Viticulture: Choices in the Vineyard
Study from anywhere: 100% On-Demand Online Course
As a wine professional, student of wine or wine enthusiast, this course will allow you to build upon your foundational knowledge of viticulture.
It includes preparatory materials, plus recorded on-demand lectures with supporting reading assignments. The format is designed to provide a strong and comprehensive foundation on fundamental principles within a short timeframe. Students can study at their own pace and have access to the course materials for one year from date of registration.
Winemakers are the first to admit that great wines start in the vineyard. This program is designed to make sense of the science and illustrate the grape to glass connection!
The instructors are active in viticultural research and are leading experts in their fields. You will explore “terroir” from the ground up as hard science is put into context. Discover the natural and human factors that influence wine quality and how these variables manifest in the glass. These fundamentals will give you the background you need to advance your wine study.
Topics covered include:
- Plant material (grafting, clonal variability, rootstock variability, clonal selection)
- Grape growing (planting, training, pruning, yield management, grapevine anatomy, canopy management, cover crops)
- Soils (physical quality, texture, structure, organic matter, fertility)
- Terroir (major environmental factors involved in terroir expression: temperature, water, fertility)
- Impact of Water and Drought on Terroir Expression (addressing climate change)
You will learn key terminology, general concepts and best practices.
- Preparatory curriculum including reading assignments and recorded lectures
- A Year in the Vineyard by Nova Cadamatre, MW (document)
- Grapevine Anatomy by Nova Cadamatre, MW (recorded lecture)
- Training and Trellising Methods by Nova Cadamatre, MW (recorded lecture)
- Readings to support each lecture
- 5 recorded 2-hour lectures with Bordeaux Sciences Agro instructors
- Access to the course content for a full year
MEET YOUR INSTRUCTORS
Kees Van Leeuwen
Cornelis (Kees) van Leeuwen is professor of viticulture at Bordeaux Sciences Agro and at the Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin (ISVV) at the University of Bordeaux. His research focusses on the concept of terroir in viticulture, more specifically on environmental constraints and how they may influence terroir. His research and body of work also extends to the effects of climate change in viticulture and how growers can adapt to a changing environment. Kees has carried out or taken part in studies to map the different soils of numerous wine estates and appellations and he has also been a consultant for Château Cheval Blanc in Saint-Émilion for 25 years. In addition, Kees is the founder and editor of the international peer-reviewed journal ŒNO One and also writes on a regular basis for the Dutch magazine Perswijn.
Marc Greven holds a PhD degree from Lincoln University in Canterbury (New Zealand) and worked as senior research scientist for the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food and adjunct lecturer for Lincoln University and The Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) in Blenheim, New Zealand. Since September 2018, Marc is an associate professor in the Viticulture and Enology program at Bordeaux Sciences Agro and coordinator and lecturer for school’s Bachelors and MSc programs. The focus of Marc’s research is viticulture, vineyard management, vine water use, carbohydrate partitioning and sustainability and how these factors relate to wine quality.
Elisa Marguerit is an associate professor in Viticulture at Bordeaux Sciences Agro. Her teaching discusses viticulture practices such as fertilization, vigor management, experimental design and quantitative genetics. Her research activities aim to study rootstock response to water deficit. She received her PhD in 2010, working specifically on the topic of genetic architecture of water deficit responses induced by grapevine rootstock. Elisa also coordinates an experimental vineyard called the GreffAdapt plot, which was created to observe and research the agronomical characteristics of 55 rootstocks with an aim to speed up the selection of rootstocks and to analyze the relationship between conferred vigor and drought tolerance.
Gregory Gambetta was born and raised in northern California where he received an undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology and a PhD in Plant Biology, both from UC Davis. His previous experiences have included working as researcher, science-policy advisor and educator. Through his work, he has been recognized as a Fulbright scholar, U.S. NSF award recipient and California Council on Science and Technology fellow. Currently, he is a professor of viticulture working as part of both Bordeaux Sciences Agro and the Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin. Greg’s research is focused on three primary areas: the control of ripening processes, rootstock effects on scions and vine hydraulics.
Introduction to Grape Growing
The preparatory curriculum includes a set of exclusive WSG content by Nova Cadamatre MW on the basics of grape growing. From grapevine anatomy to training and trellising methods, the article and two recorded webinars will provide the foundation required to start summer school from a position of strength.
Lecture 1. Grape Growing
By Marc Greven
Explore the fundamental tenets of grape growing and see why fine wine starts in the vineyard! In this webinar, Dr. Marc Greven will discuss grape vine anatomy, planting, pruning, yield management, canopy management, and grape maturity. The importance of canopy management will be discussed with an eye to both carbohydrate production and transpiration. Yield management will be put into context regarding its impact on grape maturity and hence wine quality.
Lecture 2. Plant Material as a Means to Maximize Site Potential
By Elisa Marguerit
Selecting the proper rootstock and scion prior to planting is paramount. In this webinar, Dr. Elisa Marguerit will share her expertise with clonal selection and varieties and rootstocks variability. She will explain how to maximize the potential of a site by appropriately addressing vigor, drought, and soil composition—all with correct plant material selection. As the saying goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Lecture 3. The Agronomic Concept of Terroir
By Kees Van Leeuwen
Terroir is often described as “an expression of place.” While traditional definitions of this concept speak in terms of site, soil, climate and (arguably) the hand of man, Dr. Cornelis (Kees) van Leeuwen will approach the topic from an “agronomic” perspective. His research focuses on temperature, water availability, nitrogen availability and sunshine as the major drivers of terroir expression. These are all quantifiable factors! Can you literally measure the parameters of terroir? Are growers able to manage their terroir? In this webinar, we will be exploring this old topic from a new vantage point.
Lecture 4. Cover Crops in the Vineyard
By Marc Greven
In this lecture, Dr Marc Greven will discuss the use of cover crops in the vineyard and the influence on the soil an dhence the vine and wine quality. Cover crops can work both in favor of the vines or against them depending on the local soil and climate conditions. These influences will have to be well understood in order to make the right choices when planting cover crops. The influence of cover crops will be discussed in the context of soil protection, their influence on vine water availability as well as the competition for nutrients, and all that related to vine productivity and wine quality.
Lecture 5. The Role of Water and Drought on Vine Health and Wine Quality
By Greg Gambetta
Water is the driving force of all nature, said Leonardo da Vinci. In this webinar, Dr. Greg Gambetta will explore the relationship between vines, soil, and hydric stress. Just how does water availability, or lack thereof, impact the vine? What is “drought tolerance” and how does water availability impact vine health and wine quality? Drought is plaguing many of the wine regions of the world. This webinar will address a hot topic with an eye to the future.
WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR?
Whether you are a wine enthusiast, committed student of wine or wine professional, Viticulture: Choices in the Vineyard is for you.
As a committed student of wine, you already have an understanding of vineyard practices and how they can influence wine quality. In this course, you will continue to deepen and expand upon your knowledge. You will gain privileged access to experts in various fields of viticulture who can take your learning to the next level.
After completing WSG Summer School 2022, you will not only have a solid foundation in viticultural concepts and practices, your knowledge will be current and leading-edge. This curriculum is particularly useful to industry professionals, regardless of specialization. If you're seeking to developing a more holistic understanding of what goes on in the vineyard and how these choices manifest in the glass, then this course is for you.
As a wine enthusiast, you most likely already know some of the basic tenets of viticulture and understand what the vine needs in order to produce healthy grapes. But have you ever questioned how vineyard practices directly affect wine quality?
In this course, experts will take you on a deep dive and make those connections.
After attending WSG Summer School 2022, you will have gained significant foundational knowledge on viticulture, which will be an asset during wine tastings, wine travel, and winery visits. This course will also provide a strong foundation for continuing wine education and help you better interpret the cues you can identify in your wine glass.
ABOUT BORDEAUX SCIENCES AGRO
The National School of Agricultural Engineering in Bordeaux (Bordeaux Sciences Agro) is a public institution of higher education and agronomic research under the supervision of the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Founded in 1962. It welcomes 600 students each year in its Agronomy Engineering program and its six Masters programs co-accredited with Bordeaux universities or national partners.
Find out more about Bordeaux Sciences Agro programs:
The Bachelor in Viticulture and Oenology
The Master of Sciences in Vineyard and Winery Management