Wine Studies Certificates and Courses at IAU

Why Study Wine?

Often referred to as “bottled poetry,” wine is not just a beverage. It plays a role in everyday life combining culture, tradition, history, with the art of winemaking. What better place to study wine than France, the heart of the wine world. Click on the links below or scroll down for more information about IAU's offerings of wine studies certificate programs and courses. 

Questions or inquiries can be directed to Prof. Amy Mumma. Learn more about Prof. Mumma by reading her biography!

Learn more about the Wine Studies program at IAU with this video created by Spring 2016 Wine Studies students:

Certificate in Global Wine Studies
This certificate program, available only at IAU to semester students with or without previous knowledge of wine, offers students the opportunity to learn about this complex and vast industry, paving the way for a potential future in the global wine world. The wine industry in the US alone employs over 1.5 million people and has an economic impact of $162 billion dollars. Despite declines in other industries, the US has seen uninterrupted growth and is now the largest wine market in the world. From Provence to Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy and more, students in this program will have the unique opportunity of hands-on experience with the history and regions of wines throughout Europe. Courses may be taken separately, but all courses must be completed in order to obtain the Certificate.

Global Wine Studies Certificate Course Requirements:

  • BUS/WS 302: Wine Marketing and Analysis (3 credits)
  • WS/ECO 303: Wine Regions and Economics (3 credits)
  • One of the following: BUS/WS 310: International Wine Trade; WS 305: Chemistry and Biochemistry of Wine; WS 307: Wine and Food Pairing
  • One course in French depending on language level
  • Elective of student's choosing

Aix-en-Provence offers a rich setting for learning about French wine

Sommelier Certificate

The IAU Sommelier Certificate focuses on learning the techniques involved in becoming a Sommelier.  A Sommelier works in the dining aspects of the beverage industry including pairing food with wine, beer, spirits and other beverages along with managing the beverage component of a dining establishment.   This certificate covers beverage and food pairing, wine service techniques and beverage management, cost and pricing structures, developing beverage lists, and includes a professional tasting component to cover wine, beer, spirits and other beverages.  Graduates are prepared for food and beverage related careers in the dining and hospitality industry.  

Sommelier Certifcate Course Requirements:

  • WS/ECO 303 Wine Regions and Economics (3 credits)
  • WS 307 Wine and Food Pairing (3 credits)
  • WS 308 Beverage and Service Management (3 credits)
  • One Course in French depending on language level
  • Elective of students' choosing

Wine Studies students will visit wineries and vineyards in France 



WS 101: An Overview of Wine - This course is designed to give an overview and understanding of the global wine industry. Coursework includes the history and culture of wine, wine vocabulary, label reading, and choosing and serving wine.

BUS/WS 302: Wine Marketing and Analysis - This course is a combination of lecture and professional tasting to analyze the quality levels, marketing of wine, import and export, target market, sales positioning and pricing structures. Students will learn vineyard and winemaking techniques utilized to achieve certain styles of wine. Students will learn how critics and wine competitions affect both winemaking and marketing. Course includes Field Studies to wineries and vineyards. Extra fee required.

WS/ECO 303: Major Wine Regions and Economics - This course examines the economic impact of the wine trade. In Europe it is one of the main industries and in the US it accounts for over $160 billion in economic impact and over 1 million jobs. Due to a more global community, the wine industry must continually adjust to changing markets. Coursework includes studies in major wine regions that drive market changes, upcoming markets in terms of production and consumption, styles, quality, analysis of regional market activities and promotion, and current events. In guided tastings, students will analyze wine for quality levels, target market placement and pricing. Course includes Field Studies to wineries and vineyards.

WS/BUS 310: International Wine Trade
- The "International Wine Trade" course provides students with an understanding of the business aspects of the global wine trade. Subjects include business planning, finance, supply chain management, wine as an alternative investment, and how the media affects the pricing and buyer/seller cycle of the wine industry.

WS/ES 305: Chemistry and Biochemistry of Wine Production
- An introduction to the chemical and biochemical transformation of grapes into wine with highlights on the key steps in this process: growing conditions, timing of harvest, the fermentation process and wine conservation and aging techniques. The course discusses equally environmental issues concerning the winemaking industry, especially the consequences of climate change and disposal of wineries' wastes.


BUS/WS 306: The Global Wine Industry - A French Immersion - This intensive six week, three credit, course is designed for students who wish to learn about the global wine industry and for those who are considering a career in wine. The course covers the fundamentals of viticulture and enology, famous French regions including wine styles, grapes, climate and culture. The course incorporates the business of wine including marketing, branding, consumer behavior and more. Students will learn professional wine tasting techniques, food and wine pairing and will have the opportunity to visit wineries in Provence to taste and speak with the owners on a variety of topics including marketing, strategy and views of the U.S. market.

January Term 

Wine, Gastronomy & Tourism of the Mediterranean: December 28, 2017 - January 14, 2018 - Gastronomic tourism is becoming a real player in the tourism market as food and wine-related services and events attract greater numbers of tourists each year. This seminar examines the individuality and expression of France and Spain, bringing together their rich culinary heritage. Topics include the international in?uence of the French and Spanish wine markets, the globalization of wine, the pairing of wine and food, gastronomical in?uences, and the ins and outs of the tourism industry. Students will have the opportunity to taste French and Spanish wines and to speak directly with winemakers, master chefs and tourism agencies. Students will visit various cultural sites in France and Spain as well as attend special lectures on winemaking and food pairing by master chefs and sommeliers. These historical sites are ones that greatly in?uenced tourism, gastronomy, and the economies of these great countries. Please click here for more information (including courses, locations visited, etc.) about this January Term program.

See photos of recent wine tastings at IAU on Facebook and Flickr!