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Wine Studies

The Mid-Willamette Valley is a major player in the wine industry. Chemeketa's Wine Studies program offers hands-on training to meet the present and future needs for skilled winemakers, cellar workers, vineyard managers, lab technicians and tasting room staff.

topics Agricultural Sciences

Skills & InterestWorking with your hands

CareersAgricultural Science

  • Eight wine bottles on a table
  • Two students picking grapes

Why choose Wine Studies?

Northwest Oregon is celebrated for cool-climate wine grapes, particularly Pinot Noir. There are 1,000-plus vineyards and 725 wineries in Oregon. The vineyard acreage and number of wineries in Oregon have increased substantially over the last decade. 

The Northwest Wine Studies Center is a leading wine industry resource that provides continuing education and degree programs in all aspects of wine, from grape to glass. The center emphasizes strong alliances with the Northwest wine industry, associated educational institutions, and the community. The Center is located in Salem, Oregon, on the Eola campus of Chemeketa Community College. Salem is the state capital and is centrally located in the middle of state’s largest AVA, the Willamette Valley.

The Northwest Wine Studies Center is home to Chemeketa's 8-acre vineyard and Chemeketa Cellars, a fully functional estate teaching winery and tasting room. The Chemeketa Cellars tasting room is open to the public for tours, tasting and wine sales. When the center is not in use for educational purposes, the contemporary design and majestic views make its conference space a popular meetings and events venue.

What will you learn?

Chemeketa's Wine Studies program will teach you the skills for a number of different careers in the wine industry, from managing the growth and production of wine grapes to turning the grapes into wine to managing a tasting room and winery events.

Classes cover a variety of topics including seasonal vineyard practices, vine physiology and general viticulture practices, wine tasting and components, wine chemistry, microbiology and production, and wine sales. The winemaking and vineyard management degree programs also include a 6 or 9 credit internship component.

What will you do?

The thriving Oregon wine industry will present you with a number of job and career opportunities. Whether you are interested in becoming a cellar master, winemaker, vineyard manager, tasting room manager, or something in between - opportunities abound throughout the state's wine industry.

  • Vineyard Operations Certificate - Spanish Instruction

    Vineyard Operations Certificate - Spanish

    • Duration: 15 months
    • Language: Spanish
    • Start Date: October 2024
    • Enrollment Cap: 15 participants

    Course Schedule:

    • Term 1 - Fall Term 2024: General Viticulture, Math & Excel Basics for Vineyards
    • Term 2 - Winter Term 2025: Winter Vineyard Practices, Vine Physiology
    • Term 3 - Spring Term 2025: Spring Vineyard Practices, Vineyard Pest Management
    • Term 4 - Summer Term 2025: Summer Vineyard Practices, Vineyard Nutrition and Irrigation Management
    • Term 5 - Fall Term 2025: Fall Vineyard Practices, Pesticides and Safety

    Please click here to sign up for the certificate program. Wine Studies staff will contact you shortly.

  • WINEMAKING ASSOCIATE OF APPLIED SCIENCE DEGREE

    In the Winemaking program, you will learn about fruit and wine chemistry, microbiology and sensory analysis. This will include hands-on training in our onsite commercial vineyard and winery.

    You will learn how to–

    • Check grape maturity and make harvest decisions
    • Process grapes
    • Manage fermentation
    • Use and maintain winery equipment
    • Perform quality control
    • Build a winery facility
    • Comply with government regulations

    See Course Sequences for more information.

  • VINEYARD MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATE OF APPLIED SCIENCE DEGREE

    In the Vineyard Management program, you will learn chemistry, plant science and business management as it relates to farming. This will include hands-on training in our on-site commercial vineyard and winery.

    You will learn how to–

    • Evaluate a site for winegrape growing
    • Track vineyard operations and prepare reports
    • Project timing of vineyard operations
    • Properly perform seasonal work including pruning, integrated pest management, canopy management, vineyard floor management and crop regulation
    • Comply with government regulations
    • Develop a vineyard business plan

    See Course Sequences for more information.

  • VINEYARD OPERATIONS CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION

    The Vineyard Operations certificate teaches you the skills needed for employment as a vineyard technician or if you're interested in starting a vineyard.

    You will learn how to–

    • Evaluate a site for winegrape growing
    • Track vineyard operations and prepare reports
    • Properly perform seasonal vineyard work including pruning, disease and pest control, canopy management and crop regulation

    See Course Sequences for more information.

  • WINE HOSPITALITY OPERATIONS CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION

    The Wine Hospitality Operations certificate prepares you for supervisory positions in winery tasting rooms. Tasting rooms have emerged as a critical sales channel for local wineries seeking to maximize revenue and creating loyal customers.

    This Independent Course of Study combines courses from both the Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) department and the Wine Studies (VMW) department.

    You will enjoy a unique opportunity to gain real-life experience in the tasting room and wine club at the Northwest Wine Studies Center at Chemeketa Eola to support the sale of Chemeketa Cellars wines.

    See Course Sequences for more information.

  • Winter 2024 Courses

    WINTER TERM 2024 - January 8-March 22, 2024
    (HOLIDAYS: January 15, February 19 | NO CLASSES FOR WINE SYMPOSIUM: February 13-14, 2024)

    Classes are in person unless noted otherwise.

    VMW 224
    Chemical Analysis of Must and Wine

    MONDAY   

    Lecture 1-2:50 pm/Lab 3-4:50 pm

    Johnny Brose

    VMW 261
    Vine Physiology

    MONDAY 

    Lecture 2-4:50 pm + 1 hr online (IN-PERSON HYBRID)

    Bryan Berenguer

    VMW 132
    Wines of the World

    MONDAY

    Lecture 5:30-8:20 pm

    Bryan Berenguer

    VMW 122
    Intro to Winemaking

    TUESDAY

    Lecture 3-5:50 pm

    Johnny Brose

    VMW 101
    General Viticulture

    TUESDAY

    Lecture 12-2:50 pm

    Bryan Berenguer

    VMW 245
    Wine Clarification and Stabilization

    WEDNESDAY

    Lecture 3-5:50 pm/Lab 6-7:50 pm

    Johnny Brose

    VMW 114
    Winter Vineyard Practices

    THURSDAY 

    Lecture 9-11:50 am/Lab 12-1:50 pm

    Bryan Berenguer

    VMW 131
    Wine Appreciation

    THURSDAY

    Lecture 4-6:50 pm

    Johnny Brose

    VMW 233
    Sensory Evaluation of Wine Components

    THURSDAY 

    Lecture 6-8:50 pm

    Don Crank

    VMW 280
    Wine Studies Internship

     

    OFFSITE, INSTRUCTOR APPROVAL REQUIRED

     

  • Spring 2024 Courses

    SPRING TERM 2024 - April 1-June 14, 2024
    (HOLIDAY: May 25)

    Classes are in person unless noted otherwise.

    VMW 254
    Winery Process Planning & Design

    MONDAY

    Lecture 2-4:50 pm (hybrid - classes are online with four in-person field trips)

    Johnny Brose

    VMW 225
    Wine and Food Microbiology

    TUESDAY

    Lecture 12-3:50 pm

    Johnny Brose

    VMW 263
    Organic and Biodynamic Viticulture

    TUESDAY

    Lecture 2-4:50 pm + 1 hour online per week (hybrid)

    Bryan Berenguer

    VMW 246
    Wine Aging, Filtration and Bottling

    WEDNESDAY

    Lecture 3-5:50 pm/Lab 6-7:50 pm

    Johnny Brose

    VMW 260
    Nutrition and Irrigation Management

    WEDNESDAY

    Lecture 2-4:50 pm

    Bryan Berenguer

    VMW 262
    Vineyard Pest Management

    WEDNESDAY

    Lecture 5-8:50 pm

    Ashley Lindsay

    VMW 115
    Winter Vineyard Practices

    THURSDAY

    Lecture 1-3:50 pm/Lab 4-5:50 pm

    Bryan Berenguer

    VMW 131
    Wine Appreciation

    THURSDAY

    Lecture 3-5:50 pm

    Johnny Brose

    VMW 232
    Sensory Evaluation of Wine Varietals

    THURSDAY

    Lecture 6:30-9:20 pm

    Patrick McElligott

    VMW 280
    Wine Studies Internship

     

    OFFSITE, INSTRUCTOR APPROVAL REQUIRED

     

    • Visit the Chemeketa Cellars website

      Chemeketa Cellars

      Wine Studies at Chemeketa offers a hands-on continuing education and degree program focusing on all aspects of wine from grape to glass. Our own on-site, 8-acre vineyard and winery provide students an opportunity to learn the depth and breadth of vineyard management and winemaking, from the growing of the grape to harvesting, chemistry, production, and the selling of the wine. The Wine Studies program is located at the Northwest Wine Studies Center, which is a leading wine industry resource emphasizing strong alliances with the Northwest wine industry. It is also home to the winery and tasting room for Chemeketa Cellars. 

      Chemeketa Cellars, in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, is where past, present and future winemakers gather to collaborate on wine growing and making methods. Using our vineyard’s world-class fruit to create award-winning wines, students and faculty exchange knowledge to craft bold new styles that fully express the terroir of our gathering place at Chemeketa Eola, on the bank of the Willamette River in West Salem, Oregon. 

      Visit our website to learn more about Chemeketa's winery: www.chemeketacellars.com.

    • Community Education Classes

      Visit the Chemeketa Cellars website for a list of community education classes, including:

      • Wine Appreciation Classes
      • Paint and Sip Classes
      • Charcuterie Workshops
      • Floral Workshops
      • Yoga + Wine
      • And more!