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Viticulture & Wine Technology

The Degree

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)

The Outlook

Create a career that - like a fine wine - gets better with time. Based on the dramatic growth in almost all aspects of the wine industry, the need for individuals with the specialized knowledge and skills necessary for employment in the viticulture and wine industry will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. Your path to a career in this growing field begins with FLCC's viticulture and wine technology program.

This program combines courses in the science of wine making and provides hands-on experience in commercial vineyards (with a focus on sustainability). Graduating with this interesting and exciting degree will prepare you for a career in one of many facets of the viticulture and wine industry.

The Program

The A.A.S. viticulture and wine technology degree program is designed to provide you with the knowledge and training necessary to pursue a career in:

  • Viticulture
  • Vineyard Management
  • Winery Operations
  • Tasting Room Management
  • Wine Sales

Building on FLCC's well-known and established environmental conservation and horticulture programs, this degree also includes an emphasis on sustainability, ensuring that the important environmental issues in the region will be addressed.

Honors Courses: If you have demonstrated outstanding academic ability, you will have the opportunity to take honors courses at FLCC that provide enhanced educational experiences. If you are a qualified student in this degree program or are a qualified student from another program, enrollment in honors courses is open to you. Successful completion of honors courses or an Honors Certificate may increase your transfer options to four-year institutions.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this degree program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to read, write, and integrate and analyze information from multiple resources and present the information using select computer programs commonly available.
  • Demonstrate professional competency in viticulture and wine technology using industry level skills and knowledge.
  • Explain interdependence of viticulture and winemaking with rural communities, economic activities, human and natural resources.
  • Speak and present before a group on viticulture and wine technology topics including: wine microbiology, modern winemaking technologies, grapevine physiology, vineyard environmental factors and interactions, and sustainable practices in the vineyard and winery.
  • Apply academic and professional ethics and values while critically evaluating modern viticulture and winemaking practices.
  • Apply mathematic skills while understanding the impact of winemaking and/or viticulture decisions on wine and/or grape chemistry characteristics.

The Experience

The unique beauty of the Finger Lakes region is part of the "outdoor classroom" in this degree program. As part of your training as a student in this program, you'll utilize the world-renowned New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, the New York Wine and Culinary Center in Canandaigua, and the hundreds of wineries in the Finger Lakes region.

Field Trips

Extensive field experiences are integrated into a great percentage of the classes and include trips to locations throughout the area for field technical training and grape and plant research. Among other destinations, some field trips will be to local wineries, including both small, family-owned wineries and large, corporate world-wide wineries such as Constellation Brands, which operates a plant in Canandaigua.

Practicum

While enrolled in this program, you will benefit from the experience of two extensive practicums that will provide significant hands-on training in all facets of wine making. You'll also gain experience in the planting, pruning, and harvesting of grapes as well as the making, tasting, and bottling of wine.

The Graduates

With this degree, you'll be prepared for employment opportunities in:

  • Vineyard Management
  • Wine Tasting Room Operations
  • Wine Center Management
  • Wine Tasting Operations
  • Cellar Procedures
  • Equipment Operation
  • Pesticide Program Management

Employment opportunities exist in small and large wineries. With this degree, you'll be prepared to transfer to a four-year institution such as Cornell University*.

* This is a sampling of some of the four-year colleges and universities to which FLCC students have transferred. Please consult your advisor or the educational planning and career services office for a complete listing of transfer agreements between Finger Lakes Community College and four-year institutions.

The Scholarships

As a viticulture and wine technology major, if you meet specific award criteria, you will be eligible for the following scholarships:

  • Constellation Brands Viticultural
  • Ridgefield Viticulture

For information on these scholarships, contact the environmental conservation and horticulture department or financial aid office.