Students' opinions

This short Video Clip talks about the first impressions of Vinifera Students during the Immersion Week at INRA, the national research center of Pech Rouge (close to Montpellier).
Harvesting and wine-making in these beautiful vineyard landscapes was an excellent introduction to French cultural heritage ...

Production/Editing : Montpellier SupAgro Florac : Giliane Granjean - Patrice Lallemand

Jonas' Testimony (M2 student, Geisenheim, 2012 january)

"I’m a vinifera student from the program of 2010-2012. I’m Danish. I chose to do my second year in Germany for several reasons:
First of all I wanted to do a vintage in parallel before the start of the semester, but I also wanted to be able to follow the wines after the harvest. Since Geisenheim is located in the middle of a winegrowing region, I had the possibility not just to follow the wines after harvest, but also keep on working at the winery 2 days a week in parallel with the lectures. I also wanted to improve my German skills, as well as learn more about white wine making and terroir.

About the classes:
2 Italian students has joined our class from the very beginning.
Fixed lectures: Monday 8:45-12:15 Tuesday: 8:30-15:00, optional language on Fridays for 1.5 hours. But there’s more schedule – see below
This semester we have 5 subjects – all are given in English:
Adv. Enology (6ECTS) – by prof Grossmann & Christman. A few classes are given by different professors, but most of the classes are given the students them selves. We are given 2 topics which we are to present in a professional way to the rest of the class (25 min per person in group per presentation). I find that this works quite good. We also have a few field trips. We’re taking this course with 6 national German master students.
Adv. Viticultre (6ECTS) – by Prof. Stoll. Classes are given by different professors. In this subject we also have a few lab lectures as well as a few field trips. This work very good because of the good profs, but also because the group is much smaller than in Mtp.
Adv Business (6ECTS) – by Göbel (I don’t think you have him this year). Here we’re divided into 2 group and are to create a wine brand, a story of our group (business), design label and bottle a real wine (we’re not to sell it on the market).
Research Project (12ECTS) here we’re to make a scientific experiments and write a mini bachelor thesis (20 pages). Each of us have a professor as a supervisor. We have to find time for this during besides the lectures. The time used is very dependent on the project.
Wines of the world (optional, but recommended). Different masters of wine give lectures with tastings on wines of the world. You are given lectures which is more or less equivalent to WSET level 3, advance certificate. This does require some self studying. I think we have 8 whole days in total, where most of the lectures are given on Fridays and Saturdays. You DON’T get the WSET level 3, advance certificate by passing the examination.

There are lots of options for your master thesis, especially if you want to do one in another country. For my thesis I’m going to Stellenbosch and will do my thesis in cooperation with the university of Stellenbosch and Distell.

Hope you find this info helpful

Best wishes from Germany."
Jason's Testimony (M2 student, Lisboa, 2012 january)

Classes :
All classes are given in English and are shared with the Portuguese master students. We have classes just a few days a week also, but our schedule depends on the elective(s) we chose. Because we started fairly late (mid-Oct) and are REQUIRED to do some kind of harvesting before we start, we only have 8 weeks of classes, then January is dedicated to exams. We finish late January. We have 3 compulsory classes:

1) Advanced Viticulture (taught by Prof. Carlos Lopes)
This class consists of a variety of all day classes on a given topic (ex. precision viticulture, biotechnology in viticulture, etc), usually including guest lectures. In addition, there is a group project. For this you have to write a research paper (in the format of a publication) and give a presentation, all based on a topic of your choice.

2) Wine Stability and Aging (taught by Olga)
This class is split between lectures focusing on the technical aspects of wine stability and wine aging (ex. filtration, oak aging, cork, etc) and a lab in which each group analyzes a wine made in the university winery. You are given your own tank of this wine and over the course of the semester you are meant to make decisions about how to finish the wine (fining, racking, SO2, label, etc), eventually writing a report on the wine.

3) An elective course. You can choose from:
-Steep Slope Viticulture
-Fortified Wine
-Winery By-Products
-Tropical Viticulture
The Steep Slope Viticulture and Fortified Wine classes are combined to some degree. The Tropical Viticulture class may not be offered next year because the main professor is retiring.

You are allowed to take as many of the electives as you want, or just attend the lectures.

There are several study trips included in the semester. The professors are also open to helping you arrange trips if you show some initiative. Lisbon is close to a number of wine regions and you can fly to Madeira very easily and cheaply (I recommend trying to organize this).

The university accommodation for the Vinifera students is very nice, but they only have 6 rooms dedicated. For the rest of us, we found places outside the university without too much trouble, but there are a lot of crappy places in the city so if you have the ability to come and look in person it would be recommended. After some moving around at first, myself and another Vinifera were able to find something just outside the campus.

Overall, Lisbon is an amazing city with A LOT to do and a fairly laid-back feel. It has very nice weather compared to the rest of Europe (even in the winter) and is close to lots of beaches and other out-doors activities. Having a car is helpful to get out of the city, but not at all required for Lisbon proper. Public transportation is good and taxis are VERY cheap and everywhere.

As with all the programs, they are very flexible on the thesis. They provide a large list of possible topics in Portugal, but it was no problem for them that I arranged my thesis back in the US.

All the best,

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