Yavapai College's Verde Valley campus is the only place in the Southwest offering a two-year associate degree program in viticulture, the study of grapes, and enology, the study of wine.
"People are learning, side by side, viticulture in the classroom and in our vineyards, and same with the wine making portion. So they get all the theory, and all the practice they can possibly handle," said Nikki Check, director of viticulture at Yavapai College.
Daniel and Valerie Wood are husband and wife students who left the corporate world to taste something new.
"We are looking at our second career, in terms of what we are going to do for the rest of our life, and we wanted something that was going to be fun, yet intellectually stimulating as well," said Valerie Wood.
In addition to classroom instruction, the college is building a new, full-production winery and tasting room that will ultimately feature student-made wines. It's scheduled to be completed by the end of the summer.
"Adding a full-blown wine making facility will really help get more students in our enology program," said Check.
The college has roughly 7,000 vines in two different vineyards. In early May, they'll be planting another 3,000 vines. The public will be welcome to come out and help plant those new vines.
Wednesday, February 19 2014 6:57 AM EST2014-02-19 11:57:03 GMT
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