Thursday, 18 May 2017
Thousands of students in China are learning to appreciate the subtleties of wine, how it’s made and how grapes are grown, through a University of Adelaide online course.
In partnership with Chinese MOOC (massive open online course) platform XuetangX, World of Wine: From Grape to Glass (affectionately known as Wine101x) has been translated into Chinese and is helping satisfy the thirst for wine education in China.
XuetangX is the biggest Chinese MOOC platform in the world, and was launched by Tsinghua University. The platform has over seven million users around the world and offers over 1000 courses.
Also offered in English under the University of Adelaide’s MOOC delivery program AdelaideX, Wine101x is a free online course covering wine tasting, grape/wine production (how grapes are grown and wine is made) and wine research (how science benefits the wine industry).
In China, Wine101x is one of XuetangX’s most popular courses with more than 4600 students enrolling in the first course, and another 14,300 enrolments in the ongoing self-paced course. Another 60,000 students from around the world have enrolled in the English version through AdelaideX on the edX platform.
Course leader at the University of Adelaide, Associate Professor Kerry Wilkinson, says interest in wine education from China has grown significantly over the past decade.
“The University of Adelaide has been seeing significantly increased enrolments from Chinese students in both our viticulture/oenology and wine business programs over recent years,” Associate Professor Wilkinson says.
“This reflects an increasing interest in wine in China generally, and thus increased demand for wine education – which the Wine101x course provides. It not only covers wine styles and sensory evaluation, but grape and wine production and wine research – and there’s even an online fieldtrip of the Yalumba winery.”
Participants in Wine101x make their own (virtual) wine, and undertake wine tasting: learning how to evaluate and describe wine appearance, aroma, flavour and taste.
"Our company is very pleased to collaborate with the University of Adelaide; this course helps to strengthen the cultural exchange between China and Australia," says Mr Zhang Bo, Vice President XuetangX.
The course is very interactive ─ with videos, interviews and activities. It’s self-paced and assumes no prior knowledge, and is aimed at anyone with an interest in wine, from the wine novice to seasoned oenophiles.
Further details of XuetangX’s World of Wine: from Grape to Glass can be found here and the AdelaideX version can be found here.