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Frequently Asked Questions

Your Etna Wine School expert is fully vaccinated. We have developed an in-depth action plan for the health and safety of our employees, partners, students, and clients. This guidance is based on what is known about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and instructions provided by the Italian Minister of Health (Ministero delle Salute). Read and download our action plan here.

The Etna Wine School™ [EWS] may, at its sole discretion, modify or update these “Terms” without notice. It is advised that all service providers, partners and clients review this page for occasional updates. At such time as we change the “Terms” we will include the most recent
date of said modification.


All arrangements and prices detailed on this website ( are coordinated by the EWS and its partners. The EWS has verified and confirmed all information as of the date listed above.

As all relevant accommodations, partners, service agencies, wineries,and satellite operators contribute to the information on this website, the EWS accepts no responsibility for any temporary inaccuracy or misrepresentation contained in this publication or information as it has
been supplied. Any inaccuracies will be handled according to urgency and necessity and any changes will be noted.

Sales of services as contained in this publication are made by the EWS, only as an agent for the person, business or company providing the services. The EWS does not accept responsibility for unannounced changes in price of services originating from outside vendors. All services and
prices are subject to change without prior notice.


All cartography, photographs, illustrations, and computer-based graphics are included for conceptual purposes only and are not always representative of the subject matter.


The EWS is committed to protecting the privacy and security of any and all personal and private information that you provide us. This information includes that which can be linked to a specific individual, such as name, address, phone number, or email address.

The following information explains how we handle and protect your private information in accordance with commonly accepted privacy principles.

The EWS reserves the right to modify, amend, or otherwise change this policy at any time and for any reason. Any changes to this privacy policy will be posted with the date of their implementation.

Questions regarding this policy should be emailed to


In an effort to keep the EWS services as simple and flexible as possible we record necessary private information that we are required to retrieve under Italian tax law.

Per Italian tax law, we are required to request a Tax ID and an address to complete all transactions with businesses and registered organizations. Users of EWS services without a business or a registered organization are required to present verification of address, birth date
and birth place upon payment.

The information is stored on a secure off-site server that requires multiple verification and authorization to access the data you furnish.

The EWS collects this private information when you:

— Book a Class or Tour: Your full name, address, email address and phone number are taken each time you make a booking.

—  Contact the EWS Through Our Website: The EWS collects private information such as your full name, address, email address and/or telephone number whenever you submit a query or
suggestion through our website.

—  Submit Private Personal Information via eMail or other electronic means: In addition to private information collected for business and booking procedures, any voluntary personal information submitted to us electronically may be collected and retained for the sole purpose of
serving you, our customer and client, and remaining in contact. All material/data is retained in a secure environment.


The EWS uses your private information to contact you and for the purpose of responding to and fulfilling your requests for our products and services, including your member profile for online courses which helps you track your progress and assignments.

Information collected via eMail and through  may be used to:

Pay for EWS services: Information collected when you purchase a class or tour or other service from the EWS is used to charge credit cards, invoice for payment, and otherwise deliver your requests.

Contact you about your EWS experience: Any comments may be used for promotional material and/or staff training.

Respond to questions or suggestions: The EWS will use your address, eMail address and/or telephone number to contact you when you submit a question or suggestion via eMail or through our website.


The EWS does not disclose or share any private information about customers or their bookings to any third parties, with the following exceptions and circumstances:

— Service Providers: The EWS provides the guest’s name, telephone number, address and email address for each booking made. This information is delivered directly to the relevant service partners. Our service partners require this information for the booking and/or if they need to contact you about your reservation. Although the EWS offers second-party services all services and service providers have been vetted for quality, licensing, permits, etc. We do not place specific limitations on these suppliers from using or disclosing your information without your permission. Therefore, we encourage you to review the privacy policies of any suppliers whose services you purchase through the EWS.

— Legal obligations: The EWS may be required by law to disclose information provided by you to the EWS for the purpose of obtaining services from the EWS. The EWS may also disclose information against individuals or agencies who pose a threat to the EWS interests, as in the case of customer fraud, or whose activities may cause harm to others.


The EWS believes that our website visitors, customers, and clients should maintain control over the collection and use of their private information.

As a client and customer, you have control and access to your personal information as follows:

Booking information: If at anytime you would like to alter the personal private information that was provided to the EWS prior to or at the time of service, please contact us by email.

General: If at anytime you wish to ask about your private personal information, which is stored by the EWS, please contact us by email.


All service costs are based on the description of services provided, unless otherwise stated. Where noted, prices are based on two (2) person minimums. Prices are subject to the Italian VAT – called ‘Imposta sul Valore Aggiunto’ or ‘IVA’ – a ‘Value Added Tax. As of January 2012 the
standard rate of Italian VAT is set at 22%. This is the rate at which all EWS services will be taxed.

We require a 5% processing fee for all major credit cards.

Payment is due within 72 hours of receiving written confirmation from the EWS of your booking.


While the EWS provides a “Free Reservation Service,” cancellations of confirmed bookings within 48 hours prior to the start time of a reservation where payment has been made will attract a €40,00 administration fee in addition to any cancellation fees mandated by our
service providers.

Cancellations made within 24 hours of the start time of a reservation will be billed in full. The EWS reserves the right to offer alternative services of a similar standard in the case of overbooking, acts of Nature, or for any reason beyond our control.

EWS and our partners reserve the right to end, cancel, postpone any courses, business, arrangements, meetings, tastings, or experiences, whether planned or in process, based on our interpretation of inappropriate, unwarranted, unwanted, unprovoked bad behavior on the
part of a client, guest, student, etc.

If an EWS course is cancelled for any reason prior to commencement, our refund policy applies. If the course is in process, no refund will be issued.


Our partner operators are in-house professionals and experts in their field of service. They reserve the right to independently adjust their services, prices, and itineraries at any time as a result of fire, flood, extreme weather conditions, volcanic activity, or any other circumstance beyond their control. Should a change in pricing be made the EWS will do everything in our power to alert clients and guests prior to the commencement of a tour or course.


All reasonable requests from journalists and bloggers for assistance in arranging meetings with wineries, organized tastings, a la carte tours, and sightseeing for the purpose of an article, video series, podcast, or similar will be honored for a prearranged fee.

All requests must be made in writing and must be accompanied by a written request from an editor, links to previous articles (and or media), and/or a proposal for an article about the EWS, our partner wineries, or the region, including potential word count, requirements for art, and any miscellaneous themes of import.

The EWS reserves the right to set any and all fees based on hourly and daily rates and types of services provided.

I created each wine program with beginners and experts in mind. In each lesson we look at the ways climate, elevation, soils, viticulture, vinification, and personality affect the taste and ageability of table, sparkling, and sweet wines. By the end of your course you will be speaking and writing fluently about Wine and the boutique volcanic terroir that has everyone talking about Sicily.

Our students arrive from almost every corner of the globe. They are young and old, beginners, wine enthusiasts, and trade professionals. They come to Etna Wine School to start a career, complete their education, and keep up to date on the most dynamic wine region in Europe. Whatever your level of wine knowledge and wherever you are, our local and online courses offer flexible ways to learn about one of the great comforts of the world — Wine.

Etna Wine School courses are different from other online wine programs in a couple of ways.

First, where most wine programs online are dedicated to business of wine, our programs include a broad study of Wine while focusing on the peculiarities of making wine on a volcano in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.

Second, you are not required to test on our schedule. We give everyone ample time to complete the program(s) of choice and complete the assessments on their own schedule.*

*Our Ambassador and Scholar programs are certificate programs that establish  timelines.

Our programs deal with the promotion and responsible consumption of an alcoholic beverage. Therefore, proof of age is required during registration. We do not supply wine for the wine tasting elements. Students are responsible for tasting wines included in the course.


Starting September 1, 2022, we will discontinue accepting new reservations for groups with children under the age of 13 years. While we understand families would like to share cultural experiences with their family members, we believe our professional wine courses are not suitable for young people who do not yet share an interest in wine, or the ability to taste the wines we discuss.

Since 2012, our courses have been in the countryside and wineries on Mount Etna. Today, thanks to video, we are able to bring you there, to meet the producers, and see the vineyards and barrels rooms. We supply a list of course wines to buy from the wineries and local retailers.

We offer a la carte courses and complete programs, which you can review in our Course Catalogue. Some of our short courses are found within the complete courses. Where applicable, we have labeled each course as beginner, intermediate, and advanced. If you ever have any questions, you can contact us using our online form or by sending an email to

All of Etna Wine School’s courses (in campo and online) are taught in English. The Italian words and phrases we use are included in the glossary of your text book for the course, The New Wines of Mount Etna. Where translations, captions or other notations are possible are available (videos, slides, etc), we include them.

We encourage you to focus on a single (1) course at a time. If you would like to dive into Etna, our Ambassador program is perfect for you. For students who want to go all the way, we offer the Etna Scholar program.

Students should expect to engage each lesson fully, using the time available to read, watch videos, and take exams. Studying for one hour every day will keep you moving forward faster and better than one hour per week, for example.

Our goal is to give you all the tools to pass and even excel through each module, lesson, and course. All exams are pass / fail, and results are instructive. It is possible to fail an exam. Exams can be taken more than one time.

We offer fast and easy registration on our ALL COURSES page; the link can be found at the top of the page. Follow the directions to select the course(s) you want. Complete your personal or business and billing details. All courses are billed in €Euros. Once your registration is confirmed, you will receive an email from us with additional instructions for signing on to our educational platform with your unique student identification information.

We are flexible on this matter. When credit card payments are not possible, we offer other methods for payment, including PayPal, Transferwise, and bank/wire transfer. If these don’t work for you, let us know.

This can happen. Check your SPAM filter first on your email account. If you don’t see the confirmation email, contact us using the online form, or send an email to with your Full Name, Email Address, and a detailed message. Also, check with your bank to confirm that the payment did or did not go through. If the payment did go through, please send us a copy of your payment.

Our courses are available year-round, 24 hours a day. You decide when to start, when to study, and when to test your knowledge of Etna wines, grape varieties, geology, and history. When we have scheduled webinars or online events we will let you know by email.

We do not currently offer financial assistance for our courses. In the past, some of our students (sommeliers, retailers, journalists) have shared the cost of the program with their employer.

We make it easy to give our courses and programs to friends, relatives and colleagues as a gift. Ask about our voucher program by email:

Each course is different. The amount of time it takes you to complete a course is directly proportionate to the amount of time you are able to dedicate to your studies and each exam. All courses are designed to be completed within a few weeks. Students seeking the Etna Ambassador Certificate are required to finish the course in six (6) months from the registration date, to receive the credential and documentation.

For detailed information about the organization of the program, or an individual course, check out our All Courses page in the main menu.

Because this is an online course, you will need a computer (preferred), a tablet or smartphone, a connection to the internet, a web-browser, an email address (for communication, course materials, and personal identification). Proficiency with the English language and a desire to learn about Wine are not required, but they are helpful.

There is only one textbook for this course, The New Wines of Mount Etna, An Insider’s Guide to The History and Rebirth of a Wine Region, written by your instructor, Benjamin North Spencer DipWSET. The textbook is available in Kindle/ePub and Paperback via Each module, lesson and part of the course is based on this book, other supporting reading materials (articles, interviews, books), and video interviews.

First of all, congratulations! This is no small feat. The knowledge you have received has taken generations to assemble. Once your courses are finalized and every element of your program is complete, we will send you documentation and an Etna Wine School certificate commensurate with the course(s) you have completed. Graduates of our Etna Ambassador program will be invited to take part in the Etna Scholar track, which is the highest achievement that we offer.

Request to audit one of our wine courses should be submitted in writing. To send us a request, you can use our online contact form or send us an email at

We are not affiliated with other programs or education centers. Our courses can be particularly supportive for wine students, and especially those who are studying Italian wines, for a sommelier certification, wine retail, or a job in journalism. Understanding wine, new trends in the trade, and being able to speak and write about it fluently offers endless professional potential. Our former students often use our certificate to augment their resumes when applying for work or securing new clients.

All content in this website — — and all material within its URL domain properties, including information about our services, is Copyright  Protected. All rights are reserved. No part of this content may be reproduced in any way, in print or electronically, without prior consent from the copyright holder. Exception to this copyright can only be granted in writing by the copyright holder and prior to use by any entity who/that wishes to use selections of this content for the purpose or in support of a critical review or to promote Etna Wine School™ services.

Join Our Community of Etna Ambassadors

Etna Wine School is the only place to learn about Etna wines online.
We offer a la carte and certificate courses for wine enthusiasts and trade professionals.

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