Course info

Course Overview

The MOOC # OWU created by faculty at the University of Burgundy (members of the University Institute of Vine and Wine) proposes an in-depth look at the universe of vine and wine . From growing grapes to tasting wine, exploring terroir as you go, you will learn about all the stages in the making of French wines, up to and including the key aspects of wine tasting. Why is a wine white, red, sparkling or rosé? How can you train your senses to appreciate wine aromas? Beyond wine-growing techniques, this MOOC will also teach you about the history of grape varieties and terroirs, and the socio-cultural environment of vine and wine.

Faculty participating in this class:

Michèle Guilloux-Benatier (Associate Professor), Raphaëlle Tourdot-Marechal (Associate Professor), Hervé Alexandre (Professor), Maria Nikolantonaki (Associate Professor), Régis GOUGEON (Professor), Christian Coelho (Associate Professor), Sandrine Rousseaux (Associate Professor), Marielle Adrian (Professor), Benjamin Bois (Associate Professor), Olivier Jacquet (Research Engineer), Jordi Ballester (Associate Professor), Dominique Peyron (Associate Professor), Françoise Arpaillanges (Winegrower).

Learning Objectives

In this class, several general themes around the vineyard and the wine will be investigated for 5 weeks.

From grapes to wine:

This theme aims to provide understand steps in wine elaboration through study of the raw material, micro-organisms, color extraction and work of winemaker.


This theme aims to decline foundments to understand notion of "Terroir" through the study of soils, climates, grape varieties. The history of tformation of some terroirs allow you to better understand this concept.

Senses of wine-tasting:

Here we will explain the basics of technique and its variants tasting. Informations induce from differents senses allow certain characteristics of a wine such as ageing, grape variety and wine-making processes. A historical and social approach will teach you that tastes vary over time.

Transversality and synthesis:

In the final week, you will discover how to describe a wine through the three themes from the course.

Course Structure

  • Lesson 1 - The first steps in vines and wine-tasting
  • Lesson 2 - The interactions between vineyard soil, climate and microbial activity define the sensory and chemical enigmas of wines.
  • Lesson 3 - Wines are the result of the complex processes both in the vineyard and in the winery, which also define the colour of the wines
  • Lesson 4 - Wines that withstand the test of time, through terroir and tasting: a tale told by professionals, in the present tense
  • Lesson 5 - 6 wines, 6 histories, 6 tasting sessions: a review of all the themes addressed in this class, with corrections


Denis Guvenatam