Hebrew University Launches Israel’s First Academic Degree Program In Viticulture And Enology

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Innovative boutique program for professional training in the growth, production and analysis of wine, as well as wineries management

grapesJerusalem, August 17, 2016 — In recent years Israel has experienced significant maturation in its wine industry and a surging local and international demand for its outstanding wines. In response to the growing need for skills and professionalism in the industry, the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has opened Israel’s first academic degree program in wine: the International MSc in Viticulture and Enology. The four-semester MSc program begins on March 2, 2017.

Students will gain knowledge and skills at an academic level, consistent with leading programs in other wine-producing countries such as France, the United States and Australia, with special emphasis on the Israeli industry. Upon completion, the students will earn a world-recognized MSc degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This is the first MSc level degree in viticulture and enology to be approved by the National Council for Higher Education (CHE) in Israel.

Program leader Prof. Zohar Kerem said: "Following the success of Israel’s wine industry, I’m excited to open a program that puts Israeli research and academia on the international map of winemaking. The program covers topics of a spectrum similar to programs around the world, and has been tailored to fit Israel's dry conditions. The program is innovative and unique, and the participants will receive training and guidance from leading academics and professionals.

"The program will provide students from around the world an opportunity to obtain a practical Master's of Science degree, in a fascinating industry that started here 5000 years ago, from one of the world's top 100 universities. This will be a great opportunity to meet people from around the world, to form an international network, and to taste and produce some delicious wines," added Prof. Kerem.

FACULTY: Heading the program, and chairman of its academic committee, is Prof. Zohar Kerem, an Associate Professor at the Robert H. Smith Faculty and a world-renowned researcher in food chemistry, wine quality and olive oil. The program's professional coordinator is Mr. Yotam Sharon, a postgraduate with honors in Enology from the University of Montpellier in France, an MSc graduate of the Smith Faculty, and a leading winemaker at one of Israel's premier wineries. Other distinguished members of the teaching staff are Prof. Ben-Ami Bravdo, Prof. Oded Shoseyov and Dr. Ron Shapira. Esteemed guest lecturers from abroad will teach various topics.

CURRICULUM: The MSc is an 18-month academic program that spans four semesters, with classes held two full days per week on Thursdays and Fridays. The program includes theory; practice in a wine-tasting room on the Smith Faculty campus; an internship in cooperation with Soreq Winery, one of Israel’s leading wine producers; and a workshop to be held in Italy or France. Study subjects include:

  • The Vineyard: Planning and cultivating; design; grapevine stocks and types; plot preparation; propagation; planting; trellising; pruning; irrigation; fertilization; mechanization; grape quality treatments.
  • Wine Production: Equipment and winery management; micro-vinification; chemistry and stability; microbiology; distillation technology; fermentation science.
  • Analysis of grape juice and wine: Biosynthesis of taste and odor factors; sensory evaluation of types of wine and defects in wine; sensory evaluation of wines from Israel and the world.
  • Additional Courses: Economics, management and marketing in the wine industry; wine workshop and reading seminar in grapevine and wine production (to be conducted abroad).

ELIGIBILITY: Candidates must have a full BSc degree from a recognized institution in a related field, such as biology, chemistry or agriculture. Candidates whose background is lacking in specific subjects will be required to complete an individualized Preparatory Program either before or in conjunction with the beginning of the Enology program.

REGISTRATION: Early registration until September 15, 2016. Last date to apply for the Rehovot preparatory studies is October 5, 2016. Beginning of Preparatory Program in Rehovot is November 3, 2016. The four-semester MSc program begins on March 2, 2017. The program will hold a Launch Event on Tuesday, September 20, 2016.

About the Faculty of Agriculture
The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment is the only institute of higher education in Israel offering university degrees in agriculture, and is also home to the only School of Veterinary Medicine in the country. Established in 1942, the Faculty today has a student body of over 2,300 from Israel and around the world. Research at the Faculty has improved and increased yields of fruits, vegetables, grain crops, flowers and cotton; helped overcome problems of pest damage and soil contamination; led to the most efficient use of water for agriculture; produced groundbreaking innovations in irrigation technologies; helped develop Israel's annual flower export from almost nil in the 1960's, to its current status as one of the largest exporters of flowers in the world, and much more.For more information, visit http://www.agri.huji.ac.il/english.

For information and registration: Mrs. Rakefet Kalev, rakefetk@savion.huji.ac.il, +972-8-9489991

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