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Tuesday, 26 November 2019 10:51

INTERVIEW: Géraldine Gossot from Université du Vin (Suze la Rousse, France)

Meet Géraldine Gossot, Director of l'Université du Vin in Suze la Rousse, new French Wine Scholar™ program provider in France!

The first FWS session at l'Université du Vin is scheduled to begin December 2nd 2019, more information and registration HERE

L'Université du Vin is one of the oldest wine education centers in France... Can you tell us more about the University, its origin, mission and importance in wine education in France?

L’Université du Vin -the Wine University- is a training center dedicated to the word of wine, located in the ancient castle of Suze la Rousse, at the gates of Provence.

Created 41 years ago, thanks to the energy of local wine growers, politicians, and academic experts, the University was originally specialized in training programs on wine tasting, which is still our speciality. Since then, our University has developed new learning programs related to different skills & jobs, going from wine production to wine tasting.

Our students come from all the regions of France, with a majority coming from the Southern East of France but we also welcome around 10% of foreign students every year, from all over the world.
For example, every year we train sommeliers from a Mauritius resort, and 3 years ago, we trained the first Sommelier from Myanmar. We also regularly welcome students from North our South America. Every year, around 30 students from Belgium come in Suze la Rousse to pass their Sommelier Conseil diploma. 

More than a third of our students are in a career change process: they have a passion for wine, and want to make a living out of it. Thus we have a large range of age among our students: from youngsters who start their professional life in the wine business to students who get prepared for their retirement! This is a rich “melting pot”!

You offer more than 70 different programs at l'Université du Vin. Is there one program that is really the flagship program of the University? Can you also tell us more about your offering and especially those that might be most attractive to international students?

Thanks to our knowledge in wine tasting, and especially of French terroirs wines, our Sommelier-conseil, caviste program is our flagship program. In 4 months of full-time intensive training, students learn how to understand & taste wines, in order to select, manage and sell wines to different publics.
Considering the success of this program (60 students per year, started 35 years ago), we decided to launch an International Sommelier program dedicated to foreign students, with courses in English.
This diploma has been developed in partnership with ITHQ (Quebec). The program will start at the beginning of 2020, with a study trip to France organized in May 2020 to discover the southern wine regions of France (Rhone Valley, Provence, Languedoc Roussillon, South West & Bordeaux).

L'Université du Vin is deeply rooted into the French viticultural landscape. Tell us more about your venue and the area surrounding the University? Can you go over some extracurricular activities students should not miss once in Suze-Le-Rousse?

Students who attend l'Université du Vin programs live a global experience: a living trip inside the Côtes du Rhône terroir.
Every evening after the training sessions, students can visit different types of wine estates, meet winemakers, explore the fabulous surrounding landscapes, made of vineyards, olive trees, truffle patches, and lavender fields: an absolute paradise for gourmets and nature lovers.
They will first discover the medieval castle of Suze la Rousse where the Université du Vin is located, with a wonderful view on the Côtes du Rhône vineyard, the Mont Ventoux and the Montmirail Laces. We are here at the gate of Provence, with a Mediterranean climate, well known for long sunny days, blue sky helped by the mistral wind.

Why did you decide to incorporate the French Wine Scholar™ program as part of your programming?

One of our missions is to promote the quality and diversity of French wines. We want to propose different ways to grasp this knowledge: in French or in English, through on-site courses or e-learning… With the French Wine Scholar program, we give the opportunity to students, who have practical constraints that would prevent them from studying on a long term on-site program, to study mainly online, with the help of professional and passionate teachers, and to have a concentrated experience in Suze la Rousse.

The first FWS session at l'Université du Vin is scheduled to begin December 2nd 2019, more information and registration HERE

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