Vineyard and Winery Technology

Washington Wine: A Growing Industry

Washington’s wine industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the state. There are over 950 licensed wineries and more than 350 grape growers in Washington state. YVC’s Vineyard and Winery Technology Program is centrally located in the heart of the Washington State Wine industry. We have an award-winning teaching winery, complete with a tasting room located on the Grandview Campus called Yakima Valley Vintners.

Degrees

YVC offers both an AAS and AAS-T degree in vineyard technology. These degrees emphasize the development of grape production principles with specialization in the integrated management of insect, disease, and weed pests. Examples of career opportunities include grape production manager, crew supervisor, technical advisor, and production crew worker.

Students must meet with an advisor as course requirements may alter due to Washington State University and YVC’s requirements.

This degree provides students with an understanding of principles and application of technology associated with wine production. Students will have the opportunity to learn about wine making using appropriate production, processing, sanitation, preservation, and safety methods. Students will also apply methods to evaluate grape and wine quality. Examples of careers in this area include technician, quality control specialist, wine maker assistant, retail salesperson, and plant operation supervisor and worker.

Certificates

The following certificates are designed to provide students with a concentration of courses in a specific technical area. The certificates may be suitable for students who wish to increase their knowledge and skills in a particular area. All courses taken for the certificates would apply toward the related associate degree programs.

YVC offers a certificate in Vineyard Technology. Examples of career opportunities include grape production manager, crew supervisor, technical advisor, and production crew worker.

The Wine Sales Certificate is designed to provide students with a concentration of courses in a specific technical area. The certificate may be suitable for students who wish to increase their knowledge and skills in a particular area. All courses taken for the certificates would apply toward the related associate degree programs. The certificate can stand-alone or be earned as a specialty certificate with the AAS-Agribusiness or AAS-Business Management.Careers include tasting room attendants and wine club managers.

This degree provides students with an understanding of principles and application of technology associated with wine production. Examples of careers in this area include technician, quality control specialist, wine maker assistant, retail salesperson, and plant operation supervisor and worker.

Winery Cellar Leadership Program

Winery Cellar Leadership Program (WCLP) is a new industry educational program offering developed with Washington Winegrowers. The WCLP is intended for existing or prospective cellar leads who wish to further their career in the industry, already have the experience, and are currently working at a winery. Through two different course levels, the WCLP with will focus on the cellar aspects of winemaking from the receipt of grapes until wine is in the bottle; leadership in a cellar environment; winery-specific math conversions and formulas; and basic computer skills.

The purpose of the WCLP is to provide access for the greater wine industry and students interested in viticulture and wine-related careers to a certified educational and professional development program. Those students that complete the program will be better trained to take leadership positions within the winery cellar team. The WCLP fulfills an industry-informed need: skilled and leadership-ready labor in the cellar. 

Questions about the program? Contact Instructor Trent Ball at 509.882.7007.

Level I – Crush to Barrel

 This course level is intended for existing or prospective cellar leads who wish to further their career in the industry, already have the experience, and are currently working at a winery. The course will be taught in English. Regular attendance is required. This course is serving industry needs with new training for individuals in cellar production and winery operations to enhance their skills in leadership, communication (public speaking, negotiation, netiquette), scheduling, winery related math conversions, and computer skills.

Level II – Barrel to Bottle

This course level is intended for existing cellar leads who have completed Level I—Crush to Barrel—and are currently working at a winery. The course will be taught in English. Regular attendance is required. Students (and their employers) must be committed to employee’s attendance. This course is serving industry needs with new training for individuals in cellar production who wish to build on their skills from taking Level I and enhance their skills in leadership, communication, scheduling, winery related math conversions, and computer skills. Related cellar activities from Barrel to Bottle will focus on the what, when, why, where and how of best-cellar-production practices that apply to a wide spectrum of operations.

Winery Program Distance Learning Opportunities

Teaching Winery and Vineyard

The Grandview Campus houses the state of the art teaching facilities for the Vineyard and Winery Technology Programs.  The teaching winery includes a laboratory, classrooms, tasting ro​om, barrel and case storage, as well as two incubator (start-up) winery spaces.  While progressing through the Winery Technology Program students have the opportunity to work through the wine making process from grape to glass, a task that also includes selling their product out of the on-campus tasting room.  Having two incubators is unique to any other wine program nationally as it combines the academic and business environments into one setting enhancing the learning environment for students.

Donations by the Washington State Grape and Wine Industry allowed for the planting of the Teaching Vineyard on the Grandview Campus in 2010.  Students played an intricate roll in both the design of the vineyard and planting of the Cabernet Franc, Lemberger and Riesling vines that make up the Teaching Vineyard.  Each fall the General Viticulture course uses the Teaching Vineyard to learn many aspects of vineyard growth and establishment.  While each winter students in the Advanced Viticulture course learn the basics of pruning as they prepare the vineyard for the upcoming growing season.  Beginning the academic year of 2012, students will utilize their estate grown grapes in the Essentials of Winemaking course.

The Teaching Winery

YVC has an award winning teaching winery, complete with a tasting room, located on the Grandview Campus called Yakima Valley Vintners. The Teaching Vineyard was added in 2010 on the Grandview Campus, providing additional practical training opportunities.

Yakima Valley Vintners wines with awards

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Contacts

Trent BallAgriculture Department Chair & Faculty
Phone: 509.882.7007
Grandview Campus
Workforce Ed Building, Room 121
Yakima Campus
Skills Center Annex, Room 104
Dr. Holly FergusonFaculty Viticulture
Phone: 509.574.4517
Yakima Campus
Deccio Building, Room 229
Brad SmithInstructional Tech Winery
Phone: 509.882.7037
Grandview Campus
Workforce Building, Room 183