Where is the highest rated wine school in America? Napa Valley? New York City? Chicago? Los Angeles? Nope, it's in Philly. SOMM rated the Wine School of Philadelphia a whopping 94 points. Higher even than California's top wine school, the Napa Valley Wine Academy.
If you were connected to the wine trade, you would understand the crazy logic. The American wine scene begins and ends in who buys wine, not who makes it. The East Coast is the financial driver of the American wine economy.
The largest of all wine buyers is... the PLCB, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board: the largest state-run wine monopoly in the US and wields an out-sized economic influence on the California wine trade. So much so that a former PLCB chairman, Jonathan Newman, was named the Wine Person of the Year by the Wine Enthusiast magazine.
The Wine School is located in just the right place, with just the right mix of sommelier-instructors and inventive curriculum. The school attracts students not just from the region, from across the globe: Students come from Italy, France, China, and England choose to attend classes in Philadelphia. Even a handful of California winemakers started here.
From sommelier courses to individual wine classes, the Wine School of Philadelphia has earned its place in the top ranks of American wine schools.
"It's an uphill battle for a wine school in Philly. Any school from New York or Napa Valley is going to have the home field advantage. We came to the city of brotherly love expecting great cheesesteaks and rowdy sports fans. We did not expect to find America's finest wine school. Yet, there it is. A former Napa winemaker running a top-notch wine school a few blocks from Rittenhouse Square. "