Wine Institute’s Comprehensive California Wine Certification Program Developed by Industry Experts  

SAN FRANCISCO – The first-of-its kind California wine certification and education program, Capstone California, has launched onto the global wine stage during California Wine Month. Created by Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program with a team of international wine professionals, Capstone California focuses exclusively on California wine through original content presented in a multi-lingual, multimedia platform available globally to industry professionals and enthusiasts alike. 

Capstone California is part of a 10-year, multi-pronged strategy aimed at expanding California wine across international markets. Furthering the knowledge of California wines through a structured learning experience, Capstone California embraces a global audience. Focusing on four levels of study from novice to expert through a comprehensive curriculum, Capstone California offers authoritative information, interactive and aerial maps of the state’s American Viticulture Areas and other resources for wine study all readily accessible at 

Find California Wine Education Resources Including Aerial AVA and Variety Maps (click image)

California wine makes up 95% of U.S. wine exports and more than 80% of the U.S. wine market, which has generated a significant need to provide a deeper understanding of our wine regions to the world and here at home,” said Robert P. Koch, president and CEO, Wine Institute. “With tremendous detail and collaboration by influential global wine leaders to develop this innovative and rigorous certification program, Capstone California highlights the extensive history, diversity and intricacies that make up the compelling and sought-after characteristics of California wine.” 

Each Capstone California course builds on the prior level, covering history, geography, climate, soils, grapes, viticulture, vinification, aging and maturation, wine laws, official classifications, producers, vintages and the business of wine.  

Explore California Wine Regions (click image)

“Establishing a comprehensive resource for the international wine community, specific to California wine, Capstone California covers everything necessary to become more versed in the unique and accessible options that California offers wine lovers around the world,” said Evan Goldstein, Master Sommelier. “As California wine continues to evolve and experience significant global growth, this comprehensive program provides a depth of knowledge to wine professionals that is greatly needed.” 

“Knowing a bit more makes wine so much more enjoyable. Capstone California provides an ideal way of intensifying your enjoyment of California wine,” said Jancis Robinson, Master of Wine. 

The program’s extensive archives were curated by Master Sommeliers Evan Goldstein, Tim Gaiser and Wayne Belding, alongside industry leaders Deborah Parker Wong, Randy Caparoso, Sara Schneider, Sara d’Amato, Virginie Boone, Fred Swan and Master of Wine Sandy Block. Many California wineries, along with a team of California wine experts, Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wine, educators and authors and international wine leaders also contributed to Capstone California. 

Capstone California has already been previewed in Canada and Europe and will be introduced in Japan, Mexico and the U.K./Ireland in the fall of 2021, followed by China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and United Arab Emirates throughout 2022.  

Capstone California will continue to evolve in coming months, expanding on the compelling features and resources available to participants globally, with an emphasis on building a lifelong approach to mentoring across the international wine community.  

About the Capstone California Program 
Developed by California Wines under the auspices of Wine Institute, Capstone California is an up-to-date information resource on California wine, developed by an outside team of top industry professionals, educators and authors. Additionally, many of the state’s wineries contributed to the first-of-its kind content. Capstone California offers four levels of study: Introductory, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert/Ambassador. Upon completion of each level, successful students receive a certificate and other benefits. For more information, visit 

About Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program 
Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program is a public-private partnership supported by winery contributions and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It supports more than 185 California wineries exporting to 142 countries and highlights California as an aspirational location and environmental leader with beautiful landscapes, an iconic lifestyle and great wine and food. Representatives help develop export markets, covering 27 countries and provide support to California wineries. California is the fourth-largest wine producing region in the world and produces more than 80% of total U.S. wine production and 95% of U.S. wine exports. Established in 1934, Wine Institute is a public policy advocacy group representing more than 1,000 California winery and affiliated business members.  

For additional information on the export program, visit and to learn more about California wine, visit Wine Institute’s consumer website,