Enology A.A.S. Degree

Why Choose Enology A.A.S. Degree at CLC?

Online evening classes in Grape growing, wine making and wine business.

One year certificates or AAS degrees available.

Scholarships available through the Minnesota Grape Growers Association.

Financial aid available through Central Lakes College.

Taught by industry experts with years of experience from around the world and through 19 state colleges.

Assistance in finding internships in the Minnesota wine industry (71 wineries and counting!) by the CLC VESTA Coordinator.​​

About the Program

Wineries are booming in Minnesota, from 26 in 2007 to 47 in 2012, and also in the Upper Midwest. See the latest info (pdf). This is mainly due to cold hardy grapes developed by the University of Minnesota that can thrive not only in our region, but also other parts of the world such as Russia, China and Northern Europe. The VESTA (Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance) program offers online classes taught by industry leaders.

Students gain hands-on practical experiences through mentoring with local Vineyards and Wineries. It is a partnership of Universities, Two year Colleges, State Agricultural Agencies, Vineyards and Wineries in 19 States. Visit www.vesta-usa.org for more details. Central Lakes College can help students with financial assistance (+Scholarships!), general education courses, and local mentors.

Program Information

Special Department Information:

Program Course Requirements

First Year – Fall Semester
COMP 1101 Computer Fundamentals (3 cr)
BIOL 1431 General Biology I (5 cr)
MATH 1506 Beginning College Algebra (4 cr)
VITI 1146 Introduction to Enology (3 cr)
Total – 15 Credits

Spring Semester
CHEM 1414 Fundamentals of Chemistry (4 cr)
SPCH 1431 Fundamentals of Public Speaking (3 cr)
VITI 1148* Winery Sanitation (3 cr)
VITI 1160* Winery Equipment Operation (2 cr)
VITI 1210 Introduction to Wine Microorganisms (3 cr)
Total – 15 Credits

Second Year – Fall Semester
BIOL 2457* Microbiology (4 cr)
ENGL 1410 Composition I (4 cr)
POLS 1435 American Government and Politics (3 cr)
VITI 1246* Intermediate Enology (3 cr)
Total – 14 Credits

Spring Semester
BUSN 1166 Business Communication (3 cr)
VITI 1259* Cellar Operations Technology (2 cr)
VITI 1266* Sensory Evaluation (3 cr)
VITI 1268* Wine and Must Analysis (3 cr)
Elective (2 cr)
Total – 13 Credits

Third Year – Fall Semester
VITI 1257* Fall Wine Production Internship (3 cr)
Total 3 Credits

*Denotes Prerequisites

Career Description: Enologists oversee the production of wine. They inspect grapes and evaluate the crops to determine when to harvest and start wine production. They ensure proper crushing methods and techniques. Responsibilities depend on the size of the winery. The enologist is heavily involved in quality control. One may work with a laboratory technician if employed by a larger winery. Another may develop new wines or specialize in a specific wine in a larger winery.

Program Information: The program provides the knowledge required to produce wines of the highest quality. Students learn the science, agriculture, and business skills necessary to enhance Minnesota’s rapidly growing wine industry. Included is a foundation in chemistry and biology along with specific courses related to cultivar selection, soil preparation, cellar maintenance and marketing. The program is specifically designed to include fieldwork and laboratory practicums at local wineries.

Program Outcomes:
Graduates will be able to:

  • Examine grape samples to ascertain sweetness and acidity of crop, and determine harvest time based off of this information;
  • Select yeasts for fermentation and barrels for aging;
  • Communicate with vineyard manager regarding crop load, harvest time, and other issues related to crop quality;
  • Correct sugar and acid levels of must and wine if necessary;
  • Oversee primary fermentation by punching down the grape skin cap, regulating fermentation temperature and the amount of time the skins are in contact with the must, and initiating malolactic fermentation;
  • Supervise workers in crushing and pressing processes, or perform those duties themselves;
  • Supervise cellar operations during secondary fermentation with tasks such as aging, topping off barrels, and clearing wine of fermentation residue;
  • Direct and coordinate blending and bottling of wine, or perform those duties themselves.

Special Program Requirements:

Transfer Opportunities: Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA) is a consortium of colleges, including Central Lakes College, Northeast Iowa Community College, Missouri State University, Rend Lake (Ill.) Community College, and Redlands (Okla) Community College. VESTA Consortium

Career Opportunities: Job opportunities in enology are tied to trends in the wine industry. Growing grapes in Minnesota is becoming increasingly popular. In 1975, Minnesota had two wineries. By 2007 there were 26. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture reports an increase in both the number of farms growing grapes and total acreage. Employment opportunities are available locally, regionally and nationwide.

Career Titles: Winemaker, winemaking director, assistant winemaker, cellar master, cellar worker 2, enologist, lab technician, lab manager, tasting room manager.


Keith Olander

Dean of Agriculture Studies
Phone: 218-894-5163

Student Testimonials


The courses really helped me tie in all my experiences with all the details it takes to produce quality wines. The best part was that I could work full time and still have time for classes, since it’s all online.


In the viticulture program, I not only receive classroom instruction, but also hands on learning with an experienced vineyard. Dennis Emslie Drummond and all of the schools involved have been great to work with. The VESTA program has been and is a wonderful experience.


Vesta is a great program, you are able to work full time while you do classes online. Practicums are required for the viticulture and enology main courses, which is great to get hands on experience! The Vesta coordinators and professors are great to work with! It was nice to get help in getting the scholarship, too!

Employment Statistics

For more information regarding employment statistics, career salary information and estimated job growth, follow the resource links below:


Gainful Employment – Enology Diploma

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