The program helps entrepreneurs and prospective vineyard managers become knowledgeable of the wine industry principles and practices.
Next fall, the state's soaring grape and wine industry will have a new group of trained professionals in the pipeline, thanks to Texas Tech University Viticulture Program in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources. But before anyone can even gaze on a grape, they'll need to apply to the program.
“We'll have a new cohort of students for the Texas Tech Viticulture Program in the fall, so it's time for potential students to start thinking about getting their applications completed,” said Ed Hellman, a professor of viticulture and enology at Texas Tech's Hill Country University Center in Fredericksburg.
The application period begins Friday (June 1) and runs through July 31, and the program is expected to begin in mid-September.
The viticulture certificate program is designed for wine industry entrepreneurs and prospective vineyard managers seeking comprehensive knowledge of viticultural principles and commercial grape production practices, Hellman said. Produced by Texas Tech's Department of Plant and Soil Science, it's headquartered in Fredericksburg.
“The program is delivered through a combination of online courses and hands-on training in our own teaching vineyard,” Hellman said.
The program consists of six courses held over a two-year period. Successful completion of all six courses is required to receive a Professional Certificate in Viticulture. The program is limited to 40 participants willing to make the commitment to move through all courses over the two-year period. Enrollment in individual courses is not available.
Online modules include grapevine biology; site assessment and vineyard development; vine nutrition and water management; canopy management and crop load management; and disease, insect, and weed management. The practical module is vineyard practices. Cost of the two-year program is $3,400.