Wine Tasting Ability (WTA) BC Canada Level One – The Fundamentals of Wine Tasting

Joint Program Wine Research Centre

Wine Tasting Ability (WTA) BC Canada Level One – The Fundamentals of Wine Tasting


Time Commitment
8 Hours
Course Dates
Enrolment Period

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four learners sitting at a desk learning to taste different wines.

About this Course

Wine Tasting Ability (WTA) BC Canada Level One develops foundational knowledge and skills in wine and wine tasting. It is the first level of a newly proposed 3-level WTA BC Canada program being developed through a unique UBC and University of Bordeaux collaboration. In WTA BC Canada Level One, learners develop foundational knowledge and skills in wine and wine tasting.

This course will be taught by Dr. Axel Marchal, Professor, University of Bordeaux, Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin (ISVV), and Dr. Jacques-Olivier Pesme, Director of the UBC Wine Research Centre.

Specific course topics include:

  • Wine tasting principles and the different steps to taste a wine
  • Introduction to the main vine varietals and their characteristics
  • The vocabulary of wine tasting
  • Introduction to wine making principles and the different types of wines
  • Major wine regions of France and wine regions of BC

The course allows those who are not acquainted with the world of wine to experience it in all its dimensions, as a multi-sensory environment that reflects the interaction between people and place. The credential is a taster of that complexity.

The credential responds to industry demands for a better trained workforce, more sensitive to the nuances and needs of the industry, higher awareness about the identity of the BC wine territory, and the importance of the BC wine and hospitality industries to the region and to Canada.

Designed for

WTA BC Canada Level One is designed for participants over 19 years of age from all backgrounds who have some familiarity with the world of wine, and who work or expect to work in the wine and hospitality industry.

It is also suitable for wine enthusiasts (both consumers and collectors) with a solid knowledge base about wine from the wider community and those visiting British Columbia. The course is also geared towards higher education students interested in the world of wine and want to supplement for-credit study with opportunities to develop complementary knowledge and capabilities.

Course Structure and Delivery

This 1-day, 8-hour course is structured around:

  • Presentations, tastings, one-to-one interactive activities and group discussion
  • 1 hour luncheon
  • Multiple-choice test (there is no re-sit option for the test)

The course will be delivered in person. There is no re-sit option for the test. Learners get a trainee booklet at the beginning of the program. Learners must be present for all the activities, complete all tasks, and pass the test with a minimum score of 50% to be awarded certification.


UBC’s Okanagan Campus, Kelowna, BC

Available sessions:

  • Dates coming soon.

Credential Awarded

Learners who successfully complete this course will receive a Non-credit Letter of Proficiency
awarded jointly by UBC Okanagan and the University of Bordeaux.



To ensure compliance with BC laws, all learners must be 19 years of age or older. To ensure compliance with this requirement, you must present a valid piece of government-issued identification for verification at the beginning of the class.


There are no admission pre-requisites. The credential opens access to high-quality post- secondary education to a diverse audience. It offers the possibility to complement already gained competencies, and have access to state-of-the-art knowledge and know-how.

Course Materials

A trainee booklet will be provided at the start of the course.

Instructional Team

Dr. Axel Marchal:

Doctor of Oenology, a full professor at University of Bordeaux’s Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin; a consultant to 24 estates across France, and one in Italy. He is also the 2021 Decanter Rising Star Award winner.

Dr. Jacques-Olivier Pesme:

Director of UBC’s Wine Research Centre; special advisor and founding member of several wine organizations.

Additional Info


Standard Fee | $499, GST included.

Organizational Promotion

For organizations interested in enrolling five or more learners, please contact for pricing options.

Please note, upon registration, fees are non-refundable except if the course is cancelled by the University at its discretion.

About the Wine Research Centre (WRC)

UBC’s Wine Research Centre (WRC) is a dual campus collaboration between the Faculty of Management, the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science, and the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. The WRC is focused on world-class research, excellence in wine education, and supporting a sustainable and effective wine industry.


This credential is offered by the Wine Research Centre at UBC Okanagan in conjunction with the University of Bordeaux’s Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin. Questions about the course should be submitted to

Last updated: 2024-03-21 09:34

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