Series of classes with hands-on learning offered at local vineyards and wineries.

Man dripping red wine in a glass with wooden barrels in the background

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Program Information

PVCC offers viticulture, enology and tasting room management classes in partnership with local wineries and vineyards.  Classes are taught by industry professionals and most are held onsite at local wineries or vineyards. A student can begin taking classes at any time throughout the year. Classes may be taken in any order.

Introduction to Enology
Interested in winemaking? This course provides overview of the winemaking process for both red and white wines. Specific problems facing the Virginia winemaker will be discussed including reduction, oxidation and the problems associated with unripe grapes.

Contact Hours: 7

Wine Tasting & Analysis
Did you know that farming the grapes affects their taste and aroma? Can you recognize your personal capabilities in wine tasting? Become a competent wine taster by learning the essentials of professional tasting.

Contact Hours: 7

Winery Design & Equipment
The design, layout and equipment needed for an efficient operation are critical components for success in the wine industry. Learn winery design from the ground up!

Contact Hours: 7

Legal Issues in the Wine Industry
Learn the legal intricacies and important regulations that the serious wine grower needs to know to survive in the wine business. Discover the hot issues facing Virginia wineries. Plenty of materials and resource information is supplied.

Contact Hours: 7

Wine Marketing
People in the wine business say that anyone can make wine, but can they sell it? Learn cutting-edge strategies for marketing wine. Everything from labels to romancing the wine is covered in this required enology class. Enhanced by talks from area wine professionals, you will learn how to design a marketing strategy.

Contact Hours: 7

Fermentation & Racking
From juice the wine is made. Participants will learn the intricate processes of wine fermentation and racking from the point at which the juice enters the tanks. Topics include primary fermentation, malolactic fermentation, yeasts, carbonic maceration, temperature control, fining, steel tanks, oak barrels and more.

Contact Hours: 8

Harvesting & Basic Analysis of the Must
Harvesting is peak season in the wine industry. Participants will be involved in one or more fall harvests, including staging, picking and transporting the grapes, de-stemming reds, crushing whites/rose plus assessing ripeness in the vineyard and in the lab. We will also discuss and review alternative methods and equipment choices. Specific course dates and times will be determined based on weather and grape conditions, beginning late August and through late October and all class members will provide their day-by-day availability to the vineyard to assemble small teams for each harvest. This class will provide a broad range of insight on how to conduct harvests and process fruit in a practical and effective way.

Contact Hours: 7

Wine Bottling
Covers the final stages of fermentation in preparation for bottling, including equipment used, selection of bottles and labeling.

Contact Hours: 7

Sparkling Winemaking
Learn the magic and art of sparkling winemaking à La Méthode Traditionelle and the detailed techniques of making sparkling wine from the first fermentation and second fermentation, disgorging and finishing.

Contact Hours: 7