Founded by the late Daniel Rogov, focusing primarily on wines that are either kosher or Israeli.
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Gary J

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Viticulture and Oenology in Israel

by Gary J » Thu Aug 21, 2008 3:59 am

I have been asked by a friend where she can study Viticulture & Oenology in Israel. I have heard from local industry people that there are a few options.

Can you please suggest some options and the corresponding thoughts regarding that option.

Thanks SO much!
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Daniel Rogov

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Re: Viticulture and Oenology in Israel

by Daniel Rogov » Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:06 am

Gary, Hi......

Much depends on how seriously and for what purpose one wants to study these subjects. There are, for example, several one-year college courses offered (Tel Chai and Ramat Gan, for example) but those courses, as much as they may be useful for those wanting initial knowledge, are far from what is offered at better universities. The major course offered at university level is at the Agriculture Faculty of the Hebrew University at Rehovot. That may, depending on one's definitions, offer a fine BA or MA but the problem in my eyes is that the course tends to perpetuate the status quo and offers what I would consider too many answers and not enough questions.

My general advice to those wishing to enter the winemaking or viticultural professions is to study in California, France, Italy or Australia. Your friend will do well to contact several of the respected winemakers in the country to seek out their opinions on the question.

Best
Rogov
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Re: Viticulture and Oenology in Israel

by Gary J » Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:17 am

Thanks Rogov. I'll pass word along (assuming she hasn't already seen your response here on the forum)...
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Ilan T

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Re: Viticulture and Oenology in Israel

by Ilan T » Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:38 am

Daniel Rogov wrote:My general advice to those wishing to enter the winemaking or viticultural professions is to study in California, France, Italy or Australia. Your friend will do well to contact several of the respected winemakers in the country to seek out their opinions on the question.

Best
Rogov


Hi Rogov,

This might be a tricky one. What is the real difference in getting a Bachelors in Enology and a Masters, say from Davis? Which did Gil Schatzberg, Micha Vaadia, Ed Salzburg, and Lewis Pasco get?

Anyone in the know should feel free to chime in. Thanks.

-Ilan
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Re: Viticulture and Oenology in Israel

by Daniel Rogov » Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:18 am

Ilan, Hi....

There are several differences. Keeping in mind that the BA is a first degree and thus includes basic studies in chemistry, physics, statisitics and mathematics as well as in the humanities, the degree might be thought of as both broad, technical and professional but with the limits that training in the field is limited and that it is in a sense at least more theoretical than practical. The second degree, the MA assumes that the individual already has the basics of a broad education and can thus focus more intently on turning the theory into pragmatics both in the classroom, the laboratory and in the field. In almost all cases (and certainly at the better universities in the USA and Europe), the MA also has a requirement for a thesis and that involves an in-depth study of one specific field within the academic field. Not all who do the MA do a first degree in oenology/viticulture and thus have the requirement to do some "make-up" courses to bring them to the desired level.

Anticipating a first question - I do not believe that a second degree is always necessary in the wine field, that depend largely on how much one "gets"/"takes" from the first degree and the experiences one gathers when starting in the field. Working under a truly excellent winemaker can be the most valuable of experiences. Many who have a BA in some other field will thus do a second BA, this one in oenology rather than going on to the MA and then out to the field, and that can make good sense.

Anticipating a second question - as to whether formal university studies are necessary for the future winemaker/oenologist..... The contra-example has always been the many French and Italian families, some of whom produce some of the best wines of the world and who have never attended college or university. Quickly, quickly, however, those days are on the way to being forgotten, the best-established families of Burgundy, Alto Adige, Priorat and even Greece and Turkey are sending at least one child to university in order to gain the technical knowledge that is so necessary.

And now, anticipating yet a third question: Is it necessary for all winemakers to attain a BA or an MA in oenology? I'd say in a best of all possible worlds, yes, but the world is far from perfect and it continues to be possible for a winemaker, especially in an artisanal or boutique winery to manage without such a degree, picking up the knowledge so to speak "as they go". Such winemakers do, however, need fallback on colleagues who can help them when it comes to problems that they encounter and, truth be told, some will succeed marvelously while others will not. As to the winemakers at anything more than a boutique winery, I cannot help but believe today that such a degree is absolutely necessary.

Best
Rogov

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