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WSU Extension Offers Viticulture Program Online

Pullman, Wash. — Washington State University Extension will offer a viticulture certificate program online for the first time beginning Feb. 7.

This distance-learning viticulture program will provide basic as well as applied information required for the production of high-quality grapes and wines in Washington state.

“Individuals who complete this certificate program will acquire the necessary basic skills and information to begin their own vineyard operations or to be successful employees in the wine and grape growing industries,” said WSU Extension Food Scientist Sara Spayd, one of the course originators.

She added, “Employers will be able to anticipate a specific level of knowledge from individuals who complete this program.”

The goal of this program is to enhance the overall quality of the grapes and the resulting wines produced in Washington by increasing the foundation of knowledge possessed by individuals who are currently working in these industries and by those who are just entering the industry work force.

The new program builds on a successful, live, in-person certificate program that was available in 2003-04.

A companion enology certificate program was initiated in 2004 and will be completed in August 2005. The current enology program is fully enrolled. An online version should be available January 2006.

Both certificate programs are the result of special funding provided by the Washington Education Consortium, a partnership of Washington State University, Washington’s Community Colleges and the wine and grape industry in Washington.

Another outgrowth of this funding is a new viticulture/enology option within the bachelor’s degree program in horticulture, offered by WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.

For a complete listing and description of the courses included in this certification program, along with biographies and photos of the instructors, specific course requirements and all registration information, go to: http://www.wineducation.wsu.edu/.

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