WINESCI 201 : Introduction to Wine Science


2020 Semester One (1203) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An introduction to grape growing and wine. Topics covered include history of wine, geography and terroir, grape growing, winemaking technology, microbiology, sensory evaluation, and health considerations of wine. A special emphasis on grape growing and winemaking in New Zealand.

Course Overview

Kia ora!  WINESCI 201, Introduction to Wine Science, is designed to introduce students to the dynamic and exciting wine industry in which New Zealand is world leading.  This course will give students a broad overview of the science behind viticulture and winemaking, the latest research in the field of wine science, an in-depth knowledge of wine styles and wines of the world and the skills required for wine tasting and evaluation. 

A basic understanding of Wine Science is useful not only for students who would like to enter the wine industry or pursue further study in Wine Science, but will enhance the knowldge and skill of students in Food Science, Biological Sciences and Chemistry.  We encourage students with a keen interest in wine to take this course.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: Any 120 points passed

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe the basic principles of different viticultural, winemaking, and processing techniques and explain how they impact on the quality and sensory characteristics of the final wine. (Capability 1)
  2. Describe and recall the major wine regions, wine laws, and wine styles of the world as covered in the course content. (Capability 1)
  3. Evaluate different wine styles using the appropriate terminology and effectively communicate these evaluations to fellow tasters both verbally and in writing. (Capability 4)
  4. Critically evaluate research articles in the field and have the ability to apply the findings to the New Zealand wine industry. (Capability 2, 5 and 6)
  5. Conceive, construct and complete a piece of scholarly work and demonstrate the ability to reference correctly. (Capability 2 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Poster assignment 15% Individual Coursework
Winemaking plans assignment 15% Individual Coursework
Laboratories 15% Individual Coursework
Laboratory test 15% Individual Test
Final Exam 40% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Poster assignment
Winemaking plans assignment
Laboratory test
Final Exam

Students must obtain passes in both the practical (laboratories) and theory (combined mark for the two assignments and the examination) in order to pass the course as a whole.

Key Topics

Lecture content:
An introduction to wine.

Sensory evaluation of wine - Appearance, aroma, taste, mouthfeel, balance, complexity and quality.

Growing grapes for winemaking - Life-cycle of the vine, climate, soil, temperature, sunlight, varieties, rootstocks, cultural practices, diseases.  Composition of grapes.  Concept of terroir.

Wine laws and wine labelling - Place vs. variety, appellation, vintage, varieties/cultivars, wine additives, sulfur dioxide, alcohol.

Winemaking and production - Fermentation, role of yeast and bacteria, malolactic fermentation, spoilage, maceration times, processing, fining, filtration, ageing, effect of barrel fermentation and ageing, packaging.  Differences in the production methods of white wines, red wines, sparkling wines, dessert wines and fortified wines.

Composition of wine - Aroma chemistry.

Wine and health - Wine as an alcoholic beverage.

Wine styles - Sparkling wine, table wine styles, fortified wines and dessert wine.

Wine regions of the world - 'Old World': France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Hungary.  'New World': New Zealand, Australia, California, Argentina, Chile, South Africa.

Laboratory content:
Learning how to assess wines by their appearance, aroma and palate.  Learning how to assess balance, quality and complexity in wines.
Tasting and evaluating different wine styles, writing tasting notes, recognising how different production techniques produce different wine characteristics.

Learning Resources

To be determined by the individual lecturers depending upon the topic.  The textbook for this course is Wine Science (4th Edition) by Ronald S. Jackson (2014) and is available on Canvas.

Various relevant documents and research papers will be posted by the teaching staff throughout the semester on Canvas.

Special Requirements

Attendance at laboratories is compulsory.  Please keep to your allocated laboratory stream.
You may be excused from attending a laboratory session in the case of:
•    Illness or injury
•    Selection for a significant cultural or sporting event
•    Bereavement
An optional field trip to Goldie Vineyard, Waiheke Island will be held during one weekend day of the semester.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week for each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect two 50 minute lectures per week and five two-hour tasting laboratories.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

This course strives to be a safe, inclusive and equitable space that supports our social and environmental responsibilities.  Please feel free to contact the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor to discuss privately any impairment-related requirements.

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 11/01/2020 03:22 p.m.