Vineyard managers oversee the growing and care of grapes. They develop a system of grape management that is appropriate for each vineyard. They decide how to manage planting, fertility, harvesting and pruning. They are heavily involved in varietal selection, site preparation, equipment maintenance and safety, first season establishment, vine growth development, trellis systems and pruning. They also are involved in pest management, soil quality and the overall impact on the environment.
The Viticulture Technology program provides a comprehensive examination of the field of viticulture (grape growing). The program provides the knowledge required to maintain vineyards in Minnesota and the Midwest, with specific attention given to varietal selection, soil preparation, pest management and marketing, as well as the science, agriculture and business skills necessary to succeed in Minnesota’s rapidly growing viticulture business. The program includes fieldwork and practicums at local vineyards.
Program Learning Outcomes
Graduates will be able to:
1. Manage all part-time and seasonal vineyard workers
2. Maintain records of all vineyard operation activities
3. Assist wine maker in crop load management, harvest coordination and execution
4. Monitor the vineyard regarding nutrient status, grape diseases, insect, fungus, weeds, and other pests
5. Maintain records of all viticultural monitoring activities
6. Practice IPM (Integrated Pest Management)
7. Recommend and plan any large scale changes in vineyard plantings, specifically cultivars and selection of the site
8. Plan and assist in irrigation scheduling and operation
9. Plan and assist in general property maintenance
10. Operate vineyard machinery safely
Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA) is a consortium of colleges, including Central Lakes College, Northeast Iowa Community College, Missouri State University, and Rend Lake (Ill.) Community College, and Redlands (Okla) Community College.
Vineyard manager, vine nursery manager, vineyard designer, vineyard developer, pest controller, crew supervisor, equipment supervisor, research viticulturist.
Job opportunities in vineyard management are tied to trends in grape production. Growing grapes in Minnesota is becoming increasingly popular. Statistics from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture show an increase in both the number of farms growing grapes and the total acreage. Employment opportunities are available locally, regionally and nationwide.