The Mastère Spécialisé en Commerce International des Vins & Spiritueux (CIVS) of the School of Wine & Spirits Business (SWSB) was created in 1988. This French-taught Masters programme was the first of its kind in France. This year, the programme enters its 30th year and welcomes a new director, Frédéric Mercier (see photo). The students won their place in the programme after a demanding application process, and were welcomed in Beaune this October alongside 35 graduates of the programme.
Frédéric Mercier’s first year in the 30 years of the CIVS programme
Frédéric Mercier boasts a lifetime of experience as an entrepreneur and consultant. After an exciting career in international marketing at LVMH, he now takes on the role of Director of the CIVS programme. He has been heavily involved in the SWSB for many years now, where he has shared his experience in entrepreneurship and marketing.
There are 20 students in the programme this year with a perfect mix of French and international students, from Belgium, Canada, China, Spain, Finland, Taïwan and the Ukraine. These students, some of whom already have a good level of expertise in wine management, go on to work in international business and marketing, or in winery management.
The year-long programme places great emphasis on the operational aspects of wine management. The students get the opportunity to meet with industry professionals and experts from the SWSB network and visit French vineyards in the regions of Burgundy, Alsace, Champagne, Grand Sud, Bordeaux, Cahors, as well as Spanish ones in Rioja and Priorat.
The first seminar of the year with the SWSB network of industry professionals
The first seminar of the year took place in Beaune. The seminar kicked off with a balade
gourmande, where the students got to sample the food and wine of the region. At the end of the day, the students met with industry professionals and 35 graduates of the CIVS, who came to share their experience.
“Today I take on the role of director of the CIVS. I want to pass on my experience in business and marketing to the students, and advise and coach them as they begin their careers. I hope to instil in them a sense of entrepreneurship. My classes are very focused on the operational aspects of wine management”, said Frédéric Mercier during his welcome speech to the students. He went on to say, “you are also here to discover the region of Burgundy and will be ambassadors of the Burgundy terroir in your home countries”.
Marcel Combes, director of the Sparkling Wine division at Maison Boisset, who awarded the prize to the winner of the blind tasting contest earlier in the day, also spoke about essence of the Burgundy spirit. Pierre Gernelle, General Director of the Fédération des Négociants Éleveurs de Grande Bourgogne, spoke about “the major developments and changes in wine trading, giving way to a host of job opportunities in the areas of exportation, entrepreneurship and technology”.
“The CIVS programme taught me a lot, and our duty now is to continue the tradition and give back to the students of today”, added Alexandre Brault, President of the Association of CIVS graduates.