Viticulture Diploma

Why Choose Viticulture Diploma 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 for more details. Central Lakes College can help students with financial assistance (+Scholarships!), general education courses, and local mentors.

Program Information

Program Course Requirements

First Year – Fall Semester
VITI 1112  Botanical Viticulture (4 cr)
VITI 1111  Introduction to Viticulture and Vineyard Establishment (3 cr)
VITI 1211  Integrated Pest Management (2 cr)
VITI 1293  Soils for Viticulture (3 cr)
VITI 1146 Principals of Enology or VITI 1266 Sensory Evaluation (3 cr) (May be taken Fall or Spring semester.)
Total – 12-15 Credits

Spring Semester
COMP 1120  Intro to Computer Applications (3 cr)
VITI 1105  Molecular Principals of Grape and Wine (4 cr)
VITI 1117  Cold Climate Viticulture (1 cr)
VITI 1212* Winter Viticulture Technology (2 cr)
VITI 1213* Regional Vineyard Management (2 cr)
VITI 1214* Spring Viticulture Technology (2 cr)
VITI 1146 Principals of Enology or VITI 1266 Sensory Evaluation (3 cr) (May be taken Fall or Spring semester.)
Total – 14-17 Credits

Summer Semester
VITI 1215* Summer/Fall Viticulture Technology (2 cr)
Total 2 Credits

*Denotes Prerequisites

Career Description: 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.

Program Information: 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 Outcomes:
Graduates will be able to:

  • Manage all part-time and seasonal vineyard workers;
  • Maintain records of all vineyard operation activities;
  • Assist wine maker in crop load management, harvest coordination and execution;
  • Monitor the vineyard regarding nutrient status, grape diseases, insect, fungus, weeds, and other pests;
  • Maintain records of all viticultural monitoring activities;
  • Practice IPM (Integrated Pest Management);
  • Recommend and plan any large scale changes in vineyard plantings, specifically cultivars and selection of the site;
  • Plan and assist in irrigation scheduling and operation;
  • Plan and assist in general property maintenance;
  • Operate vineyard machinery safely.

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, and Rend Lake (Ill.) Community College, and Redlands (Okla) Community College. VESTA Constortium

Career Opportunities: 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.

Career Titles: Vineyard manager, vine nursery manager, vineyard designer, vineyard developer, pest controller, crew supervisor, equipment supervisor, research viticulturist.


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 – Viticulture Diploma

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