View NEW YORK, 5th ED. JANUARI 2021 – The International Wine Centre (IWC) today announced the latest WSET level 4 graduates. The class was recently honored with a digital expansion ceremony, a novelty compared to previous years in which alumni, IWC staff, teachers and alumni had to attend the award ceremony for recent graduates in person.

The virtual celebration took place on Thursday, December 3 and was organized by Mary Ewing-Mulligan MW, president of the International Wine Center, and Ian Harris, CEO of the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust). IWC Director Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW, will lead the festive evening.

Seven new graduates join a leading group of 363 students who previously graduated from WSET through their studies at the International Wine Center.  Through their success, these talented graduates have brought real joy to our IWC community. We applaud them for their perseverance and triumph under very difficult circumstances last year.

The WSET Level 4 Diploma is an internationally recognised high level diploma. This two-year program is one of the most demanding and challenging wine programs in the world. He meets one of the conditions for admission to the strict Master of Wine program.

I congratulate the new graduates on their diplomas; with their new diplomas, they join an impressive group of some 10,000 people around the world who have graduated since our founding in 1969, Harris said. Then the team of the International Wine Centre gets to work for an inspiring and very high quality training. It is one of the best training teams to provide WSET courses worldwide.

Founded in 1982, IWC is considered one of the most authorized, respected and prestigious wine and spirits training centres in the country. It was the first school to introduce the WSET program in the United States more than 25 years ago. Thirty-five percent of the 51 Master Winemakers (MWs) living in the United States are educated at the International Wine Centre. IWC was accredited five years ago by the New York State Department of Education as a private vocational school and is now an accredited training centre for those who work or want to work in the wine and spirits industry. All IWC speakers hold a WSET Level 4 diploma in Wines and Spirits, some hold an MW diploma and all hold a diploma from the New York Department of Education.

All 25. The promotion of the International Wine Centre includes : Teresa Island, Kara Joseph, Kara Patteson, Matthew Rossiter, Christopher Sachs, Courtney Schissl and Ashley Sherman.

Teresa Island

Teresa Island has been working in the wine industry for 20 years. She started as a wine buyer in a restaurant in Florida before moving to Georgia to work in retail.  His experience includes buying, selling and operating stores on location and stores with large numbers of participants. In 2013, she founded THIRST, a wine cellar management consultancy that provides tailored services to private and business collectors in the Atlanta area. Teresa studied at the IWC and graduated in wines and spirits. She is also certified in marketing, financial planning and business analysis, and is a jury member of the wine competition.

Kara Joseph

Cara started her wine journey in the Napa Valley while working at the Inglenook winery. When she realized the passion of her life, she decided to learn more and started earning a WSET degree at the IWC.  After moving to New York, Cara worked first as a sommelier and then as a wine manager. She also worked in a wine import shop before moving to Jacksonville, Florida, where she started a wine education and consulting company. Last summer she returned to Napa to work in the Pie Cellars to harvest grapes. Today she is responsible for the reception and sale of Sangiacomo Family Wines.  Kara recently wrote the book If Wine Could Talk, which will be published in the spring of 2021.

Kara Patteson.

Cara is a sommelier and hospitality professional with over 12 years experience in the New York restaurant industry.  After earning an early degree from Babson College in Boston, where she graduated in business and art history, Cara moved to New York City. There she worked in several restaurants and discovered a passion for wine and viticulture.  After years of study Cara received her WSET diploma through the International Wine Center and hopes to obtain her Master of Wine in the coming years. Recently, Kara worked at Quality Brand Restaurants as General Manager and Wine Director, where she developed an award-winning wine program.

Matthew Rossiter

Turns out Matt took the wine. After his studies he started working in publishing and became a delivery man for a small liquor store in Park Slope. After he decided in 2015 to work full-time in the wine industry, he switched to management and purchasing in various stores and started his WSET trip at IWC. Currently Matt is the general manager and buyer of wines and spirits at Waterfront Wines & Spirits in Brooklyn Heights. He specializes in French wines and has spent a lot of time in France, including summer work on harvesting Alsace. He also obtained the DALF C2 language certificate from the CIEP of the French Ministry of Education.

Christopher Säcke

Christopher received his classical culinary training at the American Culinary Institute, where he first studied wine. After graduating, he worked in prestigious restaurants in NJ, Ninety Acres and End of Elm before starting WSET training at IWC. In 2020 Christopher graduated with a degree in Wines and Spirits. He currently works for Skurnik Wines & Spirits as a representative in the New York and New Jersey region. Christopher finds pleasure in exploring the world through wine, spirits, sake and cider.  He also runs a website and a wine club called The journey of wine is his philosophy: a good bottle of wine can take you anywhere in the world.

Courtney Schistle.

Courtney Schissl is a Brooklyn-based journalist, educator and wine consultant who has been a sommelier in some of New York’s top restaurants, including Marta, Dirty French and Terroir. She is currently the editor of the SevenFifty Daily and regularly writes for publications such as VinePair,, The SOMM Journal, The Tasting Panel Magazine, Beverage Media, and ESPN The Magazine. Courtney also gives private seminars on wine education and consults with wine regions and winemakers around the world. Courtney holds a WSET degree in Wine from the IWC and is also a certified Master Sommelier of the Court.

Ashley Sherman.

Ashley fell in love with wine during her studies in London, where she began her WSET study and spent her weekends visiting vineyards all over Europe. After graduating from New York University, Ashley worked in strategy consulting and began studying for her WSET degree at the International Wine Center. Recently she was responsible for the corporate strategy at Breakthru Beverage Group. Ashley is currently pursuing an MBA at the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University. She is passionate about the intersection of wine and business.

About the International Wine Center

The International Wine Centre (IWC) opened its doors in New York in 1982. Through various courses, tasting programs and seminars, the IWC has helped thousands of wine professionals and wine lovers broaden their knowledge of wine. In 1994, IWC was the first organization in the United States to offer programs of the prestigious Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET®), and for fifteen years IWC was the U.S. headquarters of this organization. In New York City, 370 IWC students obtained a WSET degree in wine or wine and spirits during their studies. The diploma is the highest qualification of the WSET and is traditionally a prerequisite for obtaining a Master’s degree. In 2015, IWC was accredited by the New York State Department of Education as a private vocational school. The purpose of the IWC is to promote the independent study of wine and responsible enjoyment, without promotional interests. IWC’s modern and comfortable offices and classrooms are located at 350 Seventh Avenue in Manhattan. For more information, please visit


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