. Once you taste sweetness in a white wine the possible grape list gets super short. There is only one classic wine from Europe that is known to have American oak, so if you get dill or coconut (or suntan lotion) the list of possible reds gets short. Last advice on this is the most important, know the grid! Memorize the grid and recite it to a friend or quiz yourself on it, even when you feel you know the grid you may not have it totally locked in yet.

    For anyone interested please chime in on this thread. If we get a solid commitment from at minimum 4 people and secure a viable venue, I'm happy to help. I passed my certified in 2010, took the adv course in 2017, and sit for the advanced exam for the first time this summer. I also have about 5 years worth of weekly tasting group experience studying for the advanced.