Sud de France Master-Level Program
The Occitanie Region has both winegrowing areas : South West and Languedoc-Roussillon. Master Class training focused on the wines of Languedoc-Roussillon.
This Master Level program is the first comprehensive, accredited course on wines of the Languedoc-Roussillon. The course is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of the wines, history and landscape of this diverse area leading to an approved qualification: Master-Level Certificate – Languedoc-Roussillon. This advanced wine study program for trade, launched in 2012, was created jointly by the Occitanie (ex. Languedoc Roussillon) Regional Council, the Wine Scholar Guild (former French Wine Society) and lead instructor Matthew Stubbs, Master of Wine. The content and course of study have been endorsed by the Council of the Wines of Languedoc (CIVL, AOC Languedoc and IGP Sud de France), the Council of the Wines of Roussillon (CIVR), and Pays d’Oc IGP (InterOc).
Matthew Stubbs belongs to the very close circle of the 300 Masters of Wine across the globe, and one of a handful currently living in France. With extensive experience in wines over the last 24 years, including his long-held role as Safeway’s purchasing director in UK, he is passionate about the region and its wines; he knows the Languedoc- Roussillon inside out and back again. In 2008, he decided to establish a wine school in situ called Vinécole, specializing in the wines of the Languedoc-Roussillon.
With a combination of talent, expertise and personality, Matthew was the natural choice to become lead instructor for the Sud de France Master-level program and primary author for its study materials.
The active involvement of the Region’s inter-professional wine councils, especially in gathering information for the elaboration of in-depth, accurate and exhaustive study materials, helped Sud de France shape this unique course about the Languedoc-Roussillon.
Why study Languedoc-Roussillon wines?
Acknowledged as the world’s largest wine-growing region, this diverse and fast moving place is where 2000 years of history and tradition combine effortlessly with the contemporary and avant-garde of modern times. This region is where old vines meet young minds!
Today, the Occitanie (ex. Languedoc Roussillon) Regional Council positions itself as “a region that blends Old World tradition and New World freedom. […It’s the] one place in France where rules are still being written.” (Jon Bonné, San Francisco Chronicle). A rising star for the past two decades, exciting and still relatively unknown compared to its more famous neighbors, the Languedoc-Roussillon offers great quality wines with an outstanding potential. It has so much to offer to all wine lovers.
The world’s best wine experts, key opinion leaders and journalists all agree, the Languedoc-Roussillon wines offer exceptional quality, excellent value for money and lots of character every year, at an international level.
“Long relegated to second-class status, this Mediterranean region is forging ahead with powerful Syrah-based reds. A new era has dawned in the southern French winegrowing region known as the Languedoc.” (Kim Marcus)
“Let’s be honest: no other region in France has made as much progress as the vineyards of Languedoc in the last ten years.” (J.E. Simond)
“With more than an third of France’s total wine production coming from the Region, it is truly amazing that more people don’t know about the fantastic and widely varying wines of the Sud de France. The next big thing for wine? … Languedoc.”
It’s very nice to find straightforward grapes with such a clear expression of the terroir.
“So now, the first thing I do when I pick up a wine list is flip to Southern France, to see if the sommelier is tuned into some great buys.” Champions of Value, Tara Q. Thomas
Today, Master Class training courses are expanding worldwide. For more than two years, several partnerships have been developed, most notably with the most famous wine schools in Asia (the AWSEC), Germany (DWS), and rance (Suze la Rousse). These collaborations have allowed the training of many wine experts, including wine educators who received the official “Sud de France” Master accreditation, who are able and willing to replicate this training program as instructors around the world.
Being part of a Sud de France Master-Level training course also means gaining access to additional training all year long, including webinars and e-learning sessions. Finally, becoming a “Sud de France certified Wine Educator” gives you a vast network and pedagogical support as an instructor.
Who can participate in the Sud de France Master-Level Program?
The program is geared toward advanced students of wine, who either work in the wine industry or embrace wine as their passion. It is designed for those who wish to obtain a detailed knowledge of the wines of the Languedoc-Roussillon or who love a challenge and the opportunity to gain professional qualification.
It is an excellent source of information for anyone who considers wine education to be an ongoing journey and for those who wish to improve or maintain their wine knowledge. Upon completion, graduates receive the Master Level Certificate, which is officially acknowledged by the Occitanie (ex. Languedoc Roussillon) Regional Council, a testimony to one’s advanced expertise on Languedoc-Roussillon wines.
The Current Program
For the past two years, twenty sessions have been organized internationally in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Hong-Kong and United States. So far, these training courses witnessed the formation of more than 300 professionals, 35 of which certified Wine Educators “Sud de France” masters, who are keen to duplicate the training session for others professionals.
This would not have been possible without our many partnerships with internationally-acknowledged wine schools, such as the Wine Scholar Guild (former French Wine Society, United States), the AWSEC (the first wine school in Asia, founded in China & Hong-Kong), the DWS (5 establishments in Germany), the Taiwan Wine Academy in Taipei (Taiwan) and our last partnership with the WSA Wine & Spirits Academy in Seoul (South Korea).
National partnerships have also been developed with some of the most famous schools in France: the Université du Vin de Suze la Rousse (Vaucluse), one of the oldest and most well-known in the country, as well as the Institut Supérieur du Vin (ISV), an innovative wine school in Montpellier with a bright future, the Ecole des vins du Languedoc in Saporta and the Bon Secours Business Campus in Perpignan.