ABOUT

FLORIDA WINE ACADEMY

Florida Wine Academy is a wine education and consulting company, based in Miami, Florida.

FWA is a WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) Approved Programme Provider that offers the following qualifications: WSET Level 1 Award in Wines, WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits, WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits and WSET Level 3 Award in Wines courses.

WSET wine certifications are designed for wine enthusiasts, sommeliers and other professionals in the beverage and hospitality industries, with an emphasis on product and business knowledge.

Florida Wine Academy offers consulting and on-site training services. This includes helping restaurants design their wine lists, and training staff on wine pairing, handling, and service.

Additionally, FWA provides services for business, such as seminars & educational tastings and corporate events, as well as for individuals, such as wine cellar management, advice on buying wine (fine and rare, when to taste), auction representation for wine collectors and private tastings.

ALESSANDRA ESTEVES

Alessandra Esteves is the Director of Wine Education for the Florida Wine Academy. She is a WSET Certified Educator and holds the WSET Level 4 (Diploma) in Wines & Spirits. She also has a Champagne Master Level, by the Wine Scholar Guild.

Having studied wine since 2004, she has dedicated herself in recent years to becoming the distinguished wine professional that she is today. In 2016, she earned her Diploma from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, the highest qualification that this renowned organization awards.

Ms. Esteves’ articles on wine and related subjects have been published in three books, and in magazines in different countries. She has written a 40-page treatise about the Chinese wine and spirits market which is available online. Ms. Esteves has also served as an Associate Judge at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London. More recently, Ms. Esteves participated as a Competition Judge at the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America Convention & Exposition.

Alessandra Esteves hosts and produces the Happy Hour Radio Show on Jolt Radio, which airs every 3rd Wednesday of the month on joltradio.org. Previously, Ms. Esteves practiced as a corporate lawyer in Brazil and Germany, having joined the Brazilian Bar Association in 2000. She is fluent in Portuguese, German, English, Italian, and Spanish; and has acquired a primary proficiency in French.

GUILHERME MACEDO

Guilherme Macedo is the co-founder and General Manager of the Florida Wine Academy.

Mr. Macedo has a BA and MBA in Business Administration and has worked in the Chemical industry for more than 15 years. His professional career led him to work in Germany, Switzerland, Brasil and Central America and he is fluent in 4 languages. He worked as a Controller, Business Manager and as Country Head, and his primary expertise is Business Development and Business Strategy.

At the Florida Wine Academy, he is responsible for developing new partnerships with corporations, associations, and chambers of commerce, oversee all back office activities and ensure quality control at all levels.

Mr. Macedo has recently passed the WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits with distinction and will continue his wine education so that he can contribute more to the Academy.

BRENDA POO

Brenda Poo is a marketing specialist at Florida Wine Academy.

She graduated from Florida International University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication and has 11 years of advertising experience. Her passion for wine has led her to become a French Wine Scholar recipient and is WSET Level 2 certified.

Mrs. Poo is enthusiastic about continuing her wine education. “I want to keep increasing my level of expertise. There’s so much more to learn and explore. That’s what makes the world of wine so exciting for me.”

NICOLE RAMOS

Nicole Ramos is an instructor for the WSET Level 1 Award in Wines for the Florida Wine Academy.

Nicole has a BS in Natural Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which she obtained in 2005. From 2005-2007 she worked as a researcher for the university’s Department of Biological Sciences before deciding to teach and travel abroad. Nicole’s passion for wine began in 2007, when she worked as a guide for a small bicycle tour company based in Florence, Italy. After spending a season learning about the wines of the Chianti region she knew she was hooked. She worked for six years as an ESL teacher in Vietnam, South Korea, and Germany before returning to Pittsburgh for a job in healthcare in 2013. It was then she was able to take the WSET Level 2 Award in Wine and Spirits, passing with Merit.

Throughout her career Nicole has accumulated more than eight years of experience in the hospitality industry. She is currently employed by the Hillstone Corporation, and has worked at the Grill at Bal Habour for the past 15 months. Nicole completed the WSET Level 3 Award in Wine through Florida Wine Academy in March of this year, again passing with Merit. She is planning to continue her wine education while working for FWA to contribute to its growth and education programs

SEBASTIAN VELEZ

Sebastian Velez is a Course Educator at the Florida Wine Academy. Although he is a Mechanical Engineer from the University of Florida, his passion for wine developed during a family vacation to Mendoza, Argentina. After finishing college, he decided to put engineering aside and travel the world for 16 months to learn and further explore the wine producing regions around the world. It was during that trip that Sebastian decided to take the WSET Levels 1-3 while he was living in Australia. Since then, he has devoted his entire career to the world of wine.

Currently, Mr. Velez is undergoing the WSET Diploma Level 4 while maintaining his full-time job as a wine manager for a big grocery chain where he supervises and trains 20 employees, as well as running his own online wine retailer, Vinomory. Sebastian started Vinomory last year with the purpose of exposing consumers to new wines while encouraging them to sharing it with family and friends and having a great time together.

Sebastian is eager to continue his wine education while sharing his passion for wine with those around him.