The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is set to introduce a degree in winemaking in the coming academic year. The program, the first of its kind in Israel, will offer viticulture, enology (the science of all aspects of wine and winemaking) and winery-oriented business management courses.

The academic degree — an International MSc in Viticulture and Enology – is a four-semester MSc program, set to begin on March 2, 2017. It has been accredited by the Israel Council for Higher Education.

“This program seeks to puts Israel on the international map of winemaking,” the program’s head, Hebrew University food chemist Zohar Kerem, tells Israel Hayom. “The program is derived from other leading winemaking programs in the world, adapted to Israel. What’s unique for Israel is the fascinating mix of new and old worlds. We have everything in terms of the diversity of soil, vines, and climate regimes, alongside groundbreaking technologies, such as in the field of irrigation.”

Israel’s wine industry is expanding all the time and many of the local wineries regularly win top international awards.

“Following the success of Israel’s wine industry, I’m excited to open a program that puts Israeli research and academia on the international map of winemaking. The program covers topics of a spectrum similar to programs around the world, and has been tailored to fit Israel’s dry conditions. The program is innovative and unique, and the participants will receive training and guidance from leading academics and professionals.

“The program will provide students from around the world an opportunity to obtain a practical Master’s of Science degree, in a fascinating industry that started here 5,000 years ago, from one of the world’s top 100 universities. This will be a great opportunity to meet people from around the world, to form an international network, and to taste and produce some delicious wines,” Prof. Kerem said in a press statement.

The program includes theory; practice in a wine-tasting room on the Smith Faculty campus; an internship in cooperation with Soreq Winery, one of Israel’s leading wine producers; and a workshop to be held in Italy or France.

Candidates must have a full BSc degree from a recognized institution in a related field, such as biology, chemistry or agriculture.