UNESCO has opened the world’s first Chair in Wine & Culture at the University of Burgundy.
Climatologist Jocelyne Pérard – a former president of the university – will be the inaugural professor for the post, initially held for two years.
‘UNESCO more usually works with emerging nations, so in some ways it is a surprise to establish this Chair in France,’ Pérard told decanter.com.
‘But I believe very strongly that we have an enormous role to play in sharing knowledge with newly established viticultural programmes in countries such as Vietnam, Brazil, China and Eastern Europe.’
‘In many of these countires, there is not the same tradition of knowledge sharing between academics and those working in the vines or in the wine trade, on topics such as safety or advances in oenolgy. We will be working to set these up.’
The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Chair will also concentrate on establishing diplomas and degree courses in wine and culture (initially through an E-learning masters programme), and fund research in related fields.
Pérard also plans to make the most of her Burgundy location – she has already organised an event in Dijon during the 2007 harvest where members of the public can meet and exchange views with members of the Conférerie du Tastevin.
Written by Jane Anson