The Master in Italian Wine Culture, designed by the University of Gastronomic Sciences in collaboration with Slow Food and the Wine Bank, has the ambitious objective of training “wine tellers.” These new enological ambassadors play a leading role in Italian wine marketing and communication.

The Master follows the unique formula developed at Pollenzo, with classroom teaching complemented by trips to vineyards and wineries and meetings with leading figures from Italian and international enology, culture and agronomy. Wine is examined from a historical, cultural and environmental perspective, as well as technical and agricultural. 

Groups: 25 students maximum
80% attendance is required

Application Deadline: January 16, 2017
Late applications with written excuse will be subject to evaluation by Faculty Council

Start Date: April 3, 2017
Language of program: English

Economists, sociologists, legal experts, historians, anthropologists, philosophers, agronomists, ampelographers, enologists, geologists and entomologists make up the course’s faculty, which consists of resident professors and visiting lecturers from many different backgrounds who come to Pollenzo from around Italy, Europe and the rest of the world.

In line with the traditions of the University of Gastronomic Sciences, theory will be regularly combined with practice. Classroom activities will be complemented by regular outings to see the work in the vineyard and winery as it happens. Destinations include many of Piedmont’s greatest producers, including Ceretto, Fontanafredda, Cantine Borgogno, Conterno Fantino, Contratto and La Spinetta.

The program also includes three study trips, each lasting a week, so that students can visit and learn more about some of the most important terroirs in northern, central and southern Italy.

The course year begins during winter pruning and concludes after vinification with a final educational internship.

Throughout the course, students will also hear from diverse professionals from the wine world, including agronomists who have spent years developing original vineyard management methods, botanists and ecologists, art historians and philosophers, geographers and sociologists, anthropologists and legal experts. Examples include Maurizio Gily, Jacky Rigaux, Claude e Lydia Bourguignon, Richard Baudains, Jeremy Parzen, Marco Baccaglio.

The packed program of supplementary teaching will also feature big names from the Italian and international winemaking scene, at the level of Anselme Selosse, Giuseppe Mazzacollin, Enzo Ercolino, Alessio Planeta, Guido Fantino and Pierluigi Zamò.

Lastly, thanks to a collaboration with Slow Food and the Wine Bank, the course will include tasting sessions organized by the Slow Wine editors, taking advantage of the huge selection of great Italian wines stored in the Wine Bank cellars.

This new professional figure has been identified by UNISG as a result of feedback from many wine producers, who have highlighted the need for this type of expert for the effective promotion of Italian wine.

Wine tellers have expert knowledge of vine cultivation and wine production, and know how to communicate years of enological and viticultural tradition, placing it within a framework of Italian art, history, anthropology and esthetics.

Wine tellers know how to narrate and market Italian wine, which they see as the product of a unique land. They know that in order to best appreciate a wine, one must get to know that land, along with and thanks to the wine.

The multifaceted curriculum of the Masters in Italian Wine Culture integrates technology, craft and culture in a way that has never been done before in Italy.

  • Study trips: Three 5-6 day trips ( in the north, centre and south of Italy)
  • Experience in the field: A few days each month will be dedicated to the cycle of the vine, with hands on lessons held in various Piedmontese vineyards and wineries such as: Aziende Vitivinicole Ceretto, Fontanafredda, Cantine Borgogno, Azienda Agricola Conterno e Fantino, ecc…
  • Internship: 3 months internship in January and March

Main subject areas:
Viticulture, Ampelography and Soil Management
Enology and Tasting Techniques
Botany and Entomology
Geography of Terroirs
Sensory Analysis
Terroir Tasting
History of Wine
“Epistenology”: Knowledge About Wine, Knowledge With Wine
History of Italy and Italian Art
Anthropology of Wine
Principles of Holistic Gastronomy
Experiences of Sommellerie
Wine and Winery Economics
Law and Legislation
Wine Writing and Communication
Sociology of Consumption

Course updated in the academic year 2015/2016. Class hours and contents may vary.

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Within the Masters in Italian Wine Culture, student’s classroom lectures will be complemented with a variety of formative experiences in the wine world: the study trips.

The beauty of experiential and innovative teaching methods used at UNISG and the three study trips allow the students to discover the most significant terroirs of our country.

The 2015 study trips were held in: Sicily, Tuscany and Venice.

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The Career Office helps UNISG’s students and graduates enter the working world, making the transition from university to employment as smooth as possible. It serves as a constant point of reference during the gastronome’s career, from their first internship experience to entering the working world and beyond. Services for UNISG students and graduates include the activation and monitoring of curricular and extra-curricular internships, individual support and advice and the organization of career orientation events.

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The university fee for the Master in Italian Wine Culture is €16,500
The fee includes:

  • all academic activities, including conferences, tastings, and seminars
  • study material (in digital format)
  • all study trip expenses as programmed, including travel, food and lodging
  • participation in all UNISG and Slow Food events as included in the Master program
  • civil insurance coverage (during academic activities)
  • private insurance policy covering urgent healthcare for non-European students
  • 4000 credits on your lunch cards to be used at UNISG Academic Tables
  • access to Career Office services (food sector job placement)

Note: Fees do not include the accomodation service in Pollenzo and the cost of obtaining an Italian permesso di soggiorno (residency permit, around €90). Non-EU citizens must apply for a permesso di soggiorno at the post office, or at the Al Elka Foreigners’ Service, within 8 working days after arriving in Italy.

Meal service: More information about the meal service

> an undergraduate or first-level degree
> proficiency in written and spoken English

Important Information

Students from all countries are eligible to apply. Note that for all educational documents (diplomas, degrees, certificates, transcripts) issued outside of Italy, official translations and an Italian consular accreditation (the “Dichiarazione di Valore”) must be obtained by the student and submitted to the Registrar Office. The original document must be handed in to the Student Registrar Office no later than the first day of the program and will be kept by the university for the duration of the program. (The consulate may choose to send the document directly to UNISG.) The application to UNISG must be completed through an Italian consular representative. Applicants should contact their local Italian consulate as early as possible to ensure adequate time for all consular processes.

The University of Gastronomic Sciences organizes a one-year Master program in Italian Wine Culture. In order to apply to the Master in Italian Wine Culture, candidates must:

  • register online
  • complete a motivational test
  • upload the documents for the application dossier

All the aforementioned application steps are free and non-binding.

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For more information: [email protected]