Interested in pursuing an American degree in France? Learn about options through IAU's degree-granting institution - The American College of the Mediterranean.

Bachelor's and Master's Programs

Wine Studies Certificate and Courses

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, and history with the art of winemaking. There is no better place to study wine than France, the heart of the wine world. 

IAU is proud to offer a Global Wine Studies Certificate in addition to semester coursessummer courses, and a January Term Traveling SeminarQuestions or inquiries can be directed to IAU's Office of Admissions.  


Wine America
, the National Association of American Wineries, unveiled a national economic impact study showing the wine industry’s total benefit to the American economy at $220 billion.

  • There are 10,236 winery facilities in the U.S.
  • Grapes are grown on 677,629 acres of vineyards
  • The wine industry supports 1,738,270 American jobs
  • Total annual wages exceed $75.7 billion
  • Nearly 43 million tourists visit wineries


Global Wine Studies Certificate
This certificate program offers students the opportunity to learn about the complex and vast wine 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 $220 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 to experience first-hand the history of wine in some of the greatest wine regions throughout France. Students will also study the global wine industry across Europe, the United States, South America, Australia, and New Zealand. Wine studies courses generally include field studies to vineyards and wineries in the region.

The Global Wine Studies Certificate is only available only at IAU to semester and academic year students. No previous knowledge or experience in wine studies is required.

To obtain the Certificate in Global Wine Studies, students must enroll in three of the following Wine Studies courses, in addition to one language course and one elective course of the student's choosing.

  • WS/FRE 206: An Introduction to French Wine (1 credit hour, taught in French)
  • WS/MKT 302: Wine Marketing and Analysis
  • WS/ES 305: Chemistry and Biochemistry of Wine Production
  • WS/HSP 307: Wine and Food Pairing
  • WS/BUS 310: International Wine Business
  • WS/HIS 340: The History and Culture of Wine in the Mediterranean
  • WS 380: Applied Sustainable Viticulture

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



WS/FRE 206: An Introduction to French Wine - Intended for those who have completed at least 4 semesters of French. This course is designed to give an overview and understanding of French wine regions. Coursework includes wine tastings, winemaking, understanding labels and appellations, choosing and serving wine.

WS/MKT 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/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.

WS/HOSP 307: Wine and Food Pairing for the Sommelier - This course is a combination of lecture and professional tasting and wine and food pairing to Students will learn vineyard and winemaking techniques utilized to achieve certain styles of wine. Students will learn how the structure of wine and food complete a pairing, regional pairing, wine by the glass programs, customer service and alternative beverages. Course includes Field Studies to restaurants, wineries, guest chefs.

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/HIS 340: The History and Culture of Wine in the Mediterranean - Viticulture and wine production have been embedded in the Mediterranean region for thousands of years and these activities have become synonymous with many local cultures. Students will study the evolution of wine from its pre-historic origins near the fertile crescent through to the modern era in the Mediterranean basin. We will learn how production methods and consumption habits developed over time and space, how a culture of wine and local identities co-evolved and how many Mediterranean countries, through regional and external forces, came to be the world’s standard bearer for the global wine industry. This class enjoys field visits and tastings of regional wines.

WS 380: Applied Sustainable Viticulture - Our classroom will be IAU/ACM’s vineyard, 250 grapevines of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsaut. Every week we will learn and apply organic and biodynamic viticulture techniques to help our grapevines to develop physiologically while benefitting surrounding biodiversity. Engaging in the following vineyard activities: cover crop management, pruning, canopy management, frost protection, soil preparation, weed management, machinery operation, etc., we will underpin our practical activities with theoretical/philosophical readings and lectures to gain a well-rounded knowledge of what it takes to grow wine grapes and their impact on the environment. Students who enroll in this class should bring appropriate clothing for vineyard tasks. Course includes selected tastings.


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 & Sustainability of the Mediterranean
The Wine, Gastronomy & Sustainability of the Mediterranean J-Term Seminar focuses on the appreciation of gastronomy and wine, while exploring regional and local delicacies. Students will learn to appreciate how these products are produced, understand how they impact the environment, and will begin to recognize how our consumption choices may be a potential solution or hazard to the global environmental crisis. In this multi-country traveling seminar, students will have the opportunity to taste Spanish, French, and Italian wines, speak directly with winemakers and industry experts, and visit cultural sites in Spain, France, and Italy. Visit the J-Term page for more information including courses, locations visited, and much more.


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