Online Wine Degrees and Courses
Wine enthusiasts, winemakers and vineyard workers can advance their knowledge through online and blended programs. You could study viticulture, the science of cultivating grapes, or enology, the science of wine and wine production. Continue reading to see other coursework and how to select a program.
What You Need to Know
Most online wine degree programs offer theory-oriented courses via distance learning. They might require you to participate in some lab or field training through weekend workshops or internships at wineries. Certificates, non-degree programs and individual courses are available entirely online.
|Degrees||Viticulture and enology associate's degrees; certificates also available|
|Courses||Wine Marketing, Stages of Wine Production, Agricultural Economics, Vineyard Development, Wine Packaging|
|Online||Coursework is available, but in-person field training, lab work or internships may be required|
Can I Earn a Wine Degree Online?
Some schools offer separate viticulture and enology associate degree programs online, such as an Associate of Applied Science in Viticulture or Enology. Others might allow you to earn a combination degree in the technology of both grape growing and winemaking. You may also selectively take only the courses in which you have an interest. Degrees generally require hands-on fieldwork in addition to online courses.
What Certificate Programs Are Available?
You may choose to enroll in an online Winemaking Certificate program. The program may require coursework to be completed within a certain timeframe, and some courses have limited enrollment. You can also find a Viticulture or Enology Certificate program. Online courses in these certificate programs may be offered in a self-paced format. On-site activities and field experience may be available or required. Programs may confer non-credit professional certificates.
How Will Online Courses Help Me?
Through an enology program, you will acquire technical knowledge used by vintners, learning everything from winery sanitation to quality control. Online classes in viticulture focus on vineyard operations and the procedures for growing grapes. If you're a connoisseur interested in taking a course or earning a certificate, you can learn about varietal selection and how to analyze the acidity and sugar of wines. Some common courses cover:
- Winery business management
- Vineyard operations
- Wine marketing
- Pests and diseases affecting grapes
- Stages of wine production
- Quality control and wine analysis
- Agricultural economics
- Global survey of wines
- Vineyard development
- Wine packaging
How Do I Choose a Program?
When deciding on a program, you may want to research the faculty at the school. Course instructors may be industry experts with the networking connections to help you land a job. Their level of experience and success in the industry may also help you weigh one program over another.
Location is another factor you may want to consider in choosing an online program, particularly if you'll be participating in on-site labs and field applications. Some Web courses focus on conditions or techniques particular to a certain region, such as the production of grapes for the Eastern wine industry. In these geographically specific courses, you'll learn about soil conditions, pest control techniques and seasonal operations practices that may not apply everywhere.
This may be problematic if, for instance, you're studying how to make wine in California while interning at a vineyard in Pennsylvania. If you're learning about a different location than where you get your hands-on experience, you may not get the full benefit of that experience, because your coursework won't necessarily apply. This may also be a consideration for after you graduate, because you may want to live and work in a certain region, and you will probably want to make sure you are educated in the specifics of the right location.