Vineyard & Winery Management

January/February 2014

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Progressive viticulture and enology programs offer more than workforce training ursuing a four-year degree in enology or viticulture has been, for many students, the most direct way to gain entry into the wine industry. But that path isn't the sole option for individuals making a career transition or those whose primary interest is acquiring the skills necessary for wine production. New certificate programs and two-year "associate of applied science" (AAS) degrees in viticulture and enology (V&E) have sprung up across the country at community colleges and state universities in New York, North Carolina, Texas, Missouri, Michigan and Ohio. Many are the direct result of the Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology High Marks for Community Colleges Alliance (VESTA), a dynamic collaboration among universities and as many as 18 community colleges, state agricultural agencies and industry partners created to bring much-needed training to under-served winegrowing regions. VESTA's curriculum, funded by the National Science Foundation and administered by Missouri State University, offers students online coursework in grapegrowing and winemaking, along with hands-on field and laboratory experiences at local vineyards and wineries. Chris Lake, director of the Southern Oregon Wine Institute (SOWI) at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, and a primary VESTA grant recipient, sees the The Southern Oregon Wine Institute at Umpqua Community College offers a one-year certificate program as part of a two-year associate's degree. BY DEBORAH PARKER WONG 74 V I N E YA R D & WINE RY MANAGEM ENT | Jan - Feb 2014 w w w. v wm m e d i a . c o m

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