Interview With The Managing Director At Wine Scholar Guild – Preston Mohr

29th March 2024

Interview With Managing Director At Wine Scholar Guild Preston Mohr

We’re taking a step into the world of wine education, for any professional or consumer alike, the Wine Scholar Guild offers an incredible array of information, helping to explore the wine industry in France, Italy or Spain, from an Essentials level to a Master’s, in this feature, I speak with the Managing Director at Wine Scholar Guild, Preston Mohr, from France, who has helped many people to discover the vast world of Wines and Sparkling Wines, so without further ado, let’s find out about some of his experiences in the wine world, and what we can look forward to from the Wine Scholar Guild in the near future.

Tell Us A Bit About Your Role As Managing Director at Wine Scholar Guild & What How You Became Involved In The Wine Industry?

“As Managing Director, I oversee all teams of Wine Scholar Guild. We pride ourselves on our insdustry-recognized specialized certification programs created by our own in-house education team. To do this requires an entire team of dedicated and passionate people. My primary role is to ensure that creating, selling and teaching our programs goes smoothly from beginning to end. Along with Julien Camus, our President and Founder, I am also responsible for growing the WSG brand around the world whether that’s through our online offering, study abroad experiences or in-person classes that are offered at over 130 different program providers.”

Do You Remember Your First Experience With Sparkling Wine? When It Was And What Kind Of Wine It Was?

“While I do not have a recollection of the exact first sparkling wine I tried, I would imagine it was a California sparkling wine of questionable quality (maybe even with a plastic cork?). I probably sampled it at a family gathering in my teens and didn’t think much of it. But I do remember being curious about Champagne when Loretta Castorini (played by Cher) casually orders a “split of Mumm” in Moonstruck, the 1987 film. That sounded like something I was interested in. Growing up in a family in Minnesota (USA) that didn’t drink much, I did not experience wine or wine culture until I was in university. I started learning French and became obsessed with French culture, food… and eventually wine. That’s what brought me to France 20 years ago and I’ve never looked back.”

As The Managing Director at Wine Scholar Guild, What Can We Look Forward To?

“We have lots of exciting things in the pipeline for our students and members. In 2025, we will launch German Wine Scholar, along with our very own tasting diploma, which will build upon, yet challenge, the way most of us have learned to taste wine. This transformative tasting certification is based on the way terroir and place of origin express themselves in wine, and will allow students to take their analytical tasting skills to the next level. Our program is underpinned by neuroscience alongside a unique and qualitative approach to wine tasting, with an emphasis on the principles of texture and mouthfeel. Additional elements—not typically covered in traditional tasting exercises—such as energy, vitality, salivation and digestion are also considered to help propose a more holistic approach to wine assessment.

In the meantime, Justin Martindale, Master of Wine, has recently joined our team as Membership & Community Manager and has lots of exciting plans for our wine-obsessed members and students.

We also recently overhauled our popular Champagne Masters program which is taught online. It’s the most in-depth certification program that exists on the wines of Champagne.”

What Sparkling Wine Producing Countries or Regions Hold A Special Place In Your Heart?

“I truly love all bubbles, but of course, Champagne is high on the list. At the beginning of my career in wine, I was a wine and food tour guide and accompanied countless groups to Champagne. This was during the ‘grower revolution’ so I got to know many smaller growers and was hooked. But I also particularly love wines like Franciacorta as well as Cava. Last night alone I enjoyed an American sparkling wine from Sokol Blosser (Oregon) as well as the always delicious Mauzac Nature from Domaine Plageoles (Gaillac). We had friends in town from New York so it was a reason to celebrate! But does one really need a reason to open a bobble of bubbles?”

Where’s The Most Memorable Place You’ve Enjoyed A Glass of Bubbly?

“Last summer, on a windswept, yet sunny day while visiting my brother and sister-in-law who live near the expansive coast of Lake Superior in Minnesota, along with my mother, we enjoyed a bottle of Drappier Carte d’Or out of glass tumblers while their dog played in the water. Perfection! I tend to easily forget the bubbles I’ve had while sitting in Michelin-starred dining rooms over the years. Eating and drinking al fresco with friends and family is always much more fun and memorable.”

Additional Question Asked on Behalf of Champagne CollectorsWhat’s The Oldest Vintage Champagne You’ve Tasted?

“I can’t remember the very oldest exactly, probably something from the 1980s. But I recently enjoyed Symphonie d’Europe Extra Brut Champagne 1997 by Champagne Fleury. Still youthful and with years ahead of it, but older than the Champagne I am typically drinking.”

Thank you, Preston, for sharing your words, knowledge and experiences with us and we at Glass of Bubbly wish you the very best for the future!

Photo Credit belongs to Preston Mohr, Glass of Bubbly was granted permission, to use them.

Oliver Walkey

Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.