Viticulture (vitis [Latin - vine] + cultura = vine cultivation) and Enology (oenos [Greek - wine] + logy = wine study) are specialized fields of study which are offered at few institutions, and which can be found combined within a single department in even fewer. Enologists study wine and fermented beverage technology, taking specialized courses to understand the various aspects of food in general and wines in particular after preparation in the fundamental sciences related to fermentation and foods (chemistry, math, physics, biochemistry, microbiology, molecular and cellular biology). Viticulturists study all aspects of grape production after preparatory work in the biological sciences (plant biology, plant pathology, plant physiology, entomology, meteorology and soil science).
The teaching programs provided by the Department of Viticulture and Enology produce two types of university-educated personnel to meet the needs of the grape, wine, raisin, brandy, brewing, and fermentation industries. In general, undergraduate programs (leading to a B.S.) include the basic preparatory courses, while graduate programs (leading to the M.S. or Ph.D.) require completion of preparatory work before admission.
Our instructional programs in Viticulture and Enology are designed to teach students the scientific principles that underlie growing grapes and making wine, and the basic skills needed to apply these principles. Our program is not designed to teach a particular style of winemaking, winery management, grape cultivation or vineyard management. However, based on their detailed understanding of the process, graduates are expected to develop their own style with some tutelage and experience. Students are advised to seek out additional business management skills if they expect to manage a business. In some cases, this can be incorporated into the B.S. degree program. Students must be 21 years of age or older to taste wine in our enology courses.