Viticulture and Enology

Western Colorado Community College is the first college in Colorado to offer an associate degree in viticulture and enology. Colorado’s wine industry is one of the fastest growing and unique areas of agri-business in the state. With about 150 wineries and more than 1,000 acres of vineyards, the business of growing grapes (viticulture) and making wine (enology) play an increasingly important role in the state and local economies.

The Viticulture and Enology program is designed to provide students with the technical and entrepreneurial skills necessary for the management of a profitable and environmentally sound vineyard or winemaking business. Students learn the fundamentals of sustainable viticulture and focusing on plants suitable for Colorado. They are taught how to make wine including the fundamentals of fermentation, the wine production cycle, wine sensory analysis and how to discern good wine. General business management and marketing practices related to winery operations are also part of the curriculum.

Why choose the Viticulture and Enology program at WCCC?

  • Only Colorado college offering an Associate of Applied Science degree in Viticulture and Enology
  • Program includes a hands-on component to enhance the learning that occurs in the classroom
  • Students actively participate in the establishment and management of vineyards and the production of wine

The Viticulture and Enology curriculum is designed to provide the entrepreneurial and technical skills necessary to manage a profitable, environmentally sound vineyard and/or winemaking business. Students learn the fundamentals of sustainable viticulture, focusing on cultivars that are suitable for Colorado, as well as the science of fermentation and the fundamentals of producing and testing wine. Coursework emphasizes entrepreneurial and practical field training. As part of their education, students will participate in the establishment and management of a vineyard and the production of wine. Graduates are qualified for employment in a variety of positions associated with viticulture and winemaking businesses.

Academic Requirements

The Enology Technical Certificate in the Viticulture and Enology program is a concentrated study in the areas of viticulture, winemaking processes, wine etiquette and sensory evaluation. The certificate provides an information and knowledge base for students interested in the wine industry.

Academic Requirements

This certificate prepares students for a future training and career in grape growing and vineyard establishment.

Academic Requirements

This certificate prepares students for careers all aspects of wine service as well as pairing wine with foods in fine restaurants or wineries.

Academic Requirements

Career Opportunities

  • Vineyard/Winery owner
  • Vineyard technician
  • Vineyard foreman/manager
  • Winemaker, assistant winemaker
  • Retail/Marketing operations assistant/manager
  • Winery operations assistant/manager

Career Pathways

Career pathway programs prepare students for employment in industries while also providing a stepping stone to an associate degree, bachelor’s degree and beyond. Learn more about career pathways.

Career Pathways Certificate Length of Program
Wine Professional Certificate 1 semester (12 credits)
Viticulture 1 semester (18 credits)
Enology 2 semesters (18 credits)
  • In addition to being academically rigorous, this program is hands-on for every student. Our labs support the direct application of the material we learn in lecture, offering students perspective and practice.
    Photo of Allyssa Snow
    Allyssa Snow
    Enology Student
  • It is a true adventure. In every class I learn something new and absolutely fascinating about the wine making process. In the lab we put to use what we are learning. Creativity is not only allowed, it is encouraged.
    Photo of JoAnn Sauvage
    JoAnn Sauvage
    Enology Student
  • Colorado is home to an inspiring and evolving community of viticulturists and enologists. This program not only gave me the foundation I needed to thrive in this beautiful industry, but the doggedness to be a part of its’ future generations. Cheers to Colorado wine!
    Photo of Amy Gekas
    Amy Gekas
    Alumni, '18
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Similar programs in Colorado

WCCC is the only Colorado college offering an AAS degree in Viticulture and Enology

50%

Hands-on experience

Students spend half of their semester hours gaining practical experience in the field

23

Grape varieties picked and processed

Western Colorado is the perfect environment for a variety of wines

22

Faculty experience

The program lead has spent more than two decades as a commercial winemaker and winery manager

Program Faculty

Photo of Jenne Baldwin-Eaton
Jenne Baldwin-Eaton

Technical Instructor of Viticulture and Enology