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Viticulture class examines environmental sustainability

December 02, 2021

John Volpe class

John Volpe lead his class (ES 431) through the “History, Science and Culture of Wine” with classes and labs highlighting the historical, ecological, economic and cultural dimensions of wine production and consumption that uses terroir as a conceptual frameworks to challenge conventional sustainability narratives.

 Environmental studies student, Kayla Brent, explains how she learned about the deep linkages between the environment and the quality of the product you find in a bottle of wine.

“I learned about a number of movements, both locally and abroad, that are actively exploring sustainable wine production, according to several distinct definitions,” says Brent.

At last month’s Victoria International Wine Tasting, the class was invited to join the Trade Tasting on Friday (attached picture).

 “The trade tasting is limited to wine professionals and is a much more interesting affair than the evening public tastings and the students enjoyed their first professional wine outing – and really impressed the vendors with their questions and enthusiasm,” explains Volpe.

 “What this course has given me is the tools to move forward in this exploration of wine and be equipped to understand what goes into the process of making a wine, how to deconstruct a wine, the qualities to look for when selecting a wine, along with understanding so many other aspects of wine,” says UVic student, Nic Jekill.

 ES 431 is offered in the School of Environmental Studies each calendar year by associate professor, John Volpe.


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