Associate of Applied Science in Vineyard and Winery Technology
Tiffany Britton, who grew up in Enterprise, Ore. and Yakima, spent much of her childhood on rural farms. Before enrolling in the Vineyard and Winery Technology program in 2005, she earned her associate in applied science degree in Veterinary Technology. She knew she wanted to pursue a career in agriculture and after enrolling in the Introduction to Washington Wines and Plant Physiology courses she was hooked, graduating from the wine program in 2007.
YVC’s program helped prepare Britton for her future career goals and eventually open her own winery, Brainstorm Cellars.
“YVC provided lots of hands-on, practical knowledge as well as allowed me to meet many people that would continue to support me throughout my career,” she stated.
“My partner and I both still hold full-time day jobs. We started daydreaming about [opening our own winery] a few years ago. I landed a winemaking/vineyard gig that, as a benefit of my compensation package, allowed for me to make my own wine,” she continued.
Britton hopes to build Brainstorm Cellars into a local midsized winery with a taphouse vibe where they are able to do collaborations with other local winemakers, brewers and ciderists.
When Britton was invited to an after-work meetup with other local women working as enologists, viticulture techs, winemakers, lab techs and cellar masters an alliance was formed. She volunteered to help run the new initiative.
“The wine industry can be very isolating, homogenous and impenetrable. It is hard to be in the minority but it’s even harder when you are all alone in the cellar or the vineyard for 8-16 hours a day, every day,” stated Britton.
She is now serving as president of the group with responsibility for managing a board that she describes as ‘full of brilliant, passionate women,” in additional to facilitating effective communication between departments and projects and scheduling and chairing meetings.
In addition to working with the Alliance and her start-up winery, Britton works full time in quality assurance for a fortune 500 company, at a facility that dries potato starch.