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Natale celebrates his certification as a WSET Educator with store colleagues. From left: Traci DeLong (CSR);Karen Kardassilaris (CSR); Pia Quesnel (store manager); Natale Lofaro (product consultant); Justin Alves (CSR); Chloe Choquette (CSR); John Sykes (assistant manager).

Natale Passes WSET Educator Test

When Ottawa Product Consultant Natale Lofaro spent three days in New York recently, it wasn’t to tour all the attractions of the Big Apple. It was to take exams to become a Certified WSET Educator.

Ottawa-based Product Consultant Natale Lofaro recently spent three days in New York City. And it wasn’t to tour the attractions of the Big Apple.

It was to become a Certified Educator of WSET, the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, the world’s leading provider of wine and spirits education. The program consists of six modules that are taught and assessed over a three-day period. He passed.

“It was intense,” says Natale. “There was a lot of prep work involved and you had to be mindful of the time limits on presentations. When I found out I had passed on my initial try, I was elated.”

 As a Certified Educator, he can now teach courses, supervise students while they give exams, as well as mark exams.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment and very difficult to achieve,” notes his manager Pia Quesnel. “I congratulate Natale on behalf of all his colleagues in Ottawa and around the LCBO.”

Natale worked at the Bank of Canada for eight years before heading to Napa Valley to learn about winemaking. When he moved back to Canada in 1998 he joined the LCBO and, a year later, he became one of the LCBO’s 277 product consultants.

The more time he spent on the job, the more serious about wine and product knowledge he became. He began enrolling in WSET courses and achieved the Diploma level in 2006.

Natale expects to do some teaching at Algonquin College in the fall, which plans to offer WSET courses, and is contemplating pursing a Master of Wine designation as well.

“In this business you never stop learning,” he says.

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