PAC launches wine industry program

By Jordan Sosa
Pulse Staff Reporter

Viticulture is the Latin word for wine growing, and now Palo Alto College has a new academic program to make and sell wine.

The cultivation of grape vines has been recorded in history for thousands of years. It’s a long process of planting and watching over the vines, ensuring the grapes are kept disease-free. This program will help students learn about agriculture and the effort put into making and distilling the grape juice needed to make wine.

The business of this science is also taught. Students will learn how to join a big distributing wine company, or the best route to take when selling their own wine. The Texas wine industry is continuing its expansion.

David Webster, a PAC student majoring in Business Management, said, “Wine comes in a great number of varieties and flavors, but to learn how make your own sounds pretty neat. I know it’ll take a while, but I’m certain the process will be well worth the time and effort. I’d feel proud to be able to give wine I had made as gifts to my family. I could probably make some money selling it, or even make my own brand. Just kidding, but I’d really give homemade wine to my family for the holidays.”

Upon hearing the news that a wine-making program was going to become an option in the Spring of 2020, Hunter Schneider, another PAC student majoring in Business, said he was more than interested in making one of the world’s greatest drinks.

“Viticulture? The beautiful process in which you make wine? Yeah, I’d join that program. It wouldn’t be simple. It’ll take some time, but I have no doubt a class like this, with other students, would be an interesting experience to be a part of.”

Caylin Falkiewicz, a sophomore at PAC, said, “To make wine, you need some patience, and a lot of time on your hands. I know that Texas is one of the biggest wine distributors. It’s neat that Palo Alto has a program showing you how to deal with viticulture, both with the actual wine and the process of selling it.”

Yessica Labay, a professor for the upcoming classes, said, ”The viticulture program will have an associate’s degree in viticulture and offer a certificate in enology [the study of wine]. Any ages can join as the students will be allowed to taste but never consume the wine. This is a two-year program and has three different courses you can take: Principles of Viticulture, Principles of Enology and the Principles of Horticulture.”

You can sign up for this course now for the spring and learn all the fundamentals. For more information, or further questions, contact Yessica Labay at ylabay@alamo.edu or Rose Flores at rflores237@alamo.edu.

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