Tokyo, September 25: The University of Yamanashi, located in one of the finest wine-making regions of Japan, plans to launch in 2015 a course in wine science for people involved in the production of the alcoholic beverage, to improve exports. The programme will be implemented by the university's Institute of Enology and Viticulture and will focus on the harvesting of grapes and wine production. It will also cover information for sommeliers and impart knowledge on legal systems pertaining to wine internationally, the export of wines and their designations of origin.
With this course, the educational institution hopes to train professionals in Japan's wine sector whose regional produce, which has been gaining repute over the years, can compete in the global market. The programme enjoys the support of the Japanese ministry of education and is set to begin in April, 2015. It is designed for people who have been growing grapes or producing wine for at least two years, the Mainichi newspaper reported Tuesday.
The number of students will be limited to five for each academic course, which will involve about 140 hours of lectures and practical works per year and cost around 100,000 yen ($920). The University of Yamanashi is also considering short exchange programmes with the Australian University of Adelaide, a prestigious institution known for its wine research. "The quality of Japanese wines has definitely improved over the past few years. The key is how to market these overseas," said Fujitoshi Yanagida, a professor in zymology who is in charge of the programme. "Japanese food is gaining popularity abroad, and with the knowledge of sommeliers, we can put wines on the market that pair well with that food. We want to produce people who can compete globally," he added.