The University of Burgundy in Dijon is set to launch a free taught course in English and French to help wine lovers understand more about winemaking and also the region's diverse terroirs.

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The wine education programme will be part of the European MOOC (massive open online course) initiative, which offers multilingual digital learning in partnership with major universities across Europe.

The Open Wine University Université de la Vigne et du Vin pour Tous – will offer the dual-language courses starting on 21 May 2015.

Course content has been put together by the main teaching staff of the Jules Guyot Wine and Vine Institute including Sandrine Rousseaux and Olivier Jacquet, with input from winemakers including Françoise Arpaillanges of Domaine Françoise Jeanniard in Pernand-Vergelesses.

The course covers subjects from viticulture, understanding terroir, tasting techniques and vinification, alongside the history and cultural importance of wine, and will be presented over five weeks in various formats from online seminars to videos-blogs and interactive tastings.

‘I am a graduate of oenology from the Jules Guyot Institute,’ Arpaillanges told Decanter.com. ‘So, I was happy to contribute to the course research. I gave background on understanding the different terroir and climats of Burgundy, and the historical basis for today’s vineyard locations. This will now be turned into parts of the teaching material, although I am not teaching directly myself.’

See more news, views and tasting notes on Burgundy wine.

Written by Jane Anson