Summer 2024 - GEOG 304 B100

Geography of Wine (4)

Class Number: 1573

Delivery Method: Blended


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 6 – Jun 17, 2024: Tue, Thu, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    GEOG 111 and GEOG 100; 45 units.



An exploration of core geographic concepts and themes through the study of the complex commodity of wine. Biophysical, cultural, economic, and political dimensions of grape growing and wine making are examined. Experiential, place-based learning is emphasized through a field trip to a wine region such as BC's Okanagan Valley.


Course Details 

This course explores core geographic concepts and themes through the study of the complex commodity of wine. We examine biophysical, cultural, economic, and political dimensions of grape growing (viticulture) and wine making (viniculture). Geographical approaches of human-environment interactions, regional study, and spatial analysis are applied throughout the course. Key themes include the diffusion of viticulture and wine consumption over time; the significance of place, especially through the concept of terroir; the environmental controls on viticulture and how they change and are adapted to; local versus global scales of production and consumption; and considerations of sustainability in the wine industry. The course is offered in a Blended format this intersession, with in-person Lectures on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30-12:20. The rest of the weekly coursework is completed online.

On Thursday June 6, we will take a mandatory half day (10:00-3:00) field trip to the Fraser Valley wine region. Students should expect to pay up to $175 to the Department to cover costs associated with the field trip, which include transportation, vineyard and cellar tours, education from industry professionals, lunch, and optional wine tastings. Students must be over 19 years of age to participate in the field trip. Be aware that during the field trip there will be periods of walking on uneven ground. Appropriate clothing and footwear must be worn. Students must at all times remain compliant with all student responsibilities, regulations, and policies as outlined in the current Academic Calendar, as well as relevant regulations and policies as outlined in the SFU Policy Gazette. This includes, but is not limited to, expected student conduct and the maintenance of appropriate medical insurance coverage. In order to participate in the field trip, students must sign an Adult Acknowledgement of Risk form, as well as a liability waiver for the company leading the tour. Further details regarding the field trip will be discussed at the beginning of the semester. Please contact the instructor if you have any concerns before enrolling.

Note: There will be tutorials in the first week of class


  • Apply geographical concepts of place, space, and scale to the study of wine
  • Identify and explain the biophysical and cultural factors in viticulture (grape growing) and wine production and consumption
  • Characterize and compare world geographical wine regions
  • Critically analyze the concept of ‘terroir’ as it applies to wine
  • Find and critically evaluate information from a variety of sources
  • Practice diverse modes of communication, demonstrating awareness of audience
  • Collaborate effectively with peers
  • Develop a critical appreciation of the significance of place in the production and consumption of wine


  • Pre-class Preparation Activities 18%
  • Peer Review & Collaboration 12%
  • Field Trip Report 5%
  • Research Paper (Individual) 25%
  • Story Map Project (Group) 40%



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Registrar Notes:


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