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Bud Break: 2013 Winter Courses

So 2013 marks the beginning of my new academic path in oenology + viticulture, and confirms the termination of my previous path in Cognitive Systems. Out of the three main streams (oenology, viticulture, terroir) and one sub stream (wine business) I’ve created for myself in this degree, I’m taking two each in oenology and viticulture this next term. Although the idea of studying plant genomics in terms of wine grapes seems amazing (cue entrance of Jancis Robinson/Julia Harding/José Vouillamoz and Wine Grapes), I’ve trained the other half of my brain to play the opposition, here, because it’s so easy to get misled by the romance of an idea. Now all I have to do is get past these stupid exams this term. As for next term, though:

Oenology stream:

FNH 330 – Introduction to Wine Science
Mandatory, in a sense. Apparently around the same material as WSET 1 and 2. At the risk of sounding uppity, I don’t expect to learn too much from this course, but I expect it to be an enjoyable refresher in a new environment with a different perspective on the subject. I will, perhaps, finally be the Hermione in one of my university classes. Everyone will hate me for asking questions that I will subsequently answer, and I will gloat because I am fabulous. Sorry, kids: it’s “mer-LOW”, not “MUHR-lit”.

CHEM 205 – Physical Chemistry
This course is required for BIOC 302 (General Biochemistry), CHEM 302 (Atmospheric Environmental Chemistry – part of the terroir stream and a class I don’t really plan on taking anymore anyways), and various courses in Food Chemistry in FNH. I’m wary because I didn’t enjoy the Chemistry classes I’ve taken so far in university but then again it was hard to connect and be enthusiastic about them. I hope to be committing most of my time to this course because it seems the most challenging.

Viticulture Stream:

BIOL 210 – Vascular Plants
Ah. I’m legitimately excited to take this course – a general overview on vascular plants, which will hopefully give me better insights and ideas on vitis vinifera and not just some general one-liner rules that WSET makes you memorize about the grapevine. Once again, I can understand that not everyone in the wine business or wine hospitality industry really cares about the science behind the grapevine, but I can’t help it! I’ve been brainwashed since the single digit ages all thanks to things like Magic School Bus and field trips to the aquarium: I’m a scientifically curious person. From a look at a past syllabus, I’m already a little excited: names of topics include “Roots”, “Shoots”, and “Sex in Vascular Plants”. I can’t help but think of Phylloxera vastatrix, the Guyot training system of vines, and Pinotage, respectively. (Those are obviously long shots but I’ll do my best to connect my ideas.)

BIOL 234 – Fundamentals of Genetics
While we have a macro-scale course of the grapevine in BIOL 210, it’ll also be super interesting to view processes at a genetic level, and it’ll all start with this course (and BIOL 200, but that comes later). It could be the fantasy of it all, but it fascinates me how different grapes of the same species can be so genetically similar yet be so different, evident by smell, taste, texture, and malleability as per the winemaker and terroir. As great as that sounds, I bet this course is hard as balls.

I think I’m overloading myself: 4 courses, a job, leading a club, and writing articles for the Ubyssey? At least they all have to do with wine. And I can always relax by drinking wine – and even from that, I’ll have new blogging material. Ugh – I love this.

(Pictured: Pinot family tree from Wine Grapes)

The rest of them (tentative):

Oenology Stream:
MICB 201 – Introductory Environmental Microbiology
CHEM 233 – Organic Chemistry for the Biological Sciences
CHEM 235 – Organic Chemistry Laboratory
BIOC 302 – General Biochemistry
BIOC 402 – Proteins: Structure and Function

Viticulture Stream:
BIOL 20o – Fundamentals of Cell Biology
BIOL 201 – Introduction to Biochemistry
BIOL 335 – Molecular Genetics
APBI 351 – Plant Physiology
BIOL 440 – Plant Genomics

Terroir Stream:
ATSC 201 – Meteorology of Storms
GEOB 300 – Microscale Weather and Climate
GEOB 303 – Synoptic Meteorology and Climate
GEOB 400 – Global Biogeochemistry
APBI 401 – Soil Processes

Business Mini-Stream:
ECON 310 – Principles of Microeconomics
ECON 311 – Principles of Macroeconomics

WSET Diploma (External):
Section 1 – Global Business of Wine & Wine Production
Section 2 – Spirits, Fortified & Sparkling Wine Studies
Section 3 – Light Wines of the World Part 1
Section 4 – Light Wines of the World Part 2

ISCI Courses:
ISCI 300 – Interdisciplinary Seminar


DipWSET, Certified Sommelier, garbage person.

  • Kate

    I found your blog post while googling about courses. I’m sorry if it is a random question but how was BIOL 440? I haven’t seen anyone who took it and I have no one else to ask. Thanks in advance!

    July 4, 2014 at 1:38 am
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