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China Daily Website

Rich pickings in learning white from red

Updated: 2012-08-04 10:27
By Li Xiang ( China Daily)

Cafa offers a two-year diploma course for 9,500 euros ($11,700), and students can choose a third-year program in teaching oenology.

The oenology schools in France are also seeking Chinese partners to attract students and offset falling numbers.

Cafa has developed ties with the College of Oenology at Northwest Agricultural and Forestry University in Shaanxi province.

In 2008, it opened its own school in Beijing and is planning to open another in Shanghai, according to Chausse, who added that the school is currently training teachers in France to become instructors at the school in China.

It also offers training programs for sales staff to work in wine trading companies in major Chinese cities, including Chengdu, Wuhan, Hangzhou and Kunming.

Meanwhile, wine distributors in France are also paying attention to wine education in China.

Diva Bordeaux, a leading wine trading company, is planning to establish a new wine school with Cafa in China to train local sales staff and to promote French wines.

"Most of the time, people are very shy about wine. They don't dare push the door of the wine shop because they don't know much about wines," said Jean-Pierre Rousseau, managing director of Diva Bordeaux.

"The purpose of wine education is to let them define their own tastes and to realize that wine is not complicated."

Although China does not yet have its own wine experts with the reputation of, say, US wine critic Robert Parker, dubbed 'the pope of vineyards', Chausse is optimistic about the younger generation in China.

"They have the potential to reach the very top in wine advice. They learn very fast, and what matters after that is the experience," he said.

This summer Wang Qiuyun is graduating from the University of Wine in Rhone Valley with a degree in wine commerce and marketing.

She applied for the masters course at the University of Montesquieu-Bordeaux IV, one of the leading universities in France for oenology, but was unsuccessful.

She said competition for places was intense, with eight of the 20 interviewees coming from China.

"I can picture myself traveling to different vineyards and chateaux and getting to taste different wines for my customers," she said.

"But what's most rewarding is that I've found something that I want to do for the rest of my life."

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