Viticulture and Enology

Program Description

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. ​The new Warren Winiarski-Gerald Ivancie Institute of Viticulture and Enology allows students to collaborate with grape growers and wine makers providing valuable research that is needed for a thriving wine industry.  Emphasis is placed on entrepreneurial and practical field training.  As part of their education, students will learn the challenges of establishing a vineyard and growing high-quality grapes in a harsh environment, and apply knowledge learned in all aspects of the winemaking process in a hands-on atmosphere. Graduates are qualified for employment in a variety of positions associated with viticulture and winemaking businesses.

This program will provide the student with an understanding of the viticulture and enology industry, the principles and science underlying operation and control decisions, and financial practices and measures common to the businesses. The graduate will understand the fundamentals of making a high-quality wine starting in the vineyard through bottling in this vitally important career.

Contact Information

Office of Student Services
WCCC, Bishop B102
2508 Blichmann Avenue
970.255.2670

VITE 101 Introduction to Wine3 Credits

Introduction to the world of wine and the process involved in making wine from grape to bottle. Explore the winemaking process and different wine styles.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall.

VITE 105 Agriculture Chemistry3 Credits

Introduction to the fundamental chemistry needed for the winemaking process. Areas covered are designed to focus on chemical concepts used in problem solving/calculations that a student needs for agriculture-related courses.

Terms Typically Offered: Spring.

VITE 115 Vineyard Establishment and Management3 Credits

Exploration of the key principles of establishing and managing a vineyard, including site selection, vineyard layout, cultivar selection, soil preparation, planting methods, training, and trellising. Includes canopy management, irrigation, fertilization, pest/disease control, and pesticide application.

Prerequisites: AGRS 100/AGRS 100L.

Corequisites: VITE 115L.

Terms Typically Offered: Spring.

VITE 115L Vineyard Establishment and Management Laboratory1 Credit

Exploration of the key principles of establishing and managing a vineyard, including site selection, vineyard layout, cultivar selection, soil preparation, planting methods, training, and trellising. Includes canopy management, irrigation, fertilization, pest/disease control, and pesticide application. Lab component required for VITE 115.

Prerequisites: AGRS 100/AGRS 100L.

Corequisites: VITE 115.

Terms Typically Offered: Spring.

VITE 205 Wine Business and Marketing3 Credits

Exploration of the role of marketing in the wine industry and the process used to make effective business decisions. Includes marketing, three tier system, pricing, advertising, promotion, special events, and packaging specific to the wine industry. Includes visitation to local wineries.

Terms Typically Offered: Spring.

VITE 210 Fermentation Science3 Credits

Examination of the beneficial and spoilage microorganisms frequently encountered in the winemaking process. Topics include the growth, morphology, metabolism, and identification of these wine microorganisms.

Corequisites: VITE 210L.

Terms Typically Offered: Spring.

VITE 210L Fermentation Science Laboratory1 Credit

Examination of the beneficial and spoilage microorganisms frequently encountered in the winemaking process. Topics include the growth, morphology, metabolism, and identification of these wine microorganisms. Lab component required for VITE 210.

Corequisites: VITE 210.

Terms Typically Offered: Spring.

VITE 250 Advanced Winemaking I4 Credits

Advanced winemaking course focusing on pre-fermentation through fermentation. Includes fruit selection, pre-harvest analyses, fruit processing, juice additions, yeast selection, inoculation, alcohol and malolactic fermentation, as well as winery hygiene and safety.

Prerequisites: VITE 101 and VITE 210/VITE 210L.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall.

VITE 255 Viticulture Harvest and Post-Harvest Management2 Credits

Exploration of late summer/fall vineyard operations, including late-season canopy management, pest & disease identification and control, crop estimation, ripening & maturity sampling, harvest and post-harvest management.

Prerequisites: VITE 115/VITE 115L.

Corequisites: VITE 255L.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall.

VITE 255L Viticulture Harvest and Post-Harvest Management Laboratory1 Credit

Exploration of late summer/fall vineyard operations, including late-season canopy management, pest & disease identification and control, crop estimation, ripening & maturity sampling, harvest and post-harvest management. Lab component required for VITE 255.

Prerequisites: VITE 115/VITE 115L.

Corequisites: VITE 255.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall.

VITE 260 Science of Winemaking3 Credits

Introduction to winery laboratory practices, including basic chemistry principles, laboratory techniques, and commonly used analysis methods for musts and wines.

Terms Typically Offered: Spring.

VITE 265 Wines of the World2 Credits

Introduction to the wine producing regions of the world, including history, viticultural practices, and winemaking styles. Includes wine sensory evaluation of representative wines, basic sensory attributes, palate training and regional food, and wine pairing.

Prerequisites: Must be 18 years of age or older.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall.

VITE 270 Sensory Analysis of Wine3 Credits

Introduction to sensory analysis specific to wine production, with a focus on taste perception, as well as olfactory and taste transduction mechanisms. The class will focus on differences in specific wine varietals, alcohol fermentation, use of oak in winemaking, malolactic fermentation, wine styles, and individual wine component threshold identification.

Prerequisites: Must be 18 years of age or older.

Terms Typically Offered: Spring.

VITE 280 Advanced Winemaking II3 Credits

Advanced winemaking course focusing on post-fermentation wine stewardship techniques, including clarification, fining, stabilization, blending, wine composition, and bottling of wines produced from the fall harvest in VITE 250.

Prerequisites: VITE 250.

Terms Typically Offered: Spring.

VITE 299 Winery Internship3 Credits

Hands-on experience working at a commercial winery for the fall harvest, including grape maturity monitoring, crushing and pressing, fermentation, the handling and storage of new wines, and general cellar practices on a large scale.

Prerequisites: VITE 101 and VITE 210/VITE 210L.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall.